Shiny Around the Edges
Publication: We Shot JR
So we wanted to tip you off on a good Denton band we started listening to recently. As we've said before, one of the things that separates bands that might get national attention (even if its only in the indie community) from those that are destined to play Mondays at Club Clearview forever is the quality of their vocals. Local bands just looking to have some fun can get away with having an average (or below average) lead singer and still be able to get girlfriends or whatever, but bands that have bigger aspirations have to get their shit together on vocals. Shiny Around the Edges has accomplished this goal, and they have the songwriting chops and unique artistic vision to properly back their two excellent singers, who also happen to be the only two people in the band.
SATE has been together for about four years, and both members share songwriting, singing and arrangement duties. They've released two limited edition EPs, a full-length, and have contributed songs to a number of different compilations. Most of the band's music is quite minimal and has an ambient and atmospheric quality that will remind you of Brian Eno, Castanets, Swans, Six Organs of Admittance, and maybe some of the early experiments of Sonic Youth. The sounds that you'll hear on some of their tracks are "noise" by definition, but its very controlled and quiet, allowing their vocals and songwriting skills to take center stage. Male vocalist Michael sounds a little like Leonard Cohen and Michael Gira, and female vocalist Jennifer seems to channel Massive Attack and a pinch of Stereolab. The band throws all of these influences in a blender along with some front porch folk, striking a proper balance with the drone minimalism that sets the emotional tone for their music. The result is a sound that is challenging yet perfectly accessible, poppy in a sense yet strange enough to strike a chord. Its like art school without the art students.