We got some great music last week, either in single form, or in album form, so we’re grateful for last week. We collected all the jams from last week and put them on your doorstep in this light little playlist. We start off with the great new Say Eyed Beatniks tune, which incidentally is not called Hysterial Roosters, but rather “Hysterical Rooters.” Plus, our friends in Good Looks announced an LP with our other friends, Keeled Scales, so double win there. And, there’s a few jams from great records from Artsick, Good Good Blood and Jana Horn, so sit back and enjoy the day. P.S…I thought I was clever bookending it with Bay Area hits.
Austin’s Good Looks has been banging about for a few years now, but they’re finally ready to drop their debut LP, Bummer Year. On this first single you get Tyler Jordan’s drawl stretching across an expanse of West Texas, vast and open, with little behind it aside from a light light strum and cymbal. Suddenly, the bass and drums drop in and the song begins to soar, with Jordan’s vocals stretching even further in the chorus. Really, it’s all about the chorus throughout, pushing the band into a more traditional rock territory that bridges the band’s home state and the modern musical climate. Expect good things from Good Looks, with Bummer Year out on April 8th via Keeled Scales.
It’s been a few years since RF Shannon last graced us with a full length, and it looks like we’ll have to wait as the band are in the studio putting on finishing touches to the follow up to the excellent Rain on Dust. But, they’ve tossed out this new single to tide us over in the meantime, a brilliant mix between sea shanty and smoky barnstormer. Despite Shane Renfro’s tumbleweed-like voice rolling across the song’s horizon, there are a few moments when the spirit shines through like at the 1:38 mark where you get this slight chill running up your spine. Another striking entry into the band’s catalog, and just enough brilliance to hold us over ’til the new LP is ready. Oh, and hats off to Jordan Moser for the direction on the video, which features some really great visual images spliced with live band footage; the track appears courtesy of Keeled Scales.
Katy Kirby will release Cool Dry Place next week via Keeled Scales, but as we approach that date, there’s another single to share illustrating the range of the record. While “Traffic” gave us a playful pop side of Kirby, and the album’s title track was a little more expansive, this new one feels super intimate and personal. The song is all about Katy’s vocals stretching over a solitary piano line, solemnly addressing an unknown character. A close hear will hear a faint tinkering of what appears to be bells and out of tune strings, just filling out the little dark corners of the track, with every detail given full attention. I loved the tonal push around the 2:30 mark, where it feels like the recording was done in some old wooden cabin with a lone piano and a mic. It’s a beautiful addition to the forthcoming LP, which drops on February 19th.
Let’s face it…this is the year that Sun June goes big. We’ve long backed the band for huge things, and with Run for Cover in their corner (along with friends Keeled Scales too!), the expectations for the Austin quintet are super high! Luckily for you, they’ve got the music to back that up, as you can hear in the band’s final single before Somewhere drops in early February. For starters, this is probably my favorite vocal performance from Laura too; her voice has this graceful majesty that rides the crest of the song as the video courses through these nostalgic videos that resonate with the track’s lyrical content. A little over a month and you can grab the LP on February 5th.
The new Sun June is simply indescribable. I’ve attempted to pigeonhole it, make clever comparisons, express my initial thoughts…but for all that effort, I have no words. It’s like this magnificent quicksand; I’m watching myself sinking into an unknown abyss, yet as this song plays in the background, I’m not unhappy. In fact, this song feels like just letting things be. It has movement, thus the choreography, but at times, its so patient and unobtrusive that it just swirls about your head dizzyingly. Some songs are better left without my detailing; they speak for themselves. Look for Somewhere next February via Run For Cover/Keeled Scales.
On Katy Kirby‘s latest single from her much anticipated Cool Dry Place LP I’m really in love with the way she uses the song’s storytelling to naturally build tension. The exposition has this careful fragility, mostly Kirby working her voice over ornate guitar play and light percussion; you can feel the volume grow, moving towards a more pronounced moment. But, even then, it’s a false dawn of sorts, as there’s still a more pronounced presence coming down the line…a climax of sorts…all this powerful storytelling, and that’s not even getting into Kirby’s lyrical content. She’s at the top of her craft here, and there’s no looking back. Expect big things when Cool Dry Place drops via Keeled Scales on February 19th.
Down here in Austin, our friends over at Keeled Scales have been raving about the incredible songwriting prowess of Katy Kirby, and today…lets hope the world is listening. She announces Cool Dry Place with this incredible video for “Traffic,” a song dedicated to a former partner who seemed determined to revel in his own trials rather than realize that “nobody has it better than you.” Her sound, perhaps influenced by her childhood singing in church definitely has a pop bent to it, though you can hear her pulling away from those tendencies. Honestly, take the work of my favorite Rosie Tucker and maybe sprinkle a little sugar on top; it’s got this great playful vocal that’s highly rewarding. You can grab the debut LP (it’s a Vincy Vaughn reference right?) on February 19th from Keeled Scales.
With the release of “Singing” last month, we all knew Sun June had something cooking; today they officially announce the release of their new LP, Somewhere, handled by Run for Cover and Keeled Scales. For me, I’m not sure what’s more striking at this point…the song or its accompanying video. I love the use of light and shadow in the video, directed by the band’s own Laura and Stephen, but damned if the song doesn’t blow the rest of the musical competitors out of the water. The song, trickles in around forlorn notes and Colwell’s solemn delivery; you’re almost oblivious to the subtle tension building, bursting through near the 2:50 mark to deliver an emphatic sonic euphoria that solidifies the song’s greatness. The LP will be out in February of next year!
Austin’s Sun June probably need no introduction out there, but rest assured, they’re one of the best exports we’ve had in our fair city in a good bit. Today we get news that they’re signing on to work with Run for Cover Records (they’ll still work with Keeled Scales too!) for their next album, slated for release in 2021. They’ve made said announcement with a new single, and a video featuring their local ATX neighborhood. It’s hard not to be mesmerized by Colwell’s voice in this one, with this powerful softness that exudes confidence. Behind her, the band work on creating this delicate space, perfecting notes that hang in a Hill Country landscape. Simply put, this song feels like home. Look for more from the band as we try to escape 2020.