photo courtesy of the artist
KUTX host Jody Denberg talks with Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso about their latest studio album “Free Love” out today on Loma Vista.
YOUTUBE/KUTX – Jody Denberg and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso
North Carolina’s Sylvan Esso has just given the world its new album – Free Love – and as usual the duo’s timing is perfect, and its art multi-layered.
The multiple entendre in Sylvan Esso’s third studio release arrives when what the world needs now is love sweet love, unconditional and free. It also mirrors the free-wheeling sound of its ten songs, songs that pair complex emotions with accessible beats and melodies.
In this KUTX AT HOME conversation, singer and co-songwriter Amelia Meath expands upon her statement about Free Love: “It’s a record about being increasingly terrified of the world around you and looking inward to remember all the times when loving other people seemed so easy, so that you can find your way back to that place.” Though produced before the global pandemic, Meath’s description of the Free Love could have been made today.
The Grammy-nominated duo (who visited Austin for SXSW in 2017 and Austin City Limits Festival in 2018) timed the album’s first single “Ferris Wheel” to coincide with summertime (“August in the heat, sweaty in the street”) while the newest emphasis track “Frequency” is perfect for autumn, replete with a Moses Sumney directed video that shows off Meath’s inspiring dance moves.
Amelia Meath and her partner-in-crime Nick Sanborn have now released Free Love into the world, with all of its dualities. So its not surprising that it was conceived as a two-sided vinyl record, five songs on side one, the other five on the flipside. And until we can see Sylvan Esso perform on the flipside, we can hear them here. – Jody Denberg, KUTX host
Host: Jody Denberg
Producer: Deidre Gott
Audio Master: Jake Perlman
What Is There, the first album in six years from Delta Spirit, is out now on New West Records.
NPR Live Sessions/KUTX – KUTX Live at Home: Delta Spirit, Hosted by Laurie Gallardo
Are they a Southern Californian band? Some publications say they’re from Brooklyn. And now that lead singer and native Austinite Matthew Logan Vasquez is back in the area, some want to claim them as a local band. Does it matter? Time works wonders and they’re back together and making music.
The band first formed in California in 2005 and made the move to Brooklyn around 2012. Since the release of the last album, 2014’s Into the Wide, members have dispersed throughout the country (and Canada-where bassist Jonathan Jameson now resides).
Last week the members of Delta Spirit all met in Nashville, TN, in the home studio of Joel Habbeshaw-VP of promotion at New West Records, (and home to this latest album) to play for the first time since their NYE show at Mohawk. KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo hosted the five song set.
WEBSITE || NPR MUSIC LIVE SESSIONS || NEW WEST
Laurie Gallardo: It’s been six years since the last album. I’m absolutely thrilled with What Is There. But I did want to ask you a little bit about the hiatus that you took. Now, according to what I read, the band kind of separated for a little bit to save some friendships. Tell me about that.
Matthew Logan Vasquez: After a decade of touring together our communication was at an all time low. We also needed to find a way to find value in ourselves outside of the group. Each of us in our way grew up a bit. Our friendship healed, and in 2018 we jammed for the first time since 2015. When we came back to it, there’s just way less pressure and and fears more kind of like, well, what what does this sound like now? Is it still fun? And it proved to be the case that it was still fun. So we made a record.
LG: I’ve really been thinking in terms of the band’s journey. You know, six years is a long time and I figured now you are writing from a different place. The dynamics are different. And plus, on top of bandmates living in different cities, what kind of changes have you heard in your music? What do you think you’re feeling now?
MLV: Now it’s a completely different thing because the whole world has been tipped on its head. I mean, the world, for a lot of us felt tipped on it’s head since 2016. But we just continue to explore and go forward, and we’re definitely not the twenty three year old, barely adults that we were when we started this band. We have other things in our lives than just each other. When we first started this band, we were all we had together. And now it’s kind of bringing that all in. We have our significant others that are part of this band family, that have supported all of us continuing on and with the music and our Venn diagrams of influence and things that we love. And that continues to get wider in terms of what we can imagine Delta Spirit to be.
Recorded September 16, 2020
Musicians: Jonathan Jameson: bass; Brandon Young drums; Matthew Logan Vasquez: vocals, guitar, Kelly Winrich: keys, vocals
“It Ain’t Easy”
“How Bout It”
“What Is There”
Album: What Is There (New West Records)
“Last Year Was Weird Vol. 2,” the second in a trilogy from Australian Rapper and Singer-songwriter Tkay Maidza is out now on 4AD
YOUTUBE/KUTX – Taylor Wallace and Tkay Maizda
If I had to describe Tkay Maidza (MYd-zah) in three words they would be “Queen of Momentum.” A childhood immigrant from Zimbabwe, Tkay and her parents moved to Australia when she was a small child, moving from one end of the continent to another throughout her adolescence, a lifestyle that has informed every major aspect of her life since.
In addition to maintaining a somewhat nomadic lifestyle as she’s entered adulthood, Tkay possesses the ability to revel and put her whole heart and soul into whatever project or promotion is happening at the moment, while simultaneously thinking one or more steps ahead, and how to link the “now” to the “next.”
Seizing the opportunities offered through Adelaide’s Northern Sound System artist development program (akin to the Austin Music Foundation), she’s successfully manifested every leg of her career, from purposefully crafting releases that are as varied as her personality to landing sessions with some of her favorites in the music industry, like Jimmy Edagr.
I’ve been a big fan of hers (*cue eye-roll from everyone reading this whom I’ve talked to about her music in the last two years*) since I heard her song with J-E-T-S, and getting to talk to her was a true bucket-list interview.
PS: Watch the full interview twice. Once to engage in the interview itself, and a second time just to watch her cat on her bed.
OH MY GLOB! Tkay Maizda shows off her Tkitty – seven year old LSP – named after Lumpy Space Princess on Adventure Time!
Veteran rock journalist and singer-songwriter Sylvie Simmons joins Jody Denberg from her home in San Francisco. ‘Blue on Blue’ produced by Howe Gelb, is out now on Compass Records.
YOUTUBE/KUTX – KUTX Host Jody Denberg and Sylvie Simmons – Full Interview with songs “Sweet California” and “1000 Years Before I Met You”
Most music aficionados know the name Sylvie Simmons from her work as one of the most insightful journalists to ever darken a music magazine’s page. From her work with a wide range of publications (from Kerrang! to Mojo and beyond), to her definitive biographies of Leonard Cohen, Serge Gainsbourg, Neil Young and others, Simmons is an authority whose love of all styles of music quickly becomes obvious after reading one or two of her pieces.
What’s not as well-known is Simmons’ deft touch as a songwriter and musician, first evidenced on 2014’s Sylvie (Light in the Attic Records) – and now even more in view on her brand-new second volley, Blue On Blue out now on Compass Records.
Sylvie first started accompanying herself with her ukulele and songs on stages during her book tour (which landed at the Cactus Café in 2012) in support of her Cohen masterful bio I’m Your Man. Her latest album is an intimate album of 11 snapshots (two of which you’ll hear in the interview) produced with a light-but-never-lightweight touch by Howe Gelb of desert-rockers Giant Sand.
And if all this sounds a bit genteel for your tastes, don’t be fooled. This is the same Sylvie Simmons who co-wrote Mötley Crüe: Lüde, Crüde and Rude. She’s also the same Sylvie Simmons who was name checked by Ray Wylie Hubbard in his song “Chick Singer, Badass Rockin’“ (Her Sylvie Simmons book is dog eared). As you’re about to find out, Sylvie Simmons more than fits Ray Wylie’s bill. – Jody Denberg, KUTX Host
Mötley Crüe: Lüde, Crüde, and Rüde was Sylvie Simmons’ first published book back in 1995. Check out the OG Mötley Crüe paraphernalia from when the band was “indie and didn’t know the law of heavy metal was a black t-shirt.”
Host: Jody Denberg
Producer: Deidre Gott
KUTX at Home: Kam Franklin and Laurie Gallardo full interview
Nothing will extinguish the fabulous fire that is Kam Franklin – songwriter, activist, front woman of Houston Gulf Coast soul outfit The Suffers, and visual artist. Though I could not help but gush over those magic moments experiencing the band performing on national television (Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, The Daily Show), there is more behind the great music than you might realize. Franklin is an exquisite example of a multifaceted artist flowing and shifting with the changing times, dedicated to being present in the moment.
While COVID-19 has presented musicians with many challenges in terms of getting their music out to fans, Franklin assessed the possibilities and set out to create an outlet that would keep making the music accessible, right down to creating the gorgeous physical space for many of her livestream performances. And when it comes to those performances, whether it’s Franklin solo or performing with The Suffers, it’s always invigorating and electrifying.
I had a chat with Franklin to talk about her livestream experiences, writing and producing the track “I Can’t Wait” for KUTX’s Song Confessional, being an unapologetically outspoken presence for social change as well as a voice of encouragement and hope through art, and working on all the music during quarantine. A strange experience, but it can be done! – Laurie Gallardo, KUTX Host
Find out how you can support The Suffers on their Patreon page.