Genuine Leather

Genuine Leather: “Getting Used to the Feel”

For a lot of self-made bedroom producers, lo-fi isn’t just a creative choice; it’s a necessity. Yeah, not everyone has the technical prowess, access to equipment, or funding to match the pristine masters of their commercial radio contemporaries. But when lo-fi folks like that gain the resources to make the leap up, it’s hard to step back down.

Now let’s jump to multi-instrumentalist-producer Chris Galis, AKA Genuine Leather. Galis has spent a decade tanning Genuine Leather’s lo-fi synth-pop-rock sound, so when GL’s label-supported debut Genuine Pleasure dropped last November, the higher production value felt like a significant departure – even though the songwriting formulas were still intact.

Well, given their latest standalone, Genuine Leather’s clearly comfortable in their newfound high-fidelity factory…and we sure as hell aren’t complaining. “Getting Used to the Feel” maintains that Tame Impala quality we gushed about last June, but slows its roll and finds Galis’ vocals in a more spacious arrangement, which totally makes sense in the context of its immediate post-COVID “return to normalcy” penning. That said, the tempo is real treat for a mix as polished as this one, and there’s no way “Getting Used to the Feel” could carry that arena-filling energy in a lo-fi forum. But we’re sure it’ll translate onstage when Genuine Leather plays the single release show 8PM this Thursday at the Mohawk alongside Minivan Dad and Mr. Kat. As far as Genuine Leather headlining bills and dropping highly professional recordings? Better get used to it.

Genuine Leather: “Tear It Down”

When the handle “Genuine Leather” first catches your eye, a number of potentials present themselves; like Genuine Leather could easily be the name of a Kiss-era glam metal outfit, a bunch of Ramones-esque punks, a Berghain-inspired Western European dance DJ, or even just a dusty posse of country cowboys. Well, consider those expectations subverted, ’cause Genuine Leather is actually the alias of Austin-based lo-fi synth-pop multi-instrumentalist producer Chris Galis. Born to a Fort Worth community where commercial rock radio was king, Galis only got into more adventurous acts like The Beatles and Radiohead when he started studying jazz bass and classical music in college. By the time he founded Genuine Leather after graduation in 2011, Galis’ instrumental expertise had broadened out to synth and guitar, and his pop music vocabulary had expanded from Wilco and Prince all the way to Talking Heads and Tears for Fears. Gen Leath’s ability to contextualize those Gen X jukebox hits within a modern lens has allowed Galis to tan adjacent hides (be they indie rock, post-punk, or folk) into well-fitted, genre-defying garments across three EPs and three full-lengths. Well, hot off being signed to a London label and having already shared two singles in 2023, Genuine Leather is gearing up for the release of their fourth EP, Genuine Pleasure, out later this Fall. As heard on February’s “Promises” and April’s “Even If I Could”, Genuine Pleasure gels effects-filled synth pop together with ’70s yacht rock guitar and some f***ing killer contemporary flavors. Today Genuine Leather lends us the third of Genuine Pleasure‘s six songs, “Tear It Down”, a Tame-Impala-meets-Toro-Y-Moi wrecking ball of psych-pop. Bookended by long-swelling, heavily-modulated synth chords, “Tear It Down” creates a must-hear atmospheric foundation before pulling the rug out and letting loose with some of the slickest pop-rock we’ve heard come out of Austin in a minute.