indie psych

The Bright Light Social Hour: “Not New”

Typically around the tail end of SXSW music week, there’s a lot of local magic. It could be Bill Murray hopping behind a dive bar and serving up whatever he wants, or a relatively undiscovered up-and-comer getting an unexpected big break. But today we’re talking about the Austin representation, something that can get easily eclipsed by all the international faces at SX.

Now, we here at KUTX have gushed again and again over The Bright Light Social Hour, which makes sense since they’ve been with us even before the start of our call letters. So rather than recap what makes ’em so great (like their continuously progressing sound and willingness to team up with fellow Austinites), let’s just jump right into what Bright Light’s got in their limelight.

This morning The Bright Light Social Hour announced their fifth full-length Emergency Leisure. Down to its Slow Rush-reminiscent title, it seems like TBLSH is taking a sweet-yet-sinister Tame Impala daytime disco/indie-psych approach. But true to the Bright Light’s nature, Emergency Leisure isn’t just a full-band vehicle for one singer-songwriter (looking at you, Kevin Parker); instead its a seamlessly collaborative exchange perfected over nearly two decades of playing together that translates in-studio just as well as it does onstage.

For a taste of the ladder, check out The Bright Light Social Hour 8PM this evening at Parlor & Yard, 1AM late tonight at Parish for the Mint Talent Group official showcase, or 5PM Sunday at Rustic Tap. As of now, Rustic Tap looks like Bright Light’s last local gig until after Emergency Leisure comes out August 2nd, when the group hits the road on a three-plus-month tour. And while all that may sound like short notice, you gotta remember who we’re dealing with here; The Bright Light Social Hour always comes in cool and calculated, even when they drop Emergency Leisure‘s lead single like some high-powered blotter paper as they did this morning. Alongside its music video, “Not New” will knock you back with its driving-but-subdued sonics that are almost too cool to party to. Almost.

Redbud: “Sad On The North Side”

Over the past couple months, both on air and online, we here at KUTX have all been geeking out over this rising four-piece Redbud. I mean, they’re immaculate. Redbud’s misty indie-psych-pop swamp almost obscures how much each member dedicates to this project; on surface value they all kind of seem too cool for school (especially frontwoman Katie Claghorn), but when you listen to their recordings, you can instantly tell how disciplined and demiurgic this dual dyad is.

This year Redbud’s raring to release their debut EP, The Long Night. If you’re a crusty ex-Game of Thrones fan, don’t be discouraged by its title. Rather than a bungled, essentially-meaningless attempt that could never live up to its own hype, Redbud’s The Long Night is a concise, five-track masterpiece of unearthly arrangements, airtight structures, and a caliber of songwriting we rarely hear from relative newcomers.

The Long Night drops February 24th and Redbud plays 10:15PM tonight opening for The Stacks’ EP Release show at Hotel Vegas. So while you get ready to get rowdy on the east side, practice your howls at home with the sickly sweet “Sad On The North Side”. Expect plenty more mesmerizing percussion patterns, intriguing chord changes, and ghostly vocals to haunt your ear drums through the weekend.

Redbud: “Kin”

If you’re an outdoorsy Austinite, “Redbud” ought to inspire idyllic images of the not-so-remote isle well within our city limits. But in fact there’s also a blossoming Austin quartet who goes by the name Redbud, helmed by the magnificently-melancholic singer-songwriter Katie Claghorn. Claghorn launched the project as means of self-expression in the early pandemic era, but the Unknown Mortal Orchestra-meets-Hiatus Kaiyote overtones were simply too tempting to keep cooped up to herself.

Redbud’s bloomed into an atmospheric four-piece, whose upcoming EP Long Night ensures a psychedelic and soulful panorama of meditative originals. You can catch Claghorn performing solo today at French House’s Fall Harvest Benefit before their full-band release party this Sunday at Hole in the Wall, with another one November 5th at the same spot (along with our September 2017 Artist of the Month Duncan Fellows). So what do you say? Want to get in good with the Redbud family? Well then fire up “Kin” in the player below and bless ’em with a follow on your preferred streaming platform.