Blushing’s Sophomore EP is Anything but ‘Weak’

Blushing’s promising 2017 debut left listeners with a lingering taste in their mouth and an eager need for more from the Austin dream-pop quartet. Now, an anticipatory year-long wait for their fan base later, the shoegaze pair of spouses return to soothe that yearning ache with a kiss on the forehead and a blissed-out sophomore follow-up, Weak.

Recorded at Bad Wolf Recordings and released via Austin Town Hall Records, the five-track EP paints a lucid soundscape of dreamy, atmospheric pop splashed with ambient waves of subtle psychedelia. The title track warms up with a stretch from Christina Carmona’s seraphic lead vocals before bursting into a radiant foray of sparkling instrumentals.

The velvety harmonies cascade over guitarist Noe Carmona’s anthemic, 80’s-esque pop chords enveloping the listener within a state of tranquility. ‘Hidden Places’ represents Blushing’s sharpest songwriting to date with its subliminal yet captivating chorus wrapped tightly with spiraling guitar chords and shattering percussion that rains over the track’s colorful crescendo.

My favorite, ‘Bliss’, is more of a smooth and starry voyage that floats effortlessly atop the tides of Noe’s strings while ‘Bound’ showcases a slightly grungier, indie-rock edge to Blushing – an incredible dynamic that shows no limits. This is also the track where Christina’s vocal range is best displayed through a catchy fluctuation within her serene timbre but Michelle Soto introduces the album’s finale with a chunky bassline that spawns the most uplifting track of the album. ‘Love You Twice’ is a golden track with positivity radiating out from within to finish the album.

There’s no wasted space within Weak’s dreamy ambiance. The hypnotic vocals and effervescent melodies are immersive without being heavy or over-saturated. It’s a calm, cool and confident sophomore project that just like the first, will leave listeners craving more shoegaze from Blushing.

Weak is now available digitally, on cassette and 12” vinyl. Blushing held the official Weak release party on a night dedicated to ‘friendship’ at Cheer Up Charlies with special guests Ringo Deathstarr, All in the Golden Afternoon and Single Lash

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Words: Douglas Leach
Photography: 
Wylie Sanchez @coyotebeardproductions

Trés Oui Are ‘Poised to Flourish’ With Their Latest Album

“Pop songs straight from the foul rag and bone shop of the heart”: the quaint yet totally puzzling metaphor that Trés Oui uses to describe their sound. Although upon first glance it’s a statement that’s so endearingly extra it makes you feel a little dizzy, as soon as your ears stumble upon their music, and latest album ‘Poised to Flourish’ you’ll instantly understand its meaning.

The band describes that they take their inspiration from artists like Tom Petty, and try to capture his fun melodic style and catchiness in their music. Trés Oui manage to seize this sound perfectly with their mischievous pop melodies, jingly jangly guitars, and shimmying 80’s soundtrack.

Tracks like their debut single ‘Séance’ from their upcoming album proves this just right. With its continuous rhythm, its beat is infectious, causing you to hum along to the tune all day. Just like their latest single, ‘Red Wine and Dry Ice’ it’s a song impossible not to love. Despite the utterly 80’s feel and drizzle of psychedelic sounds, ‘Red Wine and Dry Ice’ shows off the bands versatility bringing rock and roll vibes to the forefront. It’s a single all of it’s own, with an abundance of genres operating together to make something completely unique.

Despite choosing ‘Séance’ and ‘Red Wine and Dry Ice’ as the albums singles, Trés Oui count ‘One Track’ as their favorite, and the one they get the most excited about from the album, explaining “We think it’s very like-a-bull (because it has horns).”

With such a wide variety of tracks, and fun jumble of sounds fusing together, it’s easy to tell the sheer amount of support behind the sound. The band describe that their influenced by “new bands and old friends” so when it comes to writing songs, every one of them gets stuck in. With a plethora of talent and experience between them, the music just flows from them naturally, describing in their own words “the songs themselves are just what happens”. Despite their natural ear for great music, this doesn’t stop Trés Oui pursuing progression, they express “We are always just trying to write one better than the last one.”

With such an engaging group dynamic, you’d think the band had been together much longer than just a year. However, you wouldn’t be far wrong believing this, as the guys have actually worked together before in the band Literature. But with such a similar group of guys, how does Trés Oui differ to that of Literature? In their own words, the band describes, Trés Oui might be more interested in subtleties and rounded corners. We want the songs to be in your head, but we don’t want to force our way in there. More of a hug than a handshake.”

It seems that this new approach to making music has gone down a storm, with an incredible response from fans. After being invited to play Athens Pop Fest after their west coast, the guys were honored, and now hope to reach even more people with their latest album.

But what’s the next stop for Trés Oui’s journey? The year is looking bright, and list looking long for the bands 2018 plans, with arrangements to head to the northeast for the first time as a band, and write more songs that might feature on a new EP. The guys say, “The writing is the most fun part, while the waiting, we all know, is the hardest part.”

Luckily for us, we don’t need to wait too long for the next exciting stop on Trés Oui’s journey. With their Austin shows closely approaching, including performing at the incredible Hotel Vegas in February, which the guys excitedly say, “we can’t wait to play”.

Très Oui will play a record release show at Austin’s Hotel Vegas on February 17th and SXSW in March (details TBA.) Poised To Flourish is currently available for pre-order here.

Author: Bethany Judge (BJ)

Matthew Logan Vasquez Photo Recap – 01/26/2018

A packed-out venue, and one hell of a show later – Matthew Logan Vasquez brought his all to Antone’s in Austin this past week. A family man that’s making his third annual mark on this city before moving on over to Norway, this was a celebration – sweat, smiles and delirious enjoyment filled the room.

Missed the show? No sweat, MLV has plans to return in the Spring – keep him on your radar {here}.

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Words: Megan Matthews
Photography: Mark Bowers

#WomenCrush-ed Austin at One-2-One – Photo Recap 25/01/2018

Brand new to Austin, Women Crush hosted its kick off event at One-2-One this past week. A movement to empower women and the connections they make, the show featured an array of inspirational Austin ladies with the likes of Sedona Skies and The Honey Trap – both of which you can see below!

Missed the show? That’s alright, check out where you can join this journey {here}.

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Words: Megan Matthews
Photography: Mindi Westhoff – @timeandplacephotos

Pop Sensation Ashe Discusses Life on The Road and Forthcoming EP

Beach-pop ingénue Ashe erupted in 2017 with her debut single “Used To It”. The 24-year-old, Northern California native’s electronic debut has amassed nearly a million and a half Spotify streams, Charted #1 on the Spotify Global 50 and hit #1 on Hype Machine seven times. Ashe followed her hit single with “Girl Who Cried Wolf“, a grungy, guitar-driven indie pop track co-written with Freddy Kennett of Louis the Child, Imad Royal and Roget Chahayed (D.R.A.M’s “Broccoli”; Halsey’s “Bad At Love”) that debuted with the announcement that she was chosen as a VEVO dscvr: Artists to Watch 2018. She spent much of the end of 2017 supporting Whethan and Louis the Child on North American tours, and will join Lauv on the North American leg of his world tour in early 2018. Track Rambler was able to catch the pop sensation as she set out on her current tour with Lauv. Read what she had to say about her huge debut, life on the road and plans for 2018 below.

Your current North American tour starts today (1/23) in San Francisco. How crazy have the last 48 hours been for you?
Pretty damn chaotic. It’s always chaotic prepping for the road. We had our last rehearsal yesterday and Day 1 is always a little nerve-racking. But, it’s going to be good. We’re rocking and rolling this tour and diving ourselves all across the US in my old Four Runner. I’m going back to San Francisco first and that’s like home for me. I grew up in the Bay area. So, I’m really looking forward to it.

You just wrapped up a two-month tour before the holidays and now you’re heading back out on the road for a few more weeks. How do you prepare for something like that?
Honestly, the first two tours were all about learning. I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I’m a little more prepared this time and hopefully I’ll take better care of myself. I got really sick during both of my previous tours. It was horrible going on stage and sounding like a frog…especially when it’s my job to sing. But, I feel like every tour you have to learn. It’s all a learning experience.

What do you enjoy most about being out on the road?
I love meeting the fans. It’s such a great feeling meeting people who have no idea who I am and they end up falling in love with me and my music…It’s like meeting a new best friend in every city. Also, every tour I’ve been on, including this one, has been with really good friends. So, instead of opening for some obscure artist that I may not be able to relate to, I’m on tour with my friends who are now like family. It makes it so much more relaxing and allows me to think more about the music rather than all of the politics and bullshit.

Your debut single “Used To It” has been a huge success. Did you ever imagine you would receive so much positive reception from your debut?
No, I didn’t really know what to expect. I feel like you just put something out, cross your fingers and hope people relate to it and love it. But, I definitely didn’t have too many expectations. It has absolutely exceeded everything I could have imagined. It’s been pretty overwhelming.

Is it strange to have a song that was written to be so personal reach so many people?
Oh, yeah! Of Course! It makes me wonder if the person I wrote it about has ever heard it. It’s definitely weird that it’s gotten that many listens. But, it’s awesome and I hope for more. I hope the next single comes out and even more people hear it. I’ve got big dreams now. Wink!

What can you tell us about your latest single “Girl Who Cried Wolf”?
It’s equally as personal as “Used To It”…but, in a very different way. It’s a little more abstract and not so much of a story. I’ve always fought with myself and my insecurities…wondering if I was really good enough to make it in this hard, crazy industry. The Girl Who Cried Wolf is basically me talking to myself. Some days, I’ll be on top of the world and exceeding people’s expectations and above societal standards. But, some of those insecurities may always be there.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far in your young and bright career?
Honestly, just going with my gut and remaining as absolutely authentic to who I am. It’s really easy to be influenced by other people, other artists, publishers, labels, anybody really and I think the best thing I’ve learned so far is to trust my instincts and allow myself to grow.

Are you currently working on a full-length follow up to “Used To It” and “Girl Who Cried Wolf”?
Absolutely! I’m working on my first EP. I don’t have a release date just yet. But, it’s coming out this year and I’m so excited. It’s pretty much already written. Now, we’re just prepping and fine-tuning it…and doing the back work behind it. A single is just one facet or one angle of an artist. But, I feel like the EP is a 360-view of my music and provides a better picture of who I am as an artist.

Check out the video for Ashe’s latest single “Girl Who Cried Wolf” below and catch her in support of Lauv at The Parish on Jan. 30th. Tickets can be found here.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Dates with Lauv = ^
1/30/18 Austin, TX @ Parish^
1/31/18 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues Cambridge Room^
2/01/18 Houston, TX @ House of Blues Bronze Peacock^
2/03/18 Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West^
2/06/18 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club^
2/08/18 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza^
2/09/18 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall^
2/10/18 Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry^
2/12/18 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Showcase^

Feature Photo Credit: Dana Trippe

SIGNY Debuts “Human” at The Mohawk

We’re all human. SIGNY is just on a whole nother level. The fabulous synth-pop duo of Amy Arani and Delany Gibson debuted their celebratory new single ‘Human’ Thursday night at The Mohawk.

“Human’ is a synth-pop anthem that we wrote to celebrate our humanity,” SIGNY explain. “We are, above all, human, no matter what labels we’re assigned or assign ourselves. We’re at a critical point in our evolution as a species, and many forces are trying to divide us. Will they? Or will we remember how to dance and come together in love? The choice is ours.” Well, here’s to hoping we can choose wisely and all follow SIGNY’s example.

Give ‘Human’ a listen below and enjoy the photos of SIGNY at The Mohawk captured by Time and Place Photography.

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Black Fret 2018 Season Kickoff at The Mohawk

Austin nonprofit Black Fret has come a long way in just four short years, with $730,000 in grants giving to the local music scene. When combined with direct payments to artists for performances and a new, secondary grant program, the total financial impact reaches over $1 million.

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Ready to grant more money into the Austin music scene, Black Fret kicked off the 2018 season last Saturday at The Mohawk featuring a crazy eclectic lineup of 6 one-of-a-kind local acts. The musical journey, presented by Cirrus Logic, began on the outside stage with old school soul and R&B singer Donovan Keith singing to the guys with bad instincts and the lowdown ladies. Indie rockers Booher were first up on the inside stage delivering an emotion-filled display of authentic rock n’ roll.

Following Donovan Keith, 2017 major grant recipient Sarah Sharp introduced face-melting indie rockers Megafauna and announced her brand new EP due out February 19. The lovely jazz singer plans to put those Black Fret dollars to work and release a new EP every three months for the entirety of 2018.

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Neo-soul outfit Palo Duro was up next on the inside stage before si-fi synth-pop duo Night Drive made their long awaited Black Fret debut outside. The evening’s finale took place inside as patrons crammed into the sardine-packed venue to witness a synthory…I mean, ‘sensory overload from our favorite electro tribe, Trouble in the Streets.

Black Fret has granted some pretty amazing Austin artists over the past four years. However, I must agree with co-founder Matt Ott. 2018 is gearing up to feature the most amazing group of musicians yet.

Guitar Slinging Andy MacIntyre is the Meloman

Post-grunge meets the blues in Austin-based Andy MacIntyre’s brand new single, “Meloman.” Check out the Track Rambler premiere of “Meloman” below.

With “Meloman” as the lead single, MacIntyre is set to release his genre-bending, six-track EP, Melomania, on April 14 with a release party at Antone’s featuring support from Van Wilks, Jacqui Walker and special surprise guests.

The title of track two is ‘Meloman,’ which means ‘music lover,’ so the title ‘Melomania,’ I think, implies someone who lives for and through music, it’s part of who they are,” Macintyre said.

The Chicagoan-turned-Austinite specializes in a wonderful hybrid of rock and country, all enveloped underneath a blues umbrella. Transitions between angst and mansuetude fill the single as MacIntyre’s guitar fluidly moves between a gracefully-clean sound to one of distortion. His guitar-forward playing has been noticed by the likes of Austin-legend Gary Clark Jr.

“This dude can play a mean Stratocaster,” said Clark Jr. “I realized that I needed to go practice after meeting this dude.”

MacIntyre worked with Grammy-nominated mixing engineer Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, U2, Tears for Fears, Blue October), and recorded at Wire Recording with Stuart Sullivan (Sublime, Meat Puppets, Jimmie Vaughan) and Eric Harrison at Studio 601 (MGMT, Capital Cities, Jason Isbell) to produce his EP.

Emily Shirley Re-Claims Feminism in Her Latest Track

A negative stereotype-turn-powerful tool for reclaiming sexuality, Emily Shirley’s latest single, Streetlight Glow, is in a league of its own. She utilizes a graphically intriguing, taboo scenario written out and sung with enough conviction to force the scene to play out in your mind – red neon tint and all.
A song that tells a story – one of powerful women in downtrodden situations; mothers who can’t make rent, students with books to buy and struggling professionals – Shirley has ensured that this is not a tale of despair. The character, who can only be described as the protagonist, embodies strength and empowerment within the lyrics, and I can’t help but want to know more about her. This is more than a song, truly I believe that this is a statement – a sharp, somewhat-country call to action, for all women, to be stronger; don’t fuck with us.
A revolutionist for a singer, Emily Shirley is not the norm. She stands out with impressive prowess, and if you don’t believe me then just look at her website. A designer during the day, she’s living a double life that ebbs and flows with sheer creativity; something that shines through with the alternative, and honestly far too often ignored, perspective offered within this story.
Shirley, a Connecticut-native and Austin-living singer-songwriter, takes back ownership of perhaps one of the most detrimental, demeaning words used against women within this song – as if the story itself wasn’t a feat enough. ‘You thievin’, cheatin’ SOB,’ she sings, ‘you messed with the wrong bitch’; for me, this is intrinsic to the feminist nature of the song and it makes me feel powerful.
A song that’s available for download from her site, she asks for a payment of whatever you think it’s worth; an interesting invitation for you to value this, based on what the lyrics mean to you. For me, it’s priceless – an entertaining story and a, perhaps self-imposed, meaning to them ensure that this song will be on repeat in my apartment. I highly recommend you do the same.
Now, you’ll notice I’ve explained very little of the story that the song tells, and that’s simply because it is an experience; you don’t need to read it from me, you need to hear it from her. Check out the track on her website below and share some love.

https://emilyshirley.com/album/667630/single-streetlight-glow

Author: Megan Matthews

Darkbird at Oskar Blues Brewery Photo Recap

Darkbird’s ‘Queen of Scream,’ Kelly Barnes, washed the sweaty residue form the band’s latest video, cleaned up super sharp and brought her bad self out to Oskar Blues Brewery on Saturday. Classified as a rock band…not a “sub-genre” rock band…not a “sort of sounds like a mix of so and so” rock band. Just a solid rock band, with its own identity and sound, Darkbird has catapulted onto the music scene and gained some heavy recognition from established live music venues and radio stations. Their latest video and ode to the Purple One, “Bad Self”, premiered in the Austin Chronicle last month and the band stayed busy all throughout Free Week. Now Darkbird is hitting the local brewery circuit with upcoming shows at The ABGB and Independence Brewing Co. But for now, you can enjoy the highlights below from the band’s latest show at Oskar Blues Brewery.

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DarkBird Live @ Oskar Blues Brewery 01.20.18 from Mark Bowers Productions on Vimeo.

Photos by: Valerie Riels @photo.atx

Video by: Mark Bowers @markbowersphoto