Summer have you searching for new music perfect for driving on these long sunny days? The kind of songs which pair well with splitting a six pack of Armadillo Ale on the courthouse lawn with a good friend, or laying out, feet up, shades on, poolside at an apartment complex where none of your friends live, but there’s always someone swimming who knows your name? This month’s 3 Songs column brings you a trio of fresh, local tracks from Mah Kee Oh, Exit Glaciers and Pageantry which we’re confident will fill those summer cravings.
Mah Kee Oh is a new bedroom rock project from the minds of Gunnar Ebeling, from Criminal Birds, and Grahm Robinson, former member of Criminal Birds and current drummer of Fishboy. The duo made their first release this March via Denton’s own Olympic Dreams Records, an eleven track album titled One Footed, then released a new single this month which was actually written and recorded solely by Grahm due to some temporary geographical issues. The catchy lo-fi vocals layered over crunchy guitar strumming, blown out bass and upbeat drums will instantly have you tapping your feet and singing along to the featured track, Word Vomit. Grahm also produced a video for the song, throwing back stylistically to the home videos of the 90’s and early 2000’s by using an Iphone and a variety of filters. Personifying different characters for each instrument being played, Grahm transforms into a head bobbing, funked out, fur coat wearing bassist, a straightforward, no frills, bandana wearing drummer, a formal, tuxedo clad, Tom Yorke esque lead singer and a grooving, buttoned up, lick loving lead guitarist. All of this, combined with slow motion shots of bubbles, walking time lapses, swing sets and glow sticks makes for one heck of a fun music video. Watch it below.
We featured a single from Exit Glaciers in our January issue of 3 Songs, including background information on the band and their very talented singer-songwriter Megan Storie. This month they return to our spotlight after releasing “Silence Has Left,” a new track from their upcoming EP, Debris. Starting off with a slow tapping on the hi hats and a pulsing, heartbeat like pattern on the kick drum, the song immediately draws you in physiologically before bursting into an enchanted melody of shimmering organ sounds, simple bass and soft guitar chords evoking a calm, dreamy sense of peace which pairs perfectly with the lyrical themes of reconciling with the past and accepting the inevitable path life tends to lead people down. The whole album takes a darker approach to the band’s signature blend of pop folk, conjuring serene images of a clear starry sky on a long nights drive through the picturesque rolling hills of central Texas, a quality the band partly attributes on this song to having Scott Danbom of Centro-matic featured on keys. You can purchase Debris via exitglaciers.com or wait for the full EP to become available for streaming in the next month or two.
Pageantry has been working hard this year, achieving greater recognition in the music scene and exceeding fan expectations despite facing challenges as a group. In April they self released their first full-length record, Influence, a project the trio labored over for two years, and after a small tour immediately went back into the studio to begin crafting a new album. Three short months later Pageantry emerged with Vicious Wishes, their second EP and the name of their coffee collaboration with Novel Coffee, both which were available during their listening party at Shift Coffee earlier this month (read our coverage of that event here). The band lost their keyboardist to another group, Seryn, but didn’t miss a beat playing their release shows thanks to Eric Nichelson of Midlake who temporarily filled in. Last week the band landed at number ten on Central Track’s Buzz Rankings, sharing the coveted top ten list with big names like the Toadies, Erykah Badu and Leon Bridges. We had a chance to speak with Pageantry’s frontman Roy Robertson this week about both of the recent releases.
WDDI: “As a band, did y’all take a different approach in the writing and recording process for Vicious Wishes than for Influence?”
Roy: “Definitely. We’ve purposefully begun moving away from the more long-winded, overly complicated songs from Influence in an attempt to be more elemental and bring a better clarity to our lyrics, arrangement and recordings. For the most part, it’s clarity in a non-literal sense. I know there are things we hide behind consciously and unconsciously, so I’d like to find out what they are and use that to move towards something more sincere. Not to say Influence isn’t a sincere album, but it’s a matter of expressing our ideas in a clearer way and that’s why we’re proud of the new EP.”
WDDI: “With how quickly the EP was released, some fans might wonder if a few songs from Vicious Wishes could be considered b-sides or extra material from Influence. Would you say there’s some truth to that, or did y’all have a serious surge of creativity and create the entire album fresh?”
Roy: “None of the Vicious Wishes songs were done during or before the Influence recording sessions. We wanted to do demos for a few new songs once Influence was finished and it turned out sounding better than we had expected, so we came back to my home studio for another round of recording, which I added to and mixed over the past couple months, and we’re all really happy with the final product.”
WDDI: “Who’s got the best coffee in town?”
Roy: “100% Shift! They really know what they’re doing when it comes to brewing coffee.”
Thanks for tuning in to this month’s 3 Songs column, a monthly highlight for new releases we can’t stop listening to and your place to find the best new releases from Denton’s music scene. Like what you heard today? Be sure to support these bands and purchase their music, most of the featured tracks are available on Bandcamp for free, or at most a dollar or two, and all that money goes directly to the band members. Have a great weekend!