If you’ve been longing for a marriage of deep house energy and yacht rock vocals, Austin’s Capyac is fresh off the boat with what you need. Billed as a “dance music act with style,” the duo (comprised of Delwin “Potion” Campbell and Eric “P Sugz” Peana) replicates the intricacies of their studio recordings and transitions effortlessly on stage, with recent sets running as long as three hours.
While other live electronic groups like Disclosure and Poolside heavily rely on four-to-the-floor beats and a consistent BPM, Capyac offers a refreshing range of rhythms and tempos influenced by hip-hop and disco as well as classic house to fuel their aural sophistication. Movement Swallows Us is a particularly ethereal addition to Capyac’s catalogue, featured on the EP of the same name. Dreamy arpeggios and an 808 boom bass line carry the calmly delivered lyrics to a chorus full of swelling synths and drum hits–serving as a perfect primer for their latest album, Headlunge.
Capyac has just released their own fashion line and are currently in the works on a ten-episode comedy web series: “Capyac in the Studio.” Headlunge is out now via Bandcamp.
Photo by Gabriel Perez/KUTX
In their recent Studio 1A live set, Quaker City Night Hawks joked that one of their main inspirations is Tex-Mex food, but that’s not too far from the truth. The Ft. Worth band’s restaurant of choice just might be the mouth-watering gatefold inside ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres. That album’s fingerprints are all over the Night Hawks, and they make a feast of combining hard rock riffs and country twang on their new album El Astronauta. The recipe works best on “Mockingbird,” a song that shimmies as much as it struts.
Download Listen to the song below and watch the live performance here.
“Mockingbird,” recorded live in Studio 1A, also appears on El Astronauta, out now via Lightning Rod Records.
Red Young is a common sight around Austin clubs, usually hidden behind his massive Hammond B3 organ with his jazz combo Black Red Black (featuring Ephraim Owens on trumpet and Brannen Temple on drums). But his current residency at Antone’s shows off a few new sides. Here, Young is in bandleader mode, accompanied by a five-piece horn section, bass, and drums while he moves over to piano and vocals. Young told KUTX’s Jay Trachtenberg he was orginally hired as a singer in Linda Ronstadt’s band. “I didn’t tell anybody when I moved to Austin because once you become a singer, you see, everybody says, ‘How come you didn’t sing tonight?’ I wanted to be a jazz organ player,” he said, with a laugh.
Whatever the instrument, there’s a smoothness to Young’s style, and it was on full display recently in our Studio 1A. He led the band through a few standards, including the Ray Charles classic “I’ve Got News For You.” It’s a big and bold song, given a dynamic spin on the dance floor by a wonderful ensemble.
Red Young & His Hot Horns continue their residency tonight at Antone’s.
On its debut album, Brooklyn’s Courtship Ritual did more with less, crafting skeletal and skittering dance-pop with just a few ingredients. Monica Salazar and Jared Olmstead used bass, synth, and programmed drums in really surprising ways. The songs on Pith could be gloomy one moment and borderline euphoric the next.
The duo returns with a new single called “Down Low” that’s almost symphonic thanks to the brasher elements added to the mix. But closer listening shows Courtship Ritual still uses empty space like a third member, bouncing bass and drums off all the silence. It’s a sleeker and sharper sound, but those ingredients are still perfectly weighed and measured.
“Down Low” is out now via GODMODE.
For all the California sunniness of the Beach Boys, there’s an undertow of darkness pulling the band. Brian Wilson’s mental health issues are a notable example, but maybe the most tragic character in the story is Dennis Wilson. His drumming was gradually replaced by session players over the course of the ’60s. He befriended Charles Manson before breaking off the relationship just before the infamous Manson Family murders. Wilson suffered from alcohol and drug abuse and ended up drowning in 1983.
But Wilson’s legacy also includes some incredible music. Even if he was marginalized as a drummer, he started writing and producing more Beach Boys material during the band’s cloudier, early ’70s period, resulting in beautifully rich songs like “Forever.” Wilson’s magnum opus was Pacific Ocean Blue, his 1977 solo debut. The moody cover shot gives you a clue to its sonic space: symphonic yet ragged, rain mixed with the sunshine.
Austin’s Will Courtney–formerly of Brothers & Sisters–wrote “The Pain” as an ode to Dennis Wilson, but it’s unromanticized and universal. Courtney taps into Wilson’s Kurt Cobain-meets-Phil Spector sound, offering a crescendo that hits like waves on a lonely beach.