Posts Tagged ‘Austin Texas’

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Last spotted on stage together in 1996, Austin duo The Living Pins have reunited on a mission to remind the city what being weird is all about. (In the meantime, frontwoman Carrie Clark served as a member of the alt-rock four-piece Sixteen Deluxe, while guitarist and bassist Pam Peltz has built a career as a photographer and music producer.) The pair’s reunion EP, “Freaky Little Monster Children”, was born in exquisitely scrappy fashion, recorded late at night in the empty lobby of an artists’ collective. And the sound of this four-song set—equal parts sinister and sunny, with a knack for sinewy guitar riffs—has a rough edge to it as well. “… the slow, psychedelic garage rock groove of “Raven”, a song that virtually lulls you into a trance with it’s droning, yet infectious hooks, and “Downtown” which musically throws in a bit of a Lou Reed / Velvet Underground vibe .

The Living Pins filter ’60s psychedelic grooves through the more straightforward sensibilities of ’90s alt-rock, a combination that’s both accessible and impossibly cool. Hearing Clark and Peltz harmonize over the garage-rock strut of opener “Raven,” or the sweet pop-rock hooks of “Jaguar,” you can see why Kim Deal of The Breeders counts herself as a fan. The self-described “glam-psych-guitar explosions” on these four songs manage to feel like old Austin while still sounding in-step with the 21st century. Here’s the track “Fish and Beads”:

Fresh from the @temple_plaza production cave–a new and totally psychedelic music video for “Fish and Beads” by The Living Pins. Carrie Clark (guitar/vocal), Pam Peltz (guitar/vocal) and Brian-the-Drum Machine invite you to make yourself a delicious cup of coffee, put on your favourite sunglasses, and let us know if you like the new song.

The Living Pins video for “Raven” is super fun and it tastes great, “This is the first video from the Freaky Little Monster Children EP by the Living Pins, now available on Bandcamp. Chess may have some well-known rules, but the tiny creatures in the mailbox of your mind leave their cocktails on the porch and their worries behind. If backed into a corner, video director @temple_plaza, will admit that she was influenced by Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’.”

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Black Pumas have shared The Electric Deluxe Sessions , a new EP featuring reimagined versions of three of the group’s hit songs and a cover.

The Amazon Music-exclusive release contains new takes on “Colors”, “Fire”, “You Don’t Know Better”, and Jimmy Webb‘s “Wichita Lineman”. This new EP follows Black Pumas’ Grammy-winning, self-titled debut album from 2019. The Electric Deluxe Sessions finds the Austin-bred soul-psych duo consisting of Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada examining themselves and the direction of their short career. Even as the songs are already familiar, Black Pumas are able to make them into something completely new while still containing many of the musical hallmarks that took the group’s debut album to the top of Billboard‘s Heatseekers Album chart. “When we recorded the record [Black Pumas] we’d only been working together for a few months,” Quesada said in a press statement shared with this week’s release. “All the touring we did over the last year, the live show has elevated all the songs arrangement-wise, everyone gets to shine a little bit and we don’t get to put that down too often.”

The EP’s only new offering, which is ironically a cover, features Black Pumas taking on the Webb tune that has been made famous by Glen CampbellThe Meters, and more. This “Wichita Lineman” contains a more classic kind of Black Pumas, with Burton adding a vintage crooner flair to his vocal stylings. Meanwhile, the background floats with reverberated guitar melodies that further add to the feelings of nostalgia that make Black Pumas an anomaly of new-age sounds combined with vintage techniques.

Austin, Texas has a new rock sweetheart and they performed for the president last night. Last night on the post-inauguration event Celebrating America, nestled between rock legends like Bruce Springsteen and pop stars Katy Perry and Demi Lovato, came Austin psychedelic soul band Black Pumas with a performance of their song “Colors” from their 2019 self-titled album. The duo virtually performed straight from the heart of Texas at ACL Live in Austin. For many viewers, this was possbily the first time they’d heard of Black Pumas, unlike their household name line-up counterparts.

The Grammy-nominated band has been beloved in their hometown since its inception just over three years ago, but for those who now find themselves searching for more information on the Lone Star state musicians, here’s the rundown. Black Pumas are made up of vocalist Eric Burton, 31, and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada who met and formed the band in 2018. Quesada, a forty-something, worked with the likes of Prince and Daniel Johnston, as well as Austin Latin funk band Grupo Fantasma before itching to start his own project in 2017.

The magic started when a mutual friend connected Quesada to Burton, who at the time was busking in downtown Austin. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2019, and “Colors” hit number one on Billboard’s adult alternative chart in February 2020. Black Pumas’s sound encompasses the gritty blues and rock Austin is known for, joined with soul and psych tones that bring new life and underscore Burton’s silky smooth vocals. It’s the sweet balance of modern and retro at the same time, akin to Grammy-nominated Coming Home by fellow Texan Leon Bridges or Grammy-winning Sound and Color by Alabama Shakes. In 2019 they were swiftly nominated for Best New Artist, losing out to Billie Eilish, but come on, so did nearly everyone else.

The deluxe edition of their self-titled album is nominated for two Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Colors.” They are also nominated for Best American Roots Performance for “Colors.” Quesada and Burton recently broke down the hit track from Quesada’s studio Electric Deluxe Recorders, giving insight to their writing process behind the track that arose as Burton woke up from a midday nap and admired the sky from his uncle’s roof.

Black Pumas popularity originated from their energizing and captivating live performances. They warmed up for Celebrating America on January 19th at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, offering a technicolor take on “Colors.”

This was their second time on Colbert this year, after covering Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” back in June. Another riveting cover version in their repertoire is The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” an experimental version they discussed in their “Sweet Conversations” Youtube series. Last month the group recorded a Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, with a setlist that shows off more from their debut work, including “Red Rover,” “Fire,” “OCT 33,” and “Colors.” Get to listening and viewing now!,

Occasionally when a hip new band starts to get considerable buzz there’s usually one single in particular tied to the hype. For Austin-based indie rock group Why Bonnie, that song just might be the blistering “Athlete,” a recently released single from their “Voice Box” EP. It’s truly an attention-grabber, full of fortified feedback fuzz, screeching guitars and the unmistakable power of frontwoman Blair Howerton’s soft yet deep voice. It begins with scratchy violin strings straight out of a horror flick before the band pokes at the idea of athletic prowess “‘Athlete’ is the most ‘rock and roll’ track on the EP so we wanted to make a video that embodied that, but also felt like casual, day-in-the-life footage,” the band said in a statement.

“Kind of like watching a home movie that you found in a box in your parents’ attic, but instead of you as a three-year old on the soccer field, you’re a grown adult with about the same skill level.” “Athlete” isn’t the only star single, though: The Voice Box title track is just as attractive, but a bit closer to the dream-pop side of things. Any band who can squeeze this much beautiful noise into such a small amount of output is one to keep your eyes on.

The Austin group add:  “The video was directed by Alex  inker and is essentially just a true field day filmed on VHS. ‘Athlete’ is the most ‘rock and roll’ track on the EP so we wanted to make a video that embodied that, but also felt like casual, day-in-the-life footage.”

“Kind of like watching a home movie that you found in a box in your parents’ attic, but instead of you as a three-year old on the soccer field, you’re a grown adult with about the same skill level.”

Loosely focused on Austin, Texas, the project match skittering indie pop to some early 90s alt-rock influences. Pitting the dream-like sheen of Mazzy Star or The Cranberries against grainy, DIY production, their song writing matches a sense of classicism to a supremely personal approach.

“Voice Box” by Why Bonnie off of ‘Voice Box’, It came out April 10th, 2020 on Fat Possum Records.

Interloper sees the band adding new layers to their lush and mesmerizing songwriting style. Written about the duality between life at home and life on the road, it sees the band expanding on their most esoteric and thought-provoking themes. Holy Wave have never been your average Austin psych band. With a keyboard-forward sound that favours groovy krautrock rhythms and sunshine harmonies, they’ve always been closer to Stereolab or The Free Design than The 13th Floor Elevators or The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Their music is more interesting and varied than their rather generic name might suggest.

If you’re unfamiliar with Holy Wave, “Interloper” is a pretty good place to start. The layers of keyboards and harmonies are warm and comforting, and more than a little trippy. Much of Interloper has a half-awake feel to it, like an afternoon nap on a sunny day, and the synthesizer lines on “Escapism” and the title track float like specks of dust suspended in a beam of light pouring through the blinds. There are also a few motorik jams (“Hell Bastards,” “Buddhist Pete”), and couple milquetoast stabs at festival fodder (“R&B” sounds like Tame Impala covering Mac DeMarco), but Interloper mostly makes for a great chilled-out, lazy summer day listen. In particular, the “Schmettering” and “No Love,” with their funky, baroque arrangements, sound like a picnic under a tree. “Anyone could sing ‘la la la’ and you’d be alright,” a line from “Interloper” goes, which encapsulates the breezy vibe nicely.


“I’m Not Living in the Past Anymore” is a mantra about breaking the cycle of the mundane, “Escapism” is a dream-like meditation. “Interloper” serves as the centerpiece for this self-expanding record, asking, what happens when the world beneath your feet changes so much that you feel like a stranger in your own shoes? The band turns inward, to blissed-out moments on album opener “Schmetterling”, the saccharine haze of “R&B”, and the freak-out catharsis of live favorite “Buddhist Pete”.

Rleased July 3rd, 2020 on Reverberation Appreciation Society.

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This album was created from March 18th to April 17th by James, Steve, Greg, and Michael, with essential contributions from Mike St. Clair, Ian Salazar, Jim Vollentine, Lucas Anderson, Joshua Block, Jared Samuel, Daniel McNeill, Jim Eno, Joel Raif, Chris McGaha, Adam Chetwood, Kevin Maenen, Cedric Maes, Alessio Di Turi, Jordan Richardson, and Chad McGillivray.

Austin-based psychedelic-rock quartet White Denim recently undertook an ambitious project: create an album from start to finish in thirty days. From March 18th to April 17th, they wrote, recorded, mixed, and mastered nine full-length songs, which resulted in a new release, World as a Waiting Room.

By way of a WhatsApp group chat, recording separately at their Radio Milk Recording Studio in East Austin, constantly sanitizing their hands, and working remotely at their respective home studios, the band pulled it off while social distancing. The album brims with noisy jams reminiscent of their early years, and involved a slew of past collaborators chipping in—if you look through the album’s credits, you’ll recognize names of past band members like Josh Block and Lucas Anderson, who contributed mixing for tracks like “Go Numb” and “King Prospero,” and lyrics for the kinetic track “Work,” respectively.

While the coronavirus pandemic has by necessity brought on new modes of thinking, being, and creating, it also enabled the band to collaborate and reconnect with past creative partnerships in unexpected ways. With fifteen collaborators and thirty days to pull it off completely remotely, the album stands as an impressive reflection of the array of emotions one might feel during this strange time when life seems to have come to a halt. Following the release of World as a Waiting Room last week, we spoke to front man James Petralli about what went into making it.

Thank you to everyone that has pre-ordered and listened, and to the entire team involved in making the album!

World As A Waiting Room’ vinyl update! Thank you for your patience as our manufacturer works through some unavoidable delays with their printing vendor. The current timeline is for records to be assembled the last week of May. They’ll then be shipped to our online store warehouses in the US and UK,

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Swim Team

Austin, Texas-based songwriter Christelle Bofale will be the first to tell you the importance of family roots and mental health, considering how much those things aided her own self-discovery. Being the first American born in her family, the rich heritage of the Congo is deeply rooted in her upbringing and relationship with sounds.From singing and dancing with her mother as a child, to praying to Congolese music with her grandmother, to her father, a soukous guitar player and musical director for the Congregation at his church, Bofale’s journey as a musician has been defined in tiny intervals throughout the course of her life. As a songwriter, she infuses hints of the Congo into various aspects of her music, bridging the musical influences of the diaspora with juxtaposed elements of indie rock, soul and jazz respectively.

Weightless guitar tangents and lush, aquatic soundscapes are a vital part of what embodies Swim Team, her debut EP that serves a powerful introduction to Bofale’s budding artistry. Somewhere between influences like Joni Mitchell and Alex G, Bofale has found a sweet spot for her sound that lives between both harsh and gentle terrain, achieving a relaxing, yet rugged tonality.Each track pictured on Swim Team is brushed vividly with colors that illuminate the fear of being honest and doing that much needed personal work. Bofale’s earnest and bravery is a snapshot of black mental health and the nuance it carries. Being real isn’t easy, but it’s crucial in cultivating spaces for healthy discussion and giving other black women like Bofale a platform to do the same.


released May 31st, 2019

Written by Christelle Miller
Guitars – Christelle Miller, Jake Smith Drums- Billy Hickey, Bass- John Bergin

A new Sun June song is a nice thing to wake up to. aptly-titled for the moment, too. (there was little else released this week,  It was recorded + produced by Curtis Roush of The Bright Light Social Hour “Song Confessional” is an Austin-based podcast for which musicians and songwriters transform everyday stories into songs, and hometown band Sun June have contributed “Terrified”, a languid, calming gem. The latest edition of the podcast was released today, and you can listen to it at the NPR website now.

Band Members
Laura, Michael, Justin, Sarah, Stephen

Meanwhile the band are currently at work on their next LP, one due for release later this year.

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For the final lullaby recording during South by Southwest 2018, the London-based singer Nilüfer Yanya for her performance in the memory-filled world of Uncommon Objects. It’s a shop in Austin, Texas dedicated to sentimental curiosities of a world gone by. With that in mind, the relatively new musician with a bright future tackles a tune about something old and familiar: fond memories overwhelmed by the pain of love gone wrong.

“Baby Luv” can be found on Nilüfer Yanya’s 2018 release Do You Like Pain?The EP’s title is a line she repeats multiple times on “Baby Luv,” while her choppy guitar punctuates a weary, clock-like rhythm. That ticking beat is then amplified by the saxophone of her bandmate, Jazzi Bobbi while a camera pans a literary world of books that all seem blood-red. Objects once shiny and proud are worn and somewhat torn, with a future as uncertain as the love in this song