Tag: Austin TX

Over the past couple of years, I’ve spilled a copious amount of virtual ink covering the multi-Grammy Award-nominated Austin, TX-based soul act and JOVM mainstays, Black Pumas. Led by Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada and San Fernando Valley-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Eric Burton, the acclaimed act can trace their origins back to 2017.

Burton, who grew up singing in church and in musical theater, started busking at the Santa Monica pier, where he brought in a few hundred dollars and day and honing his performance skills. He then traveled through the Western states before deciding to settle down in Austin, setting up a busking spot on 6th Street and Congress, a prime location in the city’s downtown neighborhood for maximum exposure.Meanwhile, Quesada was looking to collaborate with someone new. He reached out to friends in Los Angeles and London — but nothing seemed to fit. Serendipitously, a mutual friend recommended Burton to Quesada, telling the Grammy Award-winning songwriter, guitarist and producer that Burton was the best singer he had ever heard. The two musicians connected but Burton took a while to respond. “My friends were like ‘Dude, you’re a mad man, you need to hit that guy back!’” Burton recalls. When Burton did call Quesada, he sang to him over the phone. “I loved his energy, his vibe, and I knew it would be incredible on record,” Quesada says. “From the moment I heard him on the phone, I was all about it.”

Back in 2019, the duo along with a talented cast of collaborators recorded and released their breakthrough full-length debut, which was supported with a relentless touring schedule across both North America and Europe that included three different stops in town: The Knitting Factory, in May 2019Mercury Lounge, in July 2019; and Brooklyn Bowl in September 2019. Additionally, the JOVM mainstays began to make the rounds of the nationally televised talk show circuit, playing  Jimmy Kimmel LiveThe Ellen Show and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed JOVM mainstays released a deluxe version of their breakthrough debut which features new artwork, previously unpublished in-studio and live performance photos, a bonus 7 inch featuring three previously unreleased originals, live, in-studio versions of “Colors,” “October 33,” and “Confines;” a live version of “Know You Better,” recorded at C-Boys Heart & Soul, the Austin club, where the band first made a name for themselves;the band’s attention-grabbing covers of The Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby,” Death’s “Politicians in My Eyes,” Bobby “Blue” Bland‘s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” and Tracy Chapman‘s “Fast Car.”

Black Pumas are currently touring Europe. And after a couple of weeks off, the JOVM mainstays will embark on a West Coast tour to end the year. 2022 sees the band playing Nashville and a couple of North American festivals. They make stops in South America before returning to the states for Boston Calling next March. Next June and July, the band returns to Europe. As always those tour dates are below — and if they’re in a town near you, I’d suggest you get a ticket and catch Black Pumas.

Initially only available as part of Spotify Holiday Singles, the Austin-based JOVM mainstays’ cover of Lou Rawls‘ “Christmas Will Really Be Christmas” is finally available everywhere for the first time.

Buried on the B-side of Rawls’ 1967 Christmas-themed album Merry Christmas Ho! Ho! Ho!, “Christmas Will Really Be Christmas” was written by James Alexander, whose credits include Sam Cooke’s “Lost and Lookin’,” the R&B standard “I Like It Like That” recorded by everyone from Ray Charles to Van Morrison, Ben Raleigh’s “Laughing on the Outside,” “Faith Can Move Mountains,” “Tell Laura I Love Her” and “Wonderful, Wonderful,” a string of tunes for Lesley Gore, Rawls’ own “Dead End Street” and “Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing,” jazz standard “Midnight Mood” and incredibly the theme song for Scooby Doo, “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” The original is a slow-burning, minor-key funky bit of soul with profound and much-needed message: Christmas can’t be Christmas without peace, love and happiness for all.

The Black Pumas cover speeds the tempo up a bit and features a series of subtle changes — Burton keeps to his slightly higher register, the horns are replaced with the band’s incredible backing singles, the keys are a bit punchier and placed a bit more forward in the mix. The end result is a cover that the JOVM mainstays make their own while being faithful to the original’s spirit, feel and time period. It’s a difficult balance that the band has made seemingly effortless.

“We were really attracted to the message, the lyrics, the arrangement, the feeling,” Black Pumas’ frontman Eric Burton explains. “It’s a message that needs to be heard right now. I was a little nervous about singing in Lou Rawls’ low register, so I sang it an octave higher and it was nice to arrange vocals with the ladies [backup singers Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller] as well to put our own spin on it.”

Producer/bandleader Adrian Quesada adds, “A Christmas song isn’t exactly something that we set out to do, but this Lou Rawls song is amazing. It was produced by one of my favorite arrangers and producers, David Axelrod. On that side of it I was drawn to it initially and I confirmed with Eric. I think we were both attracted to the message too, it touches on a message that I think is poignant to today’s times, that Christmas isn’t really Christmas until everyone has peace and happiness.”

Tour Dates

11/16/21 – Lille, France @ Aérone SOLD OUT

11/17/21 – Nantes, Pays de la Loire @ Stéréolux SOLD OUT

11/18/21 – Paris, France @ L’Olympia

11/20/21 – Madrid, Spain @ La Riviera SOLD OUT

12/4/21 – Key West, FL @ Coast is Clear Music & Arts Fest

12/8/21 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

12/9/21 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

12/10/21 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre

12/12/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot

12/15/21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic

12/16/21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic

12/17/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ YouTube Theater

12/18/21 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues Las Vegas

2/4/22 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium SOLD OUT

2/5/22 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium

2/26/22 – 2/27/22 – Tempe, AZ @ Innings Festival

3/2/22 – 3/5/22 – Cancún, Mexico @ My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday

3/19/22 – 3/20/22 – Mexico City, CDMX @ Vive Latino

3/25/22 – 3/27/22 – São Paulo, SP @ Lollapalooza Brasil

3/25/22 – 3/27/22 – Bogotá, Colombia @ Estereo Picnic

3/27/22 – 3/29/22 – Boston, MA @ Boston Calling

6/18/22 – Oslo, Norway @ Rockefeller Music Hall

6/19/22 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Berns  

6/21/22 – Hamburg, Germany @ Fabrik

6/22/22 – Dortmund, DE @ FZW

6/29/22 – Roskilde, Denmark @ Roskilde Festival

6/30/22 – Barcelona, Spain @ Vida Festival

7/8/22 – 7/10/22 – Trenčín, Slovakia @ Pohoda Festival

7/8/22 – Madrid, Spain @ Mad Cool Festival

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Blushing Team Up with Miki Berenyi on the Gorgeous and Anthemic “Blame”

Over the past couple of years of this site’s 11-plus history, I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink cover the Austin-based dream pop/shoegazer outfit and JOVM mainstays Blushing. Featuring two married couples — Christina Carmona (vocals, bass) and Noe Carmona (guitar, keys) and Michelle Soto (guitar, vocals) and Jacob Soto (drums), the JOVM mainstays can trace its roots back to El Paso, where Jacob Soto and Noe Carrmona grew up as lifelong friends and musical partners.

Jacob Soto and Noe Carmona relocated to Austin around 2009. Coincidentally, they both met their wives at The Side Bar and according to the band, “naturally all four of us became close friends.” As Michelle Soto was learning guitar, she also began writing material, creating guitar parts and vocal melodies in her bedroom. Christina Carmona, who is a classically trained vocalist, was recruited by Michelle Soto to contribute vocals; but Christina then taught herself bass and helped flesh out Michelle’s songs. Shortly after, Jacob and Noe began to notice how much potential the material had, and they joined in on a practice session to help further flesh out their arrangements. And from that point on, Blushing was a full-fledged band. Their natural simpatico and like-minded musical influences helped to solidify their ongoing creative process.

The members of the Austin-based shoegazer outfit spent the bulk of 2016 writing and refining material, which eventually led to their debut EP, 2017’s Tether, which was released to positive reviews across the blogosphere, including this site. Building upon a growing profile in the shoegaze and dream pop scenes, Blushing returned to the studio to write and recored their sophomore EP, 2018’s Weak, an effort that saw them firmly cementing a sound seemingly indebted to LushCocteau Twins and The Sundays but while being a subtle (and gentle) refinement. They needed that year with the Elliot Frazier-produced and mixed “The Truth”/”Sunshine” 7 inch, which featured what may arguably be the most muscular and direct song of their catalog to date. They also managed to spend the year touring to support their recored output, sharing stages with Snail MailSunflower BeanLa LuzBRONCHOIlluminati Hotties, JOVM mainstays Yumi Zouma and others.

2019 saw the release of their self-titled, full-length debut, which they supported with an extensive US tour with Ringo Deathstarr that included a stop at Saint Vitus Bar that November. Although touring was on an indefinite hiatus until recently, the Austin JOVM mainstays have been busy: they signed to Kanine Records, who will be releasing their highly anticipated Elliot Frazier-produced, sophomore album Possessions.

Slated for a February 18, 2022 release, Possessions is an album born out of incredible patience and perseverance: The earliest tracking sessions started in 2019 and continued in fits and starts through the quarantines, lockdowns and re-openings of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a break in production while Frazier welcomed his second child, and that was followed by the massive blackouts across Texas resulting from the February 2021 winter storm across the region. Interestingly, when the album was finally finished, what revealed itself was an album that reportedly is at points heavier and at other points lighter. Thematically and lyrically, the album sees the band embracing the full and complicated spectrum of life and relationship but while recognizing the need for escape and whimsy.

The album also sees the band collaborating with two shoegazer legends — Lush and Piroshka‘s Miki Berenyi, who contributes vocals on an album track and RIDE‘s Mark Gardener, who mastered the album at his OX4 Sound in the UK. Fittingly, Possessions‘ first single “Blame” features the aforementioned Berenyi. The collaboration can trace its origins back to when Blushing covered “Out of Control” for a Lush tribute album in 2018. The cover caught the attention of Berernyi, who tweeted her appreciation — and a friendship began.

As the band continued to track material for Possessions, the JOVM mainstays approached Berenyi about the possibility of her working on a song, and they were thrilled to find that she shared their excitement about working together. The band then sent Berenyi the track and lyrics digitally with the request that she add any vocals she’d like. The end result is a lush, densely layerred song featuring glistening and reverb drenched guitars, an enormous hook and some eerily spectral harmonies and counter melodies between Christina Carmona, Michelle Soto and Berenyi. But just under the shimmering surface is a subtle sense of menace, expressed by the refrain “Stick around and find out . . . “

The recently released video for “Blame” is a trippy and whimsical mind-fuck of a visual that follows a couple experiencing three completely different sets of reality simultaneously. We start off with a couple having a quiet and boring night at home: glasses of wine, dinner and Netflix before bed. They may care about each other, but they’re also hopelessly bored and hemmed in by their lives. We also see the couple, presumably single or having an open relationship at a rave. The woman smokes and flirts shamelessly with a fantasy man, from a romance novel. The man loses himself in music. What’s real? That’s up to you. Maybe both are. But at its core the video points out that relationships can be hard, amazing and dull simultaneously.

27 year-old, Loreauville, LA-born, Austin, TX-based songwriter, keyboardist and producer JaRon Marshall may be best known for being a member of the acclaimed, JOVM mainstay act Black Pumas. As member of Black Pumas, Marshall has received songwriting and performance credits on their Album of the Year Grammy-nominated Black Pumas (Deluxe) while playing in front of count less thousands at venues, clubs and festivals across the globe.

Interestingly enough, Marshall can trace the origins of his music career to when he started playing piano at 11. Understandably, growing up in a small town, the Loreauville-born, Austin-based songwriter, keyboardist and producer couldn’t wait to get out and broaden his horizons.

As a musician and producer, Marshall describes his music as “the marriage between funk, jazz, R&B, neo-soul and hip-hop.” Along with his work with Black Pumas, he has worked with Jay Wile, Nané and Black Pumas’ Adrian Quesada.

Last year, Marshall released his first two efforts as a solo artist and producer — The Gold Tapes Vol. 1-3 and The Black Power Tape EP, which received rapturous praise from Okayplayer, who wrote that Marshall “was exploring the myriad of emotions that come with being Black in America, all against a backdrop of soothing, soulful music.”

Last week, the Loreauville-born, Austin-based songwriter, keyboardist and producer released The Prequel EP, his first experimental EP, which showcases his versatility as a beatmaker and producer with the material sonically touching upon jazz, hip-hop and soul. The EP’s material also features with Austin-based emcee Mike Melinoe, Brian Donohoe, who has worked with Snarky Puppy and Okkervil River, and Justking Jones, who has toured with Yasiin Bey (f.k.a. Mos Def), Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Talib Kweli and Theo Croker.

The EP’s latest single “Yesterday” is centered around a warm and soulful, Black on Two Sides era Mos Def production of tweeter and woofer rattling boom bap, twinkling and arpeggiated Rhodes. Austin-based emcee Mike Melinoe contributes a swaggering Nas-like flow full of dexterous inner and outer rhyme schemes to the mix, adding to the Golden era/backpack era vibes.

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Live Footage: Neckbolt Performs “The Lighted Chamber” at The Museum of Human Achievement

Austin-based noise rock outfit Neckbolt was founded last year by multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Krause and vocalist James Roi after Krause relocated to Austin. The band’s name may evoke images of the bolts that held Frankenstein’s monster’s appendages together — or a bolt that connects the guitar neck to its body. For the band, both images are fitting ways to describe their sound and approach: a freakish hodgepodge of musical body parts and ideas rendered in a nightmarish form while still hewing to the rock ‘n’ roll canon.

The Austin-based noise rock outfit’s full-length debut was written and recorded between 2020 and 2021 with Krause playing all of the album’s instrumentation while Roo provided vocals, lyrics and artwork. Slated for a November 5, 2021 release through Bandcamp and Digital Hotdogs, Midwestern Drawl reportedly requires close listening to parse out the informed musicianship that binds the skewed, screeching and skronking elements together.

After they completed the album’s 11 songs, the duo opted to expand the band’s lineup in order to play the material live. Krause and Roo recruited Exhalants‘ Bill Indelicato and Power Pyramid‘s Kilyn Massey and Brent Hodge to complete the band’s lineup.

With their current lineup of Krause, Roo, Indelicato, Massey and Hodge, the band then shot Neckbolt Live! at the Museum of Human Achievement, the forthcoming live performance companion video, which will be released on VHS and online the same day as the album’s release. The members of the band tracked, edited, filmed and mixed the VHS release in six hours in a room without air conditioning on a sweltering Texan summer day.

Despite clocking in at a little under three minutes, Midwestern Drawl‘s latest single “The Lighted Chamber” is centered around an expansive arrangement featuring howled vocals buried in a muscular and forceful mix of buzzing power chords, screeching feedback, angular skronk and propulsive rhythm. Sonically, “The Lighted Chamber” finds the act balancing wild and noisy abandon with tight musicianship.

The live footage features the members of the band in Tyvek jumpsuits in front of psychedelic projections.

Aaron Miller is an Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter and musician. Miller is perhaps best known for being one of three frontmen for the Austin-based synth pop act Sphynx, an act that has played festival sets at Austin City Limits and SXSW — and they’ve played shows with the likes of Walk The Moon, Imagine Dragons, Jungle and Questlove. Sphynx has also been featured by NPR, USA Today, Fuse TV, Dallas Observer, Austin American-Statesman, Austin 360 and several others across both the States and the European Union. And adding to a growing profile, the trio’s single “Shadow” was featured in the series finale of Nashville.

Miller has decided to step out into the limelight as a solo artist with his latest project Josie Lockhart. Interestingly, Josie Lockhart is a sonic departure from Miller’s best known work with the project finding the Austin-based singer/songwriter crafting a sound that draws from indie rock, psychedelia and Americana. Miller’s Josie Lockhart full-length debut Santa Rosa is forthcoming — but in the meantime, the album’s third and latest single “If There’s A Heaven” is centered around shimmering guitars, a propulsive rhythm section and a soaring hook. The end result is a song that sonically sounds like a synthesis of 80s New Wave and Psychic Ills‘ gorgeous and jangling Inner Journey Out.

The song’s verses and vocal hook points out that much of life’s beautiful and important moments are fleeting while the chorus finds its narrator wondering if there’s an afterlife that where we can reunite with our loved ones.

Sloan Stumble is the 20-something  Aledo, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind behind the critically applauded and rapidly rising indie rock/indie pop project Dayglow. The project can trace its origins to Struble’s teenaged years, growing up in a Fort Worth suburb that he has referred to as a “small football-crazed town,” where he felt irrevocably out of place. Aesthetically and thematically, the project finds Struble crafting material cen nloater red around a hard fought, hard won optimism. 

Much like countless other hopelessly out of place young people across the globe, Struble turned to music as an escape from his surroundings. “I didn’t really feel connected to what everyone else in my school was into, so making music became an obsession for me, and sort of like therapy in a way,” Struble recalled in press notes. “I’d dream about it all day in class, and then come home and for on songs instead of doing homework. After a while I realized I’d made an album.”

Working completely on his own with a minuscule collection of gear that included his guitar, his computer and some secondhand keyboards he picked up at Goodwill, Struble worked on transforming his privately kept outpouring into a batch of songs — often grandiose in scale. “Usually artists will have demos they’ll bounce off other people to get some feedback, but nobody except for my parents down the hall really heard much of the album until I put it out,” Struble recalled. With the self-release of 2018’s Fuzzybrain, the Aledo-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer received widespread attention and an ardent online following — with countess listeners praising the material’s overwhelming positivity. 

In 2019, Struble re-released a fully realized version of Fuzzybrain that featured Can I Call You Tonight,” a track that wound up being a smash-hit last year, as well as two previously unreleased singles “Nicknames” and “Listerine.” With the two new singles, the album further establishes Struble’s growing reputation for illuminating emotional pain in a way that not only deeply resonates with listeners but while managing to make that emotional pain feel lighter. 

Struble kicked off 2021 with the infectious and sugary pop confection “Close to You,” a track indebted to 80s synth-led soul — in particular Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald‘s “On My Own” Cherelle’s and Alexander and O’Neal‘s “Saturday Love” and other duets, but imbued with an aching melancholy and uncertainty. He then made his national late night TV debut on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he, along with his backing band, played “Can I Call You Tonight.” 

Continuing upon that momentum, Struble’s highly-anticipated Dayglow sophomore album Harmony House is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through his own Very Nice Records and AWAL. After Fuzzybrain‘s release, Struble had started to write material that was inspired by the 70s and 80s piano-driven soft rock that he had been drawn to — and around the time he had been watching a lot of Cheers. “At the very beginning, I was writing a soundtrack to a sitcom that doesn’t exist,” Struble recalls. And while actively attempting to generate nostalgia for something that hadn’t ever been real — as well as something most of his listeners had never really experienced — the album’s material thematically is about growing up and coping with change as an inevitable part of life. 

“Balcony,” Harmony House‘s fourth and latest single may arguably be the most upbeat song on the entire album. Centered around shimmering guitars, bouncy synth arpeggios, four-on-the-floor drumming and an incredibly infectious hook, “Balcony” is a summery, feel good house party anthem that will get everyone jumping up and down and shouting along to the chorus. “I wrote ‘Balcony’ quite a while ago, but it’s been through tons of phases & revisions before landing on this final version,” Struble says of his latest single. “I wanted to make a song that felt like The Cure, BRONCHO, and the Mario Kart Soundtrack huddled up. Not sure why— it just feels nice 🙂 Hope you enjoy it and play it at a house party or something cause that’s definitely what it’s for/about”

The rising Texan artist also announced series of North American tour dates that we hope actually will happen. The tour includes an October 17, 2021 stop at Webster Hall. Check out the tour dates below. 

North American Tour Dates:

09/09/21 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues

09/10/21 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s

09/11/21 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live

09/13/21 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren

09/15/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

09/16/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre (SOLD OUT)

09/17/21 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

09/18/21 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory

09/22/21 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom

09/23/21 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

09/24/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom

09/26/21 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox

09/28/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot

09/29/21 – Denver, CO @ Summit

10/05/21 – Indianapolis, IN @ Deluxe

10/06/21 – Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl

10/12/21 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage

10/13/21 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground

10/15/21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts

10/16/21 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

10/17/21 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall

10/19/21 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club

10/21/21 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall

10/23/21 – Toronto, ON @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre

10/24/21 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Elevation

10/27/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

10/29/21 – St Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall

10/30/21 – Kansas City, MO @ The Truman

New Video: Dayglow Releases a Nostalgic “School House Rock!” like Visual for “Woah Man”

20-something Aledo, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Sloan Struble is the creative mastermind behind the rapidly rising, critically applauded indie rock/indie pop project Dayglow. The project can trace its origins to Struble’s teenaged years, growing up in a Fort Worth suburb that he has referred to as a “small football-crazed town,” where he felt irrevocably out of place. Aesthetically and thematically, the project finds Struble crafting material centered around a hard fought, hard won optimism. 

Much like countless other hopelessly out of place young people across the globe, Struble turned to music as an escape from his surroundings. “I didn’t really feel connected to what everyone else in my school was into, so making music became an obsession for me, and sort of like therapy in a way,” Struble said in press notes. “I’d dream about it all day in class, and then come home and for on songs instead of doing homework. After a while I realized I’d made an album.”

Working completely on his own with a minuscule collection of gear that included his guitar, his computer and some secondhand keyboards he picked up at Goodwill, Struble worked on transforming his privately kept outpouring into a batch of songs — often grandiose in scale. “Usually artists will have demos they’ll bounce off other people to get some feedback, but nobody except for my parents down the hall really heard much of the album until I put it out,” Struble recalled. With the self-release of 2018’s Fuzzybrain, the Aledo-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer received widespread attention and an ardent online following — with countess listeners praising the material’s overwhelming positivity. 

In 2019, Struble re-released a fully realized version of Fuzzybrain that featured Can I Call You Tonight,” a track that wound up being a smash-hit lat year, as well as two previously unreleased singles “Nicknames” and “Listerine.” With the two new singles, the album further establishes Struble’s reputation for illuminating emotional pain in a way that not only deeply resonates with listeners but while managing to make that emotional pain feel lighter. 

Struble kicked off 2021 with the infectious and sugary pop confection “Close to You,” a track indebted to 80s synth-led soul — in particular Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald‘s “On My Own” Cherelle’s and Alexander and O’Neal‘s “Saturday Love” and other duets, but imbued with an aching melancholy and uncertainty. He then made his national late night TV debut on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he, along with his backing band, played “Can I Call You Tonight.” 

Continuing upon that momentum, Struble’s highly-anticipated Dayglow sophomore album Harmony House is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through his own Very Nice Records and AWAL. He’d been writing new material after the release of Fuzzybrain and at the time, he found himself drawn to piano-driven soft rock from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Simultaneously, he was also watching a lot of Cheers at the time. “At the very beginning, I was writing a soundtrack to a sitcom that doesn’t exist,” Struble recalls. And while actively attempting to generate nostalgia for something that hadn’t ever been real — as well as something most of his listeners had never really experienced — the album’s material thematically is about growing up and coping with change as an inevitable part of life.

“Woah Man,” Harmony House‘s third and latest single is a carefully crafted, slow-burning ballad. Featuring an airy, soft rock-inspired arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar, electric guitar and atmospheric synths, “Woah Man” is centered around lyrics informed by personal experience and newly acquired wisdom — and Struble’s unerring knack for writing an incredibly memorable hook. Interestingly, the song reveals a young artist, who is readily accepting that the only certain thing in life is change and that moving forward often means letting go and experiencing the ride for better or worse. 

“’Woah Man’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve written so far. I initially wrote it for a friend who was going through a hard time, but then later realized that I was really writing about myself,” Struble explains in press notes. “In the middle of so much change, growth, and responsibility, I found myself feeling a lot of pressure. After months of feeling like I had the world on my shoulders and that I was growing up too fast, I realized that in order to grow, you have to move on sometimes. You have to let some things go. And for me, what I needed to let go of was the feeling of being in control of everything. I had to let go of holding on (very meta, I know). I just remember finishing the song and feeling so much relief and clarity about who I am becoming. The song has continued to help me through so many different stages of growth in my life— I hope it does the same for you.”

The recently released, gorgeously Johnny Chew animated video for “Woah Man” is a nostalgia-inducing and dream-like visual that’s indebted to Schoolhouse Rock!, Yellow Submarine and Peanuts. But at its core is the realization that while life is simultaneously complicated and beautiful. “I wanted the ‘Woah Man’ video to have a sentimental/nostalgic feeling to it,” Dayglow’s Sloan Struble explains in press notes. “Three things that make me feel those emotions are Charlie Brown, School House Rock, and the Beatles movie, Yellow Submarine — so with the wizardry of Johnny Chew, we made the ‘Woah Man’ music video combine all three of them.”

After stints in bands like Kite Flying Society, Saving Twilight, The Weak Ends and The Wonderers throughout the early 2000s, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Geannie Friedman initially founded Semihelix in Austin, back in 2012 as a solo recording project in which she used drum beats, keyboards for bass lines while accompanying her vocals with guitar. After several lineup changes, the band eventually settled on their current lineup: Friedman (vocals, guitar), Valdemar Barrrera (drums) and Kevin Martin (bass).

Influenced by My Bloody Valentine, The Kinks, Black Tambourine, Sebadoh, The Pixies and Sonic Youth, the Austin-based act have established and cemented a sound that’s one part dream pop, one part 90s psych fuzz and delay with melodic yet loud sounds. The trio’s latest single “New Destination” finds the band crafting a song that to my ears, sounds indebted to New Zealand jangle pop, Katy Goodman’s work with La Sera and acts like Seapony, complete with an infectious and rousingly anthemic hook. But just underneath the sunny vibes, the song tells a tale of a narrator discovering the resilience she’ll need for the slings and arrows of the rest of her life.

“The catalyst behind the idea for this song came from a place where I felt ostracized and bullied in my hometown,” Semihelix’s Geannie Friedman explains. “I wrote about how moving and starting new would help to heal from many experiences of feeling like an outsider.
 
“Also, having been in relationships with others that weren’t healthy, it was a time for me to learn how to be happy on my own without being dependent on a relationship for happiness. Although I wrote this song over a decade ago when I was in my 20s, it’s a song that I relate to for many stages in my life, where I’m leaving behind and shedding the old, and renewing into someone stronger and resilient.”

 

20-something Aledo, TX-born, Austin, TX-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Sloan Struble is the creative mastermind behind the rapidly rising, critically applauded indie rock/indie pop project Dayglow. The project can trace its origins to Struble’s teenaged years, growing up in a Fort Worth suburb that he has referred to as a “small football-crazed town,” where he felt irrevocably out of place. Aesthetically and thematically, the project finds Struble crafting material centered around a hard fought, hard won optimism.

Much like countless other hopelessly out of place young people across the globe, Struble turned to music as an escape from his surroundings. “I didn’t really feel connected to what everyone else in my school was into, so making music became an obsession for me, and sort of like therapy in a way,” Struble said in press notes. “I’d dream about it all day in class, and then come home and for on songs instead of doing homework. After a while I realized I’d made an album.”

Working completely on his own with a minuscule collection of gear that included his guitar, his computer and some secondhand keyboards he picked up at Goodwill, Struble worked on transforming his privately kept outpouring into a batch of songs — often grandiose in scale. “Usually artists will have demos they’ll bounce off other people to get some feedback, but nobody except for my parents down the hall really heard much of the album until I put it out,” Struble recalled. With the self-release of 2018’s Fuzzybrain, the Aledo-born, Austin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer received widespread attention and an ardent online following — with countess listeners praising the material’s overwhelming positivity. 

In 2019, Struble re-released a fully realized version of Fuzzybrain that featured Can I Call You Tonight,” a track that wound up being a smash-hit lat year, as well as two previously unreleased singles “Nicknames” and “Listerine.” With the two new singles, the album further establishes Struble’s reputation for illuminating emotional pain in a way that not only deeply resonates with listeners but while managing to make that emotional pain feel lighter. 

Struble kicked off 2021 with the infectious and sugary pop confection “Close to You,” a track indebted to 80s synth-led soul — in particular Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald‘s “On My Own” Cherelle’s and Alexander and O’Neal‘s “Saturday Love” and other duets, but imbued with an aching melancholy and uncertainty. He then made his national late night TV debut on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he, along with his backing band, played “Can I Call You Tonight.

Continuing upon that momentum, Struble’s highly-anticipated Dayglow sophomore album Harmony House is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through his own Very Nice Records and AWAL. He’d been writing new material after the release of Fuzzybrain and at the time, he found himself drawn to piano-driven soft rock from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Simultaneously, he was also watching a lot of Cheers at the time. “At the very beginning, I was writing a soundtrack to a sitcom that doesn’t exist,” Struble recalls. And while actively attempting to generate nostalgia for something that hadn’t ever been real — as well as something most of his listeners had never really experienced — the album’s material thematically is about growing up and coping with change as an inevitable part of life.

“Woah Man,” Harmony House‘s third and latest single is a carefully crafted, slow-burning ballad. Featuring an airy, soft rock-inspired arrangement of strummed acoustic guitar, electric guitar and atmospheric synths, “Woah Man” is centered around lyrics informed by personal experience and newly acquired wisdom — and Struble’s unerring knack for writing an incredibly memorable hook. Interestingly, the song reveals a young artist, who is readily accepting that the only certain thing in life is change and that moving forward often means letting go and experiencing the ride for better or worse.

“’Woah Man’ is one of my favorite songs I’ve written so far. I initially wrote it for a friend who was going through a hard time, but then later realized that I was really writing about myself,” Struble explains in press notes. “In the middle of so much change, growth, and responsibility, I found myself feeling a lot of pressure. After months of feeling like I had the world on my shoulders and that I was growing up too fast, I realized that in order to grow, you have to move on sometimes. You have to let some things go. And for me, what I needed to let go of was the feeling of being in control of everything. I had to let go of holding on (very meta, I know). I just remember finishing the song and feeling so much relief and clarity about who I am becoming. The song has continued to help me through so many different stages of growth in my life— I hope it does the same for you.”

John Andrew Stallings is a McKinley, TX-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and the creative mastermind being the emerging solo indie dream pop recording project Juno Uno. Much like countless other singer/songwriters across the globe, Stallings began songwriting exploring sounds and song structures with an acoustic guitar but he quickly expanded upon his sonic palette when he learned other instruments, eventually finding his voice with electric guitar and various synths.

During a brief relocation to Austin, Stallings began to further explore his expanded sonic palette and began prolifically writing material. He started a few musical projects under various names and identities, but then decided to leave Austin to travel across the country. Inspired by a newfound spiritual growth and mysticism, Stallings returned home to McKinley, where he built studio and committed his time to writing and recording material inspired by Tame Impala, Toro Y Moi, 1980’s synth pop with his latest solo recording project Juno Uno.

Stallings’ Juno Uno debut, “Sides” is a dreamy single centered around a sinuous bass line, atmospheric synths, squiggling guitars, Stalling’s plaintive falsetto and a shimmering guitar solo, that may remind listeners of Tame Impala and Washed Out. As Stallings explains in press notes, the song “is about a shift in perspective. It is about how the world is changing and it is up to each individual to interpret what that change means.” Stallings adds that “‘Sides’ came out of a time spent living in an apartment with rappers and electronic music producers. Their influence pushed me in a direction I was uncomfortable with at first, but eventually led to an expansion in my sonic development. This experience taught me how to trust the flow of the universe, as well as may own confidence in the creative process.”