Posts Tagged ‘Keeled Scales’


The latest release by Austin label Keeled Scales, Years is the debut album from fellow Austin residents Sun June. The band was formed by founding members Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury when they were working in Terrence Malick’s editing rooms, and even practised in the office when Malick was away. Now they’ve added Michael Bain (guitar), Sarah Schultz (drums), and Justin Harris (bass) to become the quintet that is Sun June.

Years is a record shaped and propelled by the gentle forces of the world, The album opens with the swaying slo-mo folk rock song ‘Discotheque’, Colwell showing off her impressive vocals with a kind of husky and effortless passion. The track conjures gentle winds that swirl in plaintive yearning, lifting memories and images and twisting them into a full nostalgic picture with the slow rhythm of nature. ‘Slow Rise II’ is equally patient, beginning with snake-like guitar and a kind of wary soul-bearing. “Go ahead and look me in the eye,” Colwell sings, “tell me everything will be alright, oh I’m lonely too.” It’s a moment of unguarded honesty that closes distances, and which lays the groundwork for the catharsis that comes later. The last minute of the song distils what has until then been encoded between the lines, infused with a golden energy as it whips up into a rousing finale, Colwell repeating the line “I’m coming home” with increasing fervour.


Indeed, repetition forms a key part of Sun June’s sound on Years, a number of the tracks returning to a repeated phrase, cyclical patterns that rise in intensity like incantations, or else echo out into the fabric of the sound. ‘Young’ is an example of the former, a track we described previously as “staring back in time not to find answers or cast blame, but instead for the fleeting chance to warm your face on the now lost glow of past love.” After a restrained start, the song eventually kicks into a little eddy of motion, spurred by the catchy chorus, as though each cycle generates further motion.

Whispered and winey, ‘Johnson City’ features emotions fermented, made velvety with age, the taste haunting tongues beyond the moment, before ‘Homes’ presses forward with a sense of brooding intimacy that oozes and creeps. ‘Records’ is carried as if by a fresh spring breeze, with Colwell singing “I’ll try to love you right” and the rhythm possessing a warmth that goes halfway to fulfilling the promise. This warmth leaks through into ‘Apartments’, intensifying as the crispness is replaced by the humid heat of confused dreams, before ‘Baby Blue’ cools into an icy certainty. This is the darkest, most brooding track on the record, the drums tight and insistent, the vocals likewise, the track gathering momentum under its own motion, and though descending evenly from great height.

Released June 15th, 2018

Laura Colwell, Michael Bain, Justin Harris, Stephen Salisbury, Sarah Schultz


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Sun June’s debut album slides further into focus, it becomes harder to ignore its potential to be one of this year’s best inaugural outings.

On the Austin quintet’s latest single, “Slow Rise II,” Laura Colwell tentatively feels out the palm-muted echoes of the track’s foundation, her vocals gathering strength as the arrangement around her fleshes out.  what begins as a whispered, atmospheric facade tilts into something gritty, more forceful, Colwell’s declaration of “I’m tired of feeling I was the only one” resonating long after the song abruptly evaporates in a cloud of reverb.


“Slow Rise II” is the third single from Sun June’s debut album “Years” coming June 15 via Keeled Scales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       photo by Bryan Parker

Sun June makes regret pop in Austin, Texas. Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury formed the band while working long hours in director Terrence Malick’s editing rooms, practicing in the office whenever Malick was out of town.

They worked with Dan Duszynski (Cross Record; Loma) and fellow Malick alum Will Patterson (Sleep Good) on their first set of demos before solidifying the current line up of Michael Bain on guitar, Sarah Schultz on drums, and Justin Harris on bass.

In 2017 they began working on Years with Evan Kaspar at Estuary Recording Facility, recording live to tape. Tony Presley of the Austin label Keeled Scales was living above the studio at the time, and first heard Sun June through the floorboards. He contacted the band soon after. Years is a we’ve-been-broken-up-a-long-time record. It looks back on failed relationships from a distance. But its ten songs are filled with warm sounds and catchy melodies. Laura’s vocals, Sarah’s harmonies, and Michael’s layered guitar lines float over simple and spacious structures.

‘Discotheque’ by Sun June From Years, debut LP, out June 15th, 2018 via Keeled Scales

Buck Meek - Ruby

Buck Meek, is the lead guitarist and founding member of Big Thief, just released he has a second single, “Ruby,” off of his solo album which is set to be released in full on May 18th. “Ruby” is a laid back alt-folk track that is filled to the brim with country-influenced guitar and charming lyrics. This two minutes and thirty three seconds is that small blip in time with a lover that seems to feel infinite. Buck Meek stretches this moment by guessing names, noticing lights left on, tasting strange Coca-Cola and having sudden existential thoughts, “Ruby, I’m too young to die.” This song explores every corner of a moment, leaving no stone unturned, allowing us to be there with him (and Ruby) completely. Buck Meek is already a much-loved member of Big Thief but is proving to be a true force on his own, and we cannot wait to be submerged in the rest of his story.


Wimberley, Texas is about 45 minutes out from Austin by car or truck — far enough to allow a music scene independent of Austin’s own to thrive in that hill country. Alexander Buck Meek grew up in that scene, among the jazz manouche, blues and outlaw country guitarists of the region. Even though Buck Meek’s work with Big Thief has taken him far away from his Texas home,

Buck Meek’s self-titled debut album comes out on May 18th via Keeled Scales

The summer often finds a way of mixing magic and melancholy, and it proves to be the case once more on “Young”, the beautiful lead track from Sun June’s new record, set to be released later this year. Palpably a song for the aforementioned season, the track could quite easily slip in to the sultriness of long sun-filled days, it’s outward persuasion one of bright vocals and buoyant musical spirals, but pear through the cracks and something is revealed; a yearning for something as yet untouched, a sadness needling away at the core.

Arriving this-coming June, via Keeled Scales beautifully blossoming roster, the new record is the debut LP from Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury’s tender project, and was introduced last week by the track “Young”, with a beautiful new self-directed video. New album ‘Years’ is pitched as a “we’ve-been-broken-up-a-long-time” album  which might go someway toward explaining that balance between sunniness and solitude.

At just two-and-a-half minutes, “Young” is a fleeting first glimpse of the record but it feels far broader than its running-time suggests, the lilt of the voice, both brooding in its verses and punchy in the chorus’ hooks, giving way to a charming splash of instrumental that underpins the whole thing with a country-like sway that has always been a skeleton key for heartache. Brooding and quietly powerful, it makes for a beautiful first-step

Sun June “Young” From “Years,” their debut LP, out June 2018 via Keeled Scales

Wimberley, Texas is about 45 minutes out from Austin by car or truck — far enough to allow a music scene independent of Austin’s own to thrive in that hill country. Alexander Buck Meek grew up in that scene, among the jazz manouche, blues and outlaw country guitarists of the region. Even though Buck Meek’s work with Big Thief has taken him far away from his Texas home, the lead single from his self-titled debut album sounds as if it echoes out from the state’s hill country.

“Cannonball!” is a blast of dry heat — a sly easy-going number led by Meek’s crackling guitar work and his cock-eyed vocals. The song is a thrilling elaboration of all the things that make Meek’s guitar playing so compelling in Big Thief, where he serves as guitarist alongside lead singer and songwriter Adrianne Lenker. His playing in both projects is driven by a love for the sounds that make a guitar distinct — its grumbling string noise; its equal propensity to pop, slide and sigh. When he plays live, he channels the tension of his body into his dynamic playing, which is jumpy and electrifying as an ungrounded wire. Here, he matches that dynamism with his voice’s own odd inflections and a twisted yarn of a story. That carefree, mischievous sound and song title befit Meek’s great gift — the easy exuberance that underlies his every note.

Meek is ably matched by his co-conspirators on the track. Mat Davidson of Twain is an old touring buddy and here spurs the song on with a jaunty bass line. Guitarist Adam Brisbin delivers an at once searing and laconic slide solo at the song’s mid-point. Dylan Meek, Buck’s brother and an accomplished keyboardist, fills out the atmosphere with a Wurlitzer run through a Roland space echo that recalls Garth Hudson and ably complements drummer Austin Vaughn’s Helm-indebted light mid-tempo pocket. All together, the band sounds like a man working out a persistent crick in the neck — a shrugging, loosening groove. In less than three minutes, “Cannonball!” evokes a lifetime of listening at the source of a certain kind of American music, twisted up and then unfurled into a strange new musical world.


Buck Meek’s self-titled debut album comes out on May 18th via Keeled Scales.

Julia Lucille’s second album “Chthonic” was released April 7th 2017 on Keeled Scales, and has been described as “a triumph” (GoldFlake Paint) and “Lucille’s most fully realized work yet” (Austin Monthly). She grew up in Menlo Park, California and graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2010, where she majored in music. She currently lives in Austin, Texas.

“Part folk, part dream pop, part something else entirely, her music combines equal parts delicacy and foreboding with an impressive patience and emotional intensity […] concerned with the underworld, more specifically descending into as a mode of growth and rebirth (a la Persephone), and [showing] off the interplay between shadow and light that constitutes the record’s aesthetic.”


Vocals and guitar: Julia Lucille 
Guitar: Paul Mitchell 
Drums & Bass: Dan Duszynski 
Pedal Steel: Luke Dawson