Austin’s dreamy, indie-pop outfit Shy Beast celebrated their debut EP Friday night at Swan Dive supported by a powerhouse local lineup. The self-titled debut represents a natural maturation for the spirited pop band who previously rocked Austin under the moniker of MCG and is reflective of their growth towards a sophisticated pop outfit of anthemic proportions.
Produced by Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River, Bright Light Social Hour), the debut EP features three infectiously uplifting, synth-layered tracks that meaningfully illustrate a common experience about human nature.
The band consists of singer and keyboardist Mariclaire Glaeser, rhythm guitarist and vocalist David Tenczar, lead guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Andrew Bennett, bassist Jay Cesak (aka Jayzilla) and Drew Silverman on the drums. Gleaser may lead the band…however, each member contributes to the creation process as Glaeser, Tenczar and Bennett each wrote one of the three tracks of Shy Beast.
Last month, leading up to the album’s release, the band premiered the video for lead single “Back With Me”. “The video, uses movement, replacement, color, and light, to explore a woman’s transition from the feeling of being trapped in an apologetic spiral, to a deepening trust and confidence in herself,” states Glaeser.
At the EP Release Party, it became evident why the band chose the new identity. Shy Beast is a particularly fitting name for the outfit’s leading lady, Glaeser. She’s a self-described, “relatively shy and certainly awkward person.” But, on stage, the towering frontwoman comes alive with a commanding presence and seductive confidence that alludes to her internal beastly nature.
The EP Release Party began with a lavish, dance-inducing set of soaring synths and ambient vocals form homegrown electro-pop songstress and resident Swan Dive starlet Dossey. The Austin product’s performance featured the entirety of her latest EP, Electric, along with several favorites from her debut effort, Diamond. Dossey is the electro-pop alter-ego of artist, songwriter, enigma Sarah Dossey, who is also a member of Austin-based folk/bluegrass outfits The Reliques and Indian & The Jones.
Next up was local indie rockers Slomo Drags. This nostalgic, four-piece considers themselves equal parts pop gold and noisy guitar irreverence. The band shimmers and crunches in melodic, transgressive power pop harmony with diverse song structures that are tight and crisp while also colorfully loose and flexible. This is boisterous rock with a surreal pop twist that culminates in damn-fine entertainment.
The evening also featured experimental electronic-pop and folky trip-hop trio Fort Never who took the crowd on a transcendental, digitized fantasy. The trio consists of producer and songwriter, Timothy Ruch, singer Chantell Moody and drummer Deano Cotè. The eclectic, avante-garde band pulls from a huge range of influences and genres to defy categorization with their forward-thinking and innovative approach towards music composition and direction. For a wild trip take a gander at Fort Never’s latest video for “Paradigm”.
In the meantime, check out some of the highlights below from Shy Beast’s EP Release Party captured by Valerie Riels.
Photos by: Valerie Riel @photo.atx