photo by ANGEL CEBALLOS
KUTX Artist of the Month
Austin’s Tele Novella say they take their inspiration from bands like the Velvet Underground, but their pop music is infused with a bit more spooky melodrama. Vocalist Natalie Gordon, who fronted the California outfit Agent Ribbons, slurs her words with narcotic charm, and she’s backed in shadowy hues by a band that includes a couple of members of the former Austin group Voxtrot, Tele Novella got their start in 2014, and caught a break when a song of theirs was featured in the ABC series ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Since then they’ve been touring, and when home in Austin, working with local producer Danny Reisch on their debut album, House of Souls, due out 9/23. They’ve got a KUTX After Hours show from Studio 1A airing live on 9/12, and a hometown record release party scheduled at Barracuda for – when else? – Halloween night.
Stream the track “Heavy Balloon” off their debut album House of Souls in the player below
Catch Tele Novella LIVE in Studio 1A on September 12th
Check back throughout the month for more from Tele Novella
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the boys in San Saba County, but they’re finally back with a new record titled Fifth. Perhaps it’s a nod towards Big Star, or maybe its a declaration of the Austin group’s undeniable longevity. Since their beginnings in the early 2000’s, San Saba County have gone through a few transformations. Originally drawing from the spring of alt-country heroes like Gram Parsons and the Silver Jews on their debut record East Does It, but like their forefathers, they’ve never been comfortable staying in the same place too long. Check out their latest sound in their Studio 1A session at the bottom of the page, or go see their album release show at Lambert’s this Friday, August 26th
Nori’s new record World Anew features two cover tracks; Nina Simone’s “Plain Gold Ring,” and “Arirang,” a Korean folk song, but the distance between the worlds those tune’s come from seems not so far with the Austin band’s fresh synthesis of jazz, folk, and world music. Nori’s debut full length dissolves divisions and builds bridges between world sounds with seemingly irreconcilable differences–its a sonic vision of a harmonious future, with Akina Adderley on vocals, Erik Telford on trumpet, Nick Litterski on keys, Aaron Allen on upright bass, and Andy Beaudoin on drums leading us towards it.
Nori joined John Aielli during Eklektikos this morning and played a few songs live on the air. If you missed it, you can check out their set at the bottom of the page.
In 2009, fifty or more young hipsters piled into a Berkeley, CA living room to listen to a man sing, with gruesome honesty, about his struggles with faith and marriage. The 19-year-olds were far removed from anything as real as marriage, and the Bay Area is, for the most part, a godless country, but everyone listened quietly despite the cosmic distance between their young lives and the adult ennui sung from the center of the room. I’m sure it was a magical experience, but I was trapped in a sea of sweat-filled jean jackets in the hallway.
David Bazan had already established indie rock tenure with his band Pedro the Lion years before he began his “living room shows” (which he still does today). Some musicians of his caliber may associate house shows with a darker, and hopefully never to be revisited time in their career, but for Bazan it seems the perfect venue for his uncomfortably intimate music. That is not meant as a knock towards the Seattle native–he just has a penchant for dredging up personal turmoils that some may not be brave enough to even tell close friends, let alone record them for thousands of people to hear. Bazan is a rare kind whose music is startlingly sincere in a time characterized by degrees of detachment or cynicism.
His continued insistence on playing small shows also speaks to Bazan’s dedication to his fans, as well as his bafflingly productive work ethic. The living room tours are only part of his routine of over 100 live shows a year, and he still somehow manages to record new material, releasing a new record titled Blanco this year, not to mention working with another project called Overseas, with Austin’s Will Johnson and Matt & Bubba Kadane of Bedhead and the New Year.
David Bazan came into Studio 1A and played an acoustic performance of some of his new material from Blanco. Check it out at the bottom of the page.
Louisiana native Dylan LeBlanc grew up surrounded by some of his area’s finest musicians–among them was his father, James LeBlanc, who was a longtime Muscle Shoals session player. Even considering his pedigree and the fertile musical soil he was raised upon, Dylan got an early start, writing his own songs by eleven, performing them by fifteen, and signed by U.K. label Rough Trade by nineteen. But coming up fast has its traps, and LeBlanc’s latest album, Cautionary Tale, is about exactly that.
From early on LeBlanc was described as “the new Neil Young,” and its an understandable comparison–the first guitar lick on his new album brings immediate thoughts of Harvest. However, the expectations that come with comparisons to a juggernaut like Neil Young would surely take its toll on any burgeoning musician, especially one as young as LeBlanc. Furthermore, the Louisiana native is clearly his own artist despite the occasional Neil Young-y sounding moments. LeBlanc never travels into the abrasively weird territories that Young frequented, and Dylan’s voice and delivery is much softer than the Canadian’s pained tenor. If there’s anyone to compare his voice to it’d be his label mate, Jim James, of My Morning Jacket–but that comparison falls short as well. LeBlanc has been haunted by overwhelming expectations from a young age, but Cautionary Tale is clear evidence that he is rockin’ his own path in the free world.