Tag Archives: royal forest

Show Of The Week

January 17, 2018


I know that getting out for a show in icy Austin seems ludicrous right now, but the weather is actually supposed to be much more tolerable by tomorrow.  So, I believe that means you have no excuse to not go to Cheer Up Charlie’s tomorrow night for a rad local affair that features My Golden Calf, Royal Forest, Linen Closet and Jana Horn.  Have fun!

BONUS Recommendations:

- Aimee Mann, Jonathan Coulton at the Paramount Theater

- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Night Beats at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
- Hiss Golden Messenger at 3ten ACL Live

- The Dream Syndicate, Erika Wennerstrom (of Heartless Bastards) at 3ten ACL Live
- Jessica Lea Mayfield, Sun Seeker at Barracuda
- The Crystal Method at Empire Control Room
- Bon Iver at ACL Live at the Moody Theater
- Otis Wilkins, Sun June at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Scott H. Biram at the Continental Club
- Brockhampton at Emo’s

- Pinback, Major Entertainer at the Mohawk
- Bon Iver at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

- Bon Iver at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

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Royal Forest (Dan)

April 1, 2016


When I moved to Austin eight years ago, the first local band that caught my eye (ear?) was Loxsly. Their haunting track Lamprey Eels was a space pop gem that was burrowed into my brain for months. Eventually, Loxsly became Royal Forest. In the intervening years, and over numerous releases, the band has developed a reputation for experimentation as they’ve continually expanded their sound. So it’s not surprising that the new album from these indie rock stalwarts marks another substantial shift for the group.

Rural Forest is a collection of eight country and western hits by artists such as Conway Twitty, Buck Owens, International Submarine Band, and Lloyd Green. Most of the Royal Forest band members have moonlighted in country bands and in doing so they developed an appreciation for classic country and western music. For the most part, the band is faithful to the original versions of the songs but each track on the album contains subtle but distinctive Royal Forest elements.

In what would have completely shocked a younger version of myself, I’ve been on quite a country music kick over the past year. Seeing Loretta Lynn at SXSW this year was a near religious experience for me. Listening to Rural Forest has only caused me to go further down the rabbit hole as I explore the catalogs of each artist covered. Needless to say, I adore this record.

:Royal Forest – Why You Been Gone So Long:
:Royal Forest – Dim Lights Thick Smoke:

To hear the the entire Rural Forest record performed live head to Sidewinder tonight!

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45 RPMs Around The Sun: A Birthday Party For Jennifer Leduc

January 14, 2015


Hello! I’m Jennifer Leduc and I’ve been a resident and lover of Austin and its music scene for 17+ years. I’ve also been a contributor here at Side One Track One since October 2011. My actual birthday (January 6th) falls during Austin Free Week, which is a fantastic gift as a local music fan, but circumstances didn’t allow holding an event during that time. So, I’m celebrating a little later than usual.

Please make a note to drop by Studium (on East 5th St, a block from I-35) this Saturday! The show is free and open to the public. Music will kick off with the adventurous indie rock of Royal Forest. They will then be followed by the dynamic duo of Demitasse performing their harmonic brand of downbeat acoustic pop. I couldn’t resist inviting them as members, Erik Sanden and Joe Reyes (who also play together in Buttercup) played at my 40th birthday bash. The party continues with the melodic sounds of Good Field. In spring 2012, I fell under the spell of their mellow, swirling guitar pop. It’s hard to articulate why I love their songs. They just simply make me happy. The final band and musical icing on the cake is Feverbones. When I first heard them, I was an instant fan of their groovy, colorful indie pop and blown away by their top notch musicianship. Whether you can stay for one band or all four, I would love for you to stop by and say hi. Kudos and thanks to all of the bands and the staff at Studium and Punctum Records.

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Summer Swells (Jennifer)

June 25, 2014


Just in time for the summer season, Austin’s Summer Swells have released a new single titled The Herbalist (b/w Intentions).  The title track feels like a country dance hall meets beach party with its surf rock vibe, tambourine crashes, twangy, reverb soaked guitar riffs and vintage Hammond organ fills. The B-side takes you just to the country dance hall with its winsome, mournful vocals and slow dance shuffle.

If you can’t make it over to the Blackheart on Friday for the SOTO PRESENTS show with Major Major Major, The Mole People and Löwin, then you should consider attending Summer Swell’s single release party at Cheer Up Charlie’s. It’s a solid show that also includes the adventurous indie rock of Royal Forest, who are working on the follow up to the stellar 2013 album, and the sunny, laid back grooves of Sounds Del Mar, who are planning to release their first full length this summer.

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Deleted Scenes (Dan)

April 16, 2014


Did you get your taxes done on time? Perhaps you got an unexpected return and are looking for fun ways to spend your tax refund? Well then I have some suggestions for you.

Yesterday the beloved DC band Deleted Scenes released their third full length album and I’m hear to tell you, it’s phenomenal. Lithium Burn is the follow up to the much heralded Young People’s Church Of The Air and it marks yet another leap for the band. Trying to compared Deleted Scenes to other bands or accurately characterize their sound is near impossible. The group strives to expand their range not just on each album, but in each song. I guess the best description would be experimental art rock performed with brutal honesty and sincerity. Let’s just say this is not your usual indie pop rock.

Lead singer Dan Scheuerman’s lyrics have a confessional quality that gives each song a certain power and fire. He exposes his own fragility and self-doubt without reservation. Sometimes it’s alluring and moving like on You Get To Say Whatever You Want and sometimes it’s jarring like on Stutter. Either way the tracks will impact you like few bands today are capable of doing.

The new record also does a brilliant job of capturing the essence of a Deleted Scenes live performance. This is no easy feat and is a tribute to both the band and the album producers. The group has honed its craft over many years and countless shows and they have evolved into one of the tightest and most talented bands you’re likely to see.

So do yourself a favor and make your way down to Holy Mountain on Saturday night for the Deleted Scenes show with Royal Forest and Brass Bed. And while you’re there, treat yourself to a vinyl copy of Lithium Burn. I can’t think of a better way to spend that money from Uncle Sam.

:Deleted Scenes – You Get To Say Whatever You Want:

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Stream This

February 7, 2014


From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Speedy Ortiz – Real Hair EP

Cynic – Kindly Bent To Free Us
Cheatahs – Self Titled
Total Slacker – Slip Away
Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials
Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All
The Casket Girls – True Love Kills The Fairy Tale
The Burlies – Self Titled EP
Cibo Matto – Hotel Valentine
Illum Sphere – Ghosts Of Then And Now
Helms Alee – Sleepwalking Sailors
Majestico – When Kingdom Come
El Ten Eleven – For Emily EP
Com Truise – Wave 1 EP
Secret Colours – Positive Distractions: Part 1
Temples – Sun Structures


The Julie Ruin

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Free Week: No Play Music, Cheer Up Charlie’s (Jennifer)

January 8, 2014


I’ve been out of town visiting family, so I’m having to make the most of Austin’s Free Week on just this Saturday night. You will for sure find me at the Mohawk as SOTO is the one of the sponsors for the No Play Music showcase. The show features some SOTO favorites such as Borrisokane, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, and The Sour Notes.

Be sure to show up early and check out the 60s girl group meets 80s new wave sounds of Party Girl (featuring members of The Carrots) and the eclectic dance party sounds of Holiday Mountain and Whiite Walls.

:Whiite Walls – Easy Love:

I’m also hoping to stop by Cheer Up Charlie’s as they will be saying farewell to their space via an outstanding selection of bands over three nights this weekend. Some bands I really enjoy are playing on Saturday, including Royal Forest, Young Girls, and Little Radar.

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2013 SOTO Staff Picks

December 18, 2013

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It wouldn’t be fun if only I just rambled along about what I liked this year, so I reached out to my very diverse staff for their Top 5 Albums of 2013.  I think you’ll see that the SOTO clan like a lot of different things.  Enjoy.

You know what can, sometimes, kind of blow? Getting old. Yup, watching the old life clock tick on by, the responsibilities of life pile around your ears, those precious moments when you could just wile away an hour or five listening to a handful of new records. Well kiddies, those days are dead. Nowadays I’m happy if I can listen to the new Lil’ Wayne single more than a few times when I’m driving to the gym to work my gut out with my trainer Francis. What I’m getting at here is that though I wish my list was full of a shocking selection of diverse and mind-expanding music, well, it’s not. I stand by each and all of these picks but I can’t say I did the extra work this year to blow any minds.

Forgive me, and enjoy.

5. The National – If I Stay Here, Trouble Will Find Me
4. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
3. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin
2. Fuzz – S/T
1. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City

In keeping with my column, I fully intended to select nothing but chick-fronted albums in 2013. Laura Marling was one of my most-streamed, and my girl Neko’s latest was an insta-fave. But once I got back to looking at things, I realized my list was a little more eclectic than anticipated. Vampire Weekend never ceases to be the catchiest around, and Local Natives continue to lyrically break my heart with everything they put out. And there’s nothing like a little Washed Out to soundtrack a Sunday afternoon. Notable mention? Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds stopped by KCRW, resulting in a record store day release that I haven’t stopped listening (and crying) to since purchasing.

Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle
Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
Washed Out – Paracosm
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City
Local Natives – Hummingbird

I see it this way … 2010 was the first date, 2011 was the good times, 2012 was the breakup, and 2013 was when music took some “me” time. That does not mean this year did not generate some great or even classic records, it does mean that there was some experimentation that may or may not have worked out so well; see Drumgasm. That being said, there was still plenty of illuminations happening all over the musical cosmos in 2013. Labels like Chapter Music and Paradise of Bachelors killed it this year, as did Bedroom Suck and Fire Records. Though some more successful than others, 2013 saw artists and bands the world over restate time honored sounds and genres.

5. Fat History Month – Bad History Month (Exploding In Sound)
4. The Stevens – A History Of Hygiene (Chapter Music)
3. Purling Hiss – Water On Mars (Drag City)
2. Dick Diver – Calendar Days (Chapter Music)
1. Steve Gunn – Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors)

When I received my assignment to pick my Top 5 albums for the year, I thought that It would be a piece of cake: “5 albums? No problem.” But then I started to recall the various new releases from this year and felt twinges of panic and regret: “Who do I choose ? Who do I leave off the list ?”. I don’t have a complicated system for deciding on favorites; it usually comes down to what I listened to the most.  The focus for my 2013 Top 5 are all Austin-based artists, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy records from bands from other places. This year was also a fantastic year for some outstanding releases from some of my favorite local bands. They all share a common love for melodies, harmonies, and top notch songwriting.

Royal Forest – Spillway
Black Books – Black Books
Wiretree – Get Up
The Zoltars – Walking Through The Dark
Yum – Take My Blue / Santiago Dietche – Waxing And Roaring (tie)

This year there have been some amazing metal releases, I am not even giving lip service about my genre, it has been incredible the caliber of albums coming out, and to narrow it down to five, I had to switch a few things around from other lists I have made. Excluding Dillinger Escape Plan, Cult of Luna, Arsis, Black Dahlia Murder and All Pigs Must Die is heart wrenching, but these five bands have created some of the best music metal has heard in two decades. From noisy extremes like Nails, to groove laden jams on the new Clutch album, and the rebirth of the dormant Carcass to win the top spot on every list I have done.  So let it be written, so let it be done, the best metal albums of the year are:

5. Nails – Abandon All Life (Southern Lord)
4. Kvelertak – Meir (Roadrunner)
3. Clutch – Earth Rocker (Weathermaker)
2. Protest The Hero – Volition (Razor And Tie)
1. Carcass – Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)

Hey, everybody! It may surprise you that here in my natural habitat of the music blog, I am supremely uncomfortable making lists.  Yes, I listen to a lot of music, and yes, there is stuff I like more than other stuff, but really when it comes down to taking my favorite albums from an entire year and ranking them on such a fine gradient, I just get miserable and ambivalent.  There was a lot of great hip hop produced this year and these are all great albums, and these are only in an order because John Laird forced me to do it.

5. Shad – Flying Colours
4. Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady
3. Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
2. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
1. Danny Brown – Old

2013 was a big year for pop music. Miley’s tongue was inescapable, British teens ran rampant, and through it all I reveled in the weirdness. The latter half of this year found me really embracing my not-so-guilty pleasure of pure female fronted pop, so I thought I should theme my Top 5 to mainstream pop with female vocalists. Specific enough for ya? But after all, there’s so much of it, sometimes you need a spirit guide. Like Katy Perry–those of you who wrote her off for bubblegum pop need to check out Prism, where her dark side shines and emotions run rampant. And Ariana Grande–the next in line for a breakout from the Disney dynasty actually has the pipes to back it up, and I can’t stop spinning her tracks. Meanwhile, singles shine for Lady Gaga’s Artpop, where any track could be a hit–and Do What U Want is climbing charts for a reason. None of the Lana Del Rey songs on 2013′s Tropico are new–all taken from last year’s Paradise–but these three songs might be her best so far and provide an excellent primer for burgeoning Lana fans. Number one couldn’t go to anyone but Lorde–sure, brush her off as a one hit wonder, but I’d take Tennis and Ribs over Royals any day–it’s an incredible album.

5. Katy Perry – Prism
4. Lady Gaga – Artpop
3. Ariana Grande – Yours Truly
2. Lana Del Rey – Tropico
1. Lorde – Heroine

So 2013 was pretty good year for music, yes? My thirst for catchy punk rock and fuzzy garage rock was quenched throughout the year. There were a bunch of albums I loved that did not make the very top of my list. I’m looking at you Ty Segall, Bad Sports, Mind Spiders, A Giant Dog, and Thee Oh Sees. I love you all but there can only be five:

5. Radioactivity – Radioactivity
4. Vaadat Charigim – The World Is Well Lost
3. Sweet Talk – Pickup Lines
2. Mikal Cronin – MCII
1. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold

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2013 Austin Essentials: Volume 1

November 25, 2013


A couple of weeks back I was thinking about my annual Top 50 Songs/Top 25 Albums lists (expect those to start on 12/2), and it dawned on me that I should do something separate specifically for Austin.  So, I did.  There’s no particular ranking to anything in Austin Essentials, I just wanted to share with you some local stuff that I liked a lot this year.  There’s 45 entries (culled from a group of about 70-80) that are spread out over three 15-track volumes, so look for a post tomorrow and then another on Wednesday.  Enjoy.

By the way, if I had one goal for SOTO this year, it was to try and include more mentions for Austin artists.  Overall, I think we did a solid job, but there’s definitely room to improve.  Hit me up if you have any suggestions for us as we head into 2014.

:A Giant Dog – All I Wanted:  Sabrina Ellis is one of Austin’s most dynamic singers, and there isn’t a single song on A Giant Dog’s Bone where her enthusiasm doesn’t shine through.  This pop punk gem is my favorite track on the album.  Find A Giant Dog on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Grape St – A Date With You:  Harlem’s indefinite hiatus has now formed three great bands – Lace Curtains, Daytona, and Grape St.  If you dig this song, then definitely pick up the album A Date With You.  All of the other tracks on it are just as catchy.   Find Grape St on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Laughing – Disappear:  The Laughing kind of dropped off the planet for a while, but this year they made their return via Oscillation, a 10-track effort that features some really nice pop rock tunes.  Find The Laughing on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Sour Notes – Do What May:  The Sour Notes may be great friends of mine, but I can honestly say they’re listed here because they earned it.  They’re one of Austin’s hardest working bands and their upcoming album, Do What May, is a really solid prog pop effort.  Find The Sour Notes on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Borrisokane – Amelia Fucking Earhart (A.F.E.):  For those of you who like your pop music to have an experimental side to it, there’s Borrisokane’s Murdering Teeth EP.  I think it’s one of the more quirky (in a good way, of course) listens to come out of Austin in 2013.  Find Borrisokane on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Love Inks – Time:  Love Inks are a quality act, but they don’t seem to have the biggest of followings in Austin.  We should figure out a way to change that.  The band’s album, Generation Club, is a must if you like minimalist pop.  Find Love Inks on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Whiite Walls – Easy Love:  When I wanted something dancey this summer I either tossed on Daft Punk’s Get Lucky or Whiite Walls’ Easy Love.  You can’t listen to it and not want to move.  Here’s hoping the band doesn’t take too long to put out an official effort.  Find Whiite Walls on FB here.

:Knifight – In The Fire:  Their name makes them sound like a punk band, but they’re actually more of a New Order/Future Islands type – dark and synthy.  Their debut, Dark Voices, is an intense but good listen.  Find Knifight on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Zorch – We All Die Young:  I love this track.  It’s wild and raw and should only be listened to at the sort of volume that makes your neighbors angry.  Find Zorch on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Boyfrndz – Water Weight:  Boyfrndz are one of Austin’s better experimental rock acts, and I thought they did a good job of proving that on their Natures EP.  Find Boyfrndz on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Major Major Major – Scream Queen:  I was a late adopter of this track, but once I did I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head.  Talk about infectious.  If we’re lucky, the duo will wrap their EP sooner rather than later.  Find Major Major Major on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Genuine Leather – Head Wound:  Chris Galis (from the Gorgeous Hands) heads up this breezy pop act.  Viper (Found A Good Place For My Love) is the other single that the band put out this year, and it’s also worth your time.  Find Genuine Leather on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Royal Forest – Goldwallpaper:  Over the years Royal Forest have really become a fine pop band.  If for some reason you didn’t check out Spillway, then seek it out.  It’s a nice listen.  Find Royal Forest on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Walker Lukens – Dear Someone:  Walker Lukens somewhat recently made the jump from NYC to Austin, and I’m happy that he did.  The guy knows how to write a good pop song.  Find Walker Lukens on FB here, and buy his music here.

:Yum – Take My Blue:  Yum just sort of popped onto my radar one day over the summer, and ever since then I’ve been a big fan.  Their album, Take My Blue, has a lot on it that plays like a lighter version of Warpaint.  Find Yum on FB here, and buy their music here.

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Royal Forest (Video Premiere)

September 12, 2013


The last time I saw Royal Forest play they started up their final song, got a minute a into it, and then promptly got cut off by the sound guy.  This is usually something that makes a crowd shrug their shoulders and move on, but Austin’s finest at the Mohawk that night instead let out an audible awww.  That’s because the band is good, and everyone wants more.

To get some, there’s the choice to wait until they play the Scott Inn on September 21, or you can just jump below now and check out the premiere of their Cody Ground-directed video for the rather fine pop number Goldwallpaper.

The band released Spillway over the summer.  You can check it out here.

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Wiretree, Royal Forest, The Astronaut Suit (Jennifer)

July 10, 2013


With the release of their fourth album, Get Up, Wiretree continues to bring together genres and influences ranging from power pop to indie pop, rock and folk. There’s the driving guitar pop on the title track So Bold and In The City (Rail), shades of melancholy indie rock on To The Moon, Out Of My Mind and When You Were Young, and hints of 60s/70s folk on Marching Band, Easychair and Doctor. Wiretree creates smart melodic gems that are uplifting, memorable, and heartfelt. This is genuine, thoughtful songwriting worth embracing and supporting. Keep in the mind the words sung in Get Up – “Only good things matter in the end.”

The band is celebrating their album with a release show on Friday at Lamberts with their friends, The Lennings and Grand Marais. This is a solid, triple bill in an intimate, warm setting.


Another album I’ve been eagerly anticipating is Spillway by Royal Forest. I have been enjoying their new songs during their live performances over the past year, and the album is a fine example of the adage, “Good things come to those who wait.”

Royal Forest have created a sound where the experimental meets the accessible; it’s a world where analog tape loops and catchy pop hooks happily co-exist and songs are recorded in a submarine and tiny airplane as well as a recording studio. The world of Spillway is colored in with psychedelic pop swirls and hints of hazy Americana. This record takes me on a musical road trip that I don’t want to end; the songs combine feel good nostalgia with hints of melancholy and longing along with a healthy sense of adventure and embracing the unknown.

The band is holding their album release show this Friday at Holy Mountain with Tiger Waves, Frank Smith, and Your Friendly Ghost. This is an excellent bill to kick off your weekend.

The Astronaut Suit are also holding a record release show for their Take My Hand EP on July 12 at The Mohawk. They have created their own take on psychedelic rock (Wake Up Scared, Not In Love) by adding elements of gospel (Precious Lord), folk (Take My Hand), and soul (Pseudosex Television Blues).  The songs are powerful and moving; lead singer and guitar player Jess Farr has an honest, convincing stage presence that I highly encourage you to witness for yourself.

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Stream This

June 7, 2013


The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.


Deafheaven – Sunbather
Black Sabbath – 13
Surfer Blood – Pythons
Disclosure – Settle
Hyetal – Modern Worship
Close – Getting Closer
Sonny And The Sunsets – Antenna To The Afterworld
CSS – Planta
Rodan – 15 Quiet Years
Gold Panda – Half Of Where You Live
Airhead – For Years


Vampire Weekend recently released Modern Vampires Of The City.

Sigur Ros will put out Kveikur on June 18 via XL Recordings.

Gauntlet Hair will set free Stills on July 16 via Dead Oceans.

The Gorgeous Hands released their debut, Tender, last month.

Royal Forest will release Spillway on July 9 via

Cold War Kids’ Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is out now.  They play Stubb’s on August 22.

The XX’s Coexist is out now.

Rathborne will release Soft on July 15 via Dilettante Records.

The Purrs will put out The Boy With Astronaut Eyes on June 18 via Fin Records.

The Boy Least Likely To released The Great Perhaps earlier this year.

Small Multiples released a self titled album last month.

Major Major Major are expected to put out a new EP (with this song on it) sometime later this year.

Morningbell put out Boa Noite last month.

Matthew Squires And The Learning Disorders’ How to Combust Your Life is available now.

Typhoon will put out White Lighter on August 20 via Roll Call Records.

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Royal Forest, The Rocketboys, The Preservation (Jennifer)

November 14, 2012


In the latest episode of Hardly Sound, we get to follow Royal Forest on some of their recent adventures. The band literally ascends to new heights when they perform and record the song, John Denver, in a plane (a Piper Cherokee N246JB, to be precise) 5,000 feet above Austin. It takes a few viewings to accept the fact that the band committed to fit themselves into a tiny plane to record a song simply because they had the opportunity. I love the reactions of Cody Ground (vocals, keyboards) and Justin Douglas (guitar) toward the end of the episode with their giddy yet relieved expressions – “Can you believe that shit worked ?!?!” It makes the typical struggles that bands goes through seem trivial in comparison – such as barely over a dozen people showing up to your gigs. That last statement comes from personal experience. It was a Friday night show with an all local bill of bands. Royal Forest was on first, and pardon the overused expression, but they absolutely killed it. I looked around the venue during their set and thought “this band is great and I wish more people were here to see them.” Enough with the lecture from me. I encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open for this band. You never know when you might find yourselves on an unexpected adventure.

I can almost hear some of you say “But I can’t stay out late on a weeknight and I’m broke.”  I feel your pain.  For tonight, though, I do have a solution. If you’re in Austin, you can see The Rocketboys and The Preservation for FREE at Threadgill’s South. Doors open at 5:30, show starts at 7 pm, and it’s all ages. Both bands are playing as part of KGSR’s Discovery Series. You can indulge your love for Southern comfort food and “comfort music” … which I like to describe as music that satisfies and makes you happy.

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Royal Forest, Hardly Sound (Dan)

September 26, 2012


Royal Forest (Loxsly at the time) was one of the Austin bands I really got into after moving here. I loved Lamprey Eels off their Flashlight EP. It was (and remains) a brilliant piece of psychedelic pop rock. Since that early introduction, I’ve enjoyed the evolution of the band as they have added more experimental elements and guitar-driven tracks to their music (best displayed on their Tomorrow’s Fossils record).

Royal Forest has just finished recording their next album (due out in the Spring) and are releasing an EP by the end of the year. I was very pleased to hear the news and am proud that Side One Track One is the first to premiere the song The Rails off of the yet-to-be-named EP.

:Royal Forest – The Rails:

I had a chance to discuss the new recordings with Cody Ground (vocals, keyboards) and Justin Douglas (guitar). I was curious about the approach for this record. Past efforts were very thematic, not concept records per se, but there was definitely a unified direction in the songs. However, Cody and Justin say that is not as necessarily the case on the new tunes. While the lyrics were influenced by southern rural imagery (and many hours of listening to Townes Van Zandt) the music itself isn’t as rustic. As evidenced on The Rails, the band retains its trademark textures and stellar guitar work but it’s done with more of a lo-fi sound. They made a conscious decision to not to over think and continually tinker with the tracks, and instead opted for live tracking to tape to really capture the live energy and essence of the band. It shows on The Rails and I’m very anxious to hear both the upcoming EP and next year’s album.

If you’re like me and want to hear more of the new songs, be sure to check out Royal Forest on October 18 at the Mohawk. They’ll be sharing the stage with The Dig and The We Shared Milk. Can’t make the show you say? Well, keep an eye out for them on an upcoming episode of Hardly Sound on KLRU-Q (Austin’s PBS station for those who don’t do call letters).

If you haven’t heard of Hardly Sound yet, you need to check it out. It’s a documentary series that highlights the best in Texas music. They have crafted their own unique style, and based on the previews now available, they’ll have plenty of interesting stories to share. Plus, a whole bunch of good music.

Hardly Sound is just getting off the ground, though, and needs your support. I highly encourage you to help out your local community, the arts, and Texas music by visiting this page and pledging a few bucks to keep the Hardly Sound film rolling. In return you’ll get a great series on Texas underground music AND a lovely parting gift like a custom postcards, pins, a t-shirt, songs, and maybe even a Producer credit! Do it now!

The next Hardly Sound episode is October 1st on KLRU-Q at 11PM. It features garage rock gods the Bad Lovers. Check out the preview below:

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