Posts Tagged ‘Keeled Scales’

We’re absolutely thrilled to be sharing Katy Kirby’s video for “Traffic!” with you today, and announcing her debut album “Cool Dry Place”

Katy Kirby is a Texas-based songwriter and indie rock practitioner with an affinity for unspoken rules, misunderstanding, and boredom. She was born, raised, and home schooled by two ex-cheerleaders in small-town Texas and started singing in church amidst the pasteurized-pop choruses of evangelical worship. Like many bible belt late-millennials, Katy grew up on a strict diet of this dependably uncool genre and accordingly, Cool Dry Place finds her dismantling it.“I can hear myself fighting that deeply internalized impulse to make things that are super pleasant or approachable,” she says.

Though Katy hasn’t fully overcome the itch to please, it’s to a listener’s benefit. Instead of eradicating the pop sensibilities of her past, she warps them, lacing sugary hooks with sneaky rage, twisting affectionate tones into matter-of-fact reproach, and planting seemingly serene melodies with sonic jabs. The fun is in the clash.

The nine tracks that make up Cool Dry Place are miscellaneous in subject (motherhood, late capitalism, disintegrating relationships,) but unified by the angle from which they’re told: from a person re-learning to process life with intense attention. Each song is a catalogue of fragments, the number of segments in an orange or the cut of an obsessively-worn shirt, distilled into meditations on the bizarre and microscopic exchanges that make up modern life — a relationship splintering, an uncomfortable pause, an understanding finally found. These emotional dioramas are moderated by the angular storytelling that unites Gillian Welch and Phoebe Bridgers, a favour for the conventions of short fiction over confession.

From the album Cool Dry Place coming February 19, 2021 via Keeled Scales.

Erin Durant’s music may be small-town and rooted in the traditions of the south, but its scale is immeasurable. Indeed, on title track ‘Islands’ Durant sings “I’ve been to Pensacola but never to Rome, I’ve walked the waters of the gulf of Mexico” and she truly takes you there, the album acting more like an archipelago than a single island. Produced by TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, Islands (Released June 28th) comprises eight songs that deliver clarity within mystery and adventure in their uncluttered vignettes.

Rarely does an artist appear, as if out of thin air, with a full body of work where lyrically lush songs carry you into other worlds as if they were your own. Erin Durant’s second album, Islands is an odyssey of sorts, with songs that blur the line between reality and fiction. Born and raised in New Orleans, Durant has been based in New York for over a decade, all the while keeping track of the intricacies of life surrounding her and diligently developing her craft as a songwriter and performer. Lyrically, she composes most songs on piano, songs that tend to unfold structurally like a memory or a scene from a movie. As a performer, Durant usually transports a 232-pound ¾ size piano to venues without one. To hear her play the instrument makes plain her case for the extra effort. Her music is rooted in an ongoing dialogue between the physicality of her playing and the high, clear tone of her voice. Enmeshed with one another, it’s a display of an artist in full possession of herself and vision.

Islands sprawls out in front of you, weaving disparate stories into an overarching narrative. The songs touch on the ability to find meaning in minutiae. On “Take A Load Off” Durant tells a story of a weary traveler disoriented but pulled into revelry in an attempt to assuage their loss. The titular track “Islands” takes a similar tact, focusing on the conflicting process of attempting to find joy when joy seems lost. Islands is a continuously shifting landscape, with a knowing nod to the inevitability of these shifts.

Islands is preceded by Durant’s 2016 self-recorded album Blueberry Mountain released on New York label Flying Moonlight. Recording to tape in her apartment, the lo-fi quality and stripped-down arrangements led Durant to better understand the core layers of her music and from there where she wanted to go.


Durant’s collaboration with Malone introduced an expansiveness in sound. She knew she wanted the songs to be fuller. They welcomed instrumentation into the fold, including a complete rhythm section, the hum of pedal steel, and warm flourishes of brass and woodwinds. These are generous songs intended to breathe. They never fall into a grid. Instead, they pause and gallop, expand and contract, and pass through time unhurried.

Erin Durant’s second album Islands is released June 21 via Keeled Scales

Thanks to Paddy Kinsella // Someone Great PR for bringing this delightful sounds to our attention

Erin’s a vital addition to a taste making label that already houses Sun June, Buck Meek (Big Thief) Twain.


Over the course of his quarter-century-plus career, Will Johnson has dealt with every challenge a musician can face. The silver lining, however, is that the Austin-based songwriter excels at taking bumps in the road and turning them into gold. As a solo artist, Johnson also knows all too well the balance required to navigate solitude and collaboration.

“Cornelius” is the first single from Will Johnson’s new album “Wire Mountain” coming September. 27th, 2019 via Keeled Scales. This album was recorded at Ramble Creek Recording in Austin, Texas


Will Johnson’s got no problem shelving a great song. To him, “the ride” of a record is so paramount that outliers – even if they’re superb – are sent to purgatory. Such had been the case with “Cornelius.”

“That damn song,” he says. “I thought it was gonna go by the wayside. It’d been hanging around for about 10 years and I could never find the right collection of songs to tuck it into. It finally found a home.” At last, the pounding and melodic four-and-a-half minute track slots into Wire Mountain, his newly announced seventh solo LP

Will Johnson’s solo album Wire Mountain will be released via Keeled Scales on September 27, 2019.

Image ofErin Durant

Although based out of New York for over a decade, it’s arguably her home city of New Orleans that’s a more obvious musical influence on the sound of Erin Durant. Erin caught the ear of many with her 2016 debut, “Blueberry Mountain”, not least with TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, who was enamoured enough to produce Erin’s upcoming second record, “Islands”. This week ahead of Islands’ June release, Erin has shared the latest track from it, “Highway Blue”.

Discussing Highway Blue, Erin has suggested the track is a musing on, “the space of what’s left when someone is gone”, and space seems to be an equally important factor in the sound of the track. Erin’s crisp, soaring vocal is given plentiful room to breathe, as lush Joanna Newson-like piano and gorgeous brushed drum-patterns carry the track along, with plentiful flourishes of harmonica for company. To share a track so sparsely produced as this takes a great confidence in your songwriting, and on this evidence Erin Durant has every reason to be confident.


“Highway Blue” is the second single from Erin Durant’s new album “Islands” coming June 21, 2019 via Keeled Scales.

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Sun June shares some commonalities with another Austin, Texas outfit , all the more reason to keep a steadfast ear to the ground for music coming out of that particular city.  on Years, the band’s debut full-length for Keeled Scales, Laura Colwell and company offer up ten spare tracks that synthesize 1960s pop, early-2000s r&b, and country ornamentations, Colwell’s electric piano and the telecaster’s more mellow spectrum teaming up with a tasteful rhythm section for slow-burning standouts like “Johnson City” and the muted gleam of opening number “Discotheque.”

‘Discotheque’ by Sun June From Years, debut LP, Released June 15th, 2018 via 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