Before we lean into our on-topic conversation, Michelle Zauner and I geek out over our love for Game of Thrones, commiserating over the fact that despite the last season, the show as a whole keeps pulling us back in. It was like making a new friend. Once we jumped into our official chat, we talk about her new antithetical releases: the memoir Crying In H Mart exploring the themes of grief, family, and food and the new Japanese Breakfast album Jubilee. While the memoir more closely aligns with the mood and theme of the first two Japanese Breakfast albums, Jubilee breaks away, announcing itself with its name punctuated by the yellow-themed album cover. We talk about her journey working on the album balanced with the editing and revision process of the memoir and her reconnection to her Korean heritage while taking care of her mother before her passing.
My favorite part of our chat was about the recently released video for “Savage Good Boy” starring Michael Imperioli, famous for playing Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos, one of my top three favorite shows of all-time. Enjoy the conversation, and when you read Crying In H Mart, I recommend having the internet on hand to look up all of the delicious Korean dishes she mentions. You will be hungry. -Taylor Wallace, KUTX Morning Host
Our next KUTX Live features NPR Music 2021 Slingshot artist Samm Henshaw, filmed at Blundell Studios in London. Premiering Monday, May 17 at Noon CT.
YOUTUBE/KUTX – Samm Henshaw is “All Good” with adorable puppers
The son of a reverend, British-Nigerian r&b/soul artist Samm Henshaw grew up on gospel music and began writing worship songs for church at the age of 15. Naming Kirk Franklin, Lauryn Hill, and Marvin Gaye among his early inspirations, Henshaw made his debut with a 2015 EP called The Sound Experiment, and soon began touring with such artists as Chance the Rapper and Tori Kelly.
At the end of 2020, Henshaw released “upbeat and positive anthem” (NPR Music) “All Good,” and landed on NPR Music’s 2021 Slingshot’s Artists To Watch list.
Enjoy the four song jolt of joy (including adorable French Bulldogs!) Monday, May 17 at Noon, filmed at Blundell Studios in London.
How Does It Feel?
Doubt (ft. Wretch 32)
Musicians: Samm Henshaw, vocals; Intalekt, DJ; Dayna Fisher, bass; Shelia Maurice-Grey, trumpet
Credits: Director, Giles Calalane; Lighting, Cara Brown; Creative Director, Prexa Shrestha; Audio Engineer and Audio Mix, Tim Southorn
Location – Blundell Studios
Photo by Jeff Bierk
Toronto’s Tamara Lindeman makes records as The Weather Station. And the fact that Ignorance her fifth and newest album, has climate change as its lyrical subtext makes her chosen band name seem prescient. “I decided to hide behind this imaginary persona, that the recordings were made by a person who lived in a weather station in the in the Arctic, which was a very romantic 20-year old’s view. But it’s interesting because I actually think that that origin story makes a lot of sense actually, for what The Weather Station (now) is.”
But don’t come to Ignorance expecting to hear a protest record. “It’s an emotions record,” Lindeman declares, and one listen proves her right. In fact, it’s not quickly apparent what Ignorance is specifically about. It’s one of those collections of songs broad enough to project yourself into, the multi-faceted work of a songwriter operating at the top of her game.
And after being described on previous releases as an indie-folk artist, The Weather Station (now recording for Fat Possum Records after years of operating DIY) has embraced a more rhythmic, visceral approach. “You know, it was a real revolution for me. I was touring my (2018) self-titled record a lot. And I have very strange rhythm. I have an esoteric since of rhythm. I like to move the beat around when I’m accompanying myself. And that’s something that I’ve always kind of accentuated in my recordings because I think it’s interesting. But I really had an epiphany from playing those shows that I just wanted to change how I approach the whole thing.”
For evidence of The Weather Station’s musical evolution, enjoy the two exclusive full-band performances included during our KUTX AT HOME interview session below. And keep your fingers crossed that we’ll all be able to enjoy The Weather Station perform live in Austin early in 2022. – Jody Denberg, KUTX host
Songs: “Robber” “Loss”
The Weather Station live performance recorded at Canterbury Music Studios
Musicians: Tamera Lindeman, vocals; Kieran Adams, drums; Christine Bougie, guitar; Philippe Melanson, percussion; Johnny Spence, piano; Ben Whiteley, bass
Engineer: Julian Decorte; Audio Mix: Howie Beck; Cameras: Colin Medley, Blake Hannahson; Editor: Colin Medley
Photo by Graham Tolbert
Solitude can be a wonderful thing. That is, unless it feels as though the rug has been violently pulled from beneath one’s feet. Here – a year’s worth of solitude, unexpected and nonnegotiable. Deal with it.
For an artist like Jenn Wasner – the heart and soul of Flock of Dimes, one half of Wye Oak, and multi-talented/multi-faceted and much-beloved collaborator in the indie universe, it could damn well have felt like the walls were caving in. When the pandemic hit, Wasner was about to head out on tour with Bon Iver, while simultaneously processing a breakup.
One must understand why Wasner’s creative input is in demand. You don’t shut that brilliance off. This heartbreak became the fuel behind Flock of Dimes’ superlative Head of Roses, one of the most cathartic listening experiences in terms of incredible lyricism, multi-genre styles, reflection, coping, and acceptance of self.
I recently sat down for a chat with Wasner about making music in the midst of grieving, creating during the pandemic, disregarding the narrow confines of genre, and…did you know that Wasner is a fan of Veracruz migas poblanas tacos? – Laurie Gallardo, KUTX Host
Flock of Dimes will be live streaming May 20 and 27 at 8pm central. More information at Noon Chorus.
Watch the full interview with Jenn Wasner and Laurie Gallardo
Photo by Jeremy Reynoso
It feels great to back in the At-Home saddle, and even better to be kicking off 2021 with one of my favorite new artists, Claud! If Claud is still foreign to you, here’s a “why they matter” elevator pitch: they’re the first artist to be signed to Phoebe Bridgers‘s new label Saddest Factory Records. Boom.
Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Claud’s spent the last decade or so in Syracuse, New York, where they formed a duo called Toast. Eventually, the other half dissolved and Claud as we know and love was born, immediately gaining favor and playing sets at both Rough Trade and Paste Magazine following the release of 2019’s Sideline Superstar. Right up to the pandemic, Claud was embarking on their first headlining tour.
In this interview, we dig-in deep on their apprehension to sign to any label, but why signing with a.) a musician and b.) one with the spirit and vision of Phoebe Bridgers reversed that apprehension. And there’s a little sting of Smashing Pumpkins love at the end. Enjoy!
-Taylor Wallace-Riegel, Morning Host