Stream Ways a Season by She Sir
We’ve been operating the label here now for half a dozen years, and each year, I’m forever grateful to the bands that let me put myself behind their music. And for years, I’ve fawned over She Sir, one of Austin’s most underrated acts; I bugged them enough until they finally agreed to let me release their new Ways a Season EP. You can grab a copy of the limited orange vinyl HERE, but I also wanted you to be able to stream the EP with a little bit of commentary by yours truly. There are not enough words to say how proud I am of the label and this release, so please go down and listen to everything below.
Austin folks can catch the band at End of an Ear on March 31st for a free in-store performance.
This is the briefest track on the EP, and the only instrumental. I think it sets the mood for the whole EP. I love how the brightness of the guitar in the front of the mix works against the fuzzed lurking in the background. Somehow the band manage to make two minutes seem like an entire night of dreaming.
This track is all about the rhythm section and the presentation of the angelic vocals. Seriously, if you haven’t seen David Nathan drum, you’re possibly overlooking one of Austin’s best; it seems so effortless atop the bass groove here that you might be forgiven. I love Russell’s tones here too, soft, almost like an added musical layer. I didn’t really notice the ominous tones in the last 30 seconds until maybe the fourth or fifth listen…so be sure to press play more than once.
While brief, this might be my favorite track on the EP. At first, you’re digging in, bobbing softly as the dream pop vibe has you transfixed. But, then Russell comes in singing in an almost R&B manner; it’s different than the preceding vibe, illustrating the band’s range and growth. I’m also super intrigued by these notes that come in and out of the album, almost as if they’re out of key, creating discord, before being pulled back into the mix.
“What to Do and When to Do It (Endless Crime)”
This is where the band starts to flex their musical muscles. Thus far in the EP, they’ve dallied with chiming guitars and switched time signatures, but here they really go for it. If you’re a shoegaze/dream pop fan, looking for musicianship, this is where you should start. Plus, they have that false ending that folds into an expansive atmospheric exploration to close the track, toying with sound until it fades out.
“Ok Tono Omepo”
This was the EPs first single, and what a remarkable number. The whole five minute journey seems like a brooding affair from that bass groove; it’s heavy, but it contrasts perfectly from the guitar lines that twist and turn in the front of the mix, allowing for a certain softness that comes through time and time again. It’s the perfect set up for the final moment in the EP.
“A Ways to Remain”
She Sir have always given us this softness in their work, and I think several albums in, this is the track that defines my expectations from the band…and yet it gives so much more. Vocals are breathy, like gasps from the beyond, while guitar lines sparkle and dance in and out of the foreground. Did I mention how incredible David Nathan is? It takes a steady hand to keep the group’s exploration as tight as it is, allowing everyone to go their own way and come back together. Then it all fades away into distortion and experiments in sound all the way to the close…leaving me with one final thought: She Sir are an experimental noise band, only they’re playing within the confines of their own pop sensibility, and no tune says that more than this!