Ramesh Album Release at Holy Mountain

Ramesh_at_Holy_Mountain_062014-5Friday night, former Voxtrot member Ramesh celebrated the Austin Town Hall Records-issued vinyl release of his album The King with a show at Holy Mountain. In addition to Ramesh, the bill included garage pop trio Young Girls, shoegaze band She Sir, and songwriter Abram Shook, whose tunes incorporate pop, R&B, rock, and psych. The night was organized and sponsored by Austin-based blogs Side One Track One and Austin Town Hall.

Young_Girls_at_Holy_Mountain_062014-2While Hikes’ EP Release party kept me from seeing opening act She Sir, I arrived at Holy Mountain to catch most of Young Girls’ set. The trio cranks out upbeat, distorted pop tunes relaxed enough to coolly bob your head at the back of the room or get down to some serious dancing up front. Young Girls’ tunes are the perfect soundtrack to drinking cheap beer on a blazing hot beach after not showering for a couple days. Sticky summer sounds.

Ramesh_at_Holy_Mountain_062014-4Ramesh took the stage next, bringing with him a noteworthy cast of Austin musicians. I wasn’t sure what Ramesh’s live incarnation would be like, since he hasn’t played many (any?) shows in support of his newest effort. I was surprised to find his band to be a seven-piece, consisting of a guitar, bass, multiple keyboards, drums, cello, and violin. The latter two instruments proved necessary to recreating the lush soundscapes from The King. Maurice Chamma of Mother Falcon held down violin duties while Marcus Haddon and Will Glossup, both of Shivery Shakes, played drums and bass respecitvely. Ramesh’s rare set performed by Austin notables made for an excellent half hour of sweeping indie pop. With any luck, Ramesh will lock down a steady lineup of musicians and we’ll see more from him in the coming months.

Abram_Shook_at_Holy_Mountain_062014-4Although the night primarily served to celebrate Ramesh’s release, Abram Shook had no difficulty keeping the crowd until the end. Shook’s recent solo effort Sun Marquee is one of the finest albums of the year thus far, Austin-released or otherwise. The record is full of groovy guitar hooks, whirring synths, and infectious backup harmonies. Although the record was largely a solo effort, Shook doesn’t scrimp on the live set, recruiting the help of some of the album’s players, including Matthew Shepherd and Karla Manzur, both of Dana Falconberry’s band, as well as Matt Gardiner of Golden Bear. Manzur’s backing vocals are especially exquisite, but the band as a whole functions well. The project remains relatively under-discussed in Austin, something of an insider treasure. You’ll be doing yourself a favor to give Sun Marquee a listen and check out Abram Shook’s next show.

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About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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