New Music: Clifffs “Volcano”

The latest record from Clifffs (formerly Cliffs of Insanity), the newest musical project of John Dufilho (formerly of Deathray Davies), Bill, You’re Only Human, dropped on the 11th of June. It’s a fun little indie garage rock record. Very aurally satisfying, so you know if you need a record just to walk down the street bobbing your head to, here you go. You can check out the full record here, and check out “Volcano” below.

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Better Know an Artist (Vol 34): Katrina Cain (TOMKAT)

TOMKAT is a band out of Denton, Texas, making dreamy electro pop with touches of jazz and soul. They’re fronted by the golden-tressed and golden-piped Katrina (AKA Kat) Cain. Her voice melts on top of the textured electronics to create a slicked up pop dreamscape. Katrina took the time out from dying her hair to answer our questions. Enjoy!

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

KC: The first time I performed in public, I was four years old. I knew pretty much immediately that I wanted to be a professional musician, and specifically a vocalist. I’ve always known it’s what I wanted to do. Throughout my childhood, I played quite a few different instruments and sang everywhere I could (I was a band, orchestra, choir nerd). I eventually majored in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas, which is how I started actually gigging and making money. It’s also where I met all the guys in the band. All of us moved to Texas to study music at UNT, and we’ve ended up staying here because of the DFW music scene.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

KC:  I’ve always had trouble classifying our music because I feel like it could fall into several genres. I like to say it’s electro groove pop. We hope people can dance and chill out to our music.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

KC: My early songwriter self was influenced by artists like Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. But this current band, TOMKAT, is a mix of all of our influences. I would say we are influenced by artists like Little Dragon, Banks, Polica, and Haitus Kaiyote.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

KC: Our song, “Big Love”, means the most to me because it’s the first song I wrote for this band. Well, the first song I wrote for us that ended up recorded and performed. It’s actually not about love and not about drugs (like it seems), but it’s a metaphor for the music industry. Basically, an obsession or addiction that I can’t stay away from, but sometimes it feels like it’s killing me. My current favorite song is “Icarus”, which we haven’t recorded yet, but we open every show with it. It’s pretty much the story of Icarus, and again just a huge metaphor for being excited/scared to pursue your dreams. The last lines of the song are, “What if I fly, and if I fly too high, what if I fall?”

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

KC: Oh, damn. “Dead or alive” makes it hard to narrow down…if we could open for Little Dragon one day, I would be on top of the world. That’s when I’ll have achieved my definition of success. They’ve been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them…I was maybe 18 or 19 when a friend told me to check them out. It’s great to see their progress and how far they have come. In my opinion, they are one of the freshest, most innovative bands out there– without being so “out” that it drives the mainstream listeners away. They do a great job of balancing unique sounds and concepts with feel good grooves. Everything they release just blows me away.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

KC: Our guitarist’s new band, Terra Collective, is blowing us away recently. Sorry for the plug, but they’re doing some cool things. Polica is a band from the twin cities up in Minnesota. They’ve been around for a few years, but don’t get as much credit as they should. I’m excited to see where they go. I look up to them a lot.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

KC: I honestly don’t want to answer this question, because there are so many records I could name.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

KC: I love how different each scene is- I truly feel like Denton, Dallas, and Fort Worth each have a unique vibe and their own unique fan bases to offer. I love Deep Ellum. I love how much studio work there is here. Any negative experiences I have had here, I have also had in every other city we’ve played, so I’m not sure that there are any negatives about the DFW scene in particular. Houston has so far been the least welcoming city as far as other bands/artists, venues, booking shows, etc.

I will say in general: I wish more people were willing to go out and see live music, to tip the musicians and/or just pay the cover charge. I’m a big spoiled because my “day job” is also playing music (at swanky restaurants and weddings), but honestly it’s a bit ridiculous to think that we should offer our profession for free anywhere. Even when it’s original music….especially when it’s original music! No one ever says, “Oh, I thought that haircut and dye would be free. No thanks, then.” So why do people turn back around when they get to the club door and there’s a small cover charge? I promise you it will be worth the $5!

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

KC: So far, Trees takes the cake. We had the opportunity to play during the Pin Show’s preview event at Trees in December of 2015 and it was amazing. Really hoping we can play there again. Every show I’ve seen there has been incredible. They book some of my favorite acts, and the sound is always fantastic. I also want to give a shoutout to Jimmy at Dan’s Silver Leaf in Denton for being the best sound guy I’ve ever worked with. He’s also the crankiest, and you can tell him I said that, he knows I love him.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

KC: Absolutely in love with the band Relick, and have always loved hearing Isaac Hoskins play. We also adore playing shows with Rat Rios and Sudie, so check them out as well!

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

KC: My name is Kat, but I like dogs. I am left-handed. I have never done karaoke.

Many thanks to Kat for taking the time to do this for us. I don’t think TomKat has any local dates upcoming. They’re in Houston and Austin the next couple days. For now, you can listen to their track, “Big Love”, below, and pick up the EP here. Keep an eye out for TomKat dates here.

 

New Music: Pageantry “Vicious Wishes”

Check out this groovy new track from Denton’s Pageantry. It’s called “Vicious Wishes” and it’s like Flaming Lips meet New Wave. Pretty freaking cool. It’s the lead track off of their upcoming EP, set for release on July 11 on Southern Heaven Records. The official release show will be at Dan’s Silver Leaf on July 16.

 

DFWd Hype Project: Vincent Neil Emerson “7 Come 11”

Vincent Neil Emerson was the artist whose show we were at the first time Asa told me “I like that song”, so he’s an artist I’m quite fond of. If he makes the kid happy, he makes me happy. Vincent walks a fine line between old school honky tonk country, western swing and the blues, and there’s no finer example of his sound than one of my favorites (and one of his), “7 Come 11”, named after an unreleased record by one of his idols, Townes Van Zandt. Vincent’s been laying down some recordings at Nile City Sound where Leon Bridges recorded Coming Home. I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot from this young man in the near future. For now, you can catch him playing somewhere most nights with his band, the Old Souls (which includes fellow Fort Worth songwriters Luke McGlathery and Denver Williams). Check out “7 Come 11” below or get the full album here.

You can read my Better Know an Artist interview with Vincent and find out more about “7 Come 11” here.

About the DFWd Hype Project series: Now that AsasRecords is a Hype Machine featured blog, I feel the need to drive some attention to some of the great artists in the metroplex that might be overlooked in the global scene. I decided to start the daily Hype Project series to feature those artists and help me fight the urge to just post a long stream of posts in one day. If you’re not a DFWd local and you dig the track, like it, share it, reblog it, get the word out. We’ve got some great talent here in our area and would love to get them out to your area.

DFWd Hype Project: Andy Pickett “It Happens

One of the most recognizable faces in the Fort Worth music scene, Andy Pickett, fought back against stage fright to reveal his musical side to us all last year. His debut record, It Happens Every Night, introduces some natural pop sensibilities that hearken back to folks like Billy Joel, Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson. The album’s title track is one of the toe-tappingest, sing-alongiest tracks to drop in town for a while. He’s a  good dude with good things ahead of him. Andy has been running down to Austin every few months this year to work on his sophomore record with James Petralli (of White Denim), so expect to hear some new material (and more buzz) pretty soon, but for now, enjoy this little gem. You can pick up the full album here.

About the DFWd Hype Project series: Now that AsasRecords is a Hype Machine featured blog, I feel the need to drive some attention to some of the great artists in the metroplex that might be overlooked in the global scene. I decided to start the daily Hype Project series to feature those artists and help me fight the urge to just post a long stream of posts in one day. If you’re not a DFWd local and you dig the track, like it, share it, reblog it, get the word out. We’ve got some great talent here in our area and would love to get them out to your area.

New Music: Cut Throat Finches “Boundaries”

So, the debut album from the recently formed Fort Worth jangle-pop group, Cut Throat Finches, dropped a couple weeks ago, and it’s eclectic, accessible, joyous and highly enjoyable. You can check out Reality on Spotify right now and preorder it on vinyl here.

However, what we’re really here to talk about might be the coolest thing in DFW music this month, and that’s the 4k, 360 degree Virtual Reality video they made for their song “Boundaries”. You’re definitely going to want to take the 4 minutes to watch this, or you know an hour, if you want to try to catch every angle of it.

Cut Throat Finches “Boundaries”

DFWd Hype Project: Vodeo “Pillow Talking”

So, if you’re not from Fort Worth, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of our favorite yacht rock sons, Vodeo. If you are from Fort Worth, you know them as the guys that racked up pretty much all of the Fort Worth Weekly Music Award nominations. Now that we’re officially into summer, I figure their summery goodness is the perfect sound to start off this series. Down below, you can take a listen to the smooth grooving sounds of Vodeo’s “Pillow Talking”, complete with new music video. You can jam it on repeat this summer and go check out more of that good good here.

You can read my Better Know an Artist interview with the boys from Vodeo here.

About the DFWd Hype Project series: Now that AsasRecords is a Hype Machine featured blog, I feel the need to drive some attention to some of the great artists in the metroplex that might be overlooked in the global scene. I decided to start the daily Hype Project series to feature those artists and help me fight the urge to just post a long stream of posts in one day. If you’re not a DFWd local and you dig the track, like it, share it, reblog it, get the word out. We’ve got some great talent here in our area and would love to get them out to your area.