Austin-based brothers Art Pop have just released their first outing This Is Art Pop. The band welcome a fresh new sound to the Indie world, defined by a certain musical mis-match. Art Pop is all about the deeper meaning. It's hard to define and that's what we like about it...
It's a simple story about two brothers who wanted to see what together their two minds could create. It was the day after a typically messy Parquet Courts gig in Austin, TX. The New York rockers Andrew Savage and Austin Brown spent most of the night yelling until they were hoarse down the microphone. That's all it took for future Art Pop duo Max and Miles Grossenbacher to go to the guitar shop and bought a $50 microphone set. They cleared out the closet and began recording that day. Two months later, the result is here for everybody to see, the release of This Is Art Pop.
"I hope that people will be able to hear the authenticity of the music"
Despite Art Pop's clear musical reference points (Car Seat Headrest, LCD Soundsystem, Parquet Courts, and on and on and on) they never quite cross the line into hipster-wallpaper. Thematically, This Is Art Pop is stuffed with so many sugarcoated melodies it’s almost headache-inducing. Yet there isn’t a single insubstantial lyric here. It’s a record about trying to make friends, heartbreak, insecurity; the crucial and personal subject matters which typically reflect the life and days of a soon-to-be grown-up rocker.
These carefully crafted words alternate visions of despair and anger with reconciliation and acceptance way beyond the efforts of many first releases. Hey Hey!! recalls the feeling "I was teenage scum beat down, broke, crooked numb/dumb". It's the downers mentality we relate to on a grey day. But then it switches, listen to Human In A Big City "All I Need Is Some..." where the band sing "I think I’ll be alright. I think I’ll be just fine. Cause I never needed you in my life. I was just looking for someone to make love to". They're back in the game.
This Is Art Pop reveals a voracious musical vocabulary that spans most things music has to offer. For the two classically trained pianists, the mishmash of sounds, textures and noise all mix together to create a little world of its own. It's the single most impressive thing Art Pop have risked, to simply record the record. Yes the influences can be heard, but it's subtle. They don't over-complicate the classical. They don't undersell the Indie.
For that reason the album proves both visionary and re-visionary, as the two ponder both their own and their country's past music idols, whilst looking ahead to new musical possibilities. The record follows no guidelines, it's not repetitive, instead there's a story line, style, experimentation, and its own distinct mood. It's hard to define, and as we said, that's what we like about them...