april how could i’ve worn inappropriate clothing? | april 2021

april how could i’ve worn inappropriate clothing? | april 2021

April is normally one of our favorite months of the year. Springtime is really kicking into high gear, it’s kitten season, it’s my birthday… This year is truly no exception, however obstacle after obstacle has been throwing itself into our realm. So, let’s take some time to relax with new releases from April 2021. Featuring music from REI AMI, Last Minte, Zuli Jr., and more, we will be adding new artists on a daily basis throughout the rest of the month. Check back frequently, and let us know what artists YOU love!

close up: a sounds australia showcase (night 2) | sxsw 2021

close up: a sounds australia showcase (night 2) | sxsw 2021

Thursday, March 18th brought with it some new sounds from far-off places. I was overjoyed to sit in on night 2 of “Close Up: A Sounds Australia Showcase.” Hosted by Dom Alessio of Sounds Australia, this relaxing evening featured music by Kee’ahn, Beans, Death by Denim, The Chats, and Kota Banks & Ninajirachi.

We think the photos do this showcase quite a bit of justice. The feeling of connecting with the earth and these natural landscapes while engaging with incredible international artists is absolutely captivating. Check out the snaps below, and add these bands to your next playlist!

black fret showcase | sxsw 2021

black fret showcase | sxsw 2021

St. Patrick’s Day at SXSW 2021 was an absolute blast. The Black Fret showcase featured six Austin, Texas-based bands in their showcase, giving us some of that SXSW hometown flare we were missing from our couches. Featuring Sydney Wright, Ley Line, Motenko, Eimaral Sol, PR Newman, and Buffalo Hunt, the music was magical already without the added lunar backdrop. Peep the highlights and check out the work Black Fret does below!

Black Fret believes our local music is art, worthy of the support of our community just as the symphony, opera and ballet have been supported for generations. We are a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is to support the creation and performance of local music. Since 2013 we have contributed over $3.6 million to the local music economy of Austin, Texas. Learn more or join us at blackfret.org.

seen + heard @ sxsw 2021

seen + heard @ sxsw 2021

As always, SXSW was packed to the brim with introspective panels, incredible showcases, and fun opportunities. And some conversations were less for informational purposes than to just have fun. After all, we’ve all been in some level of quarantine over the past year and seeing people is so different than usual!

That said, we had a few fun panels and experiences to share screenshots and quotes from on our SXSW adventure. Let us present our first edition of “seen + heard @ sxsw 2021.”


“We suffer when we can’t be honest about who we are” – Lori Gottlieb
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Robert Schwartzman | Co-Founder, Utopia Films and Altavod
Emily Best | Founder & CEO, Seed&Spark Inc
Maggie Mackay | Executive Director, Vidiots Foundation
Laura Harrier | Actress
Elijah Wood | Co-Founder, SpectreVision
Film Distribution in an Increasingly Digital Age

fierce panda x end of the trail creative | sxsw 2021

fierce panda x end of the trail creative | sxsw 2021

St. Patrick’s Day this year was just as entertaining as usual, as a slew of music showcases kept us popping in and out of different virtual spaces, much like we would be popping into different storefronts and venues along 6th street at SXSW had it been in person. (You’re welcome for that masterful run-on sentence.) Fierce Panda and End of The Trail Creative threw an absolute bash with some moody ass lighting. Caiine, Jekyll, Scrounge, Family Jools, and Enjoyable Listens left their best out on the floor for us. We took some screenshots while dancing around the living room. Highlights below.

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

Sweetlove’s origin story isn’t anything reminiscent of a meet-cute. The work that seems to burst and pour from the seams of this artist has resulted from a long road littered with several intense personal battles. 6 magical tracks come at us today with the release of her EP Goodnight, Lover.

Goodnight, Lover is packed with the self-discovery that comes along with growing into your skin. “Devil on Your Shoulder” should be more sinister, but as Sweetlove implores that it “feels good when you’re living free,” there’s less of a negative connotation to the aforementioned idea of anyone playing devil’s advocate in your court. The title track slows the pace of the project down a bit, a twangy love ballad that will bring you right back to your boots. (Er, roots.) It throws feelings of all-encompassing passion out into the ether, preparing you for the slow, sincere beauty of third track “The House.”

“Did You Even Know” comes rolling in with Garth Brooks-esque momentum, a song that calls for appreciation in the now. Circling back to the theme of devils, “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” comes in with the soft, assuring instrumentals of a light, summer song from our youth. The soundscape is simplified, a sense of loss, a beautiful song that allows you to mourn as you sing “it will get better.” “Things I Didn’t Say” perfectly rounds out the established feelings of loss through a lens nothing short of bittersweet. It’s the perfect testament to a love experienced to the fullest.

We highly encourage a glass of whiskey or wine and a night on the patio under the stars with this new collection from Sweetlove. It will help you tap into feelings you won’t recognize, and many you simply haven’t felt for a hot minute. Check it out in its entirety below.

photo by Anna Azarov

charlie treat, the comet

charlie treat, the comet

For a rip-roarin’ good time, country singer/songwriter Charlie Treat’s new album is the perfect answer to your prayers. Beginning with the amped-up energy of “I Ain’t Gonna Be The One To Do It,” he finds a way to lure the audience in with wit and a bite of nostalgia in the instrumentals. Even the slow down of pace with the second track “Drink With Me” holds lengthy, rhythmic lines, with (what appears to me to be) clear nods to The Black Crowes. (“Hard To Handle,” specifically, for those of you asking. And yes, it did take me calling the insanely talented music journalist Elizabeth Schneider to pinpoint the exact sound. Kudos to her.) Just those two tracks will have your mind spinning, but there are ten more inspired songs left to enjoy past that with this new release.

“The Two Best People” really brings the energy down, while singing of “bringing each other down.” Bluesy, beautiful energy to launch you into a light, airy “Tune As Pretty As You.” “Steamshovel Blues” brings the pace up again, but “So Much Better” lulls us back into that slow, glittering, 70’s sound. “Rain Again” comes at you with an edge off the bat, with some quick bongos and even quicker lyrics.

“Drive My Blues Away” is the most melancholic track we have yet to experience on this collection. The vocals seem very inspired, at times Springsteen, and at others Steven Tyler. The piano and whirring guitar solo make the whole thing feel like it could have been recorded in the 90s.

Thank goodness “Dollar For Dollar” brings the pace back up, as the subject matter isn’t entirely something to celebrate. However, the idea of rallying for the working man is something we can all relate to, especially after the trials the last year has presented us with. “Dancing At The Bar (The Quarantine Song)” starts out with glittering synth, and honestly we could see this track being performed alongside anything by ABBA. (Can you hear it?) “Candi” plays with dissonance before the first vocals hit, making it feel almost calmer as the lyrics set in. The whole album is rounded out quite well with “Biggest Fool,” which somehow blendsseveral of the aforementioned genres into one song. (Is that sitar? Are we in a 70’s music video? Where did that trumpet come from?)

One thing is for certain. Charlie Treat has chops. His ability to write lyrics that somehow perfectly complement each instrumental, creating new sounds that simultaneously pay homage to genre-spanning predecessors, is actually quite unique and very appreciated. The Comet should be approached as an adventure and a very appreciated leap into nostalgia.

The Comet is out on March 26.

made for love intrigues at sxsw 2021

made for love intrigues at sxsw 2021

If you’re into intricate storytelling that involves a technological future that doubles as a dystopian society, then MADE FOR LOVE is made for you. Lucky enough to view the first few episodes of this upcoming HBO Max gem, this shit kicked off our SXSW 2021 in some type of crazy headspace.

Imagine: A scattered, confusing beginning as a woman hoists herself out of the ground, sopping wet as she splays out on a dry, dusty desertscape. She has escaped a cluster of shiny buildings, which you can see in the background.

Cut to a different time. What looks to be routine morning escapades with the most pretentious man you know, followed by watching him swimming laps with a dolphin in his pool. The man? Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), the owner of a tech company that is pronounced astoundingly familiarly. His advancements in technology seem to be changing the dating landscape, on top of many other big accomplishments in his career. But his empathy, his ability to communicate healthily, is obviously insufficient. Early on, you see a crazy in his eyes that makes you feel like this escape from reality might hit a little closer to our technological home than planned.

But the entirety of that first episode is dedicated to understanding this woman. Who is she? How did she get here? Why is she subject to invasive questions by a creepy algorithm? Why is her life being determined by someone that isn’t her? Why does everything feel cold in this strange, structured world?

The first episode of MADE FOR LOVE will throw you back and forth over a short window of time, a fun way to create mystery in the storyline. I was initially drawn to view the show by the listed cast. How I Met Your Mother fans will rejoice in the knowledge that Cristin Milioti is top-billed as the protagonist, Hazel Green (a naming choice that does not entirely evade us).

And when Ray Romano is introduced as Hazel’s father in a flashback? The unexpected (and somehow necessary) marriage of two favorite moments in pop culture united to create what we are sure will be our favorite television father/daughter duo of all time.

If the last scene of that first episode is any indication, things could get even weirder, too.

Our thoughts? Don’t miss the premiere of Made For Love, April 1 on HBO Max.

atria, “jazz cigarette”

atria, “jazz cigarette”

Though Travis Atria has been engaged in creative endeavors for years – he is the frontman of pop-rock collective Morningbell, he co-wrote Curtis Mayfield’s official biography, and has authored other projects – his new project Atria has been gaining traction as of late. Good news, since its debut LP is set to release early next month. With the success of the project’s first two singles – “Lucky” and “Love Theme” – there seem to be nothing but blue skies ahead for this solo endeavor.

Today, we have the exclusive premiere of the third single leading into next week’s album release. “Jazz Cigarette” is a timely piece on global warming, relayed in a way that strangely calms your anxieties. While the “Temperature’s always rising / Ocean’s acidifying” (Hello, rhythmic lyricism!), he finds peace in an object. In a way, Atrias is letting us all bum a stress-reducing “Jazz Cigarette” off of him, to reduce the overwhelm of our responsibility to the planet and our future.

The accompanying video is a solid collection of city views around New York that romanticize the passing cars and gorgeous architecture. With Atrias’ soothing vocals playing over it all, it feels like a love letter to Manhattan. We dig.

Moonbrain is out Friday, April 2, on Gold Robot Records.