I loved listening to last year’s Thieves LP from Austin’s Alex Dupree, so I quickly penciled him in to catch at this year’s SXSW festival. But, seeing as Keeled Scales (his label) had already hipped us to his work, we wanted to make sure everyone else was aware, so we reached out with our set of questions and got some answers back.
We continue today with more introductions to artists who will be rolling into Austin during SXSW week; this one’s extra special as they’re working with our friends over at Keeled Scales. They also just released a brand new set of songs this past week, which you can hang out and listen to after getting to know the band a little bit below.
Having received great reviews with the release of Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp back in late 2021, Lunar Vacation have been on a bit of a high. They’ve released demos, recorded an Audiotree session, plus spun their view on some Christmas classics. But, today the band has a brand new single for you to taste, accompanied by a video shot in rural Tennessee. Once the song gets going, just beyond the 1 minute mark, you’re immediately greeted by Grace’s soothing voice over a soft percussive roll and gentle acoustic strum. It actually feels as if you’re walking side by side with the character in the video, traipsing about in those Tennessee foothills, perhaps with a little wind at your back. In the end, I got super stuck on the expansive nature; there’s this natural openness to the Atlanta group’s songwriting here that just immediately brings you on a journey. The tune is brought to you courtesy of Keeled Scales.
Why Bonnie is one of those local(ish) bands we feel like we grew up with as we were there from the beginning several years ago, the move away from town, and their rise in fandom over the past year. Of course much of this new found buzz has come after the release of the absolutely stunning, and ATH year end list hogging album, 90 in November. Since the band took their talents to the East Coast, we don’t get to see them live as much as we’d like, but they are back in town on Sunday with a headlining show at Antone’s downtown. Prior to the Sunday show, leading lady Blair was kind enough to answer a few burning questions about her band, their last album, and what the future holds. Hit the jump for Q&A along with ticket link and music.
It’s that time of year when singles begin to dry up a bit, and everyone’s already sending us a reminder of all the songs/records we should have covered. But, there’s still great music to be had, thus why we’ve got some real bangers to enjoy below. There’s the expected from Dry Cleaning; I mean you can’t miss that one anywhere. Personally, I think the Melby and Twain records are my highlights this week, so don’t skip out there…especially to Melby (if they were from the States or UK, they’d be huge). Then, we’ve got a few others, including a look at Lucid Express, who visit next week for Levitation. Plus, Paul Thomas Saunders new LP gets love.
Though Matthew Davidson has only been an Austinite for a short while, we have already welcomed him with open arms and view him as one of the absolute best songwriters in town. Under his recording moniker Twain, we’ve already been treated to a few new singles this year with his new album Noon coming next month via our friends at Keeled Scales. If you weren’t paying attention or weren’t on board with Twain’s tunes yet, this beautiful and intimate number “Walking II” is sure to turn you into a fan. You will find yourself moved and drawn to the emotional pull of this haunting song.
It takes nearly a minute for the rest of the band to catch up to Blair Howerton on Why Bonnie‘s newest single, which is fitting, as the song takes on a bit of a personal narrative about Blair being stuck in the middle of nowhere with an ex in Louisiana. But, while I love Blair’s voice, the song’s emotional appeal definitely gets upped when the drums hit and the song erupts, albeit subtilely. It’s one of the reasons the band’s forthcoming 90s in November feels so intimate; Howerton delivers this incredibly personal details in her storytelling, while the band builds the depth behind her; this song illustrates that point, with a perfect moment of punctuation in the chorus. We’ve always rated the band highly, and we’re looking forward to seeing how you all enjoy the LP; it drops on August 19th via Keeled Scales.
When Twain released “King of Fools” this past Winter, our contacts at Keeled Scales assured us there was a new LP on the horizon…and today we get to hear another single with news that the release is official! There’s something special brewing in these songs offering that sort of intimacy that permeates the soul. Still, there’s such depth and texture to what Mat Davidson is doing that you can’t help but to imagine this as the perfect soundtrack to any documentary on Americana. Really looking forward to hearing the entirety of this listen come the October release date, just in time for fireside listens. Noon is out 10.7 via Keeled Scales.
I’m really enjoying the storytelling aspect of Alex Dupree‘s new album, Thieves, and he continues that with the narrative he’s delivering on “The Seer.” According to Dupree, this track is a loose homage to Annie Jackson, a famed Texas seer “who could see the future but couldn’t really take advantage of what she saw.” It’s all set to the music of a strum that feels like a slow chugging steam engine rolling steadily down the lines, with a harmonica for a horn to break into the song and deliver some variation to the sonic texture. If you’re into storytelling, I have a feeling you’re going to love Thieves; it drops on July 15th via Keeled Scales.
After a nice bit of success with their Voice Box EP, and a move to New York, Why Bonnie are ready to announce their debut, 90 in November. And, despite a move up North, they’re still keeping it Austin, working with our own Keeled Scales to keep the Texas ties intact. That return seems to tie in with the theme for their debut, as the press releases describes the album as “a road trip through Texas,” which is perhaps informed by the reflective nature facing songwriter Blair after a major life change such as her move to NYC. The song keeps the band’s playful guitar pop throughout, giving a little bit of punch in the latter half to really kick the song into gear. Looks to me like the band are offering up good vibes and good memories; we’re stoked to hear the rest of 90 in November; it drops on August 19th.