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This Week’s Playlist: 2013 Midterm Report - Austin edition

Deborah Sengupta

Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 21, 2013

In last week’s playlist we shared our favorite tracks from across the country and around the world. This week we’re bringing it back home with a collection of local artists that we’re feeling right now in the 2013 Midterm Report - Austin Edition. We Austinites are blessed to have music echoing through every corner of the city from the coffeeshops to the dive bars to a host of great stages. On and off stage these artists put in hard time often for little to no financial reward. Most of them do it for the love. So, please, go out and see these bands. Pay the cover. Buy a CD. Support your favorite band’s Kickstarter. These bands are what make our city great. Let’s give a little love back.

Peter Mongillo, Austin American-Statesman music writer

  • A Giant Dog. This Austin-based garage rock band is not new, or new to me, but they did put out an excellent record, “Bone” (Tic Tac Totally, produced by Mike McCarthy), earlier this year, which does a good job of capturing a lot the exciting and reckless energy of their live shows.
  • Sweet Talk. Formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Stephen Svacina, who played in Denton-based Mind Spiders, among other bands, Sweet Talk’s recent full-length, “Pickup Lines” (12XU), is rock and roll joy, with elements of power pop and punk. Listen here.
  • Holy Wave. Former El Paso-based band Holy Wave, who are prepping a new album for release this fall, offer a mix of pop/rock groove and fuzzy psychedelic sounds.

Deborah Sengupta Stith, Web Content Producer

  • Riders Against the Storm. This husband/wife hip-hop duo is a sheer revelation. Their new eponymous release is loaded with super soulful, hook-heavy club bangers that reverberate with with positive vibes.
  • Zeale. For the better part of a decade he’s been on a slow burn rise, honing his skills, grinding hard. His latest single “Hope Dies,” which comes with a sharply produced dystopian fantasy video, channels the fury he packs as a seasoned battle rapper into a bonafide radio-ready hit.
  • Latasha Lee & The Blackties. A Southern-fried Amy Winehouse whose gritty take on retro rock ‘n’ soul caused the entire 360 music staff to collectively lose our minds earlier this year.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gz. Austin’s hip-hop supergroup is sounding stronger than ever on a tightly produced new release “The Plug” which deftly navigates the rocky terrain between rugged raw and deeply thought-provoking with consistently irresistible grooves and solid rhymestyles.

Eric Pulsifer, Freelance music writer, Spotify enthusiast

  • Royal Forest. Royal Forest’s latest, Spillway, just came out this month and is an ideal lazy summer afternoon soundtrack of psychedelic pop with a Wilco twang for fans of The Flaming Lips or Grandaddy.
  • Snowden. The more newsworthy NSA leaker Edward Snowden may skew Google results for this Austin act, but Snowden’s long-in-the-making No One In Control is worth tracking down: droning dream rock with a beat layered over frontman Jordan Jeffares’ Interpol-esque vocals.
  • Feathers. The all-female four-piece’s goth synth-pop debut, If All Now Here, is filled with dark dance music — a moody ’80s electro sound somewhere between Depeche Mode and CHVRCHES.
  • Mother Falcon. Austin’s 15-to-20-member orchestral indie rock ensemble crowd-funded their latest LP, You Knew, an album of folksy anthems à la Sufjan Stevens and Beirut filled to the brim with harmonies, horns, strings, pedal steel and more.