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KITTY COEN

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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!

   

Trace of Lime Reminds Us to Live in the Moment with New Video

            I remember seeing Trace of Lime for the first time several years ago and being blown away by the energy and explosiveness packed into each song. Their latest single, Good Ol’ Days, encapsulates that exact feeling. The song features witty vocals, catchy guitar rhythms and a wildly entertaining music video that utilizes stop-motion stylization. They undoubtedly have their own defined sound that can be categorized as upbeat and cheerful, yet at the same time they express a straightforward rock n roll sound that induces involuntary headbanging. 

When asked about some of the band’s biggest influences, lead singer Jordan ironically listed Rod Serling, Mozart and Mystery Inc. After listening to Trace of Lime, it would be difficult to guess that these are some of the artists who inspire the band. But perhaps, this is one of the reasons why Trace of Lime has such a unique sound that is incomparable to any other band. That being, they don’t try to sound like anyone else. They are who they are and they own it. Jordan elaborates on their effortless ability to solidify their own style, saying “It’s definitely more natural when it comes to the sound... We aren’t married to a specific genre so influence from anything is on the table and everyone is willing to give anything a try.” Though they channel many different influences, their music doesn’t come across as experimental necessarily. You can tell that they incorporate many different ideas, but they always just sound like Trace of Lime, and that is a testament to their creativity. 

The music video supposedly took several years to complete and it’s totally understandable why. Stop motion videos normally take a considerable amount of time to complete, but the final result made the process very much worth the wait. Jordan provides some backstory of the production process, stating “The first verse alone was a picture a day for over a year. Conceptually, The song is saying that the good ol days are currently happening, and to live your life in the day. That’s where the photo a day concept came from. Every day is a piece of the story.” The video was filmed, scripted, directed, and edited by Jordan and his partner, Dusana. I already admired the video before hearing about the ideas that went into it, but now I admire it even more so. The fact that they used stop-motion to accentuate the meaning of the song highlights the band’s artistry. All of their creative decisions are purposeful and impactful, resulting in consistent, high-quality art. 

The four members of Trace of Lime certainly don’t lack any artistic integrity. They make music that satisfies them and it bodes well for their listeners as well. The band mentioned that they have an upcoming record to be on the lookout for, and it supposedly is meant to capture the energy of playing live. If that’s the case, anyone who has ever seen them perform would know that they are in for an absolute treat.

 

   

Langan, Frost & Wane

           Folk rock trio Langan, Frost & Wane combine psychedelia and world music elements in their new single, King Laughter. The song shows off melodic acoustic guitar, polished vocal harmonies and exotic percussion sounds. Though they could easily be dubbed as folk-revivalists, the variety of instrumentation and textures opens the door for them to be categorized in many different ways. After listening to “King Laughter,” you can tell that the trio is rooted in tradition, but it’s clear that they also have found their own sound, thus placing them in their own unique sector of contemporary music. 

A few songs come to mind immediately as the song progresses. The rhythm section is reminiscent of the 2011 mega-hit Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, as well as Long Gone Day by the 90s supergroup Mad Season. The vocal harmonies draw similarities to the classic band, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the psychedelic overdubs slightly remind me of the Houston-based trio, Khraungbin. I assume that dabbling in musical styles on this broad of a spectrum was unintentional for Langan, Frost, and Wane, but that’s precisely why they’re so unique. Their sound includes Appalachian Folk, Middle-Eastern flavors and a touch of rock n’ roll. Yet their style remains defined, coherent, and grounded. Folky would probably be the quickest and simplest way to describe King Laughter, but it would be a disservice to stop there because the song consists of many complexities and subtleties that make it much more than just a folk song. 

One of the things I admire about the group’s lyricism is something that contributes to all great writing, that being the use of vivid sensory details. With lyrics like “King Laughter, who will come after/He pranced like a dandee and drank like a fisherman,” we’re immediately able to visualize this story that appears to take place in older times. Additionally, lines such as “White bowl and blueberry wine/Over-flamed all the cock and swine” highlight the use specificity, enabling the listener to formulate distinct images in their minds. Not only do Langan, Frost, and Wane provide something to hear, but they also stimulate sensations of taste, smell, and sight. The poetic nature of “King Laughter” certainly adds to their artistry and allows for creative visualization to occur. 

A lot of artists who pay homage to older influences, I believe, struggle to obtain freshness and originality so that they can find success in today’s world of music. This issue doesn’t appear to exist for Langan, Frost, and Wane. They have elements to their sound that very well could have made them a popular act during medieval times, but they also incorporate many modern flavors, impressively tying everything together. This trio of musicians have cultivated something that is unlike anything else, and we should all be eager to check out their soon to be released LP.

 

-- Quinn Donoghue