For an unsigned band based in Austin, TX, the Sour Notes has big aspirations for its music. Aside from having five releases in a little over three years, the release show for its fourth full-length album (that the band is currently seeking funding for via Kickstarter) is going to include Mother Falcon, a 20-piece orchestra, in the biggest event the group has ever attempted.
“It’s gonna be the closest thing to Spiritualized as I can get,” explains lead singer/guitarist Jared Paul Boulanger to CMJ, who counts the UK band as one of his influences along with Elliott Smith and Radiohead. The group’s newest album, Last Looks, takes its name from a line in Kill Bill Vol. Two, and isn’t the first display of Boulanger’s love for cinema.
“I used to be a manager of an indie movie theater, so I used to watch a lot of ’50s and ’60s movies,” said Boulanger. “Sometimes, in my head, I would just kind of score certain scenes of the movie.” Having moved to Austin on his own three years ago, Boulanger spent most of his time writing and recording songs until he created a full catalog. Now with the Sour Notes, he’s trying to catch up on all the material.
“Our music might sound really poppy and catchy, but there’s definitely a really trippy, psychedelic theme,” said Boulanger. Most of the group’s songs don’t exceed three minutes, but each takes unexpected turns in hopes of presenting unconventional music in a pop setting. Keeping an open mind in terms of style, the Sour Notes have incorporated elements of ’50s doo wop, ’60s surf themes, and have covered other artists such as ’90s punk band Jawbreaker and pop superstar Beyonce.
Sharing stages with We Are Scientists, Daniel Johnston (during his only show in Austin), Marnie Stern and High Places, the Sour Notes has begun to build its touring reputation on the brink of its newest release due out in February. Backed by Mother Falcon and its newly revolved cast of characters, Last Looks is a milestone for the band as it departs from using heavy synths and cool sounds for filler, and move onto what Boulanger describes as a more “songwriter-y” sound.
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