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Night Drive

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Night Drive Illuminates Barracuda with New Wave Synths

  

While dance/electronica music usually isn’t at the top of my list when I’m browsing my next show, Barracuda is always an intimate space where you can have a good time. Across the street was Austin Terror Fest at Empire Control Room where a curious juxtaposition of sound blended when you were outside.

 

[Michael] Parallax went on first. In case you were wondering, Parallax is a scientific term about the displacement of lines. The show had lots of light work, like a miniature rave. On a surface level, Parallax's performance was fun, yet not musically something I’d sit at home and listen to. Several people there looked like they had wandered off 6th street and just wanted a spot to drink, the music being secondary. Many couples were huddled together on a date night. Michael told the audience to do a slow motion mosh pit, and that was amusing to watch. Some parts he unnaturally told the crowd to do things like pull out their phone lights and swing them around, or all do a certain dance. 

 

In contrast, Kae Astra made music that should accompany a night time dream or a guided meditation.The instrumental was similar to Beach House, and the high pitched, ethereal singing reminds me of Grimes. The backdrop changed as the musical atmosphere evolved, that aspect made the show more immersive. Her giant curly hair bobbed as she played her one woman show. Dream pop is a broad term but I would call her dream pop because of the light, airy atmosphere the music created. Overall, it was fun to close my eyes and listen to the music, but it didn’t draw the crowd in for a substantial amount of time. The eager “let’s get this over so I can see who I came for” energy was in the air. People going out to smoke, or having a conversation by the bar.

 

Ever since the show I have had Night Drive’s song “Anyone’s Ghost” stuck in my head. “Anyone’s Ghost” is the song that aired on KUTX and with 4.7k views putting it at their most popular song. If you’re a fan of strobe lights this is the show for you. Tastefully around the mic stand, drums, and synth stand were colored strobes that would periodically flash with the peak of the songs would go faster and faster. The band’s sound was similar to 80s new wave synth pop bands like Eurythmics, A Flock of Seagulls, New Order, or even Depeche Mode. It was the musical and emotional darkness of the songs that drew me to 80s new wave synth pop. So the familiar sound with a futuristic twist kept me and the audience engaged. The band draws inspiration from sci-fi cinematic landscapes and brings the visual of those landscapes into an audio sound. The audience gyrated like one giant mass wrapping around the singer as he stepped onto the ground to sing, immersed in the audience.

 

-Hillary Harris

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Sci-Fi Synthpop Invigorates on Night Drive's "Trapeze Artist Regrets"

 80's nostalgia percolates through all fissures of this danceable synth-noir track called "Trapeze Artist Regrets. Night Drive seemingly indvertently created this tack:"Trapeze Artist Regrets was never suppose to happen. We were writing something else for a short film and became bored, so we changed the bpm, started shifting things around and all of the sudden we had this groove we liked.  We just started working backwards from there. The title came first, a sorta metaphor for disaster; it’s about watching someone you care about make the same mistake over and over again and not being able to do anything about it. Just hoping they pull through.”

Comprised of Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon, Night Drive is a Texas-based electro duo who draw inspiration from sci-fi and modern electropop. “Trapeze Artist Regrets” is from their debut self-titled record, which will be out on June 16th. Having toured alongside CHVRCHES, Austra, Robert DeLong, and Miami Horror, Night Drive is getting ready to hit the stages again. 

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11 Austin Bands to Catch at SXSW 2017

 While SXSW features exotic music like throat-singers from the steppes of Mongolia or flute bands from the peaks of the Andes, we must not forget that some of most exhilarating music comes from our own backyard.  Here are 11 bands that will be slaying at SXSW this week.

1. Mobley (Post-Genre Pop)

Cutting vocals in the woods behind his college dorm. Mixing in the backseat of a sedan. Sneaking into the music department after hours to teach himself to play new instruments (and sneaking out before the faculty arrived in the morning). From the start, Mobley's work has been marked by solitude, ingenuity, and a drive that could only be called obsessive. Whether you experience his music on record or at one of his incredible live shows, the passion is palpable. Mobley grew up all over the world, from the Spanish Mediterranean to the California coast. Perhaps it's because of this itinerant childhood that he finds it so hard to sit still.

 

 

 

2. Night Drive (Synthpop)

Inspired by sci-fi cinematic landscapes, Night Drive creates modern synth-pop that explores the darker currents of abstract emotion. Infectious melodies wrapped in thoughtful lyrics with pulsing dance beats unveil a stylish, energetic sound that has been featured in film, tv and radio around the world. Touring and opening for international bands such as CHVRCHES, Robert DeLong,Tesla Boy, Miami Horror and The Psychedelic Furs, Night Drive has quickly garnered a reputation as a captivating, must see live show.

 

 

 

3. Leopold and His Fiction (Alt Rock)

For Leopold and His Fiction, creating an album as sublimely chaotic as Darling Destroyer took a lifetime of cultivating a kaleidoscopic musicality. Born and raised in Detroit, Daniel first began making music after finding a forgotten about guitar in his grandmother’s basement as a child. “It had only two strings, but I took it home and started studying immediately,” he recalls. He also played drums in a band at school and learned to play horns and bass, but his focus remained on the guitar. “I’m an only child and was always alone, but I was lucky enough to have an instrument I could bury myself in,” he says. “It was a kind of gold mine, having such an outlet growing up.”

 

 

 

4. Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears (Blues Rock)

Black Joe Lewis trawls the familiar intersection of blues, soul, funk, and garage rock, but he's got a few enlivening strategies to make the old formula feel fresh.

 

 

 

5. Los Coast (Soul Rock)

Los Coast's music is a punchy, psych-tinged, lyrical variety of soul.  For the band, comprised of Trey Privott, John Courtney, Megan Hartman, Damien Llanes, and Natlie Wright, this style of music is uniquely effective medium of communication.

 

 

 

6. Melat (R&B)

Born in Austin, Texas, Mélat is the eclectic soul of modern RnB. Mélat tells a story that is both challenging and inspiring crafted from her very own life experiences. It is a pure and honest reflection of her soul. From love, lust, success, to failure Mélat sings of what it means to be a human being simply longing to “be”.

 

 

 

7. Sweet Spirit (Cabaret Rock)

Quickly becoming the most anticipated live shows in Austin, Sweet Spirit is on a roll.  In between shows, the band found time to work with producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick) on their sophomore full-length St. Mojo. The new record comes out on April 7, 2017 on Austin label Nine Mile Records and features a bigger, more dynamic set of songs. Lead single "The Power" has already become a fan favorite at live shows, while the Queen-esque track "The Mighty" and Prince dance funk of "I Wanna Have You" take the band is exciting, unexpected new directions. Guest contributions from members of Grupo Fantasma, Mother Falcon and A Giant Dog help expand the band's already considerable sound.

 

 

 

8. Annabelle Chairlegs (Psych Rock)

Annabelle Chairlegs plays out around town often, exuding polished, glitzy, Sixties-inspired rock & roll fleshed out by guitar licks straddling the line between surf-y and noir. Helmed by Mackin's strange, arresting voice, usually either a powerful belt or contorted into theatrical yelping, the band commands the stage with intense authority.

 

 

 

9. Mr. Kitty (Gothtronica)

An artist creates to evoke a reaction, and Forrest and Isaac Ross Lemaire of Mr. Kitty are electro-goth sorcerers who succeed in creating an 8-bit dreamworld for their listeners.  Not quite neophytes, Mr. Kitty have had five previous releases, and their discography runs the gamut between wistful tracks of wintered melancholy to frenetic electro-bangers of seizure-inducing speed. The constant through all of their music is the gothic romanticism of Forrest's lyrics and the perpetually evolving innovativeness of Isaac's hard-hitting beats and crystalline synths.

 

 

 

10. CAPYAC (Electro-Funk)

CAPYAC is a surreal dance act made up of one half swamp baby (P. Sugz), one half agave plant (Potion). To question the origins of the band is to ponder the origin of humanity itself. When founding member Potion stumbled upon the name, half-conscious on his bedroom floor at 3 a.m., it was nonsense, much like the primordial soup from which life on this planet emerged.

 

 

 

11.  S U R V I V E (Instrumental Electronica)

S U R V I V E has been producing synth-heavy, horror-score-influenced compositions for years, and two of the group's members are known for crafting the critically acclaimed score for the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. For almost a decade, the band has explored these themes with drum machines and analog synths, shown on numerous EPs and on their first full-length, Mnq026 from 2012. Releasing their second full-length record 'RR7349' last September on Relapse Records, S U R V I V E kick off their 2017 globe-trotting, festival-heavy tour schedule with a series of shows for SXSW in their hometown of Austin, Texas.

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