Top 30 ATL Records of 2014

Saira Raza - First Flight

20. Saira Raza – First Flight
Self-Released

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.sairaraza.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sistersai

Jungol - Ghost Knocks

19. Jungol – Ghost Knocks
Self-Released

Given the group’s most recent output, it should be no surprise the music has taken a much more electronic-focused turn, and anyone hoping for a return to Over the Sun and Under the Radar’s arty prog aesthetic may walk away disappointed. But one of the band’s core strengths has always been the ability to wrap memorable pop melodies in unique textures and inserting them into interesting arrangements. “Full of Chemicals” certainly fits that mold, with chiming synths and chest-rattling bass serving as foundation for what is ultimately an iridescent psyche-dance jam with surprising R&B leanings. – [ Review of “Full of Chemicals” single ]

More Info:
Web: www.jungol.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jungolband
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/jungol
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jungol

Mara - EP

18. Mara – Mara
Deer Bear Wolf Records

With “Diamonds,” Jordan Parker maintains a similar aura of sunless mystery to the one he unveiled in his Vera Vera project, but his alone-in-a-bedroom approach feels far more ethereal and confidential. He calls his new aesthetic “phantom pop,” and that’s a good a description as any. Here, spectral guitars unfurl themselves against the steady echo of an alluring backbeat while Parker’s vocals—smoky and elusive—lull you further into a kind of shadowy darkness. It’s simple but haunting, a mesmerizing first effort from one of the city’s emerging talents. – [ Premiere of “Diamonds” single ]

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.maralove.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/maraatlanta

Places to Hide - Wild N Soft

17. Places to Hide – Wild N Soft
Tiny Engines

A lot of bands that trade in youthful abandon feel the need to clutter their music with excessive tempo changes or drown their melodies in frenetic dissonance. But Places to Hide seem to understand the power—especially in punk music—of keeping things short, simple and snappy. From the second the song kicks in it’s all four-on-the-floor fervor and intoxicating exuberance, all you want to do is throw back some beers, find out when they’re playing next and learn the lyrics so you can scream along at the show. – [ Review of “Cough Syrup” single ]

The track shows the band taking a more measured approach with Kyle Swick and Deborah Hudson trading mellow vocals over a slow-rolling slacker rock groove that erupts into a combustive chorus before eventually sliding back into the group’s signature jangle-punk stride. – [ Review of “Nowhere Bound” single ]

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.placestohide.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Places-To-Hide/263034510404551
Tumblr: www.placestohideband.tumblr.com

Semicircle - Blown Breeze, Grown Grass and We are Part of the Earth

16. Semicircle – Blown Breeze, Grown Grass and We are Part of the Earth
Quality Faucet Records

The album’s lead single floats through your speakers like a caressing wind, a quietly pulsing piano buttressed against dreamy guitars and a driving backbeat. Andrew McFarland’s voice is gentle but commanding; he’s equally adept at lifting the song to shimmering heights as he is blending coyly into its billowing exterior. There’s flashes of vintage ’70s pop lurking in the chorus—warm hooks poised against moody rhythms—but it’s not until those horns chime in and bright colored tones begin to seep into the track’s otherwise muted palette that you really begin to realize just how far the duo can take their subdued aesthetic. In short, it’s powerful stuff—beautifully seductive and quietly redemptive. – [ Premiere of “Movement is Calm” single ]

Maybe it’s the dynamic interplay between the spidery mesh of guitars or the head-nodding pulse of the song’s bass-driven backbone, but something about this reminds me of Fugazi at their most calm and intimate. There’s a definite sense of rhythmic propulsion, even as the surrounding vocals remain hushed and delicate. It’s an impressive change of pace, and another strong effort from this promising project. – [ Review of “Mechanism of Erasure” single ]

More Info:
Bandcamp: www.semicirclemusic.bandcamp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/semicirclemusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SemicircleGA