Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

The diligence of Reddening West cannot be overstated.  this Austin-based quartet has toiled for the past couple of years over their self-released debut full-length, “Deltas”, its vibrant swaths of americana a sprawling, existential treatise on the inherently transitory nature of life, honing a particularly fastidious approach to their songwriting and cinematic arrangements in the process.

Anchored by the lead single, “Even if” and its opening number,“Marjorie,” Deltas finds Reddening West picking right up where their 2016 extended play, where we started, left off, with spacious vistas punctuated by Niamh Fahey’s swooning fiddle textures and Matt Evans’ soaring vocal melodies.  on the early standout “Holding Hours,” Evans paints a bucolic backdrop for his pondering, with syncopated guitar lines and back-beats rolled together, in search of an apex never quite discovered.  “different now” finds Evans waist-deep in reverb, again weaving observations of personal change through pristine turns of phrase and beautiful imagery.

The majesty of Deltasis contained in its sweeping gestures as much as it is in its most minute intricacies; the palate-cleansing instrumental “Inverness” is doused in nuance and contrapuntal wonders, a perfect segue to the album’s extended third act.  the penultimate cut “Diffuse” is especially affecting and tender, its propulsive nature the perfect foil for the album’s finale, “Late Summer Grass,” itself a vivid and measured punctuation mark on Reddening West’s rich, slow-burning debut.  full of nooks and crannies ripe for exploration and vast canyons of elegiac introspection,Deltas is a perfect autumnal vessel, a fine companion for changing times.

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Deltas is out tomorrow,

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The Texas band’s rock music is a vintage kind, an effortless, guitar infectious music that recalls the best of the best while maintaining its own steam. Their new album Performance just dropped and its their eighth album of solid tunes.

Great rock music is, above all things, a ton of fun. Texas band White Denim understand and live by this code. Just listen to their new album Performance. It’s nine songs of pure, unadulterated rock&roll. Packed with funk rhythms and guitar riffs so sharp you could cut glass with them.

‘Double Death’ is one highlight among many, the breakdown section in which could only ever be the product of four-lifetime professional musicians and ardent lovers of the genre. It’s a relentless project, album closer and heartstring puller ‘Good News’ is the closest we ever get to a ballad or downtempo number. Even that is not without its share of distorted guitars and accented drum patterns. It’s worth noting that the guitar solo in this song is perhaps the group’s finest to date. Howling fuzz against a wall of sound.

The album doesn’t suffer from a lack of variety, despite its unyielding high-octane sound. Some tracks, like ‘Performance’ are straight up rock songs. Others like ‘Double Death’ include aspects of classic funk acts like The Meters .

There’s plenty of southern rock influence to be heard too, check out the jubilant ‘It Might Get Dark’. Performance is a perfectly consistent rock record, one which is totally comfortable with what it is. Experimentation is all well and good, but White Denim have again proven once again that raw talent and unmatched songwriting skill is a rewarding well.

From the new album ‘Performance’ – OUT NOW

White Denim on later with Jools Holland TV show

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“It’s all rock & roll – no golf!” is how singer/songwriter/violinist Amanda Shires describes her electrifying album, To The Sunset. She’s borrowed a lyric from the track “Break Out the Champagne,” one of ten deftly crafted songs that comprise her powerful new recording.

The seventh full-length from this fiddle-playing singer-songwriter is also her first as a mother,  “if anyone expected sentimentality, her writing’s just gotten bolder, with arrangements that stretch the definition of ‘Americana’ to the point of meaninglessness. ‘Parking Lot Pirouette’ opens the set like an aerial shot, zooming in on a romantic moment outside a bar, framing it in cosmic terms against a 3/4 waltz pulse, with shivering organ clouds and trippy electric guitar from [husband Jason] Isbell. It’s more Pink Floyd than Floyd Tillman.”

It’s been a jam-packed since the release of Shires’ critically hailed My Piece of Land: constant touring with her band and as a member of husband Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit; winning the Americana Association’s 2017 Emerging Artist award. Armed with stacks of journals, she wrote a batch of new songs in a flurry of focus and solitude – in a closet at the Shires/Isbell abode. “With a two-year-old running around, there’s nowhere to hide,” Shires explains. While Isbell watched their daughter, she wrote all night: “I just started writing and tearing apart my journals and taping the parts I liked to the wall, and shredding the rest and putting it into my compost, which I then feed to my garden.”

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Released August 3rd, 2018

Glorietta is a musical project that brings Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit together with some of his closest friends: Noah Gundersen, Kelsey Wilson, David Ramirez, Jason Robert Blum and Adrian Quesada. The group is releasing their debut, self-titled record Glorietta on August. 24th. Even Nathaniel Rateliff, who had an album with The Night Sweats come out earlier this year, joined in and learnt vocals to the track “I Know.”  The release of second single “Golden Lonesome,” which followed the premiere of “Heatstroke” last week.

The track comes from a moment of crisis for Gundersen who, before flying out to the sessions in Glorietta, N.M., was feeling the effects of a recently ended relationship. “I was having a bit of a meltdown,” Gundersen recalled. “I almost considered cancelling my flight. But instead I wrote this song and then called a Lift to the airport.”

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The lyrics of “Golden Lonesome” distinctly come from this place of pain and change: “Better to kill it quickly than to slowly watch it die,” reasons one of the lines. With the vocals at its forefront, the song generates a warm intimacy between performer and listener as a slight echo adds depth while maintaining a live rawness. “Tape ran constantly” during the band’s nine days of recording, capturing an overflowing confessional in “Golden Lonesome.”

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Hailing from the musical mecca that is Austin, Texas, Fanclub initially formed as the brainchild of Mike Lee, to re-record his favourite albums with a rotating cast of musicians. Thankfully after working with vocalist Leslie Crunkilton, Mike decided that actually, it might be a lot more fun to record his own songs. Now joined by drummer Daniel Schmidt, Fanclub as we know it were born, and this week the band have shared their debut single, “Leaves”.

Despite self deprecatingly describing their music as, “Indiepop that probably sounds like everything else”on the evidence of Leaves, Fanclub are considerably more exciting than that sounds. Energetic rhythms play off against tumbling synths and New Order-like guitar exploration, before Leslie’s hushed vocals steal the limelight. On these somewhat overly scorching summer nights, there’s something splendidly Autumnal about the track, with the lyrics references to falling leaves, you can almost feel the nights drawing in around you in their own inevitable, melancholic way. A classic, perfectly formed, indiepop song,

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Leslie sang on a couple songs Mike wrote and they quickly hit it off. They started writing songs together and soon knew there was something special. Combing Mike’s indiepop guitar sound and electronic aesthetic with Leslie’s ethereal yet poignant vocals felt just right. They recruited Mike’s old bandmate Daniel Schmidt to cover percussion duty and together they make what we now know as Fanclub.

Fanclub might just be your new favourite band. Leaves is out now.

Thundering riffs, rumbling drums and sparkling psychedelia recall the glory daze of Cactus, Grand Funk & the James Gang. Unabashedly retro, these fellas still have their own singular vibe. Excellent songwriting and playing throughout. Crank loud and enjoy!  Finding the middle ground between Skynyrd and Sabbath, Crypt Trip have discovered landed in a sweet spot to serve up fine, straightforward rock ‘n’ roll music. This mustachioed trio from San Marcos aren’t afraid to doom out like the children of the grave that they are on apocalyptic revelries like “Tears of Gaia,” but they also have a tune called “Boogie No. 6” that allows them to unleash their inner Canned Heat. While their knowledge of rock history is deep enough to rob the graves of bands past, their repurposing of their findings keeps from becoming corpses themselves.

One of those albums you enjoy from beginning to end without skipping any tracks. Each song flows into the next. Excellent fuzzy psychedelic rock tunes!

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Released January 19th, 2018

The Band:
Ryan Lee: Guitar, Vocals, Elec. Piano
Cameron Martin: Drums, Vocals, Perc.
Sam Bryant: Bass

Dear friends, I realized recently that it’s the tenth anniversary of the release of Rook, the second of our three Matador albums, and one that has a special place in my heart. (It’s also, strangely, the only SW LP that I no longer own; I’ve tried to convince Matador to reissue it on vinyl, but so far to no avail.)
It’s hard to remember some things about the sessions for it now, up at the Echo Lab in Argyle, Texas.  The electric guitar wasn’t speaking to me then for some reason, so I mostly played the studio’s piano and my little old acoustic on the album, which features some of my favorite performances from Thor, Kim, and Howard, as well as some beautiful string arrangements by Mark Sonnabaum.  Matt Barnhart guided the whole thing into shore, and was very patient with me when I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted – which, in those days, was most of the time.
I remember Thor dismantling a dead oak by the studio, turning its limbs into beautiful firewood that seemed to burn forever in the fire pit out back; I also remember the sound of coyotes and barred owls calling to one another in the ravine down below, and kettles of turkey vultures wheeling overhead.
We premiered the album in New York with a live performance at Florence Gould Hall (which you can find here), which included a string section, a grand piano, and our dear friend Elaine Barber on the harp—as well as two brand-new members in Jordan Geiger and Kevin Schneider—and I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous before a show.  I remember willing my hands to stop shaking before “leviathan, bound”, and a sweet little moment of silence in “lost boys”; and a great feeling of relief when it was all over. That was back before I really thought about writing songs that felt comfortable for me to sing, so the melodies seem almost absurdly high-pitched and complicated to me now when I listen back.

I’ll be posting a few odds and ends related to the album, but I don’t have a deluxe edition to sell you, or anything like that. What I do have is a feeling of deep gratitude to all of you, many of whom I first met way back then; you’ve been keeping me going ever since.
I feel very lucky to have met and worked with so many extraordinary people for so long.

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Recorded live at Florence Gould Hall in NYC May 5th, 2008.

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the release of Rook, JM made a video with his thoughts on the album, and shows some artifacts from the making of the album. He also sings “I Was A Cloud”.

Hovvdy’s debut LP was nothing’ short of lovely. there are too many reasons to count why y’all should be excited about ‘Cranberry’ It feels like Austin indie duo Hovvdy have been rolling out their sophomore album, Cranberry, for years — actually, lead single “Petal” dropped in late October and now at last the whole, beautiful thing is here for your enjoyment. In addition to “Petal,” we’ve also heard “Late,” “Cranberry,” and “In The Sun,” all of which provided a good sense of the album’s sighing lo-fi slowcore feel. Surveying the album in full is like being suspended in a state of waking up from a dream in a very comfortable bed. I recommend getting under a blanket and enjoying it on this frigid February day — especially if you’re into (Sandy) Alex G, American Pleasure Club, and the like.

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Cranberry is out 2/9 on Double Double Whammy

Bass on 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12 by Ben Littlejohn
Bass on 10 by Hannah Read 
Drums on 1 by Andrew Stevens
Add’l Drums on 9 by Andrew Stevens 
Backing Vocal on 9 by Mallory Howard 
Pedal Steel on 9 by Ben Littlejohn

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Austin rockers White Denim have announced they will release their seventh full-length album, Performance, on August 24th via their new label City Slang Records, with whom the band recently signed.

The group has also shared the album’s first single, the thumping, strutting “Magazin,” which can be heard in the  below, along with also announcing a batch of fall USA tour dates, more sandwiched between two European runs.

See White Denim’s tour schedule below.

August 28 – London, UK – Rough Trade East
August 29 – London, UK – Moth Club
August 31 – Vlieland, NL – Into the Great Wide Open
September 2 – Larmer Tree Gardens, UK – End of the Road Festival

Taken from the new album PERFORMANCE