As if you thought I’d let Nathan have all the fun with this SXSW interview game, you thought wrong! It’s time for me to start sharing some interviews myself and I’m starting today with one from Auckland based band Swallow the Rat. These guys were kind enough to answer or SXSW band questions and you can find their responses after the jump.
Criminal Hygiene is an L.A. based band we have known for many years after meeting at SXSW one year and doing a show together afterwards. Well the guys went quiet for a few years after that, but have returned this year with a ton of new music and a new album on the way. Their latest single “Dangers of Convenience” can be found below and features the always enticing garage rock, in your face style which is what caused me to originally be turned on to the band. I’m happy for the boys to hop on to major label Dangerbird to release the new album Run it Again on March 1st.
During the busy fall release schedule, we perhaps neglected to tell you about the great Failure to Slide LP from the Zells. A few months on, a tour and some shows behind them, the band have shared a new video for standout track, “Tracy.” This song reflects the band’s devotion to 90s slacker rock, but perhaps hitting home for me is the band’s natural exuberance recording/playing together; it comes out in so many moments on this track. And, as if they knew what I was thinking, they crafted a video built around their times on the road supporting the record; it’s always endearing to see the fun a group has together on tour. There’s a few copies of their album left over at Crafted Sounds, where you can stream the record as well!
Our SXSW Interview series is in full swing, and we’ve got to push on, as we have a little less than a month until we reach the festival. Today we’ve got responses from LA duo Soft Streak, who also just happen to be releasing their brand new EP today as well…so congrats on that!
This brand new single from the forthcoming No Fucks LP is a spirited disaster of a tune, in the best way possible. From the minute I pressed play I was disoriented by the ramshackle riffs bouncing me along while the vocals overlapped; it kept me off balance, trying to catch my breath so to speak. It’s a quick hook, grabbing you, then it just discordantly jumps to a close before you know it, which, of course, leads to pressing play and starting it all over again. The self-titled debut No Fucks record is out today courtesy of Discos de Kirlian, so have it folks.
The last time we heard from Mammoth Penguins was back in 2017 when they were bringing in their friends to help complete their concept album, John Doe. Today we have the band narrowed back down to a three piece, fronted by Emma Kupa, with a new LP on the way via Fika Recordings. It all kicks off with fuzzy guitar riffs opening the scene for Emma to jump in with her voice; her lyrical content is one of infatuation/love and a willingness to “fuck it all, fuck it all” in the name of love. But, what’s interesting to me, is the way the song winds down, ever so slightly for a musical interlude to flex musicianship, just before bouncing back into the swing of things emphatically. There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win will be out April 26th.
We continue are SXSW roll out with another interview, this time from Spanish artists Aries. This is our first artist to answer from overseas/outside of the States, highlighting the importance of SXSW and its international outreach. Get to know Aries below.
There are some labels who seem to release music on their own terms; you know, a release here and there. But, when something drops, you know it’s a must have, an absolute necessity…as is the case with Fruits & Flowers. They just shared news that they’re releasing the new EP from the Oilies, the songwriting outlet of Carly Putnam, who may or may not have played with the Mantles and Art Museums (among others). Our first listen surely charms; it’s two guitar lines dueling over synced drum beats while Putnam offers up her a soft vocal line. There are times when she’s almost whispering just beneath the mix, which just goes to show the care put into the song construction. Psychic Dog EP drops on April 5th.
I look out the window a lot as of late, hoping for some sort of daydream to take me away, albeit for just a bit of respite. Today, while I’m envisioning my mental journeying, I hear Dark Tea as the soundtrack to that adventure. I think there’s something sublimely intimate about Gary Canino’s delivery on this track, like a half-hearted whisper, as if he’s afraid to share his secrets with you; he seems vulnerable, which is perhaps how I like my songwriters best. Balladry in the bedroom fashion you say? Well, you’ve got my ear; let’s see what the self-titled album has in store when it drops via Fire Talk on March 22nd.
If I were to pick out an Austin artist that would break out into the world to win everyone’s hearts, the odds of that group being the Infinites are pretty high. What began as a looped guitar project between Dan Levine (Ghetto Ghouls) and Jared Zoltar (the Zoltars) has a evolved quickly into a well-oiled pop making machine. In their newest single, the guitar lines dance and flutter, jumping out sharply when emphasis is needed. Everyone else takes on a casual vibe, waiting for the the vocals to intoxicate; I love how Jared naturally has this hook in the way he’s delivering his lines, matched perfectly by those guitar parts. The band will be releasing their debut self-titled LP on First Human Records on April 26th.