Song of the Day

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August 18, 2023

Queen Serene: “Isengard”

By: Jack Anderson

The “dog days” of summer formally ended last Friday and fall doesn’t officially start until late September…so with consistent triple digit temps determined to become that weekly standard, I can’t be the only Austinite who’s stopped checking the ten-day forecast. But that doesn’t mean we can’t recognize this period typically associated with seasonal transition, which among other things, continues to provide auspicious pivots for singer-guitarist Sarah Ronan.

Ronan’s origins can be traced to Tallahassee a decade back, where she and two of her college chums co-founded an indie garage rock project that evolved into The Naked Tungs. The Naked Tungs found their footing in Austin as a four-piece just before dropping their debut EP Hear It Calls in the summer of 2017 but fizzled out after “Give Me Back My Man” in September 2019. COVID soon saw Ronan quartered away and recording solo in her bedroom, and post-emergence she recruited Naked Tungs’ drummer to supplement these new tunes with percussion and synth. With the subsequent addition of bassist Dale Pohly and guitarist-vocalist Matt Galceran, Sarah Ronan finally ascended the throne as Queen Serene.

Queen Serene shared their inaugural pair of studio singles right around this same time of year back in 2021 and by last fall’s Levitation Fest, the quartet’s shoegaze domain helped them claim a supporting slot for Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. Well now that we’re once again at that seemingly-magic time of year, Her Majesty Serene’s droning, angular monarchy makes another bold appearance.

Sharing its title with the obsidian Tolkein-esque stronghold and complemented by a music video looks like it was shot by Andy Warhol in the heyday of CBGB, “Isengard” goes hard. So ahead of Queen Serene’s single release show 8PM tomorrow night at Hotel Vegas ahead of Holy Wave at 9PM, crank the gain, don the shades, and get to shoegazin’.


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