By Nick Butler
Bastille | Distorted Light Beam
English pop rockers Bastille have dropped a brand new song, “Distorted Light Beam.” The track is the first single from the band’s upcoming album. The band’s latest release was at the end of last year in the form of the Goosebumps EP. That EP featured surprise production from Kenny Beats (Vince Staples, Rico Nasty).
The track serves as a departure from the band’s usual sound. Frontman Dan Smith stated that the song feels like “dancing through some twisted, euphoric futuristic club space.”
An official music video for “Distorted Light Beam” was released this week. Watch the trippy video below:
Bastille- Distorted Light Beam (Official Video)
Bastille released a documentary earlier this year documenting the members’ conversations during the pandemic. The film, Bastille – ReOrchestrated, can be viewed for free with an Amazon Prime subscription.
The band will be headlining Latitude Festival next month in Suffolk, England. If you can make it there, tickets are still available.
beabadoobee – Our Extended Play
Beabadoobee has finally released her newest EP, Our Extended Play, in full. The track “Last Day On Earth” dropped earlier this year.
Beabadoobee- Last Day On Earth
The artist has stated that this EP will serve as a bridge between her first studio album Fake It Flowers and her upcoming highly-anticipated second album.
The record was a collaboration between the songwriter and fellow Dirty Hit artist The 1975. The group spent time together living on a studio farm working the new tracks. Bea explained that working with the band was “a dream” and “an inspiring experience.”
Our Extended Play brings back 90s alt-rock in a big way. Each track acts its own representation of the genre, and does so in a very unique way. The songs would be anthems back in that decade, and still have the opportunity to be now.
Beabadoobee is scheduled to perform in Austin at Emo’s on November 16th. Tickets are still currently available, so pick up a pair while you can.
Joywave – Every Window Is A Mirror
Joywave released their newest EP, Every Window Is A Mirror, in full this week. The first single from the EP, “After Coffee,” came in March. This follows the release of their third studio album, Possession, last year.
The title track serves as a good representation of the remainder of the tracks. The song looks back at the instrumentation that made the band’s first two studio albums have such a full and listenable sound. The hook on the track is almost addictive, reminiscent of 80s new wave bands such as New Order.
Watch frontman Daniel Armbruster’s face quite literally melt off in the official video for “Every Window Is A Mirror” below:
Joywave- Every Window Is A Mirror (Official Video)
The band currently has not announced a tour supporting the new tracks, but make sure to be on the lookout for one soon.
The Maine – Pretender
The Maine have released a brand new song, Pretender. The single comes as the fourth track from the band’s upcoming album, XOXO: From Love And Anxiety In Real Time. The release will follow their seventh studio album, You Are OK, which dropped back in 2019.
Mark your calendars. The band’s upcoming album is set to be released July 9th.
The Maine will be in Austin as a part of the 101X Concert Series. The band will be performing with All Time Low and Grayscale on August 18th. Tickets are still available.
The Killers & Bruce Springsteen | Dustland
The Killers released their third studio album Day & Age thirteen years ago. Now, they are re-releasing a cover of their fourth single from the album, “A Dustland Fairytale”, as “Dustland”. The cover features vocals from the one and only Bruce Springsteen.
Watch the brand new collab below:
The Killers- Dustland (Official Music Video) ft. Bruce Springsteen
This collaboration was a long time in the making, with The Killers having been influenced by The Boss as early as 2006 with Sam’s Town. More recently, Springsteen reached out to The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers after their Glastonbury performance in 2019.
Springsteen and The Killers debuted their new collab on Today. Flowers reminisced on originally meeting Bruce at a festival in Europe. The Boss asked the band if they would join him for a performance of “Thunder Road”. Check out the rest of their interview here:
The Killers dropped their sixth studio album, Imploding the Mirage, last year. The album featured singles “Caution” and “My Own Soul’s Warning”. The band has confirmed that a new album is finished and will be released later this year.
Springsteen released his twentieth album, Letter to You, at the end of last year. The album was his first new album with the E Street Band since 2014.
Bruce will be returning to the stage this month with Springsteen on Broadway. Shows will begin on June 26th and will run until September. Tickets are on sale now.
Hippo Campus | Bad Dream Baby
Hippo Campus dropped a new track titled “Bad Dream Baby” earlier this week. The song comes as the first track off of their third EP, Good Dog, Bad Dream. This is the first official release since the debut of their critically acclaimed sophomore album, Bambi, back in 2018.
The band has an impressive track record when it comes to releasing stellar EPs. Their first official release came in 2014 in the form of Bashful Creatures. That EP served as their breakout debut, led by their radio-friendly hit “Suicide Saturday”. South was released the following year and was supported by a single of the same name.
The new release from Hippo Campus offers some of the band’s most raw lyrics to date. Frontman Jake Luppen comically directs the song from topics ranging from Britney Spears and older men at a bar to his exit from Mormonism. Though, there are moments where the singer sacrifices musicality to get his points across.
With the single comes a new music video that looks to be straight out of the 90s. Check out the video below:
Hippo Campus- Bad Dream Baby (Official Video)
The band has not announced any dates for a tour supporting their new EP. But, make sure to be on the lookout, as the band is no stranger to Austin.
Gang of Youths | the angel of 8th ave.
Australian outfit Gang of Youths are back with a new track “the angel of 8th ave.”. The song is the first single from their upcoming third album. Their last album, Go Farther in Lightness, was released four years ago.
The band recently relocated from their native Sydney to London to get away from the fame of it all. This move is highly evident in “the angel of 8th ave.” as the song is a love letter to their new city. It is also heavily influenced sonically by the decades of talent coming out of the British music scene. The synths and guitars create a wide field of sound for frontman David Le’aupepe to play.
Gang of Youths premiered a music video for the track earlier this week. The video serves as a testament to the love they feel for their new city. Watch Le’aupepe dance across London here:
Gang of Youths- the angel of 8th ave (Official Video)
The band is set to play a handful of shows and festivals over the next year in Europe. An announcement of a US tour will hopefully arrive closer to the album release.
Lorde | Solar Power
New Zealander Lorde blessed fans on Thursday with an early release of “Solar Power,” the lead single from her upcoming third album of the same name. The track came as a surprise, as the original release date was set for a day later. The song leaked onto streaming sites in certain countries, leading to an early release worldwide.
The project was teased earlier this week when producer Jack Antonoff posted the album art on his personal Instagram page. The Bleachers frontman and frequent Taylor Swift collaborator worked with Lorde on her critically acclaimed second album Melodrama.
The release of “Solar Power” was accompanied by a music video on the same day. The video features Lorde moving and grooving on a secluded beach. She is surrounded by people that look to be right out of the film Midsommar. Lorde sticks out among them in a bright yellow top and skirt.
Lorde – Solar Power (Official Music Video)
The track itself, while uniquely Lorde, takes on a brighter and happier tone than her usual releases. The song is propelled by almost percussive acoustic guitars, before erupting into a beat that is reminiscent of George Michael’s “Freedom ‘90.” Lorde clearly crafts the song as a transition from her past, singing “It’s a new state of mind – are you coming, my baby?”
Lorde has not currently announced tour dates in support of Solar Power. The singer is headlining Primavera Sound Festival 2022 in Barcelona. She tops the ticket with fellow headliners Gorillaz, The Strokes, and Tame Impala. Unfortunately, tickets are no longer available.
Bleachers | How Dare You Want More
Bleachers have returned with another single from their upcoming third studio album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night. The full album is set to be released on July 30. The track, “How Dare You Want More,” originally premiered at the end of May on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Bleachers: How Dare You Want More | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Along with the release of “How Dare You Want More” came an official live music video. The video shows the band together in a small studio as they riff together to create the track. The back and forth between frontman Jack Antonoff and his saxophonist is emphasized in the video. Check it out below.
Bleachers – How Dare You Want More (Live Video)
Last year saw the release of their second single, “Chinatown,” a collaboration between Bleachers and Bruce Springsteen. The 71-year-old singer-songwriter’s influence can be seen heavily on all four of the current singles. The songs and music videos bring up strong nostalgic sounds for an era that is slowly fading away.
“How Dare You Want More” comes as the fourth single off the band’s upcoming third album. Frontman Jack Antonoff states that the song is “an easy song to write about the people in my life and the hardest thing to do to oneself”. He asks the question, “How dare you go out and get what you want? How do you ask for it when you’re not sure if you even deserve it?”
Bleachers will perform at Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park in October. Initial release tickets are no longer available, but can be purchased through official resale here.
K.Flay | Inside Voices
K.Flay dropped a new EP, Inside Voices, this week. The album features 3 singles, “Four Letter Words,” “TGIF (feat. Tom Morello), and “Dating My Dad (feat. Travis Barker), which were released earlier this year.
The album stays true to K.Flay’s roots of rock with flowing rap lyrics. Some of the tracks deviate from the traditional hard rock beats to a form of pop rock. This is evident in “Dating My Dad,” where the influence of Travis Barker’s drums shapes the entire track. It can also be seen in “My Name Isn’t Katherine,” where the majority of the track relies on a trap beat, until a blooming rock finale.
K.Flay released a music video for the first single from the EP, “Four Letter Words,” back in April. The video features Flaherty in a room that is colorized and textured like a comic book. It brings back the same feeling of 2000s angst that came with pop punk.
K. Flay- Four Letter Words
K.Flay will be in Austin for two nights at Stubb’s July 28th and 29th. She will be opening for Louis the Child. GA tickets are sold out, but Liberty Lunch Preferred Access passes are still available here.
Cold War Kids | What You Say
Alt rockers Cold War Kids have returned with new track, “What You Say.” The song comes as the first single off of their upcoming album, New Age Norms 3. The album is the last of the New Age Norms album trilogy.
Accompanying the single is an official music video. The video features the band performing in an all-white studio as well as driving in a convertible. Check out the music video below.
Cold War Kids- What You Say (Official Video)
Cold War Kids are opening up for Kings of Leon on a full length US tour. The bands will make a stop in Austin at the Germania Insurance Amphitheater on September 15. Tickets are available now.
X-Ambassadors | My Own Monster
Rock band X-Ambassadors are back with a brand new single, “My Own Monster.” The song comes as the first track off of their fourth studio album, The Beautiful Liar. The album will be released later this year.
The band took to Twitter to say this about the new track: “This was the first song we wrote for the new album, so it felt appropriate to be the one we start our journey with.” X-Ambassadors also released an animated video and lyric video to accompany the track.
And a new chapter begins.
"My Own Monster" will be the first single off our new album, The Beautiful Liar.
This was the first song we wrote for the new album, so it felt appropriate to be the one we start our journey with.
Enjoy. Visuals coming soon…
— X AMBASSADORS (@XAmbassadors) June 11, 2021
X-Ambassadors- My Own Monster (Official Lyric Video)
X-Ambassadors currently have no tour dates announced for this year. The band was last in Austin in December 2019 at the Moody Theater. Keep an eye out for an upcoming tour announcement soon!
Billie Eilish | Lost Cause
Billie Eilish dropped a new music video for her new summer anthem “Lost Cause.” The video features Eilish along with a group of friends as they play with silly string, roll through a house, and dance on a Twister mat. Watch the video below.
Billie Eilish- Lost Cause (Official Music Video).0
The song comes as the fourth single from the pop artist’s upcoming second album. The album, Happier Than Ever, is set to be released on July 30. Production for the album was done exclusively by Eilish and her brother Finneas.
Eilish will be headlining this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park. She is set to perform on Saturday October 2 and 9 along with headliner Rüfüs Du Sol. Tickets are currently sold out, but can be purchased through official resale here.
CHVRCHES and Robert Smith | How Not To Drown
Chvrches teamed up with The Cure frontman Robert Smith for a brand new track, “How Not To Drown.” The song comes as the second single off of their fourth studio album, Screen Violence. The album is set to be released on August 27.
Band member Martin Doherty released a post on his social media before the release of the song detailing his struggle with depression and anxiety and how they almost ended his career in music. He cites that making a track with his “all time musical hero, Robert Smith” is the proudest moment of his life in music.
Lead singer Lauren Mayberry shared more insight on her social media into the meaning and history of the song: “These lyrics are about a time when I just wanted to disappear, and the only time I ever thought about quitting the band.” She also expressed her gratitude for her fellow bandmates and for musical hero, Robert Smith.
Chvrches will be in Austin in November of this year for a 3 day stint at the Moody Theater and will be part of the 101X Concert Series. Tickets go on sale on Monday, June 7th at 10:00 am CDT.
CHVRCHES, Robert Smith- How Not To Drown
Wolf Alice | Blue Weekend
Wolf Alice returns with the release of their third studio album, Blue Weekend. The album serves as a follow-up to their widely successful album, Visions Of A Life, which was released almost four years ago. Four singles from Blue Weekend, “The Last Man On Earth,” “Smile,” “No Hard Feelings,” and “How Can I Make It Ok?” were released earlier this year.
Blue Weekend comes as their most cohesive album yet. The album shows the maturity of the artists, as they step away from their youth and into the uncertainty of their late-20s. The tracks draw inspiration from many different genres, dipping into grunge, folk, rock, and hints of country. While the songs express the diversity of their musical talent, they fit together in a way that ultimately makes sense. Their fourth single, “How Can I Make It Ok?”, a synth heavy track with a palatable flow is immediately followed by a song that is as punk rock as possible. The song, “Play the Greatest Hits,” features harsh guitars and vocals that is a stark contrast to the previous track. As the next song begins, you are met with the warm sound of a synth organ, marking the end of the brief trip into the world of punk.
The second single off of Blue Weekend, “Smile,” can be used as an indicator of the level of quality that this album brings to the table. The track brings the sound of 90s rock while keeping it uniquely theirs. The sound is reminiscent of bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Muse. Lead vocalist Ellie Roswell sings about her decision to completely own her feelings and not letting others dictate how she should feel. Watch the official music video for “Smile” below.
While the band has announced a US leg to their world tour, they have not planned for any stops in Texas. Check out their current tour schedule on their website.
Wolf Alice- Smile
King Princess | House Burn Down
King Princess dropped a new song, “House Burn Down,” earlier this week. The track is the third single to be released since her breakout debut album, Cheap Queen. Details on when fans will receive a second album have not been shared yet.
Throughout her career, King Princess made a name for herself as a true icon within the LGBTQ+ community. The singer has always been very open with her sexuality, even sporting track titles such as “Pussy is God.” Back in June of last year, gay lifestyle magazine Queerty named King Princess as one of fifty heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people.”
While King Princess has not revealed plans on a full tour, she is set to perform at this year’s Governor’s Ball in New York City. Full weekend and 1-day GA tickets to the festival are still available.
King Princess- House Burn Down (Official Audio)
The Black Keys | Delta Kream
The Black Keys released their tenth studio album, Delta Kream, earlier this month. The album, a tribute to southern blues, is a collection of classic covers, such as John Lee Hooker’s “Crawling Kingsnake” and R. L. Burnside’s “Poor Boy a Long Way from Home.” The songs were recorded over the course of two afternoons by Auerbach and Carney at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville.
The album is a follow up to the band’s 2019 Let’s Rock. Though the two offer totally different listening experiences, they are both distinctly albums from The Black Keys. Delta Kream provides laidback instrumentation infused with breakout guitar riffs characteristic of traditional Mississippi blues.
The Black Keys are set to headline the Pilgrimage Music Festival this year in Franklin, Tennessee along with the Dave Matthews Band and Cage the Elephant. Tickets are on sale now.
The Black Keys- Going Down South
The Black Keys- Crawling Kingsnake
Muse | Citizen Erased (XX Anniversary RemiXX)
Muse have released a 20th Anniversary remix of their 2001 track, “Citizen Erased.” The song was originally a part of their second studio album, Origin of Symmetry. This release is a part of a complete remixing of the album, set to be put into the world on June 18.
According to the band, the remixed album will have a “more open, dynamic and less crushed sound.” These changes will be most noticeable on the deeper tracks of the album. The tracklist also includes “Futurism,” originally an exclusive track for the Japanese version of the album.
Check out this clip of Matt Bellamy’s thought process when it came to the remix of Citizen Erased.
Citizen Erased (XX Anniversary RemiXX)
Working on the XX RemiXX of Citizen Erased
half•alive | TIME 2
half•alive follows up their wildly successful 2019 debut album, Now, Not Yet, with a new track, “TIME 2.” The song is the second single of their upcoming second album, due to be released late this year.
“TIME 2” features production from HAIM and Vampire Weekend collaborator, Ariel Rechtshaid. The track is reminiscent of recent releases by ex-Vampire Weekend member, Rostam, with more of a pop influence.
half•alive is set to perform at this years Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas.
Local Natives | Lemon (Kareem Ali Remix)
Local Natives have released a remixed version of their song “Lemon.” The track, which was released in October of last year as part of their Sour Lemon EP, includes a feature from fellow indie artist Sharon Van Etton.
— Local Natives (@localnatives) May 28, 2021
Vance Joy | Missing Piece
Vance Joy is back with a brand new track titled “Missing Piece.” The song is a follow up to the artist’s 2018 album, Nation of Two. The song serves as the first single from his upcoming third studio album.
The Austrialian singer-songwriter marked his return to the music scene earlier this year with a unique feature. Vance Joy landed a lead vocalist spot on a song, “You,” with pop sensation Benny Blanco and hit DJ Marshmello in January.
Vance Joy- Missing Piece
Soccer Mommy | Wide Open Spaces
Soccer Mommy dropped a cover of The Chick’s song, “Wide Open Spaces.” In the cover, the artist dives deep into the country roots of the track.
Last year, Soccer Mommy released her second studio album, Color Theory. The album ranked number 37 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 50 Best Albums of 2020.
Soccer Mommy will be at Emo’s Austin on October 22. Tickets are still available, so grab them while you can.