Matthew Dear: “Bad Ones” ft. Tegan and Sara

Song of the Day

Matthew Dear: “Bad Ones” ft. Tegan and Sara

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017

Longtime dance-music bastion Matthew Dear (just one of his uniquely-flavored aliases) has been entrancing fans since the early 00’s, gaining a massive following in the underground electronic scene as well as a loyal fanbase within the music community itself, having remixes commissioned Hot Chip, the Postal Service, and the XX (to name a few). Also a tastemaker on the business end of the scene, Dear and longtime friend Sam Valenti IV co-founded the esteemed electronic label Ghostly International in 1999, signing artists like Tycho, Gold Panda, and School of Seven Bells, and its dancefloor-offshoot Spectral Sound a year later. For nearly the last two decades, Matthew Dear has carved himself a place in the plugged-in tapestry of underground electronica.

Dear follows-up his goth-pop gem “Modafinil Blues,” released in June, with something a bit sweeter on the ears and lighter on your feet, collaborating with Canadian pop-rock darlings (and Dear fans) Tegan and Sara to glide your 2017 summer soundscape to a soft, prudent ending. Of all the tangible and avant-garde genres Dear and his other aliases garner, this one lands hard in the “minimal techno” zone, but don’t mistake “minimal” for “uninteresting,” this slow-burner possess the perfect amount of momentum to keep your noggin bumping along the whole time, and through the inevitable repeats.

“Bad Ones” is available now via Ghostly International.

-Taylor Wallace// host, Thursdays 8P & Saturdays 2P; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli, SoundCheck Music News, and Song of the Day

The Sanco Loop: “Hot Year”

Song of the Day

The Sanco Loop: “Hot Year”

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017

Photo by Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUTX

After the end of the Austin band the Mercers, Peter Wagner bounced around the country, spending time in Idaho and Arkansas before getting pulled to West Texas. His new project, the Sanco Loop, tips its hat to all this circular motion. Sanco is a ghost town north of San Angelo that sits on a stretch of looping road. Coincidentally (or not), Wagner started writing songs for the project using a looping pedal before expanding into a full band. All these tributaries feed into The Sanco Loop, his just-released debut under the new name.

“Hot Year” ambles out of the gate with just guitar, bass, electronic beats, pedal steel, and Wagner’s dusty voice. It’s more concerned with letting in the space than filling it. “Not the one you knew before,” Wagner sings first, staking out this new territory. The song sounds like the end of something–a relationship, a feeling–and at the same time, it’s a beginning.

“Hot Year” appears on The Sanco Loop, out now.

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

Ila Minori: “Gritty Streets of Rome”

Song of the Day

Ila Minori: “Gritty Streets of Rome”

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017

Where one fruitful voyage ended, another is soon to begin for Ila Minori.  Inspired by her recent trip to Italy, the San Antonio-based singer-songwriter is eager to release her debut album. Brandishing folk-focused intimacy and anecdotal lyricism, Minori’s Traveling with Ghosts depicts the Mediterranean journey across this entrancing collection of original tunes.

Fitting the tone of the album’s title, “The Gritty Streets of Rome” brings a haunting and mesmerizing quality to Traveling with Ghosts and provides the basis for an upcoming video that was shot on location while in the titular city. Eager to begin the next adventure, a kickstarter to further promote Minori’s new record will be launched shortly after Traveling with Ghosts is released.

Catch the CD release party this Wednesday at the Townsend featuring a special acoustic set with local musicians Charles Prewitt (cello) and Alex Salinas (drums). You can also listen to Ila Minori right here on KUTX.

Jack Anderson (Host Monday-Wednesday 8-11pm, Saturday 6-10am)

Frankie Rose: “Trouble”

Song of the Day

Frankie Rose: “Trouble”

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017

Frankie Rose used to drum for the noisy New York bands Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls before moving to L.A. to pursue her own solo career. Interstellar, her 2012 debut under her own name, shot for the stars, trading her punk roots for sleek, gleaming dream-pop.

A few albums later, Rose found herself still in L.A. but pretty despondent, working a job she hated instead of touring. After a move back to New York, she slowly put together Cage Tropical, the title and album art a pretty explicit nod to her L.A. blues. But Rose still had her eye trained on the sky, crafting soaring songs despite a nonexistent budget.

“Trouble” sounds like a sci-fi version of the Shirelles, alternately cooing and cold. She says that horror movies were a big influence this time around, and you can hear it in the icy “trouble follows you” mantra that sits at the heart of the song. But there’s another side: trouble will always find you; it’s up to you to keep pushing and make art out of the mess.

“Trouble” appears on Cage Tropical, out now via Slumberland. Frankie Rose plays live in our Studio 1A on Wednesday, September 20 at 1 p.m. before playing the Barracuda the same night.

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

Ted Leo: “You’re Like Me”

Song of the Day

Ted Leo: “You’re Like Me”

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017

Ted Leo has long been indie rock’s beating heart, dressing up his punk fury with a grin. His songs with his band the Pharmacists aren’t necessarily optimistic–he often sings for the unwanted and the dispossessed–but they are incessant. Aimee Mann, who collaborated with Leo in the Both, recently observed that he always sings and plays just a fraction ahead of the beat,  a “straining-at-the-leash quality” that makes his music both righteous and kinetic.

Leo’s empathy comes from a real place. In a sobering article for Stereogum, he admitted he had been sexually assaulted as a kid; he and his wife also lost their daughter to a premature birth. The Hanged Man–Leo’s first album in seven years, and his first solely credited to him–deals with this emotional fallout. He recorded the bulk of it in his Providence, Rhode Island house, and you can hear that roominess, that sense of home. “You’re Like Me” is rough around the edges, weaving in and out of what sounds like a demo version of the song. But that roughness is integral to the radical empathy at the song’s heart. The unsaid message in so much music–and art in general–is a shared burden of imperfection. On “You’re Like Me,” Ted Leo is shouting that message loud and clear.

“You’re Like Me” appears on The Hanged Man, out now. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists play the Mohawk on October 28.

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