The Clientele: “Lunar Days”

Song of the Day

The Clientele: “Lunar Days”

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017

Photo by Andy Wilsher

The Clientele first ambled into my life in 2014 with the reissue of their 2000 debut, Suburban Light. That’s exactly how the Clientele moves. This is a band that ambles, never in a hurry to get anywhere. They’re all about atmosphere, especially on Suburban Light, a collection of lo-fi folk-pop that seems to perpetually live in some rainy, after-midnight dream state.

Since that debut, the Clientele has upped its production game across seven albums, using string sections but without sacrificing its intimate aesthetic. Singer and guitarist Alasdair MacLean is a direct disciple of ’60s songwriting, cycling through Lennon-esque lyrics and Zombies-inspired chord changes. Yet the Clientele doesn’t feel like some faux-psychedelic throwback. They’re a band out-of-time that sounds like its playing to an audience of one.

After seven years, the Clientele returns with Music For The Age Of Miracles. “Lunar Days” wanders the same London streets, set against a backdrop of cello, acoustic guitar, and a drum kit quietly ticking off the time. MacLean is “heading nowhere, with no place to really go,” but the scene he sets isn’t dull. He understands how strange and truly psychedelic an empty suburban landscape can be. There’s darkness at the edges; “this is the year the monster will come,” he hurriedly whispers. It’s old-sounding music for futuristic dreaming.

“Lunar Days” appears on Music For The Age Of Miracles, out September 22 via Merge.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

 

Slaid Cleaves: “Drunken Barber’s Hand”

Song of the Day

Slaid Cleaves: “Drunken Barber’s Hand”

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017

Photo by Karen Cleaves

“Craftsman” is a term that gets thrown around a lot with Slaid Cleaves. There’s nothing flashy to the veteran Austinite’s songs; he sings about manual laborers or war veterans trying to adjust to civilian life. As he says in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “I don’t feel any connection to the Dancing With the Stars, National Football League or CMT country music. I feel like I’m sort of living outside my culture in this little Americana world that we have. It’s a tiny part of the culture, but it’s very vibrant and has everything I need in it.”

But Cleaves still trains his incisive eye on the world at large. “I don’t need to read the papers or the tea leaves to understand / this world’s been shaved by a drunken barber’s hand,” he sings on “Drunken Barber’s Hand,” written with his longtime collaborator Rod Picott. The sad (or funny, depending on your mood) thing is, this song could have just as easily been written in 1517 as 2017. Perhaps more than anything, Cleaves keeps chipping away at the human condition, finding commonalities that unite the mainstream and the underground.

“Drunken Barber’s Hand” appears on Ghost On The Car Radio, out now. Slaid Cleaves plays an album release show at Stateside at the Paramount on July 16.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

My KUTX: Night Drive

Artist of the Month

My KUTX: Night Drive

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017

Night Drive is the KUTX Artist of the Month for June. Photo by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX.

Austin’s Night Drive makes music that’s, um, perfect for night driving. Their self-titled debut is sleek, stylish, and a little dangerous, offering a punked-up take on electronic music. And this week on My KUTX, Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon provide a hand-picked soundtrack for your very-own night drive, swerving between club bangers, punk howlers, and experimental favorites. Hear My KUTX on Saturday, June 24 at 6 p.m. or anytime at the bottom of the page.

–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX

Playlist:

1. Maethelvin – “Lost In The Big City”

2. Panama – “Always” (Classixx remix)

3. YACHT – “Le Goudron”

4. S.C.U.M. – “Faith Unfolds”

5. The Soft Moon – “Circles” (4:02)

6. Brian Eno & John Cale – “Spinning Away”

7. Crystal Castles – “Vanished” (4:03)

8. Bryan Ferry – “Don’t Stop The Dance” (Punks Jump Up remix)

9. The Spits – “Bring”

10. The Knife – “Neverland”

11. Wild Nothing – “To Know You”

12. The Walker Brothers – “The Electrician”

Ride: “All I Want”

Song of the Day

Ride: “All I Want”

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017

It can be impossible for artists to top a classic album, much less one right out of the gate. Britain’s Ride debuted with Nowhere in 1990, and alongside My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, it served as a foundational tent pole for shoegaze. But Ride never recreated their masterpiece, and they’re a better band for it. Instead, they spent the rest of the ’90s layering their honeyed wall-of-sound with hip-hop and pop. “Leave Them All Behind” became the band’s enduring mission statement, as hundreds of shoegaze wannabes popped up in Ride’s wake. A breakup in 1996 practically solidified the band in amber, and it was only a matter of time before they would sound ahead-of-the-curve again.

That moment hit at Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2015. Ride played Nowhere in its entirety, and its gooey sound slotted in perfectly with Toro y Moi, Future Islands, and CHVRCHES. And now, Ride is staying one step ahead yet again, staying together to put out its fifth album, Weather Diaries. The band gets a modern update, adding an electronic sheen to its past innovations. “All I Want” starts with sampled vocals, but it sprints into a gigantic, hooky chorus that sounds both airy and submerged under a guitar assault. It’s the sound of a band doing what it does best while speeding off into the future.

“All I Want” appears on Weather Diaries, out now.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

Brandon Luedtke: “Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World)”

Song of the Day

Brandon Luedtke: “Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World)”

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017

Brandon Luedtke is a young singer-songwriter who’s spent time in Dallas, Nebraska, and New York, but his debut full-length is an Austin album through-and-through. Made with the help of members of Whiskey Shivers and Mother Merey and the Black Dirt, Morning Light tips its cap towards Blaze Foley and Joe Ely with its acoustic story-songs. On “Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World),” real life keeps creeping up on Luedtke, but he offers up a campfire sing-along as a cure.

“Can’t Get Away (From The Way Of The World)” appears on Morning Light, out now. Brandon Luedtke plays Radio Coffee & Beer on Tuesday, June 20.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX