Self-Released Songs is a podcast featuring music released by the artists themselves without the aid or backing of a label. Sometimes we read the artist descriptions on how their work came to be, other times we interview them to discuss their work
It seems like a rarity to talk with a record label owner who cares about the lives and livelihoods of the artists they work with, but that’s who Tony Presley of Keeled Scales Records is. Along with his business partner Seth Whaland, he’s curated a roster of artists into a label made by people who care about great music. Keeledscales.com
The drive to succeed is something that decides who makes music a career and who’s doing it for a hobby. Through years of hard work Mario Rodriguez took his band Tax The Wolf to new places. He and his wife started Bang Bangz and took it even further. And his world of production, publishing and engineering as Wonky Power Records has seen his vision come full circle with a drive that’s unparalleled.
The best bands are constantly changing and ever-evolving in front of you. While some bands take a turn in direction that's like a ninety degree angle, others slowly dissipate a new sound into what they're already doing. The latter is what Houston's Velveteen Echo has achieved. Between two E.P.'s they went from a shoegaze tone to a more indie rock direction without losing their overall affect in the process. Now in the midst of writing their debut full length set for a TBA release, we spoke to lead singer and principal songwriter Lauren Massa about how they began, where the band's name comes from and what we can expect from them in the near future.
Pure artistry is difficult to come by in today's music landscape. When you find it, hold on to it because you may never find it again. That's what composer, trumpeter, producer, educator and hip hop artist Jawwaad Taylor is-Pure Art. From his work to the legendary hip hop group The Shape of Broad Minds to his playing with the forward sounding jazz group The Young Mothers, Taylor makes art on a level that's far beyond that of his contemporaries while still staying ahead of the curve. His production is fire, his rhymes are sick without being too egregious and his trumpet playing is bar none some of the best you'll hear in this lifetime. A global touring artist, Taylor has never released music that wasn't on a completely different level while still having his toes in the water of today's music scenes. Jawaad.com
In hip hop, things changed as frequently as they began. While some rappers were innovators, their sound was often copped by bigger acts who weren't as inventive. La Porte's B L A C K I E has been treading his own path since 2005 and standing five years ahead of the mainstream hip hop world. Where his use of grime, punk and noise was revolutionary when he drooped his self-titled E.P. fifteen years ago, the producer has continued to innovate and stands ahead of the rest of the rap industry. With work on a new album coming soon, we talked to the rapper about how he got his start, where his stage name came from and what's next in his career.
Austin is a landscape of music, there's no denying it. But when you dig deep into who lives in the Texas capitol, you'll find it's a melting pot of artists from all over. What's most exciting is that because there are nuggets of industry there, musicians can live a life based around music and creativity. One of the most creative voices comes from Houston born and Austin transplant Nick Diaz. Performing under the name Buenos Diaz he's done everything from record with Grammy winners to touring as the guitarist for Alejandro Escovedo. Of course his guitar skills and songwriting are as top notch as they come, and with a new EP coming some time this year, we decided to chat with him about how it all began and more.
Dan Workman and Perry Webb(Mark Flood) may have respect in their worlds of record producer and artist today, but in the eighties they lead the revolutionary band Culturcide. Misunderstood by some, adored by others, their mark on music and their revolutionary approach to making albums makes them one of the most important bands in music, ever. Facebook.com/culturcide
Tex Kerschen alongside Erika Thrasher have the world a kick in the pants as Indian Jewelry. Then at the height of their popularity, the band called it a day. Returning with a new sound and a new name as Studded Left, the duo continues to do things their own way while performing some of the most entertaining live shows you’ll see for a while. With a new EP coming on May 01, Studded Left proves that going back to DIY is where it’s at, no matter how many industry people state otherwise. Studdedleft.com
Since the mid nineties, Chris Broach has brought joy to thousands of not more. With Braid he helped usher in emo to a wider audience, with The Firebird Band he helped ignite electronic based indie rock and with his newer project SNST, he’s creating some of the more intriguing electronic based music you’ll hear. With a new full length coming in May, Broach now joined by his wife Sonja are ready to deliver SNST to a broader audience without any compromise to do so. Snstmusic.net
In indie rock, you might be hard pressed to find a band as creative and as driven as Texas’ The Wheel Workers. Releasing albums on vinyl, perfecting a different live show and even producing videos, their drive is truly magnificent. TheWheelWorkers.com
If you look across the globe at music, especially now in this trying time you're bound to find musicians creating in new and exciting ways. While we applaud the artists who are looking for inventive ways to earn income, we've been amazed at the creativity of Denton's Claire Morales. As a graphic artist, her work can be seen from her own albums to those on Sony Records. She's co-directed and story boarded every aspect of most of her music videos and she's lent those skills to other artists. As a cardboard sculptor, she's created some of the most elaborate art you can lay your eyes on. But as a musician she's not just linked to her own project under her name. She's written and recorded multiple releases with other artists and her songwriting in on another level.
For her latest full length All That Wanting, she changed direction from her previous album and ushered in a throaty rock based energy that's unmatched in music today. In a live setting she's a force to be reckoned with and the emotional weight of her performances is felt by everyone in attendance. It's all creation. It's all from the heart to the recording booth. Creative is all that Claire Morales knows how to be.
The Wiggins have, by some been described as outsider art. However their music is really closer to lo-fi garage. Lead by John Read, the band has been together for twenty years and has been going strong. Recording primarily from home, Read has taken what one person can do to new places while growing as a songwriter with each release. Thewiggins.bandcamp.com
Chase DeMaster is an artist who owns his own label imprint Very Jazzed. If that were all he did, that’d be fine but he’s also a touring artist with the projects Children of Pop, Guess Genes and Get A Life. His creative side & his work ethic are like you’ve never experienced & he’s an intriguing figure in independent music. Veryjazzed.com
Birthday Club and their principal songwriter Stephen Wells have faced issues before. But with their stellar and heavily layered new album Obscure Emotion, they’re ready to face any issues that come their way. Birthdayclub.bandcamp.com
Electronic music may have a ton of indie producers, but few have the skill set or the work effort that Texas’ MIEARS has. Going from lead singer in electro-pop trio to full on producer of her own solo project, MIEARS proves that hard work pays off. Her new full length album Hanging On features some of the best electronic production I’ve ever heard, and her style is all her own without alienating the listener. Miearsmusic.com
Austin indie rock trio The Sour Notes have been making head strong music for the past eleven years. After six full length albums and a hefty amount of touring, they seem to have found the sweet spot in their sound. Known for melodious hooks and riffs that stay with you well after they play, their seventh album is being released in one of the more interesting ways you'll hear about an album getting released.
This episode features members Jared Boulanger and Amarah Ulghani, as well as special guest Steve Christensen. Aside from his work with bands like Khruangbin, Christensen has produced and mixed all of the band's material since their inception.
You can follow The Sour Notes at Thesournotes.com
Country music used to be a genre by immigrants and people of the land. Then the major label music industry co-opted it and turned it into a glossy and manufactured version of itself. To steer clear of that, we sat down with Country artist Luba Dvorak. Aside from making pristine honky tonk tunes, Dvorak isn't the norm in today's shiny country landscape, though his sound is as universal as the songs hill people sang on porches over seventy years ago.
John Allen Stephens is a record producer from Houston, Texas as well as an accomplished artist in his own right. Producer for acts like ATTXLA, Tee Vee and The Suffers, Stephens has one of the most unique ears for music. Especially with pop tones and arrangements. His debut full length RADIOCLUB.LP is one of the most engaging solo albums you'll hear in a long while, and his production style gives artists a way to achieve their perfect sound through his expertise.