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"Young Hearts with Old Souls"

In a city brimming with acts constantly on on the verge of breaking big, at least three young musicians have a simpler dream: getting together with friends and making a connection with their peers through their songs.

AJ Audain, 19, Fabi Reyna, 18, and Claire Puckett, 19, came together to form Patches as a sort of hobby that ended up as a full-blown project. The three friends all went to McCallum High School, and each brought their musical tastes into a conglomerate, making songs that run the gamut of genres — “sort of punky, a little alternative, songwriter kind of music,” Puckett asserted.

Patches will perform as part of Youth Spin Radio’s benefit concert this weekend, which will feature local bands Mucho Gusto, SPEAK and special guests. The show is part of an effort to support the radio show, which broadcasts every Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. on KOOP 91.7 FM. The program is geared toward teens’ takes on Austin culture and is unique in that it is curated and created solely by teenagers — a fitting outlet for Patches’ members, who are fresh out of high school.

Vocalist and guitarist Fabi Reyna, the most outspoken of the group, said that she doesn’t really know how to classify Patches’ music — not for genre elitism nor for a lack of knowledge, but because each member feels like there are different aspects to their music that make it so intriguing.

“I feel like we use really intricate ways of writing our songs and creating,” Reyna said with a nervous giggle. “I wish I knew a little more music theory to say what kind of music we are, but I don’t know, it’s....”

“Come to our show to find out!” Puckett said enthusiastically.

Audain countered their statements and was quick to point out what he saw as the band’s worldly roots.

“On some level, we’re deeply rooted in tribal music — lots of heavy toms and very low stuff,” he said. “It’s kind of what I just happened to grow up with. My dad and mom are musicians... I grew up with a lot of reggae and stuff like that — The Killer Bees, Papa Mali, Timbuk3.”

“Yeah, my parents were into Bob Marley,” Puckett said with abashment, laughing and nodding along with Fabi.

Fabi, however, described herself growing up mostly in a tomboyish world of playing a lot of sports and the occasional Britney Spears CD. Where she differs from her bandmates, however, is her intense dedication to her craft; this is her sixth musical venture, but after a brief stint playing solo shows, she decided that she was ready to expand her reach with the addition of Audain and Puckett.

“I’ve been with Girls Rock Camp in Portland and here in Austin for about five years now,” Reyna said. “So I’ve gotten pretty involved with the different indie groups here in Austin, like Follow That Bird! and Belaire.”

The band is also relatively young in terms of its repertoire — 11 songs comprise their total output to date, though they plan to make more tracks and commit them to a demo album soon. The songs on their MySpace, however, are impressive in their maturity. Patches’ rough mix of “Seasons” recalls the moody dissonance of early Cat Power albums or a haunting spectre of Mazzy Star hovering over a forgotten Vashti Bunyan track.

As for future plans, Fabi is optimistic. She’s currently making plans to see what the scene in Seattle has to offer but said she’s always down for a musical collaboration.

“I wouldn’t mind doing something with Britney Spears,” she said of her long-term idol. “OK, just kidding. Don’t put that in there.” - Francisco Marin


Still working on that hot first release.



Aj, Fabi, and Claire all met when they were chubsters in middle school. They bonded over covering Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zepplin. Playing together in roller rinks, and, of course, sharing the same love for music. Since then each has grown in to their own as a musician and have reunited to create a blend of indie rock, tribal rhythms, entrancing guitar and harmonious bass. Patches rocks houses, coffee shops, record stores, venues and anywhere people will let them play.