Tag: Austin TX

New Video: The Funky Retro-futuristic Visuals and Sounds of Austin’s Neosho

Comprised of Missouri-born Jackson Bennett (vocals, production) and Oklahoma-born Justin Bernard Williams (production, samplers, synths, saxophone), the Austin, TX-based electronic music production and artist duo Neosho can trace their origins to when the duo met on an online forum for introspective, extroverted Ableton artists called solipsism. Once Bennett  and Williams realized that they were different types of weird, they tentatively agreed to start a band — and initially, they started out as a duo and later expanded into a quartet on two different occasions before finally settling as a duo. Interestingly, the duo derive their name from the river and town Neosho, which is on the border of Oklahoma and Missouri. 

Sonically speaking the duo have received attention across Austin for a strutting and swaggering sound based around driving grooves, boom bap-like drum programming, stuttering samples, shimmering synths and soulful blasts of horns as you’ll hear on “Time Traveler,” a single off the duo’s recently released debut effort Borderline — and while reminding listeners of Detroit’s Griz and others, the song reveals a duo whose sound draws from hip hop, house music and John Carpenter soundtracks.

Directed by the duo’s Justin Bernard Williams, the recently released video consists of computer generated animation cut with footage of a jeans and cowboy boot wearing man walking forward and backwards, as though they entered a wormhole. It’s trippy yet swaggering visuals that emphasize the song’s swaggering nature. 

New Video: Austin, TX Shoegazers Blushing Returns with Psychedelic Visuals for Shimmering New Single “Weak”

Comprised of two husband and wife couples, Christina Carmona (vocals, bass) and Noe Carmona (guitar, keys)  and Michelle Soto (guitar, vocals) and Jake Soto (drums), the Austin, TX-based dream pop/shoegaze quartet Blushing can trace its origins to the summer of 2015 when its founding member Michelle Soto recruited her classically trained friend Christina Carmona to join her new project, after several years of writing material on guitar.  Soto and Carmona then recruited their spouses to complete the band’s lineup and after about a year of writing and revising their material, the newly formed quartet went into Bad Wolf Recordings to record their debut EP Tether, which was mixed and mastered by Philip Odom and released earlier this year. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of this year, you may recall that I wrote about the EP’s title track “Tether,” an immersive single that found the band pairing Christina Carmona’s and Michelle Soto’s ethereal harmonizing with shimmering guitar chords and a soaring hook that personally reminded me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve and Lightfoils’ Hierarchy.  

Energized by the positive reception of their debut EP and a growing fan base, the Austin, TX-based shoegazers armed with a batch of new songs went into the studio to record what would eventually comprise their forthcoming sophomore EP, Weak, which is slated for a January 26, 2018 release through Austin Town Hall Records. And while EP title track and first single “Weak” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting material deeply indebted to Lush, Cocteau Twins, The Sundays and others, complete with some gorgeously lush guitar work, the slow-burning single finds the band at their most direct and anthemic, revealing a gentle refinement of the overall sound that first caught attention. 

Directed, filmed and edited by Blushing’s Jake Soto with additional filming by Eddie Chavez, the recently released video for “Weak” was shot entirely on an iPhone in an Austin, TX-based studio, the video features the members of the band performing the song amidst swirling colors, shadows and lights — and occasionally in trippy slow motion, emphasizing the song’s psychedelic nature. 

New Video: The Surreal Visuals for JOVM Mainstay Night Drive’s “Trapeze Artist Regrets”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three years or so, you’d certainly come across a handful of posts featuring the  Austin TX/Houston, TX-based electro pop act  Night Drive. Comprised of songwriting and production duo Rodney Connell and Bradley Duhon, the Texan electro pop act can trace their origins to some rather unusual, highly soap-opera-like yet very true circumstances: Connell and Duhon had met and bonded after they had discovered the the woman they had both unwittingly had been simultaneously dating tragically died in a car accident. And since their formation, the duo have received attention both on this site and elsewhere for a moody, slickly produced New Wave and synth pop sound that draws from Joy Division, Cut Copy, Brian Eno, The Knife, The Drums, LCD Soundsystem. Depeche Mode and others.

The duo’s self-titled debut is slated for a June 16, 2017 release through Roll Call Records and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets,” and the album’s latest single “Trapeze Artist Regrets” will likely remind listeners of Depeche Mode’s “People Are People,” Yaz’s “Situation,” The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” and others as the song features an effortlessly slick production consisting of layers upon layers of propulsive, undulating synths and tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with an infectious, dance floor-friendly hook and emotionally direct lyrics. However, interestingly enough, as the duo admits “‘Trapeze Artist Regrets’ was never supposed to happen. We were writing something else for a short film and became bored, so we changed the bpm, started shifting things around and all of the sudden we had this groove we liked.  We just started working backwards from there. The title came first, a sorta metaphor for disaster; it’s about watching someone you care about make the same mistake over and over again and not being able to do anything about it. Just hoping they pull through.” And as a result, the song possesses a bitter sense of reality, along with the recognition that the narrator’s friend will do something incredibly harmful to themselves and others.

Directed by Jermey Cloe and starring Lindsey Naves and Alexandria Lee, the recently released video follows a woman with a strange and destructive super power, and her friend, who follows along to try to prevent her friend from doing something harmful to herself or others. 

New Audio: Palo Duro Returns with a Propulsive and Off-Kilter Track

Earlier this month, I wrote about Palo Duro, the solo recording project of  Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael J. Winningham, who may be best known for a his time as the frontman of indie rock act Gold Beach; however, from the hook-laden, synth-based single “Darken the Glow,” off the project’s forthcoming album Ryou Cannon, Winningham’s latest project is a decided change in sonic direction, as the track managed to be reminiscent of Big Data and others — while possessing a careful attention to craft. Interestingly, Ryou Cannon’s latest single “True Fade” reveals Winningham to be a musical chameleon, who can adapt to any particular style or genre at will as the track features a looping guitar line, propulsive percussion, an angular yet motorik-like groove, shimmering electronics and dreamy yet off-kilter vocal accents  — and while possessing an art school experimentalist sheen, the song also has an infectious, soaring hook. 

Alice Merton is a Canadian-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and pop artist, who has lived a rather nomadic life, as she was raised in Canada, finished high school in Germany and then with the rest of her family, relocated to England. Of course, music was a major part of her life, no matter where on earth she was — she started taking classical piano lessons when she was five and by the time she was nine, she was introduced to vocal training. As the story goes, after spending the better part of a decade under classical training, Merton discovered songwriting through one of her high school courses while in Germany. And from that point forward, she went on to study songwriting and began pursuing her dream of becoming a professional singer/songwriter.

Naturally, during her studies Merton worked with a number of producers and finding the right producer who both compliments and challenges a singer/songwriter in the way that a true collaborator — and in turn, a great producer — should do, is a rarity, and when she met Berlin-based producer Nicolas Rebscher, Merton quickly recognized that she found her musical match; in fact, the collaborative duo have specialized in pairing vintage, analog synthesizers with organic arrangements based around propulsive drum and bass. Unsurprisingly then, on Merton’s swaggering and (somewhat) bluesy debut single “No Roots,” Merton’s self-assured and soulful pop belter vocals are paired with a Rebscher production that features enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line, brief blasts of funk guitar, squiggly blasts of synths and a rousingly anthemic hook. And in some way, the song is a slick meshing of both the familiar and the unfamiliar, as the song sonically nods (a little bit) at Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Taylor Swift and a lengthy list of major pop star contemporaries; however, the song has a visceral ache, as it based on her own personal experiences, recognizing that her life was frequently thrown in disarray, she’s never been able to claim one place as a home.

Already “No Roots” has won the up-and-coming Merton an immense amount of attention both across the European Union and the States and elsewhere, as the song has already seen millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube, and has recently been added to the playlists of several Stateside Adult Alternative Album radio stations, including stations in Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, San Francisco, Minneapolis, the NYC area, as well as Sirius Alt Nation. And as a result of the action the single has seen, merton recently signed with Mom + Pop Music; but along with that, I suspect that over the next few months that we’ll be hearing this single quite a bit, and more from Merton, who seems destined to be a pop star.

 

 

Merton has a series of live dates across Germany throughout the end of August and the fall, and is planning stops across North America and elsewhere so be on the lookout; in the meantime, European friends, check out the live dates below.
TOUR DATES:

 

08/25 Gamescon – Cologne, Germany

08/26 Laternenfest – Halle, Germany

09/9 Rennbahn Berlin Hoppegarten – Berlin, Germany

09/10 Lollapalooza Berlin – Berlin, Germany

09/14 SWR3 New Pop Festival – Baden Baden, Germany

09/15 NDR 2 Soundcheck Festival – Göttingen, Germany

9/20-23 Reeperbahn Festival – Hamburg, Germany

11/17 New Fall Festival – Düsseldorf, Germany

 

 

New Video: Introducing the Breezy and Funky, Synth Pop of Austin’s Palo Duro

Michael J. Winningham is an Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who may be best known for a stint fronting indie rock act Gold Beach; however, his solo recording project Palo Duro is a radical sonic departure from his previous work with Winningham specializing in breezy, propulsive, funky, hook-laden synth pop reminiscent of Big Data and others, as you’ll hear on “Darken the Glow,” the latest single off his forthcoming album Ryou Cannon. But what sets Winningham apart from a crowded field of competitors is an deliberate and careful attention to craft paired with the swaggering self-assuredness of an old pro, who can make it look way too easy. 

Edited by Cameron J. Smith, the recently released video for “Darken the Glow,” is a wild melange of Japanese television ads in which the album cover is quickly superimposed, and the result is an aesthetic that possesses the surreal logic of a fever dream while being a wildly mischievous take on commercialism and music as a prepackaged product to be marketed, bought and sold. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you’ve likely come across a post featuring the Austin, TX-based punk quartet PLAX. And as you may recall, the band, which is currently comprised of Michael Goodwin, a member of the OBN IIIs and eeetsFEATS; Chris “Anton” Stevenson, a member of Spray PaintDikes of Holland and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth; Marley Jones, a member of the OBN IIIs and Sweet Talk; and newest recruit Victor Ziolkowski, a member of Skeleton and Nosferatu can trace their origins to when Goodwin approached his longtime friend Stevenston and current OBN IIIs bandmate Jones about the possibility of forming an unconventional, outsider punk band, inspired by  Wire and Dawn of Humans. The band’s founding trio quickly went to work writing songs for a demo — they eventually wrote 9 — but they felt were still in need of a vocalist to complete the project. At the time Marley was collaborating with David and Victor Ziolkowksi, the founding members and frontman of Skeleton, a constantly evolving project featuring the Ziolkowski Brothers and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends. Stevenson and Marley then recruited Victor Ziolkowski, who then finalized the project’s lineup.

 

Last July, the quartet played their first live show with  New Orleans punk act Patsy and they quickly followed that by playing with a number of national touring Texas-based bands including Crooked BangsInstitute and Army and others — and building upon the buzz they were receiving, the band went on a January 2017 attention grabbing tour throughout Texas. And although Stevenson has recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia, the band has continued writing, eventually finishing their full-length debut Clean Feeling, which is slated for an August 11, 2017 release through Super Secret Records.

Wit the album’s first single “Boring Story,” the band revealed that they specialize in a scuzzy and sneering, garage punk that would be be perfectly at home on Goner Records or on Castle Face Records, complete with slashing power chords and punchily delivered vocals — and unsurprisingly, the album’s second single “Night Watch” continued along a similar vein, while nodding at the nightmarishly tense, piss vinegar, and PCP-fueled fury sound reminiscent of Ex-Cult’s Cigarette Machine and Negative Growth.  “What A Waste,” Clean Feeling‘s third and latest single “What A Waste” is a bruising punk track that evokes the bitter frustration of those who lives have stalled — often beyond their control; and sonically, the single much like its immediate predecessor will continue to cement the band’s burgeoning reputation for crafting scuzzy and forceful garage punk.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Austin, TX-based punk quartet PLAX, and as you may recall, the band comprised of founding members Michael Goodwin, a member of the OBN IIIs and eeetsFEATS; Chris “Anton” Stevenson, a member of Spray PaintDikes of Holland and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth; Marley Jones, a member of the OBN IIIs and Sweet Talk; and newest recruit Victor Ziolkowski, a member of Skeleton and Nosferatu can trace their origins to when Goodwin approached his longtime friend Stevenston and current OBN IIIs bandmate Jones about the possibility of forming an unconventional, outsider punk band, inspired by  Wire and Dawn of Humans. The band’s founding trio quickly went to work writing songs for a demo — they eventually wrote 9 — but they felt were still in need of a vocalist to complete the project. At the time Marley was collaborating with David and Victor Ziolkowksi, the founding members and frontman of Skeleton, a constantly evolving project featuring the Ziolkowski Brothers and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends. Stevenson and Marley then recruited Victor Ziolkowski, who then finalized the project’s lineup.

Last July, the quartet played their first live show with  New Orleans punk act Patsy and they quickly followed that by playing with a number of national touring Texas-based bands including Crooked BangsInstitute and Army and others — and building upon the buzz they were receiving, the band went on a January 2017 tour throughout Texas. And although Stevenson has recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia, the band has continued writing, eventually finishing their full-length debut Clean Feeling, which is slated for an August 11, 2017 release through Super Secret Records. And from the album’s first single “Boring Story,” the band seems to specialize in the sort of scuzzy, sneering, garage punk that would be be perfectly at home on Goner Records or on Castle Face Records, complete with slashing power chords and punchily delivered vocals.

The album’s second and latest single “Night Watch” will further cement the quartet’s burgeoning reputation for crafting scuzzy and sneering, garage punk; however, the song possesses a nightmarish, tense, piss, vinegar, whiskey and PCP-fueled fury reminiscent of Ex-Cult’s Cigarette Machine and Negative Growth.  And much like its predecessor, it’s a cathartic, mosh pit worthy, barn-burner.

 

 

 

 

Currently comprised of founding members Michael Goodwin, a member of the OBN IIIs and eeetsFEATS; Chris “Anton” Stevenson, a member of Spray Paint, Dikes of Holland and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth; Marley Jones, a member of the OBN IIIs and Sweet Talk; and Victor Ziolkowski, a member of Skeleton and Nosferatu, the Austin, TX-based punk quartet PLAX can trace its origins to last year, when founding member Goodwin approached his longtime friend Stevenson and current OBN IIIs bandmate Jones about the possibility of forming an outsider punk band that would defy all conventional expectations while being inspired by the likes of Wire and Dawn of Humans. The band’s founding trio quickly went to work writing songs for a demo — they eventually wrote 9 — but they felt were still in need of a vocalist to complete the project. At the time Marley was collaborating with David and Victor Ziolkowksi, the founding members and frontman of Skeleton, a constantly evolving project featuring the Ziolkowski Brothers and a rotating cast of collaborators and friends. And as the story goes, Stevenson and Marley approached Victor Ziolkowski to contribute his vocals, and when he agreed, the project’s lineup was finalized.

By the end of last July, the newly formed quartet had played their first show with New Orleans punk act Patsy and they quickly followed that by playing with a number of national touring Texas-based bands including Crooked Bangs, Institute and Army and others — and building upon the buzz they were receiving, the band went on a January 2017 tour throughout Texas. And although Stevenson has recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia, the band has continued writing and recording; in fact, as you’ll hear on “Boring Story” the first single off the quartet’s forthcoming full-length debut Clean Feeling, the band specializes in the sort of scuzzy, garage punk that would be at home on Goner Records or on Castle Face Records, complete with slashing power chords and punchily delivered vocals. Arguably, “Boring Story” is one of the most mosh pit worthy songs I’ve listened to in several months — and it reminds me of the sort of music I’d hear in countless dive bars and dank DIY spaces.