If you live in Austin then you already know there’s too much damn music to keep track of. And sometimes you just want to sift through it in bite-sized chunks. We totally understand. Allow us to introduce you to The Latest Toughs, five tracks from five bands to get you up to date and make each of your workdays a little easier.
Roger Sellers- “Spectrolite”
I don’t know about you, but Ovrld’s weekend was pretty damn packed. Between running around documenting ACL and hosting a day party at Holy Mountain on Sunday, things got pretty exhausting. Which is why today seems like a damn fine day for some dreamy music, and things don’t get much dreamier than Roger Sellers’ “Spectrolite,” off his brand new LP Primitives. Taking a sprinkling of Dan Deacon electro-acoustic composition and merging it with a full serving of Animal Collective’s hazy, reverberated melodies, Roger Sellers turns “Spectrolite” into a fully futurist indie gem. Primitives on the whole is hard to peg down, other than to say it sounds like Roger Sellers, and while it functions best when taken in its entirety, it’s also amazingly adaptable to single serving doses. – Nick Hanover
Kydd Jones- “Nothin’ on Me”
An Austinite, local staple in underground hip hop and forward thinking trendsetter, Kydd Jones gives us nothing less than we would expect, the best, with his newly released single “Nothin’ On Me.” Indeed. Once again, Kydd sets himself apart from the monotonous and mundane, displaying an unparalleled combination of breathy verses, fluid lines and gritty vibes, creating a sound that can only be described as “uniquely his.” Along side Keef and Grind Life Films, Kydd cooks up this saliva inspiring meeting of southern-fried grime and meaningful rhymes, that is then chopped and screwed a little. Mr. Jones maintains meaning through the citchy cadence of his lyrical flow, while providing a hard-hitting beat that is just the right amount of soft around the edges. From sharing all the sounds in his head, to flaunting his righteousness, A3C, SXSW and traveling cross country with the local LNS crew, Kydd continues to create, not participate, in the competition. – Jenny Stark
Chipper Jones- “Scout”
Graveyard Orbit just put up a compilation of releases from their first year and it’s full of excellent tracks from local acts like HIKES, taz, Roger Sellers and Chipper Jones, but it’s the latter’s playful “Scout” that seems like the best mood lifter for a Wednesday. Like a lighter Battles, Chipper Jones is a duo that keeps their technical mastery of their instruments fun and engaging rather than sterile and masturbatory. “Scout” is especially indicative of that, with its opening, twinkling lead line and its eventual transformation into a full bodied, anthemic climax. The track is especially promising in terms of what it could mean for the band’s eventual future, since their debut EP was a mix of live performances and studio experimentation rather than a wholly studio produced affair. “Scout” comes from the live end of that equation, and should serve as an enticement to catch them in that setting as soon as you can. – NH
The David Ruffins- “Leif Ericsson”
I told fellow Ovrld contributor Dylan Garsee that the David Ruffins’ “Leif Ericsson” is the follow-up Black Kids single we never got, which some of you might assume is a dig on the band, but fuck you, Black Kids were great and one day you will all realize the truth. But back to the matter at hand. With “Leif Ericsson,” the David Ruffins alter a Viking legend to fit more urban adventurers just looking for some good times and legendary memories. Guitarist/vocalist Roman Mitchell has some envious skills at setting a lyrical and melodic mood, his crisp, confident voice making me think back to the Dears’ Murray Lightburn, albeit far less melodramatic. The song is wiry and spacious at its start, initially teasing the booming chorus before shifting back to the hip flexing swagger of Sun Min Im’s bass and Jonathan Mora’s precise, controlled drumming. The arrangement rightfully emphasizes Mitchell’s vocals, but the song hits its sweet spot when it arrives at the chorus and those schoolyard chant vocals. Black Kids may never have gotten their proper due, but I think the David Ruffins stand a good chance of avoiding that fate. – NH
Riders Against the Storm- “Booty Sweat”
Once again, husband and wife duo Chaka and Qi Dada of Riders Against the Storm, The Austin Chronicles 2013-2014 Band of the Year, preach perfection with their new sinful single “Booty Sweat.” Inspired by one hot and heavy night spent perspiring amongst the thickness of the crowd at Body Rock ATX (a crowd that often features myself), RAS capitalizes on all that booty sweat by dropping this track we won’t be able to stop dropping it to. By bringing their guerrilla tactics to the tables, Chaka and Qi Dada spread the essence of community, enlivening any forgotten dance floor. Combining a variety of soundscapes: rap, hip-hop, jazz and dance with the essence of lyricism, Riders Against the Storm prescribes yet another hyped tune aimed to heal us deserving “undeserved.” Complete with hair raising high-hats, smooth syrupy basslines, old school rhythms and monstrous horns courtesy of Hard Proof Afrobeat, RAS invites us to partake in the party. Gauged at more than getting the club gyrating, Riders Against the Storm invites you to become a part of the bigger story.
A percentage of the proceeds accrued from the downloading of the track “Booty Sweat” will support the work of the Ballet Afrique Contemporary Dance, as well as RAS’s ability to be something bigger, and better, in our community and the community of hip-hop at large.