I first heard Holly Golightly on the White Stripes track “It’s True That We Love One Another,” a perfect pairing of two strains of garage rock. While the Stripes picked up the banner for the 2000s, Golightly came a decade before with the full-on insanity of the British group Thee Headcoatees. They skewed to the punk side of things, but Golightly as a solo artist is equally adept at country, R&B, and soul (and she sings one of my favorite Christmas songs).
This year, Golightly released two new albums: Coulda Shoulda Woulda and Slowtown Now!. “As You Go Down,” from Slowtown Now!, shows off Golightly’s specialty of mixing the sweet with the sour. The hand claps are chipper, but her voice is all sneer. Download the song below and catch Holly Golightly tonight at Hotel Vegas. Doors at 9 p.m.
Photo by Steve Louie
Lou Reed has long been an influence for the darker, messier side of garage rock, but a lot of bands forget that he didn’t deal exclusively in feedback and sordid tales. Some of Reed’s (and the Velvet Underground’s) best moments came with the volume turned way down, and that’s precisely where Nap Eyes picks up the story. The band’s songs are all recorded live with no overdubs, slowly unfurling around Nigel Chapman’s low-key voice and his intricate tales.
Nap Eyes hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and it’s easy to hear that rainy chill in its music. “Mixer”–from Thought Rock Fish Scale, out February 5 via Paradise of Bachelors–is all atmosphere. Raindrop-like percussion sets the scene before Chapman fills in the details: “Mixer on a Friday night / Some pretty girls and guys are here / But when I look at myself on my right / I’m wondering if I’m really here.” For four-and-a-half minutes, you’re more than just passively listening. You’re looking over Chapman’s shoulder as the room comes into view. Download the song below.
Wild Child (the KUTX Artist of the Month) has been on a massive upward trajectory since the Austin band’s 2011 debut and it doesn’t show many signs of stopping. Fools, the group’s third album, is another vibrant collection of folk-pop, but the subject matter is far from sunny. Frontwoman Kelsey Wilson broke up with her longtime fiancé, and she poured her pain into her songs. “My heart is broke / So it can’t bend” she sings on “Bullets,” but the themes of regret and heartbreak are balanced by Wild Child’s bouncy, orchestral arrangement. You can download a Studio 1A version of the song below, and catch Wild Child at Stubb’s on Saturday, November 28.
For years, the Weary Boys injected a little danger into Austin’s bluegrass and country scene. The band played fast-and-loose with the traditions, making music that could raise hell on a Saturday night and still take you to church on a Sunday morning.
The Boys broke up in 2007, and the band members popped up in other local bands like the Preservation, the Hard Times, and Woodsboss. But every few years, they all come back together for some reunion shows. This weekend, we’re back in luck with the Weary Boys playing tonight and tomorrow night at the Continental Club. Their setlists mix originals with Hank Williams and Stanley Brothers; for a good primer on the band, see their recent My KUTX guest DJ set. And for today’s Song of the Day, we’re going back to their 2012 Studio 1A set and a fast-as-hell version of “Pick Up The Steam.” Download the song below.
Young Buffalo hails from Oxford, Mississippi, a town known as the home to Ole Miss and a rich literary tradition going back to William Faulkner. In a lot of ways, Young Buffalo straddles this divide. The band’s music is pleasing enough for the college crowd, but there’s a deepness buried beneath the hooks. Some very specific influences pop up–the Beach Boys’ harmonies, some R.E.M. jangle, Weezer’s sweetness–but the mixture sounds lived-in, like it’s been left out to bake in the Mississippi sun for a few decades.
Young Buffalo has been around in some form or another for awhile, but this year’s House is the band’s debut. It’s the kind of record that sneaks up on you, mainly due to the band’s skill at matching complex arrangements with hummable hooks. Young Buffalo nailed this balance in our Studio 1A, and you can download a live version of “Man In Your Dreams” below.