Synth-driven pop probably isn’t the first type of music that comes to mind when you think of Austin. Historically, we’re a guitar town with a rich garage and blues rock tradition going back decades. So when MAMAHAWK released their synth-laden self-titled debut album in 2015 it definitely caught our attention. Now, a few years on, the Austin three-piece consisting of James Reed, Adam Littman, and Brennan Howell return to their keyboards and drum machines for a new album. That doesn’t mean they’ve left the guitars at home, like their earlier work, MAMAHAWK leans on their considerable songwriting chops to create complex arrangements consisting of both electronic and acoustic instruments. Simple rhythms, guitar licks, and the occasional horn blossom into layers of synthesizers that can bounce from pop to funk to dance music over the course of a single track. Take a peek at their music video for “Lioness” below to get a taste.
8/8 – LIVE in Studio 1A at 8 p.m.
8/25 – Guest DJ on MY KUTX at 6 p.m.
*Swan Dive Residency*
9/1 @ Swan Dive at 12:30 a.m
9/8 @ Swan Dive at 12:30 a.m
9/15 @ Swan Dive at 12:30 a.m
9/22 @ Swan Dive at 12:30 a.m
9/29 @ Swan Dive at 12:30 a.m
We’re halfway through July and at this point, you probably know a little something about Austin group Night Glitter. Between John-Michael of The Happen-Ins, LouLou of Thievery Corporation and their talented backing band, it was a kind of a no brainer when picking Night Glitter as our July 2018 Artist of the Month!
Night Glitter first linked up in 2015 but only debuted their dreamy downtempo synthpop this past year with a handful of singles and their EP Hangin’ On A Dream. Night Glitter was kind enough to share their new sound with us in our own Studio 1A back in June, and if you haven’t heard them live, hop on the opportunity right now with “Tunnels”!
Night Glitter is the KUTX Artist of the Month for July. John Michael Schepf (L) and LouLou Ghelichkhani (center) are the guest DJs. Photo by Gabriel C. Pérez/KUTX.
Night Glitter’s two principals have really interesting musical resumes. LouLou Ghelichkhani sings with Thievery Corporation, and John Michael Schepf has played bass with Roky Erickson, Hayes Carll, and the Happen-Ins. As Night Glitter, the pair bring some dreaminess to the Austin scene with a debut EP called, unsurprisingly, Hangin’ On A Dream. We’re excited to have them guest DJ this week on My KUTX, digging deep into their shared influences. Those include everything from Austin psych-rock legends and Thievery collaborators to German electronic pioneers and even some weird country music thrown in for good measure. Hear Night Glitter’s My KUTX on Saturday, July 14, 6 to 7 p.m. or anytime at the bottom of the page. Night Glitter also plays Cheer Up Charlie’s on August 8.
–Art Levy // producer, My KUTX
[intro music: Night Glitter – “Believe”]
1. The 13th Floor Elevators – “Roller Coaster”
2. Edan – “Making Planets” (feat. Mr. Lif)
3. Nick Nicely – “On The Beach – The Ladder Descends”
4. Broadcast – “Black Cat”
5. Stereolab – “Percolator”
6. Harmonia – “Watussi”
7. Brian Eno – “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More”
8. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – “Love Comes In Spurts”
9. Alex Chilton – “I Wish I Could Meet Elvis”
10. David Bowie – “Suffragette City”
11. Ronnie Wood – “Mystifies Me”
12. Serge Gainsbourg – “Les locataires”
13. Mazzy Star – “Blue Light”
14. George Harrison – “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)”
Taking the influences from every corner of her life and turning them into a distinct musical style is something Loulou Ghelichkhani (Thievery Corporation) does with ease, all en français. In this iteration, her and partner John Michael Schoepf (The Happen-Ins) are putting a slacker rock twist on dream pop. Their inspiration this time? Keeping things quiet enough after the kids’ bedtime, though these fuzzy guitars and Middle Eastern-esque synths are anything but sleepy. Night Glitter stopped by Studio 1A before taking their new EP, Hangin’ On A Dream, on the road with shows at Waterloo Records and The Continental Club.
Get a taste of their set below, just as it was seen by our live audience and stay posted for more features from Night Glitter all month long!
7/14 @ 6 p.m. – My KUTX Guest DJ Set
7/10 @ 5 p.m. – Waterloo Records
7/11 @ Continental Club
Even among all the unique bands in Austin, the dozen or so members of the Golden Dawn Arkestra are standouts. Their name and flamboyant costumes evoke a continuation of the cosmic Sun Ra legacy. They’re that, but much more; part P-Funk, world beat, jam band, and not above the occasional psych rock freakout. Little wonder their fans blindly follow the band’s hypno-grooves from gig to gig. Their new release, Children of the Sun, produced by Austin’s Erik Wofford (Black Angels, Explosions in the Sky), delivers an expanding sonic palette but no hint of an increased focus. Rock, soul, jazz, funk… this is the sound of a band fleeing easy categorization. In other words, the perfect reflection of their hometown.
– Jeff McCord, KUTX Music Director