West 22nd

West 22nd: “Sleeping Alone”

In the midst of this drizzly, nippy, and overall kind of crummy weather, we can’t really fault anyone maximizing their time under the covers. And on behalf of the bounty of additional body heat, everyone with a significant other, a temporary cuffing acquaintance, or just a fuzzy friend willing to curl up really ought to feel thankful. Because the alternative is feeling extra frigid right about now. Fortunately for those battling Old Man Winter solo, there’s a new homegrown anthem that’ll warm any bitter spirits right on up.

It comes from Austin indie rock quintet West 22nd, the five friends who only crept up onto streaming services last August with their debut EP All the Way Home. Despite their recent shared confrontations with adulthood and the less-than-picture-perfect realities of relationships that come with it, West 22nd still maintains an undeniably youthful energy in their originals – not necessarily what we’d call wise, but certainly not puerile either.

And they’ve hit the ground running in the new year, having played not too far from their namesake last weekend at The Ballroom and performing again this Friday at Mohawk Outdoors alongside Sounds by Moonbby and Polo Perks opening for Skaiwater. So while West 22nd’s English counterparts may scoff at us Texans shivering from a brief week of freezing, we’d like to think that fellow chilly mammals Arctic Monkeys may not have anything bad to say about “Sleeping Alone”, released last Friday. Emblematic of that iconic early-millennium indie rock renaissance, “Sleeping Alone” sticks it to The Strokes with a nuanced arrangement and considerably less reliance on studio magic. So if you find yourself tossing and turning, maybe missing that special someone, crank “Sleeping Alone” all the way up, delete that has-been from your contacts, and maybe even plan on meeting someone new this Friday at the Mohawk.

West 22nd: “Sweet!”

If this intense summer heat is starting to fry your synapses and your mind is in need of a holiday…but you don’t really have time on the calendar or money in the budget for proper R&R, there’s a broad sonic convoy right here in town that’ll take your brain places, for sure. We’re talking about Austin quintet West 22nd. Based on the campus-adjacent coordinates in their handle, you can probably guess where West 22nd got their start. But it’s worth mentioning that the five members have home state backgrounds ranging from Georgia to California, a critical piece of West 22nd’s “cross-country road trip” aesthetic within their indie-folk-rock excursions. For those staying connected with the Live Music Capital from outside the city limits, let West 22nd take you All The Way Home this Friday with their debut EP that shares the title. For the locals, West 22nd commemorates the occasion with a release show 8PM that same evening at Mohawk indoors alongside Daydream Twins, Knox Write, and Sounds by Moonbby. And for everyone, West 22nd simmers and shimmers on All The Way Home‘s latest lead single, “Sweet!”. Simple kick drum and snare rim, easy-strolling bass, and soft-swaying six-string warm this arrangement up before impassioned pipes bring this thing to a peak, but the inter-instrumental energy across this relatively complex song structure is really what escalates “Sweet!” past vapid and saccharine and into satiating and sanguine.