Other Lives and I go way back, so far that I remember when the band went by a different name. But, I’m proud of these guys, and proud to bring you this new tune from Josh Onstott, one of the core members of the act; he’s got a new project titled New Mystics, and this is the first I’ve heard from him. It has a broad swinging indie connotation, built on huge pop sensibility and a pounding piano rhythm. Onstott’s voice soars with deep tones, matching the crashing percussion before backing vocals join in; I love the way the notes rise ever so slightly too during the chorus. Glad to see Josh get some of the limelight here…I look forward to hearing more.
Thursday had the ATH crew out in full swing to catch a night of great music and good times at The Mohawk. Early door times had openers taking the stage with the sun not quite yet set, but that didn’t deter Dark Rooms and Riothorse Royale from providing entertaining sets to a growing crowd for headliners Other Lives.
If you weren’t there for this night of stunning tunes, sucks to suck, but read on to see just what you missed out on. Or if you were lucky enough to be there, relive the night and click through some rad photos by the ineffable B.Gray.
Thursday night at the Mohawk is looking like it’s shaping up to be the place to be as far as shows go around Austin. Headliners and Oklahomans Other Lives are touring in support of their latest effort, Rituals, which showed the band going in an sultry electronic direction and featured a ton of tracks I’m excited to see fleshed out in a live setting. Not to mention the chance to hear the rest of the bands’ stunning catalogue of dark orchestral rock music. Opening up for them are Dark Rooms (Dallas) and Riothorse Royal (L.A), the likes of which should bring a variety of sounds to the night. I’ve included tracks by both of them below to entice you to show up early to the Mohawk tomorrow night.
Over the years, Oklahoma’s Other Lives have built a reputation for themselves as the creators of cinematically sweeping rock music; their first two full-length albums were delightful examples of this unique style, with the more recent of those two, Tamer Animals, showing the growth of the band and their ability to evolve their sound. Rituals, their third full-length attempts to pursue this growth in a different direction via the incorporation of more electronic elements into the mix.
So how does a band that knocked their last album of grand and dramatic music out of the park introduce their audiences to a new spin on their sound? Well, in true Other Lives fashion, “Fair Weather,” the opening track, begins this adjustment subtly. This slow moving song doesn’t seem to be so different from what we’ve heard before from the band, but soon you pick up on more of the use of what sounds like synth or artificial drum beats, evoking a sort of cool groove that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The instrumentation on here is less folk influenced rock and more carefully crafted electro-inspired simmering rock.
This third album shows the band shifting to a subtler sound overall; a bit of the drama that the last album possessed is replaced with sleek smoothness, which works in some places, but falls slightly short of my high expectations in others. Take second track “Pattern” as a prime example of where this works well—the whole song is lined with fierce violin part that never stops, whose immovable presence creates a bridge between the other parts of the song. Similarly, this violin part is mirrored by tinkling piano that shows the level of nuance that this band is so good at. The vocals here are almost entirely falsetto, making for a swirling mix of high and low elements. Another delightful track that shows the smooth approach from the band is “Easy Way Out,” which uses Jesse Tabish’s smokily sinister vocals to assures us that “we can find an easy way out–” and man do I believe him. While neither of these songs really go far away from where they begin, they both use suspense to hold you in their grasp.
Rituals provides us with some more great tracks to add to our listening catalogue from Other Lives, but on the whole it doesn’t make the same leaps and bounds that their sophomore effort did. The sound is still engaging, and the addition of electronic elements works well with the orchestral and grand sound that this band has made their own, but I find myself feeling like I’m missing a little something. Regardless, if you haven’t already fallen in love with Other Lives, there’s really no excuse anymore: pick up Rituals and let the slow crawling sound take you over to the darkness that this band does so well.
ATH darlings, Other Lives, are about to put out a new album, if you didn’t already know. Rituals is coming out May 4th, and lucky for you the band has shared another track from the new record, which is called “Easy Way Out.” This track, like the other single the band has released, shows the electronic twist that is in store for us on the new record. While usually I associate electronic with a level of cold aesthetic, Other Lives bring their warm drama to the song, making it one you don’t want to miss.
Other Lives, from Stillwater, OK, are essentially a household name in the indie world, making ominously beautiful tunes. After their 2012 release of Tamer Animals, they’ve taken their time to put out another album, but now they’ve returned with this new single and the announcement of their third LP, Rituals, which is set to come out on May 5th here in North America (preorder it here). Fittingly enough, the track is called “Reconfiguration,” and gone is the sweeping nature you grew accustomed to on those earlier records and in its place is more to appeal to your electro pop sensibilities. The track is still somewhat haunting, but its clear the band is going in a different direction than their first two records. What do you think?
Most unfortunate, the approval to shoot Radiohead didn’t come through. All was not lost as friends of Austin Town Hall, Other Lives, were opening. Into the bowels of the Erwin Center I headed to get shots of a band that everyone should experience live.
And should I mention I saw Major Applewhite again? Yeah, I did. He was kicking it with Manny Diaz.
Anyway, click through for pics of our friends on the big stage…
When It’s Frightening came out in 2009 we were all over it, especially with the magic that was “Percussion Gun,” one of our favorite tracks from that year. Today, news hits the street that White Rabbits are going to release their new album Milk Famous on March 6th via TBD Records, the label that brought you Other Lives. This opening single definitely sees the band experimenting with negative space, offering up a more subdued bit of groove as opposed to the more boot stomping moves from their last record. Still, that trickling piano and shattering guitar kicking it in the background of the track show the band’s got something new up their sleeve, so we should definitely be on the lookout for this record.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/01-Heavy-Metal.mp3]
Download: White Rabbits – Heavy Metal [MP3]
Considering the last week seemed sort of dull, at least in regards to live music about the town, we were really excited by the killer bill at The Parish, featuring two of our favorite acts of the moment, Other Lives and the Rosebuds–we were unaware local band O.A.X. (pronounced Oaks) was joining the night as well. As usual, the Parish had excellent sound, and air-conditioning, so it’s hard to find anything bad to say about the evening.
|Tickets||$12 @ Frontgate|
Currently touring behind their new and spectacular album Loud Planes Fly Low, The Rosebuds are making a stop into a great setting at The Parish on Friday night. Joining this veteran act on stage are up and coming Oklahoma boys Other Lives who are also touring behind a superb new LP. With such a stellar lineup, you really shouldn’t be missing this show.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/TheRosebuds_woods.mp3]
Download: The Rosebuds – Woods [MP3]