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Good Looks

Lived Here For A While

    Good Looks follow-up the Americana sound of Bummer Year for this sophomore follow-up of clanging post-punk guitars and expansive indie rock, exploring how a home can become unrecognizable.

    Good Looks write kind hearted and cathartic rock songs about the persistence required to make it through hard times. In April 2022, the Austin, Texas quartet released their critically acclaimed debut ‘Bummer Year’. Immediately after their triumphant hometown record release show, lead guitarist Jake Ames was hit by a car crossing the street, fracturing his skull and tailbone. Thankfully, Ames made a full recovery. The traumatic accident strengthened the bond that built their electric new album ‘Lived Here For A While’. Out via Keeled Scales, it’s fearlessly direct music that captures the full-throated intensity of their galvanizing live show.

    Reinvigorated, Good Looks tracked ‘Lived Here for a While’ at Texas’ Dandy Sounds with producer/engineer Dan Duszynski (of Loma and Cross Record) the following summer. Though Ames had to relearn some of his parts, his palpably energetic performances elevated the entire record.

    On the LP, the band trades the Americana sound that coloured in the lines of ‘Bummer Year’ for clanging post-punk guitars and expansive indie rock. Lyrically, the songs on this album are healing meditations on family dysfunction, new relationships, and how a home can become unrecognizable. Lyricist Tyler Jordan’s songs explore how relationships can crumble irrevocably but also how those partnerships can be centering, hopeful, and exciting.

    In another horrific accident in July 2023, their tour van was rearended by a speeding car, causing their van, instruments, merch, and records, to go up in flames. Thankfully, none of the band members suffered serious injuries. This resilience is essential to Good Looks and why the songs on ‘Lived Here For A While’ resonate so profoundly.

    TRACK LISTING

    SIDE A:
    1. If It’s Gone
    2. Can You See Me Tonight?
    3. Broken Body
    4. Day Of Judgment
    5. Desert
    SIDE B:
    1. Self-destructor
    2. Vaughn
    3. White Out
    4. Vultures
    5. Why Don’t You Believe Me?

    Meernaa

    So Far So Good

      For fans of: Aldous Harding, Khruangbin, The Weather Station, War on Drugs, Kali Uchis, Perfume Genius, Cate Le Bon, Sade, Lucy Dacus.

      Meernaa’s So Far So Good travels perfectly with a glistening night out or a drive to a secret hideaway. It exists somewhere between R&B, jazz, psychedelic rock, art rock, and pop. As a genreless artist, it mirrors her constant struggle to balance a vibrant day to day of falling in and out of love, writing and recording music at her studio and the intensity in the back of her mind - her familial struggles concerning death, drugs, and instability.

      Meernaa’s previously released singles “Another Dimension” and “On My Line‘’ introduce a celestial and soulful album. The weather of these songs is varied, the poetry shifting its winds from tender playfulness to desire. Amelia Maher of The Line of Best Fit called Bond’s imagination “as intriguing as it is beguiling and mysterious.”

      Part of a blooming Los Angeles music scene, Carly Bond is a studio engineer and partner at Altamira Sound Studios. As a session and touring guitarist she’s worked with artists such as Luke Temple, Jerry Paper, Helado Negro, Sam Evian, John Vanderslice, Nilüfer Yanya, Benny Bock, and Miya Folick.

      After a successful EP and debut album, Carly of Meernaa is releasing her first album with Keeled Scales and Secretly Distribution.

      Incredibly produced, crystalline vocals, slyly intricate guitar and rhythm, and moody dynamic take on familial addiction, love, love lost, and the impact of the changing of the seasons/the earth’s impact on the creative soul. Has toured with Helado Negro, Nilüfer Yanya, Sam Evian, and Miya Folick.

      Breakout track “Good Luck” generated over 3 million streams on Spotify.

      Doug of Brijean (Ghostly Intl) is part of her band.

      TRACK LISTING

      SIDE A:
      1. On My Line
      2. Another Dimension
      3. As Many Birds Flying
      4. Mirror Heart
      5. Black Eyed Susan
      SIDE B:
      1. I Believe In You
      2. Framed In A Different State
      3. Bhuta Kala
      4. So Far So Good
      5. Love Is Good

      Moriah Bailey

      I Tried Words

        I Tried Words began with words, mostly words. Moriah Bailey laid the lyrics out on several pages. The words were crafted over many months with feedback from Bailey’s sister and input from the growing melodies and body of music that began to take shape around those words. The contributing musicians, Sarah Reid (violin), Ryan Robinson (percussion), and Ricky Tutaan (guitar), recorded their own parts and sent them to Bailey. The result is lush, intricate arrangements that complement a solid base of harp and vocals.

        The album explores dualities: yes/no, future/past, darkness/light, giving/taking, masculinity/femininity, wants/needs. It is in part about Moriah Bailey’s struggle to learn healthy boundaries but also about the harmfulness, complexity, and entanglement of many social boundaries.

        With I Tried Words, Bailey relies less on experimental sounds, and instead, lyrically focuses on her struggles to understand and make sense of definitions and expectations of femininity. It explores these themes through an intimate narrative of losing oneself in a relationship and struggling to find a way out of the relationship.

        The album ends with a triumphant goodbye and joyous new beginning in “Not Staying”. She sings: “I contorted my body and stretched myself thin to form a bridge between now and when. So, as I'm gathering my strength to say goodbye, please quit saying I should've tried.”

        TRACK LISTING

        SIDE A:
        1. Wishful Thoughts
        2. A Late Spring
        3. The Downpour
        4. So You Say…
        SIDE B:
        5. The Ocean LIfe
        6. My Father’s Words
        7. My Mother’s Words
        8. Not Staying

        Tenci

        A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing

          A well is a stone-encircled place of depth, keeping an abundance of water for survival. “Well” is also a phrase for pause, for transition in language. Our tears can well up and bubble over. To define ourselves as “well” is the most basic term of goodness.

          What’s on the other side of the well? Inside the tunnel of change, or this life, we can either feel intimidated by the darkness of uncertainty, or excited by the possibility of nourishment. Songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist Jess Shoman wonders, “what the hell,” why don’t we go for the excess of love we deserve? Tenci’s album A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing becomes a gathering and collection of well-like vessels – cups, puddles, fists – to hold tight to this love and newfound joy.

          A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing is Tenci’s second album, coming after their 2020 debut My Heart Is An Open Field, which introduced Jess Shoman’s music explorations to the world. Shoman admits that their first album dealt with letting go of painful life experiences, resulting in emptiness. In this recent collection of wiser years and distance from that former grief, Tenci carries an opposite feeling, a celebration of self-rejuvenation. A Swollen River, A Well Overflowing shows Shoman steering their inventive music further and wilder, spilling over with 12 fable-like songs. In a combination of milk, coins, glass, water, and light, each song forms a spell to “fill my heart back up,” Shoman says, “by reframing complex feelings by turning my head sideways and seeing them in a different way.” 

          TRACK LISTING

          SIDE A:
          1. Shapeshifter
          2. Vanishing Coin
          3. Be
          4. Great Big Elephant
          5. Cold Dirty Water
          6. The Ball Spins
          7. Sharp Wheel
          SIDE B:
          8. Out Of Body
          9. Sour Cherries
          10. Swallow Me Whole, Blue
          11. Two Cups
          12. Memories

          Twain

          Noon

            The first album from Twain released via Keeled Scales In 3 years and Twain’s first-ever double album.

            Major Guest in Big Thief’s Massive Double LP “Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You”.

            Matthew Davidson is a prolific contributor to beloved projects including Big Thief, whose latest album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You features Davidson’s distinct contributions on six songs, as well as a current member of Buck Meek’s band. Davidson is also a former member of The Low Anthem, Spirit Family Reunion, and Deslondes and has toured with the likes of Langhorne Slim, Courtney Marie Andrews and more. He made his label debut as Twain with Rare Feeling in 2017. Twain's music resonates a transcendental weight, his performances reliably noted as raw and intensely emotional.

            The long-awaited album from Twain released via Keeled Scales is his first-ever double LP titled Noon. Twain’s first album in three years, Noon looks to explore the balancing exercise between soul-fantasy and self-scrutiny. The songs on Noon try to sit in the liminal state between the spirit’s ambition for itself and the often harsh truth of the present. The hope is to erode the barrier between those two states. ‘Twain’ is Mat Davidson’s approach to reconcile those two states, and to forget that they could ever exist in opposition.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Noon
            2. Vitality
            3. King Of Fools
            4. The Priestess
            5. A Kiss
            6. The Magician
            7. 2 Lovers
            8. The Light
            9. A Prisoner
            10. Friend That Helps
            11. Walking II
            12. Nona
            13. Yea O Dog Mind

            Why Bonnie

            90 In November

              New-York-by-way-of-Texas transplants Why Bonnie announce their debut album, 90 in November, on their new label Keeled Scales. “90 in November” is a sunny guitar pop song about lead singer and songwriter Blair Howerton’s hometown of Houston, packed full of sparkling snapshots—”a technicolor sun” and “a cardboard cutout cowboy waving me goodbye.” “I wanted to capture the bittersweet feeling of saying goodbye to the landscape that shaped you while still dealing with the anxieties of what lies ahead,” says Howerton. “Nostalgia always hits with a flash of disjointed memories - like speeding down the highway or sweating in the Texas heat.” 

              Following their 2020 “Voice Box” EP, 90 in November crashes into existence with a squeal of feedback and a burst of distorted guitar. Inspired by fellow Texans Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley, alt-rock like the Lemonheads and the Replacements, the eccentric pop of Sparklehorse, and Sheryl Crow, the album is a dynamic introduction to an evolutionized Why Bonnie. 90 in November is a meditation on the pains and pleasures of nostalgia and a lesson in learning how to look back at the people, places, and experiences that have shaped us, with room for both unvarnished honesty and rose-tinted melancholy.

              The songs for 90 in November were mostly written in Brooklyn, where Howerton moved from Austin in 2019. Already in the midst of a major life change, her feeling of being between worlds was compounded when quarantine hit and she found herself, like so many others, stuck in her apartment—about as far away from the wide-open spaces of Texas as one can possibly get. It was in this environment that she began to write songs parsing out the complicated, mixed emotions associated with building a new home while attempting to make sense of the one she had left behind.

              There’s a deep sense of place across 90 in November. The band—Howerton, keyboardist Kendall Powell, guitarist Sam Houdek, bassist Chance Williams, and drummer Josh Malett—considered making the record in New York or California, but ultimately decided that it had to be done in Texas. In early 2020, Why Bonnie headed down to the town of Silsbee (population: 6,634) to spend two weeks recording with Tommy Read (Lomelda, alexalone) at Lazybones Audio. Howerton describes it as an idyllic period of time where days were spent walking around with cows and evenings drinking Lone Star beer and looking at the stars.

              90 in November is a trip through Howerton’s inner world, but it’s also a road trip through Texas. Often it is both at once. The songs are full of poetic, cinematic lyrics that flash like colorful scenes glimpsed from the window of a car as it barrels along an interstate highway cutting through the Lone Star State, each one a road stop revealing a different facet of Howerton’s experience. The album is a dynamic introduction to a more raw-edged indie sound from a band who have matured from bedroom dream pop into a sophisticated rock act, their evolving sound a reflection of the journey undertaken by Howerton on this vividly rendered collection of songs.


              TRACK LISTING

              1. Sailor Mouth
              2. Galveston
              3. Nowhere LA
              4. Hot Car
              5. Silsbee
              6. 90 In November
              7. Healthy
              8. Sharp Turn
              9. Lot’s Wife
              10. Superhero

              Jo Schornikow

              Altar

                Jo Schornikow’s new album ALTAR is the perfect counterweight to 2019’s Secret Weapon. While that album was bare and scrappy bedroom folk, this new album is a joyful announcement of synthy indie-pop.

                From Melbourne, Australia, Jo’s first job at 17 was as a church organist, a job she’s picked up again now in Nashville, where she lives with her husband Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent and their two children. She’s played keyboard in that band for over 8 years now, touring heavily all over the world as a full band, and ducking into BBC to record a duo session on their grand piano.

                Rolling Stone called her last album “excellent,” Pitchfork calls her piano playing “sensitive” and “impressionistic,” and Gorilla vs. Bear describes her songwriting as “gorgeous and smouldering.” But the songs on ALTAR take all of that a step further. There are still those moments of quiet beauty, but they are exploded through with joy. There are windows-down, anthemic pop moments on “Visions” and “Lose Yr Love.”

                Jo Schornikow is a songwriter flexing her craft and sharing songs that have a special charm that allow them to somehow feel honest, open, intimate and funny all at the same time.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Lose Yr Love
                2. Visions
                3. Comeback
                4. Patient
                5. Spiders
                6. Plaster
                7. Wrong About You
                8. Semper Tigris
                9. Altar

                Lunar Vacation

                Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp

                  The week that guitarists Grace Repasky and Maggie Geeslin turned old enough to drive, Lunar Vacation was officially formed.

                  Repasky and Geeslin met in the eighth grade and began exchanging musical efforts almost immediately, but that blessed autonomy of first cars meant they could conquer Atlanta’s sprawling suburbs and play to their adolescent hearts’ desire. The pair forged a cluster of demos — just enough to fill a set — and took to as many stages as Atlanta could offer them. Local momentum building, they added classmates Matteo DeLurgio on synth and Connor Dowd on drums to sonically match their songs’ increasingly rambunctious spirit.

                  Upon high school’s end, Lunar Vacation released a pair of well-received EPs, Swell and Artificial Flavors, and landed support runs for the likes of Remo Drive, Sidney Gish, and SALES. The band nabbed infatuated fans across the US while racking up millions of streams on their independently released music. In more than one sense, Lunar Vacation had graduated.

                  Back in Atlanta, Geeslin was working in a record store (Criminal Records) when Daniel Gleason of the band Grouplove came in. Following a quick connection and hours of conversation, the members of Lunar Vacation felt Gleason could be one to color in the sound they’d been honing live — melodious guitars swirling atop propulsive, often psychedelic rhythm — and capture it in the studio. The band recorded "Unlucky" with Gleason and released it in early 2020, the song drawing attention as “swoon-worthy” from The FADER, “shimmering … wistful, sun-kissed indie-pop” from American Songwriter, and “equal parts Mac DeMarco and Snail Mail” from Paste Magazine. Lunar Vacation continued recording with Gleason in the producer’s chair.

                  The band released the first song of the batch in June 2021. “Shrug” garnered praise from the likes of Paste, Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, Under The Radar, and NYLON who called it “a jangly guitar song with a very shoutable chorus.” Songwriter Repasky shared, “I look back now and realize that this song was a pivotal moment in delving into self-identity and ultimately identifying as a non-binary person." The melody is buoyant though agitated, its guitars warbling like question marks and lyrics ringing distinctly relatable. Lines like This isn’t how I want to be / I didn't know I could care that much and Invited but I’ll never show / Sit at home playing too much Wilco cut into a listener’s mind and vibrate there, like thoughts of one’s own. There’s a carefree sense of triumph in Repasky’s refrain: Why don't you just shrug it off?

                  Lunar Vacation will release their highly anticipated debut album ‘Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp’ October 29 on Keeled Scales. Throughout the album, this band boasts a celebratory sound, a reckless sense of ecstasy specific to fluid youth and rock solid friendship. In spite of life’s bits that inspire these songs — some darker than others — Repasky, Geeslin, DeLurgio, and Dowd reliably find the light in the thing. Drawing from early influences like Rilo Kiley and Tame Impala, and landing a little closer to contemporary favorites like Alvvays and Slow Pulp, Lunar Vacation make bright music replete with bliss.

                  Repasky suggested the band name Lunar Vacation to Geeslin at a show, leaning over at a loud moment to say it. It’s easy to imagine others finding out about the band in this same way.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  SIDE A:
                  1. Purple Dreams No. 4
                  2. Peddler
                  3. Shrug
                  4. Where Is Everyone?
                  5. Making Lunch (Not Right Now)
                  6.Cutting Corners

                  SIDE B:
                  7. The Waiting Game
                  8. Mold
                  9. Gears
                  10. Anemone
                  11. But Maybe

                  Renée Reed

                  Renée Reed

                    Renée Reed's debut album is a warm lo-fi folk album that blends the Cajun music she was raised on with 60s French pop to create something noirish and intriguing. Self-labeled "dream-fi folk from the Cajun prairies," Renée released her first two songs in 2020 "Out Loud" in May and "Until Tomorrow" in July, which Gorilla vs. Bear described as "an effortless, inspired union of the haunting folk music that Reed was raised on and a lilting, lost '60s French-pop gem."

                    Renée's statement on "Fast One" and her album: "Full of anger over the shallow, shitty behavior of certain acquaintances I’ve had over the last few years, people who assume they know more about me than I do. But I leave things open to change and growth." "This album is a collection of songs about toxic relationships, seeing ghosts, ancestral baggage and blessings, and daydreaming about love. It is about certain feelings and experiences I’ve had over my life coming to fruition in the past three years. It was all made on a four track recorder at home, in a place and in a way I feel most natural, and I believe that quality comes through in the sound." Press quotes: "And while Renée’s music is certainly informed by these deep roots, her dark dreamlike folk has more in common with contemporaries like Cate Le Bon and Jessica Pratt. It’s also not unlike the intangible magic contained in Mazzy Star’s songs." 

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Out Loud
                    2. I Saw A Ghost
                    3. Little Flower Dance
                    4. Fast One
                    5. Neboj 6. Où Est La Fée
                    7. Until Tomorrow
                    8. Your Seventh Moon
                    9. The Ash
                    10. Fool To The Fire
                    11. If Only We Could
                    12. Drunken Widow’s Waltz

                    Buck Meek

                    Two Saviors

                      Big Thief’s Buck Meek announces his new solo album, Two Saviors, out January 15th on Keeled Scales. While his last album, 2018’s Buck Meek, is a yarn of blue-collar fairy tales and character driven narratives, Two Saviors emerges as a cathartic, naked confession of heartbreak, resiliency, and enchantment. The first word on Two Saviors is “pareidolia.” It is a word about recognising shapes where none were intended to exist - like searching for images in the clouds. It’s an uncommon word, with a beautiful sound, and serves as an apt guide through these new songs of Buck’s, which are themselves uncommon and beautiful, and which invite a deep, cloud-gaze state of attention.

                      Two Saviors was recorded by producer and engineer Andrew Sarlo (who produced the first four Big Thief LPs), under his specific conditions: they make the album in New Orleans, during the hottest part of the year, spend no more than 7 days tracking, all live, on an 8-track tape machine with only dynamic microphones, and no headphones, not allowing the players to hear back any takes until the final day. The band, featuring Adam Brisbin (guitar), Mat Davidson (bass, pedal steel, fiddle), Austin Vaughn (drums), and Buck’s brother Dylan Meek (piano, organ), set up in a Victorian house one block from the Mississippi River and worked within these limitations, encouraging every recording to be imbued with the living, intuitive, and human energy of a first take.

                      The rituals that led towards these songs are ones of pain and healing; the power felt through the songs lies in the fact that the pain is never plainly stated, never a note of anguish or resentment, no complaints about the feeling of pain. Pain is not weaponised on this record, but cared for, nurtured, and the songs become meditations on the reality of pain, conducted without resistance.

                      Although the song’s narrator runs into several roadblocks in 'Second Sight' - like a pool spiked with turpentine - the chorus is uplifting, with sprightly guitar and upbeat lyrics: “I work for free // because love is all I need // yes I work for free // and love is all I need.” “The value in our world is built by the labour of love - a currency that accrues no debt, enriching both the giver and receiver,” says Buck. “This wealth provides the vitality needed to lift a hammer, to raise a roof, and to lay upon the eaves in silent awe of nature and civilization and the culmination of universal effort. Magic (the left hand of love?) arises from attention, and is accessible to all without prejudice. A creation from nothing, from some uncaused cause, some eternal unmoved mover."

                      The songs on this album shine with this wisdom and are not ostentatious about it. This is true to Buck’s nature. He is recording life, consciously and unconsciously on a broad spectrum of planes. A new album from him is a gift, a chance to wonder about ways we could be seeing, recording.

                      “At its core, Buck Meek feels like a country record, and not just because Meek’s native Texan twang stands at the forefront of every tune. The album has a mischievous spirit like the celebrated self-titled LP from cult-hit country star Willis Alan Ramsey.” Pitchfork // “Writing these songs was a process of creating talismans - little prayers and visions from within the constant flux of pain, healing, and discovery - that I could return to for perspective, and share with those in need.” Buck Meek.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      Barry says: A collection of beautifully brittle ballads and Americana-tinged anthems beautifully conceived and delivered with the assured confidence of an artist at the peak of their skills. A beautiful outing for the increasingly essential Keeled Scales.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Pareidolia
                      Candle
                      Second Sight
                      Two Saviors
                      Two Moons
                      Dream Daughter
                      Ham On White
                      Cannonball! Pt. 2
                      Two Moons (morning)
                      Pocketknife
                      Halo Light


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