Show Preview: Kevin Morby @ The Mohawk (9/16)

It’s kind of always a challenge these days to figure out what you’re going to do with your Saturday nights in Austin. Normally my issue is figuring out which show I want to hit up, as there’s always more than one great option. This Saturday, you need to be sure to catch a non-local, but still rad, Kevin Morby and company at The Mohawk. K. Morby has been wowing us for years, but on his latest release, City Music, he really knocked it out of the park. The perfect balance of blues and rock, the gentleman is sure to put on a great night of hazy jams that’ll have you swaying through the weekend. Get there early to check out Pitchfork approved, and fellow Woodsist artist,Shannon Lay,and her balancing act of quiet/loud folk gems.

There are still tickets available for real cheap–get yours here and make a great decision for your Saturday in Austin.

Oh and when you’re done getting groovy with Kevin Morby at The Mohawk, make sure you keep the party rolling and pop over to Cheer Up’s to catch ATH bands Shivery Shakes AND Big Bill as well as the other great bands on that lineup. There’s no excuses people– you really CAN have it all.

 

New Woods Album!!!

We’ve all been talking about how music can provide us solace in the next four years, hoping that someone writes great tunes to provide us some escapism. Woods, one of our favorites, have just announced a brand new six song album that aims to just that…though they’re doing so with a vibe of positivity. They acknowledge that many of us feel helpless in our surroundings, but ultimately we’ll turn to friends and artists to provide positivity and love in our lives. They’ve titled the album Love is Love, and it’s slated for an April release via Woodsist…sample the album’s title track below.

Intimate Track From Hand Habits

14379829_1047569908672491_1109086074060025602_oHand Habits are your new favorite act– well they are if you have five minutes to spend with this gorgeous americana-ish track. “All The While” will essentially bewitch you from its opening notes, asthe simple combination of guitar, vocals and drums are hauntingly beautiful. Meg Duffy, the front lady behind the moniker, has a voice that will bathe you in its warm and yet hold you completely at its mercy while the bluesy guitar parts twist and turn through the background. Her debut album,Humble Before The Void, will be out via Woodsist sometime at the start of 2017.

Woods Continue to Mix It Up

woods2_630x300I’m really interested to hear the entirety of the new Woods LP. There are definitely some things working beneath the usual mix of Cali psych pop that make me curious as to what other little touches will flourish within the confines of the whole listen. On this latest single, there’s still the vocal performance, but rather than the psych touches, it tends to have more of an R&B/funk based rhythm working below; it’s a nice twist I wasn’t expecting.City Sun Eater in the River of Light is the title of the new effort, so we’ll get to hear it all on April 8th via Woodsist.

Woods Are Back Already

woodPerhaps it’s a bit early to look at Levitation Fest, with that other big festival right around the corner, but one thing is for sure, Woods will be high on my list of bands to see. They always seem to be at work on something, and this time around they’re turning their psychedelic Cali pop into something a tad bit different. There’s horns and jamming moments, which have been present here and there in the past, but this time around they’ve stripped away some of the pop sensibility in favor of just experimental psych jams. City Sun Eater in the River of Light is their new effort, and it will be interesting to see how this all comes to head on what you can assume will be a cohesive collection of beautiful tracks; it comes out at the beginning of April.

More New Music from Cian Nugent

cianI’m particular to voices that don’t quite sound perfect, which is perhaps the reason why I’ve been gravitating to the work of Cian Nugent. He’s capable of holding a melody, sure, but there’s something just a bit off, just a touch rough that really grabs your ear. Musically, the song alternates between folk-laden ballad and all out-country jam; they employ a fiddle here rather than they oft-overused violin. His new record, Night Fiction, is getting a release via Woodsist; it should hit stores in late January, keeping you warm just as the world freezes over. Stream it.

More Tunes from Woolen Men

woolen-menI really think that people will love this new record from Woolen Men.  It reminds me of some of the structural work that’s been done recently by the likes of Parquet Courts, but that’s not to say that it really sounds anything like that.  In fact, they take a similar approach, though it’s got more pop sensibility to it.  Honestly, it feels like Dear You-era Jawbreaker meets Parquet, which is a formula for love in my book. Their new effort, Temporary Monument, will be out on September 4th via Woodsist.

John Andrews & The Yawns – Bit By The Fang

john andrews

Rating: ★★★½ ·

You may know John Andrews from his work as a part of both Woods and Quilt, which he contributed not only his talents in recording, but also in touring with these two acts. Somehow, amongst the hectic schedule of being part of two bands, he has also found time to write and record an album of his own. Bit By The Fang is John Andrews and his imaginary backing band’s debut solo album, and it’s packed with lo-fi Americana.

John Andrews and the Yawns have a sound that is difficult to describe. At moments, the music seems to lean towards  bluesy rock, and the next you’re made to believe Bit By The Fang is a work dominated by jangly guitar. This mixing of genre, perhaps even in just one song, works well for Andrews, and you can hear this happening from the very start of the record with opener, “Don’t Spook The Horses.” Leading off with that grittily distorted cutting electric guitar, the song blazes in to your headphones and instantly hooks you. Joining that guitar is ragtime piano and Andrews’ feather-light vocals that waft and warble in to the mix. He spins a tale in those echoed vocals, a carnival-esque whirlwind of sound that serves as a wonderful introduction to his solo work.

The strongest parts of this album come like bookends at the beginning and the end. As I just discussed, the first track is a great start, and Andrews continues this strong start with “Peace of Mind,” which sways more to the blues side of sound. Its slow-moving rhythm and prominently groovy bass part serves as the core of the song, while that bouncy piano is still there to lighten the track. “Angel,” a brief little piano ditty, echoes that of early 20th century simplistic rag music, but its nevertheless an interesting tune after you’ve grown accustomed to the complex layers that Andrews has thrown your way so far.

While the middle of this album listens a little flat, the end picks back up again for the last few tracks. “Quitting The Circus” is a song that is at once eerie and rock’ and roll: the vocals seem extra twisted and somehow slightly sinister while the guitar hits hard and loud, almost drowning out the piano. Last track, “No Gun,” is a music box lullaby that has Andrews posing philosophical questions atop pensive piano, slow and easy.

Bit By The Fang is yet another solid release from Woodsist Records, and John Andrews has managed to put his name on my map as a solo artist. I’ll be looking forward to what the future holds for this talented musician, be it as part of another band or on his own.

 

More with John Andrew & the Yawns

jayI’ve written before about John Andrews & the Yawns, the newest project from John (who also works in Quilt and Woods).  I’m really drawn into this track, which might just come from the dreary weather, as I feel like there’s a definite Grateful Dead or Neil Young approach here (only one which I’m willing to admit I accept).  The band explores a modern folk twist, which you’d likely expect, but the twang and the drawl of the song really goes into hippy harmony territory.  Dammit. I like it. Don’t tell my friends! Look for Bit By the Fang via Woodsist on April 14th.

Woodsist Is Cornering Troubadour Folk

woodMan…Woodsist is on it this week, as far as the troubadour style folk stylings go.  They just tossed out two great tracks this week, both of artists that will be releasing new music soon. The first tune they had up was Simon Joyner‘s “Nostalgia Blues” off his Grass, Branch & Bone album (3/31); he has more of a Jeff Tweedy wistful quality, yearning, always yearning.  Their other hit was from Little Wings; it’s “By Now” from his effort Explains (5/26).  He’s definitely got more of a saddened touch to his style, but his lyrical playfulness reminds me a lot of David Berman.  Congrats to the label…these are some really great tunes.

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