Just Ask the Axis Showcase: Genuine Leather

I imagine it will be different for everyone. Genuine Leather has such a diverse body of work (they would refer to their styles with names like “psych-folk” and “psych-pop,” among others) that there is no one basic entry point. For me, though, there was a very definite song that flipped the switch for me on this great new group developing here in Austin. I recently came into possession of the group’s Crude Magic EP, released last month, and their self-titled LP released in January. Between them there are 17 songs that traverse a wide terrain of musical styles and influences. Starting with the EP, I listed straight through without much clicking. Thankfully, though, this job demands that I listen to everything a group sends our way, because song number 15 was an epiphany. Titled “Sleeping With the TV On,” the track slowly creeps into existence like it’s sneaking up on you in your sleep. The various guitar melodies are muted, matching the quietly breathy vocals. The drummer eschews the snare for the much subtler floor tom. The whole effect is like a hybrid of the Beta Band and Stereolab (I’ve been listening to a lot of 90s rock recently). Sweetly and softly, the track floats on until it very abruptly stops. I was hooked.

‘Genuine Leather’ - Sleeping With the TV On

After having everything fall into place with “Sleeping With the TV On,” I revisited their discography and found other gems scattered throughout. For example, the Crude Magic EP features the ethereal “Peppermint.” The self-titled LP opens with “Criminal,” a relatively up-tempo song that could fit well into Wilco’s catalogue. “Seventh Chord” rocks hard with a steady, insistent beat that still manages a baroque pop-ish melody in the chorus and psych-rock accoutrements from the guitar around its edges, reminding me of something from Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot it in People. In general, Genuine Leather likes colorful chords and interesting sounds that coalesce into enjoyable songs.

Genuine Leather was started as a recording project last summer by an anonymous musician, but they have since become a band to recreate those sounds so he may not remain anonymous for long. In fact, their performance this Saturday at the Just Ask the Axis show will be their first public performance EVER, so do not miss it. And whoever you are in Genuine Leather, you know which song I’d love to hear.

Outside Stage Times Inside Stage Times
6pm Genuine Leather 6:30pm The Rich Hands
7pm La Snacks 7:30pm Dangeresque
8pm BOY 8:30pm The Blackwells
9pm Three Leaf 9:30pm War Party
10pm Tiger Waves 11:10pm A Sky Jet Black
11pm Waldo & the Naturals 10:20pm Politics
12:00am Magnificent Snails
1:00am The Sweet Nuthin’

– Carter