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Wiretree, Royal Forest, The Astronaut Suit (Jennifer)

July 10, 2013

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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.

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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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Feverbones, The Astronaut Suit (Jennifer)

February 6, 2013

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Feverbones is a new Austin band consisting of members of the Eastern Sea, Dana Falconberry, and the Great Nostalgic. They’re releasing an EP this month; one of its highlights is Astoria, with its yearning, yet gentle vocals artfully accented with sparkling guitars, bubbling psychedelic organ riffs, and creative percussion. There will be a release party on February 21 at The Blackheart with the Plastic Habit and the Gorgeous Hands (2 up and coming local bands that are also worth checking out).

One of my Austin favorites from a few years ago, the Astronaut Suit, recently resurfaced with new songs and a new band lineup. Led by songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist, Jess Farr, the sound of The Astronaut Suit is a musical stew of influences – psychedelic rock, gospel, country, folk – that you don’t expect to blend together, but they do. The band’s own description is also fitting – “psychedelic soul.” Listen to their cover of the gospel song Precious Lord. You can hear the earnest, heartfelt delivery of the gospel lyrics delivered amidst the psychedelic folk background of the violin swells and the otherworldly sound of the oud. There’s also the blissed out vibe with its gospel tinged chorus on Pseudosex Television Blues. Both of these songs are from the Take My Hand EP, which is a free download on Bandcamp. I also highly recommend seeing them perform live; if you’re lucky you might just hear their psychedelic spin on Hank Williams’ classic tune, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry that will blow you away. They’re part of a “local night for local people” this Friday, February 8 at Frank, and then a Red River Noise showcase on Friday, March 1 at Frank.

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