With more venues per head than any other city in the United States, Austin, Texas more than lives up to its braggadocious epithet, “Live Music Capital Of The World.” That said whilst Austin is probably best known as the home to the music industry’s biggest piss-up, SXSW, it has also produced some fabulous bands in its own right, with the likes of Spoon, Explosions In The Sky and Okkervil River proving that Austin doesn’t just do music for ten days a year. The latest excellent act to emerge from Texas’ music heartland are today’s featured artists, Thanks Light.
Thanks Light are based out of a workshop located under one of Austin’s historic Moontowers (as featured in Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused”), deep in the heart of the city. After a number of years they seem to have finally settled on what they consider their, “ultimate and final lineup of members”, and have just released their finest record to date, Psychonauts. Recorded with producer, Will Patterson, Psychonauts lifts its name from those who, “explore the psyche through the use of hallucinogens or other techniques.” Which makes how focused Psychonauts sounds a welcome surprise.
Today we’re delighted to share the albums stand out track, and new single, VIP. It builds around the sort of ferocious, country-rock riff Modest Mouse or Francisco The Man would be proud of, and the soaring melodies of vocalist Zane Ruttenberg, who’s frantic, soaring yelp brings to mind Local Natives’ Taylor Rice.
Discussing the influence behind the song, Zane points out that contrary to what you might imagine, “V.I.P” is not an acronym for “Very Important Person” but actually an acronym for “Vampire Incendiary Powerhouse”. Discussing the writing of the song, Zane notes “I had written the song after one of my good buddies had just gotten back from Prague and was showing me all these dance songs he had been listening to while traveling. Later that day, we jokingly made up the name “Vampire Incendiary Powerhouse” as the name for our “new band”. We were riffing off that scene in the movie Blade where Wesley Snipes enters the vampire rave, the sprinklers come on and the vampires start raving in blood coming from the sprinklers….and that’s what the lyrics from the first verse were inspired from. From there the songs lyrics explore my paranoia about aliens, and the supernatural.” Fittingly horror themed for Halloween we’re sure you’ll agree, but whether you’re intrigued by the supernatural or not, there’s plenty to admire about this VIP.
Psyconauts is out now via Enjoy Ears Records.