Castaway Radio jammin’ up at work
(Read to the end, and you’ll get a prize. I’m kidding, there’s just a funny video of the band.)
Is it just me or does this feel like a selfie from GTAV?
There are plenty of bands around who you just feel like you could be pals with, and maybe you already are. One of the best things about learning about a band before they hit Billboard is that you can say you were a fan before they were ‘cool’; another perk is that they’re reachable. For Castaway Radio, not only are they friendly, approachable, and worth talking to, but the music they diligently create is a down-to-earth ‘session’ many steps above ‘jam’, but with the same chill vibe.
Castaway Radio has been working on their sophomoric album, teasing with the release of the single “Wolves”. Their debut, however, is a tease enough: Everything You Know Is A Lie. Sure, it’s a 13-track album; that’s more than enough to be satisfied, right? Well, you’re wrong, okay? The chugging chords that open “Banan” ties in well into the final notes of “Skyscraper”, and create a cohesive product, but let’s dive in deeper.
The first thing many will notice is the minimalist style of layering instrumental work, slowly introducing each bit before it culminates into a driving animalesque force. There will certainly be critiques concerning the complexities that this band may lack, but I wager to say that this is a conscious exclusion: each song builds, climaxes, and resolves like a crystalline or metallic volcanic eruption.
The next assessment targets the band’s use of lyrics. Any words can be tossed together, rhymed, and set on a music bed, but these fella’s lyrics have a kind of self-awareness as well as expressive nature that creates a solid art. Further, the phrasing of the lyrics, in accordance to the tempo and harmony of the instruments, is at least on par with contemporary artists like Incubus or Franz Ferdinand. This is certainly not to say that this band is creating work quite as complex, yet; but the build felt throughout Everything You Know Is A Lie and within each song suggests that their building complexity is something to look forward to.
Their newest single, “Wolves”, is minimalistic initially, but when Clay’s bass walks up and down, then Austin’s vocals inch forward, it really is an earworm that sticks as well as “peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.” I personally love the guitar, almost reminiscent of Fastball, but also very Castaway Radio.
They may be new to my ears, but they’ve been working the scene like a cool mark since 2010. In a town as competitive as Austin, it may not seem much to pick one awesome band out of the pot, but as fate would have it, they stuck out to me with their fun, groovy, and modern aesthetic. What will solidify them in my mind and fangirl heart is the video below (courtesy of the band themselves).