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by Nick Hanover
If you live in Austin then you already know there’s too much damn music to keep track of. And sometimes you just want to sift through it in bite-sized chunks. We totally understand. Allow us to introduce you to The Latest Toughs, five tracks from five artists to get you up to date and make each of your workdays a little easier.

Tameca Jones “Are You Awake”

Are You Awake - SoundCloud
(254 secs long, 168 plays)Play in SoundCloud
It’s a crime that Tameca Jones’ 21st century seduction anthem “Are You Awake” has gone so overlooked since its release. Less flirty than it is quivering with need, “Are You Awake” pairs Jones’ always majestic voice with a modern update on ’50s style teen lust singles, coy synths and compressed drums replacing reverb drenched rhythms as Jones smokily asks “Are you awake?/Because I want to make some mistakes tonight.” I don’t know how anyone could possibly say no to Tameca’s request.

Mt Grey “Everything at Once”

On “Everything at Once,” Mt Grey hearken back to the glory days of the ’90s alt boom, the sound not overly beholden to any one influence but containing just enough elements of acts like Archers of Loaf and Jimmy Eat World to hit the nostalgia sweet spot. But the twist is more Foo Fighters than Clarity— James Sargent plays every instrument on “Everything at Once,” yet he manages to create the sound of a fully fleshed out band, with all the chemistry and conflict that entails. That one-man-against-the-world approach connects well with the song’s theme too, focused as it is on finding your own way and not letting yourself get dragged down by others, even if it means a whole lot of adversity and fucking up.

Daniel Francis Doyle & the Dreams “I Had to Do It”

Daniel Francis Doyle is not an easy artist to accurately classify, he operates in tics and neuroses more than specific sounds. “I Had to Do It,” for instance, from his upcoming LP Unrecognizable, could be described as the sound of John Darnielle soundtracking his own transformation into a cybernetic organism at the hands of a Devo uniformed mad scientist, but that’d still only give you an inkling of understanding. Tortured yet serene, Doyle’s delivery on “I Had to Do It” is a thing of mutant beauty, breezily shifting between poptimist hooks and agonized yaps as he quarrels with some compromising but unspoken act. The only thing that’s clear by the end is that Unrecognizable can’t come out soon enough.

French Mount Ultra “Hell Fire”

My most played record of last year was undoubtedly Black Dresses’ Waste Isolation, a senses shattering carpet bomb of new queer noise integrating everything from noise to hip hop to punk to pop. The unfortunate side effect has been that everything else has felt, well, a little drab (seriously, go listen to it right fucking now). Until French Mount Ultra came along with Peach, that is. A mini-LP of skronky glitch gurgles and ghostly melodies, Peach is operating in the same tetanus wasteland as Waste Isolation, minus vocals. Its napalm heart is the aptly named “Hell Fire,” where a stop-start jackhammer beat backs up some sampled rando going on about people “wailing” and “gnashing their teeth” while the synthesizer apocalypse explodes around him.  It buzzes and it chatters and it rips at my flesh and I never want it to end.

Fanclub “Stranger”

It’s getting to feel like every other new show looks like it’s set in either a fantasy version of the ’80s or a modern day that is somehow also the ’80s (I’m looking right at you, Maniac and Sex Education). So spare me your efforts to revive the Thompson Twins and remind me the Cure still exist, I want something new on those network mandated Spotify playlists. Cue up Fanclub’s “Stranger,” the blissful anthem to your future ’80s fave starring An Actual Teenager and Grumpy Parental Unit as they quarrel over curfews and hormones. Feel that beat, perfectly constructed for pedaling so fast on your Huffy as you hurry off into the night to put a mixtape in a crush’s mailbox. Taste that ear candy synth hook, that cotton candy fluff vocal, take in those feels. Not quite New Order, too tender to be Human League, “Stranger” is the sound of that rare modern band that can indulge in ’80s throwback tendencies without getting zombified.

Got a single you’d like to be considered for Latest Toughs? with Latest Toughs in the subject!

Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover

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by Nick Hanover

For the past few years, we’ve been enthralled by enigmatic singer-songwriter fuvk, cheerfully watching as she’s grown to become one of the best singer-songwriters in the indie music world. And in that entire time, fuvk has resisted the social media and live performance grind that indie artists usually have to devote so much of their lives to in order to get noticed. Still, we’ve long been hoping for more opportunities to catch fuvk live, particularly since her latest album Time Series expanded her sound in remarkable ways with the addition of backing musicians. We got our wish early this year with the surprise announcement that fuvk would be performing at Swan Dive as part of Free Week, so of course we showed up, eager to catch the performance.

Though fuvk’s band has only played a few shows, they masterfully translated fuvk’s material for the stage, keeping things light and minimalist with the simple additions of electronic drums and keys to bolster fuvk’s acoustic strumming and breathtaking voice. What was perhaps most surprising about the set was how well fuvk’s live vocal matched her recordings, proving that she’s a naturally gifted performer who is only going to become more impressive as she performs and records more. There was no need for flourishes or fussy accoutrements, fuvk’s voice was arresting and potent all on its own. If you missed this show, you’ll want to be sure to catch fuvk this Saturday, January 12th at Hotel Vegas for the Lone Star Compilation release with Why Bonnie, Skirts and more, but in the meantime, here are our photos from the Free Week set… 

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Photos by Nick Hanover

For the joint celebration of his new single release and Dowrong’s birthday, Cory Kendrix pulled out all the stops, bringing along his LNS Crew brethren Tank Washington and Kydd Jones as well as Sertified, Jaron Randolph and Y2 as well as DJ Jro of the League DJsIt was an epic showcase of some of the finest hip hop talent in the game and if you missed out, well, that sucks, but at least we got some photos of the festivities for you…

DJ Jro

Jaron Randolph

Dowrong

Y2

Sertified

Cory Kendrix & LNS Crew

Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover

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by Nick Hanover If you live in Austin then you already know there’s too much damn music to keep track of. And sometimes you just want to sift through it in bite-sized chunks. We totally understand. Allow us to introduce you to The Latest Toughs, five tracks from five artists to get you up to date and make each of your workdays a little easier.

Twin Styx “Low Tide”

Despite what you may expect from its fluffy synths and frollicking percussion, Twin Styx’s “Low Tide” chief mood is the sorrow of the almost– almost staying up to fight, almost getting out of bed, almost working to save a relationship on life support. There’s an exhaustive quality to the vocals that is thankfully not exhausting, just the right air of tired melancholy you’d expect from a guy who lost his watch in the ocean again and is using that as an excuse to wade further into the molasses tide of self-defeat and romantic failure. Twin Styx pull off the difficult trick of being accurate to wallowing self-pity while also making the music alluring enough to help you understand why it’s a hard mood to say no to when it comes. File this under music for blanket world.

Jony Shelby “Ash Heart”

Continuing with today’s theme of self-destruction, Jony Shelby’s “Ash Heart” sounds like it’s constructed from breaking objects and tortured howls. Detailing a night spent lying awake after being “made a fool by the telephone,” “Ash Heart” capably serves as both a pre-game soundtrack to a night of bad decisions and a score for the afterglow. Shelby is recognizably a descendent of the Weeknd DNA chain of renaissance misanthropes but his sound is brighter and his lyrical perspective is in the “I still have the capacity for growth” realm of self-aware rather than the “I’m an asshole and I don’t care” realm. You hear that most in the “I’m on fire” hook, as Shelby questions the allure of giving in to bad impulses while striving for something more stable. But don’t worry, even if you’re not in the mood for staring into your own abyss, “Ash Heart” bangs with the best of them.

Corey Arnell “No Stress”

Corey Arnell’s “No Stress” is, to borrow from the parlance of, uh, British Bake Off, a showstopper. The colossal track is an unlikely marriage of Odd Future grime and early ’00s gangsta simplicity, with Arnell and cohort Big Hairy competing to be the epitome of a no stress lifestyle. Normally I’d say anyone claiming to be living life free of stress is full of shit but on “No Stress,” Arnell and Hairy certainly sound carefree, destroying unseen enemies with the casualness of a ninja squaring off against a flock of chickens. So much of the current hip hop wave coasts by on mood and posturing but “No Stress” absolutely puts in the work, begging the following question: why the fuck aren’t more of you listening to Corey Arnell?

Abhi the Nomad “Flush”
FLUSH - SoundCloud
(143 secs long, 1882 plays)Play in SoundCloud

I’m certain Abhi the Nomad is going to accomplish a lot of amazing things in 2019 but right now, I think he deserves acclaim for almost certainly being the first hip hop artist to work a Mitski reference into a single. Of course, that’s by no means the only notable element of “Flush,” Abhi’s brand new single that continues the streak of hard hitting rap tracks he started with “Run” a few months ago. Abhi’s breakout work Marbled deftly blended together hip hop, pop and indie affectations, but Abhi seems revved up on some righteous need to prove himself as an emcee right now and I’m here for it. “Flush” pairs Abhi’s hyperverbal style, complete with references clever enough to keep a Das Racist reunion at bay for even longer, with a trap leaning beat; that chic minimalism leaves Abhi space to show off his lyrical dexterity but the pop maximalist in him can’t resist dropping in a few buzzy synth hooks and subtle earworm leads. If Abhi continues at this pace, 2019 very well might be the year Austin gets its first bonafide superstar.

Mélat “Weak”
Weak (prod. By Pha) - SoundCloud
(198 secs long)Play in SoundCloud

Mélat has a voice that can stop a room in its tracks but I don’t think it’s ever been given as perfect a platform as her new single “Weak.” A soulful ballad led by a gorgeous piano line and some haunting abstract samples, “Weak” is a powerhouse showcase for Mélat’s abilities, the melodic components emphasizing both the tenderness and the strength in her delivery, making her plea for forgiveness from a lover all the more potent. Longtime collaborator Pha has excellent instincts for when to step in and boost Mélat and when to dial things back and let her voice do the heavy lifting but “Weak” is a major leap forward for their partnership, firmly placing Mélat in the pantheon of titans like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston

Got a single you’d like to be considered for Latest Toughs? with Latest Toughs in the subject!

Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover

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Austin is never exactly hurting for quality releases from local artists, but 2018 felt like a major growth year for the city, particularly for genres that struggled in the past to get recognition. It was a year where the city’s hip hop community got national attention from outlets like Pitchfork, where the historic overthrow of a shocking number of GOP seats in local and federal government fueled renewed punk vigor, where our best and brightest electronic acts continued to rack up high profile releases and placements. Austin was a force to be reckoned with in every way in 2018 and 2019 is primed to be even more impressive. It was a remarkable year for singles by Austin artists, with the individual song format doing even more to showcase the abilities and perspectives of Austin musicians than albums did. Whether it was established heavy hitters like Sweet Spirit, Moving Panoramas and Molly Burch, swiftly ascending figures like Zettajoule and Pleasure Venom or bright new faces like Malik Elijah & Ciro Mont, Jonny Jukebox and Dayglow, the singles of 2018 highlighted Austin as a major force to be reckoned with. So join us as we countdown the top 25 songs of the year, complete with a Spotify playlist at the end for your mixtape needs, and don’t forget to also check out our top 10 music videos of 2018 here and our countdown of the ten best albums of the year here.

Molly Burch “To the Boys”

I listen to Molly Burch’s “To the Boys” whenever I need a good strong dose of self-assurance. “I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss,” the artist declares in this frank and unashamed meditation on who she is and why she’s great. Burch’s crooning, romantic jazz club delivery reveals every bit of humanity in her voice: when she drops down to a warbling, irresistible bass tone, you can hear the effort in the best way. When certain sounds come out of her mouth, they’re done with a bit of a lisp, making me feel better and more okay about my own lispy voice. And there’s not a second during the whole song where Burch’s imperfections are anything but beautiful and artful. You can tell that to the boys. – Kayleigh Hughes

Bonnie Montgomery “Goin’ Out Tonight (ft. Dale Watson)”
Goin' Out Tonight (feat. Dale Watson) - SoundCloud
(262 secs long, 241 plays)Play in SoundCloud

Bonnie Montgomery’s duet with Dale Watson “Goin’ Out Tonight” is the quintessential Texas romance, starring a would be Bonnie & Clyde, the latter of whom is doing his best to convince the former to let him borrow her daddy’s gun so he can pull off a perfect heist. The song’s moseying pace belies a thrilling narrative worthy of a film by fellow Austinite Robert Rodriguez, but the real attraction is the perfect match of Montgomery and Watson, with her sweet vocals subtly masking a grinning puckishness that shuts down his gruff attempts to leave her out of his plans. Given the dire straits of things in the current era, it can’t be too long before folk hero robbers rise again, and when they do, “Goin’ Out Tonight” will be their anthem. – Morgan Davis

Malik Elijah & Ciro Mont “Dope”

My head’s a mess of allergy meds and cedar spores so god bless Malik Elijah & Ciro Mont for “Dope,” a blissed out wonder that I’ve hit up anytime I’ve needed a burst of sunshine this year. Mont’s beat strikes that sweet spot between jazz and electro futurism, smoky piano lines plinking out into the airwaves on the back of distorted drums and 8-bit synth bloops and bleeps. Elijah somehow manages to meet every twist and turn of the instrumental with flourishes of his own, flitting between swaggering yet self-effacing verses and a hook that nails that feeling of recognizing a day has gone to total shit and all you can really do is let it go let it go let it go. – Nick Hanover

fuvk “Smile”

In a time where music tends to be watered down when it comes to meaningful songwriting, fuvk is a crisp and refreshing breath of air. Fuvk takes a minimalist approach instrumentally with “Smile”, making for a perfect complement to the soft and delicate songwriting that’s portrayed. Emotions spill out gently throughout the song in lines like “Maybe if you press a kiss to the back of my neck, I’ll dwell on you for one more year,” and that transparency and raw emotion, equally audible in fuvk’s vocal delivery and guitar playing, made “Smile” an immediate highlight. – Alex LaFuente

Name Sayers “Heron King”

The wooded areas around Austin have many charms, but the shrubby foliage and gnarled pecan trees rarely evoke a storybook kind of forest, the kind seeping with darkness, mystery, and magic. Name Sayers’ “Heron King” gifts you with a touch of that magic. The song oozes through a Southern Gothic vision of the Hill Country, one of blood and trailer parks and ancient rites. Devin James Fry’s world-weary vocals tell a tale of death and regret, uplifted and enveloped by darkly atmospheric folk-rock. The result is spellbinding, and makes you want to get lost in the woods a little more often. – James Fisk

Pleasure Venom “Hive”

From the start of its torrent of rolling drums to swirling vortex of guitars and Audrey Campbell’s blistering vocals, Pleasure Venom demand you shut up and pay attention to them on “Hive.” Campbell has long thrilled as a vocalist but “Hive” is the moment where her barbwire voice met with instrumentation that could truly match it, lifting the band itself into the same terrain as the fearless revolutionaries who influenced it, be they Bikini Kill (whose own Kathleen Hanna endorsed the band earlier this year) or true punk pioneers Death. “Hive” is a revelation, every note a sting on the flesh of anyone who would dare to attempt to silence Campbell and her cohorts. – NH

Sweet Spirit “Los Lonely Girls”
Sweet Spirit - Los Lonely Girls - SoundCloud
(172 secs long, 53 plays)Play in SoundCloud

On last year’s year-end list, we commemorated Sweet Spirit’s sociopolitical anthem “The Power.” This year, they return to our list with a more intimate, poppier affair. Yet, it still is anthemic in its own right. Lyrically, “Los Lonely Girls” is a descendant of singer Sabrina Ellis’ “If I Was Your Man” from Bobby Jealousy in 2013, celebrating women who may not see themselves reflected in other parts of our popular culture. Here, Ellis continues her role as the patron saint of weird women, exhorting all the “lonely girls” to drop their inhibitions and join her on the dance floor. Ellis has said that the sound of the song was conceived of as a cross between Hall and Oates and Miley Cyrus; I’m not sure how accurate that ended up being but the end result is hard to argue with. I’d suggest that this is more empowering than any major Miley Cyrus single and more sugary fun than most Hall and Oates songs. In the year that brought us Lady Gaga on the big screen, I’d still say there was no moment as thrilling as when Ellis sings us into the second chorus with, “She was born a star/Well, tonight, my dear, you are.” It’s earnest and joyous in only the way that Sweet Spirit can be. – Carter Delloro

Dan Sir Dan & Jonny Jukebox “Lick”
LICK (feat. Jonny Jukebox) - SoundCloud
(225 secs long, 766 plays)Play in SoundCloud

Dan Sir Dan and Jonny Jukebox came out swinging hard on “Lick”. With production that really makes the track bang and stand out on so many levels, “Lick” is vivacious and addictive, with Dan Sir Dan’s attention to detail, from the blasting bass to the smooth sample cuts, ensuring the song won’t leave your head anytime soon. An intimate slow jam with influences of R&B along with some variations of smooth jazz, “Lick” easily became one of my favorite tracks from 2018. The clean guitar and keyboard samples nicely complement Jukebox’s vocals, setting the mood for a sexy and alluring players’ anthem full of quotable lines. “I’m always in the mood to lick ya’ like Oooo” says it all. Here’s hoping Dan Sir Dan and Jonny Jukebox’s artistic relationship will be far more than casual. – AL

Dorsia “Miami”

Hello, this is music critic Kayleigh Hughes, here to announce that I’m a goddamn fool because I only just recently discovered Austin’s dreamy indie-pop masters Dorsia. Like Chvrches’ best work, Dorsia’s standout single “Miami” is all huge hooks and grand romantic electronic beats, but Kelly Pitlosh and Nick Colbert add big, much-needed doses of tender vulnerability and thoughtful lyrics about moving on but not quite getting over the future you thought you had with someone. One of my best friends — and fellow music critic — calls her alter ego “DJ Feelings,” and Dorsia’s “Miami” is exactly the song I’d want to hear during a DJ Feelings set at the electro-new-wave-heartbreak club night of my dreams. – KH

Samantha Glass “Cruel Anxiety”

Though it’s comprised of a few simple ingredients– a sluggish, echo-y drum machine, a synth melody so subtly mixed it flits in and out like a lost spirit, a bassline and baritone vocal that seem joined at the hip– Samantha Glass’s “Cruel Anxiety” nonetheless gets across that devastatingly complex need to feel free and at peace with yourself with enviable ease. As Glass states in a gentle yet frank manner, “anyone can be anxious and cruel,” the real work is in managing those feelings to achieve some kind of equilibrium. But as the song makes clear in Glass’s bold and aching delivery and its framing by the sunken and claustrophobic beat, life is merciless and dark and sometimes all you can do is put your hurt out there in the hopes that someone will throw you a rescue line. – NH

Teenage Cavegirl “No Good // So Bad”

If the name Teenage Cavegirl evokes to you an image of a grown-up Pebbles Flintstone decked out in a one-piece and a bouffant with white cat-eye shades pounding out tubular rock tunes then, well, you’re not far off. And what’s not to love about that? On “No Good // So Bad” the duo deploys drums that throb like a temporal vein and vocals with guitar that steam with attitude. The setup is simple and the message is too: “I know you’re no good but I want you so bad.” It’s weird, fun, and catchy as hell. – JF

Abhi the Nomad “Sex n’ Drugs (ft. Harrison Sands & Copper King)”

I’m probably not going out on a limb by saying that this is the best hip hop song with a xylophone intro you will hear all year. And yet, if xylophones were all the rage in hip hop right now, I’d probably still rank “Sex n’ Drugs” off Marbled by Abhi the Nomad number one among them. Backed by the aforementioned xylophone and a simple smattering of horns, bass, and subdued drums, “Sex n’ Drugs” (like the rest of the LP) represents a refreshing new direction for local hip hop. With its lyrics addressing hero worship through the lens of one’s own desire for personal success and validation, and the degrees of excess inherent within, “Sex n’ Drugs” may seem a bit heavy on paper. In practice however, Abhi keeps it light. You’ll find yourself singing along with the lyrics and bobbing your head to the lilting tunes long before waking up to the realization that just under that sparkling, subtle surface is something much deeper. – Brian J. Audette

Click Clack “The Times”

I don’t know if any one track can fix a whole canon of fucked up notions of sex and pleasure from men in hip hop but Click Clack’s “The Time” certainly puts in the effort. With the aid of a particularly slinky and seductive Ballteam beat, Click Clack uses the platform of “The Times” to not only pay tribute to every erotic inch of a new boo but to also call out dudes who are too focused on getting their own to get who they’re with off as well as society for encouraging men to run away from women earning more than them. Don’t go thinking “The Times” is a preachy, stuffy little number, though. This is hip hop at its most sensual and flirty, as likely to get you grinding on a club floor as it is to make you nod along to its message. – NH

Third Root “Fantasma Horns (ft. Grupo Fantasma)”

One of the many missions of hip-hop trio Third Root is to increase cross-appreciation of African-American and Mexican-American cultures. By that measure, “Fantasma Horns,” in which Charles Peters and Marco Cervantes rap about Gil-Scott Heron, De La Soul, James Brown, EPMD, Run-DMC and Childish Gambino over a fire beat from DJ Chicken George based entirely around the Latin-flavored horns of Austin’s Grammy-winning Grupo Fantasma, is a massive success. It illustrates how effortlessly two seemingly disparate musical styles can meld into an irresistible track. As Peters raps the hook about “real hip-hop,” it could easily have come across as old heads lecturing the youth. Yet, Peters and Cervantes remain inclusive, encouraging listeners to keep journeying through the history and styles of hip-hop. They also take time to lament police brutality, immigrant detention and the rise of Trumpism, helping locate “Fantasma Horns” in 2018. It’s not a backward-looking nostalgia jaunt; instead, “Fantasma Horns” is a sweeping statement of purpose that draws on a breadth of musical and political influences to chart a path forward that welcomes any open-hearted listener. – CD

Moving Panoramas “Baby Blues”
Moving Panoramas - Baby Blues - SoundCloud
(287 secs long, 4928 plays)Play in SoundCloud

Moving Panoramas have been lauded members of the Austin music scene for some time, but this year’s single “Baby Blues” is undoubtedly a high point in their life as a band. Clean guitars, wavy synths and tight drums give their sound more explosiveness than ever before, while the bright, empowering vocals create atmospheres similar to artists such as The Greeting Committee and Precious Kid. Moving Panoramas once again create that genuine sound that invites and pulls you in with each and every listen, providing a perfect soundtrack for hot summer days and long road trips. – AF

Mobley “Young Adult Fiction”

“Are you certain?/Are you whole?/Are you warm?/Are you safe?” begins Mobley’s “Young Adult Fiction” as if referencing an abridged version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Like much of the rest of its parent album Fresh Lies Vol. I (though it originally appeared in a different format on an EP by the same name in 2012),  “Young Adult Fiction” is an introspective tune, specifically preoccupied with themes of belonging and being true to one’s self and art. Opening on a sparse beat and Mobley’s half-whispered vocals, layers of complexity continue to pile onto the song as it progresses. Beats get heavier, instruments are added, and vocals get louder, culminating in a cacophony that elevates the chorus’ refrain of “All my life I’ve been wondering/Who it is I’m supposed to be/What it is I’m supposed to see” from a solitary voice to the roar of a crowd. It’s a subtle, but remarkably affecting track that showcases Mobley’s ability to bend the pop/R&B framework into something that’s ultimately more baroque while still paying homage to genre trappings and crafting some excellent hooks. – BJA

Little Father “Violence”

Little Father had been kicking around the Austin punk scene for several years but it was only the past few that they really came in to their own, marrying the bass heavy melodic assault of Joy Division with the blistering metallic scrawl and industrial pounding of Big Black. So it’s a pity that their EP 3 is their farewell. But as far as swan songs go, lead off track “Violence” is pretty damn impressive, showcasing the band’s knack for grafting together soaring lead guitar riffs and the anguished howling of man and machine. The result is a track that will likely sound as different from the state of Austin music in 2028 as it did here in 2018. – NH

Blastfamous USA “Get It (ft. Chantell Moody)”

Blastfamous USA, the wildly ambitious project made up of indie hip hop artist Zeale (in a Freudian slip, I initially typed that he was a “hip hot artist”) and innovative electronic-percussion duo NGHT HCKLRS, knows how to do a collaboration. On “Get It,” they chose their team member — the larger-than-life vocalist Chantell Moody from projects Fort Never, Amakiya and Golden Dawn Arkestra — perfectly. Between Zeale’s pummelling verses about making a mark in music and burning MAGA hats while he’s at it, Chantell Moody’s voice genuinely writhes, weaving through flirty high peaks and big wide viscous valleys. The song is a sexy-as-hell call to arms: “you say you want it, you say you need it,” Moody croons, “but if you really want it, then you go out and get it.” The track is an irresistible announcement that Blastfamous USA and Moody are here to make shit happen. – KH

Glaze “Daisy”

Led by hard hitting drums and an abundance of layered guitars, Glaze’s “Daisy” is far from a one trick pony shoegaze track. Stephen McElwee’s soft vocals float smoothly along with buzzing melodic guitars, making for a giant sound...

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Photos by Dhal Smith

Earlier this month, the Austin Music Video Festival hosted a retrospective for Whiskey Shivers, showcasing their impressive catalog of videos and providing them a platform to showcase their musical talents as well. Dhal Smith was on hand to photograph the festivities, take a look!

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