Photo by Chloe Aftel
While the lights are brighter and the crowds are bigger, SXSW still offers a good chance for exposure for unsigned bands. Portland’s Greylag ventured down to Austin last March and walked away with a record deal, but it’s been a long time coming. After debuting with an EP in 2012, Greylag spent some serious time retooling their sound. They worked with Phil Ek–the producer who’s synonymous with Pacific Northwest heavyweights like Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, the Shins, and Modest Mouse–and captured the band live, calling for take after take to keep that energy crackling. All the work results in Greylag, which finally sees a release on October 14.
Greylag balances their folk and rock influences extremely well, and it’s easy to hear how their self-professed love of the folkier Led Zeppelin III played out in recording the album. Songs like “Yours To Shake” are dynamic and forceful, atmospheric and electric at the same time. The band takes its name from a specific goose that’s the common ancestor for all domestic geese–the ‘lag’ part refers to it being the last bird to migrate,” frontman Daniel Dixon says. “It sits back and watches. We love the connotation.”