The Sour Notes
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The Sour Notes

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Dream Pop

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May
28
The Sour Notes @ Lost Horse Saloon

Marfa, Texas, United States

Marfa, Texas, United States

May
27
The Sour Notes @ The Crown & Harp

Dallas, Texas, United States

Dallas, Texas, United States

May
21
The Sour Notes @ Geraldine's

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Music

Press


"ATX tour diary: The Sour Notes"

Every summer many Austin bands make the very wise choice to skip town and hit the road. Over the next several weeks we’ll be checking in with some of our faves about their experiences. Got photos and stories you’d like to share? Hit us up at musicsource@statesman.com or tag us on instagram and share your pics with the hashtag #atxtourdiary.

https://youtu.be/A3BpoiTLFto

First up, Jared Boulanger, who handles vocals, guitars and keys for richly textured indie pop outfit, the Sour Notes. The band also sent us the excellent montage video from their tour above.

How long were you on tour and how many cities did you hit?
We played 16 shows in 17 days, hitting 15 cities and clocking just under 5,000 miles.

What city had the best crowds?
Our NXNE Official Showcase at the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto Canada was a real tour highlight. Other notables were a packed show at Fitzgerald’s in Houston, a basement party at House Named Virtue in Philly & an “all-nighter” at Gasa Gasa in New Orleans. Nothing felt better than returning home after such an adventure than our homecoming show at The Blackheart though. All in all, the tour was a success and we made enough money to cover gas and had floors to crash on most nights (Thank you bands!)

What was your most interesting interaction with a fan?
We stayed at our friend’s Susan & Michael’s house in Toronto for four days straight, giving us time to regroup and focus for the NXNE Festival we were performing at. S & M came to our first ever SXSW showcase at The Hideout back in 2011, where we played at like 1am on a Wednesday to only 3 people. We’ve kept in touch with them over the years and since we had a day off in Toronto, we decided to all go into Kensington Market and buy groceries to cook our hosts one of the most epic meals ever! Chris’ enchiladas came out the best!

Any crazy stories?
The night of the Tex Mex dinner in Toronto, everyone stayed out partying till like 6am, because bars stay open until 4am during NXNE. There is a video of Erin on somebody’s instagram, dancing like a wild woman to a cover band at a bar where people were having sex in the bathrooms. We also played at place in Cleveland that had a skate park inside this venue and Yola made friends there with a local lady who spent 3 years in federal prison.

What was the weirdest thing or where was weirdest place you ate?
Food becomes a central point of obsession on tour, because you’re trying really hard not to spend all your money and you don’t really time to find healthy options in the cities you stop to play in. There’s just not enough time. Also, it’s weird, because you are just stuck in a van all day, not really generating an appetite and sleeping anytime you’re not driving. The Earl in Atlanta was an amazing place to play though, because they comp’d our meal which was freaking delicious! I had a grilled salmon salad! They also gave a us a crap ton of drink tickets AND they serve coffee. The sound guy there, Jonathan, is a saint and by far the best we’ve ever had.
What did you miss most about Austin?
Not the allergies. I literally got a crazy headache as soon as we got back to Austin. We all missed our cats and towards the end and a soft thing to sleep on after 15 out of 17 nights on random floors. (Again, thank you bands!) One thing I noticed as soon as we re-entered Austin was how much worse drivers are in this city than anywhere else we just came from.

How far did your hygiene slide?
Everyone had a shower every night except Justin (our friend who came on tour to do projections) who met up with a Tindr date in North Carolina and apparently went skinny dipping instead. I don’t know the details, all I know is that he missed out on chicken biscuit and mac & cheese from the 24 hour place in Chapel Hill with Ex-KVRXers Kate & Ben!

We also made a lil Storify tour entry with pics that can be found here:
https://storify.com/TheSourNotes/soursummer - Austin 360


"Your UMS Road Map Part 2: Saturday and Sunday Acts"

Start off your Saturday with something different. By now you’ve probably drank through the hangover at one of the many restaurants in Denver that serves bottomless mimosas. So now that you’re champagne-up and ready, head on over to the Hi-Dive. The Sour Notes are a psych-pop/ rock band hailing from Austin, TX. They are known for experimenting with different genres and styles in their music and always pushing the envelop with their sound. They have shared stages with the likes of Of Montreal, Future Islands, We Are Scientists, The Dandy Warhols and more. They are no strangers to The UMS and have also made appearances at SXSW. - 303 Magazine


"Prom Date, The Sour Notes, Alexis and the Samurai"

Last Thursday’s show at Gasa Gasa could have had the potential to be a huge disaster, as there was literally no common thread in the music that was played. Alternative rock from Austin based trio The Sour Notes kicked off the evening, followed by Sweet Crude’s indie folk/pop side project Alexis and the Samurai. The evening was capped off by New Orleans synth-pop act Prom Date. Alexis Marceaux even joked about how different the acts were.

The Sour Notes are Jared Boulanger (vocals, guitar), Amarah Ulghani (bass, drums), and Erin Howell (drums, bass). The New Orleans date was the third to the last date of the band’s tenth national tour. DIY is clearly the name of the game when it comes to their philosophy on touring and recording. As a nice switch up toward the end of the set, Amarah and Erin switched instruments. The band was also accompanied by some amazing visuals projected on the back wall of the club.

Alexis and the Samurai are mostly known as being part of their bigger group, Sweet Crude but have managed to carve out a unique identity separate from Crude. Primarily know in the Mid-City area for their Monday night residency at Chickie Wah Wah that has been going on for two years, the band made the trek uptown and played several tunes off their new EP that will be released in the coming months.

Prom Date have been touring extensively for the last year and were grateful to be playing back home. The band has amazing chemistry on stage and it’s infectious. The crowd in turn couldn’t help but dance to the 80s style synth-pop. The band ended their enthusiastic fun filled set with a different take on Neutral Milk Hotel's "Two Headed Boy." The somber reflective tone of their cover was astounding. The crowd was stunned to say the least; you could hear a pin drop.

All in all, a great evening of diverse music was represented. You can see more pictures here: http://jalbum.net/a/1636619 - Where Ya At?


"7 Shows To See this Weekend"

On Do What May, Austin quintet The Sour Notes trade off between keyboard pop and Superchunky rock through 10 indelible tracks. With golden vocals reminiscent of Grace Slick, psyched out Creatura is throwing back to psychedelic rock with a dose of mystique. With The Bolos, DJ Proper Yarn. $3, 10pm, Limelight, 2718 North Saint Mary's, (210) 735-7775 - San Antonio Current


"KUTX Song of the Day: The Sour Notes - Do What May"

Albums can often be nice snapshots for an evolving band, each song acting as a sonic and temporal signpost. That’s the case for Do What May, the Sour Notes’ fifth album and first album since 2011. The Austin group has morphed a lot over its six-year timespan, picking up new members and sounds along the way. The past three years have found the band trying out styles on various cassette- and vinyl-only releases, a some of those songs show up on Do What May. A lot of guests pop up, too, from Sara Houser of Löwin, Bailey Glover of Little Lo, and Sabrina Ellis, who trades in her dynamite Bobby Jealousy/A Giant Dog/Sweet Spirit persona for a nice harmonized turn on the album’s title track. “Do What May” seems to present the Sour Notes in microcosm: some synth-pop, psychedelia, and rock-and-roll attitude, all in a tidy, fast-moving package.

Do What May is out September 2, and the Sour Notes celebrate with a show at Cheer Up Charlie’s on September 6. - KUTX


"The Sour Notes Celebrate 5th Album with a Party!"

The Sour Notes started small. The band began in 2008 as the solo project of Houston-based singer-songwriter Jared Boulanger. After adding a few more members, The Sour Notes soon relocated to Austin where they recorded their second album, Received in Bitterness, by converting the laundry room of their house into a “recording studio” complete with two mics.

Since those early years, The Sour Notes have certainly evolved, and Boulanger has remained the constant. With the additions of bass and synth player Amarah Ulghani in 2010 and drummer Erin Howell in 2012, the band has made huge strides, performing in SXSW and NXNE showcases and opening for bands like The Dandy Warhols.

And now they’re ready to release their fifth studio album, titled Do What May.

Austinites are welcome to come rock out at The Sour Notes CD release show this Saturday, September 6 at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Fellow South By alumni acts Grape St., Black Books and more are also on the bill.

Learn more about the show on today’s episode of the Chronolog on SXSWfm! Hosts Chase and Kevin will be giving us the rundown of Saturday’s concert, complete with a few tracks from the bands involved. Click here to listen!

You can also see the Sour Notes at SXSWfm’s free HAAM Benefit Day showcase on Tuesday, September 23 at Palm Door on Sixth! The lineup also includes Possessed by Paul James and Residual Kid. Click here to get all the info. - SXSW


"SXSW recaps: Day 1 - The Sour Notes"

It’s here. It’s finally here. SXSW! While there have been unofficial showcases going on since late last week, Tuesday marked the beginning of official SXSW music showcases. For the rest of the week I’ll be playing “man on the street,” giving you a quick rundown of what I saw complete with lousy pictures from my phone. In the end, you’ll feel like you were there too…taking lousy pictures with your phone.

Tuesday tends to primarily be the main local showcase night and as such, I had a slate of local favorites to catch before spending much of the rest of the week on out-of-towners. There were a ton of potential shows to choose from, but you can only see one band at a time, so to start things off I headed over to the Dirty Dog Bar on 6th for Black Books.

Black Books:
This was my second time seeing Black Books play live and they only confirmed what I had theorized before: these guys sound as good live as they do in the studio. For a band with so much going on and such a massive sound, that’s something, especially during SXSW. While I missed the very beginning of their set, I was able to catch some of my favorites nonetheless, including the brilliant “Favourite Place.” My evening was off to a good start.

The next stop of the night was Cheer Up Charlie’s new location on Red River at the old site of the now-defunct Club de Ville. This was my first time at the new location and it’s a decent space. If they continue the tradition of booking the same great bands they used to, I can see myself adding Cheer Up Charlie’s to my regular Red River rotation.

There were two shows going on at Cheer Up Charlie’s – one outside and one inside – both sponsored by local collective No Play Music. The lineup as a whole was an amazing collection of local talent and with the fact that the show was also free (no badge or wristband required), the place was packed. When my friend George and I got there they were already in a “one person out, one person in” mode at the gate, but we were able to make it inside with plenty of time to get situated for Ume.

Ume:
Watching Ume’s Lauren Larsen on stage is like taking a master class in how to front a rock band. She blends pitch perfect vocals with face melting guitar work and frantic stage gyrations in a way that elevates the music to a whole new level. I had never seen Ume live before SXSW last year and this is my first time seeing them since. While they’re a great studio band, you owe it to yourselves to see them play live, so catch them at one of their other showcases later this week.

Next up on the docket (still at Cheer Up Charlie’s) was one of my personal favorites, The Sour Notes.

The Sour Notes:
As a band that has gone through a lot of lineup changes just in the past couple of years I never know what to expect when seeing them live, but luckily the current lineup has held more or less stable for a while now and every time I see them play they sound tighter. The Sour Notes played their standard short, but sweet set and peppered in with some old favorites were several new tracks from their forthcoming LP. As always, The Sour Notes put on a great show.

The final stop of the night for me was The Main II, this year’s reincarnation of the space that was once Emo’s inside. As I stepped inside that space for the first time in a couple years I was reminded that (nostalgia aside) it really was a lousy performance space and to make matters worse there was zero ventilation, raising the temp by a good 20 degrees. Still, the bands on display last night made the best of it and the sound was actually a great deal better than I remembered. First up on my final two acts of the evening was Quiet Company.

Quiet Company:
It’s been a while since I’ve seen these guys live. As a full-time touring band, they don’t play as many local shows as they used to, but when they do they still bring the fun. The band played a much different set than what I was used to and while I’m sure that was in part because of the departure of trombone player Cody Ackors (to pursue his personal education goals) there was just a lot of new stuff in the mix as well. As usual it all sounded amazing and I’m looking forward to what they have in store for the future.

The final band of my evening (still at The Main II) was Wild Child.

Wild Child:
I had actually seen Wild Child once before as an opener for Quiet Company and back before the release of their second EP. At that time I wasn’t familiar with their work, but this time around I was more than happy to hear my favorites played live. Wild Child always look like they’re having a good time on stage, even when the sound check isn’t going well and when they play, you can’t help but absorb some of that enjoyment.

All told, it was a good evening and there’ll be more where that came from. - OVRLD


"The Sour Notes at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014"

A full two months before its usual unveiling, Transmission Events just announced the cull for Fun Fun Fun Fest’s ninth annual edition, set for Auditorium Shores and Butler Park Nov. 7-9. Get yer Orange, Black, and Blue Stage highlighters ready.

Orange Stage
Alt-J, Angel Olsen, Chelsea Wolfe, City & Colour, Courtney Barnett, Dana Falconberry, Death Cab for Cutie, Dinosaur Jr., Dum Dum Girls, Failure, First Aid Kit, Foxygen, Good Fields, Guided by Voices, J Mascis, Julianna Barwick, King Tuff, Knapsack, Majical Cloudz, Mineral, Neutral Milk Hotel, the New Pornographers, Nostalghia, Reputante, San Fermin, Scott H. Biram, the Sour Notes, Spider Bags, Sun Kill Moon, This Will Destroy You, Tinariwen, Wildcat! Wildcat!, the World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Yann Tiersen, Yo La Tengo

Blue Stage
2 Chainz, ASTR, Atmosphere, Blue, the Misfit., Cashmere Cat, Cities Aviv, the Digital Wild, Flying Lotus, Gary Numan, Gardens & Villa, Ginuwine, Girl Talk, Ryan Hemsworth, the Internet, Jacuzzi, Lunice, Mas Ysa, Nas, the Presets, Roosevelt, Run the Jewels (El-P/Killer Mike), Say Lou Lou, Sky Ferreira, Sohn, SZA, Thundercat, Wiz Khalifa, Yelle, Z-Trip, Zorch

Black Stage
Amon Amarth, Black Lips, Blood Brothers, the Bots, Breakout, Communion, Crooked Bangs, Deafheaven, Death From Above 1979, Death Grips, Fat White Family, Glassjaw, Gorilla Biscuits, Hot Water Music, Iceage, Iron Reagan, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Judas Priest, King Diamond, Metz, Pallbearer, Pianos Become Teeth, Pissed Jeans, Radkey, Rocket From the Crypt, Sick of It All, Twin Peaks

This lot notches 83 acts, including one excessively long name (The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die), four preferring all caps (SOHN, SZA, ASTR, METZ), and two reunions: Los Angeles alternative rockers Failure and local emo foursome Mineral, playing its eighth show in 17 years.

FFFF9 trots out a veritable who’s who of indie royalty on the Orange Stage, packing in Yo La Tengo, Dinosaur Jr., Guided by Voices, and Neutral Milk Hotel, the latter appearing locally three months ago for a sold-out, two-night run at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. That’s alongside newly-minted buzz acts Angel Olsen and San Fermin, featuring Lucius ladies Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. Neko Case’s New Pornographers and Death Cab for Cutie cement the star cull.

Also worth noting is the Orange Stage facilitating ATX’s love affair with Saharan desert acts (Tinariwen), the next chapter in the city’s most tumultuous band-to-fan relationship this side of FFFFavorite Danzig (Foxygen), and five locals: This Will Destroy You, Sour Notes, Good Fields, Scott H. Biram, and Dana Falconberry.

Elsewhere, hip-hop gets served via Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, local favorites Atmosphere and Nas, and Run the Jewels, the collaboration between producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike that shook Mohawk last August. Transmission booker Graham Williams said the conversation between Transmission and RTJ got started almost immediately after Killer Mike walked away from a failed Half Pipe performance experiment last year. “We owed him a makeup show, and I’m stoked it’ll be RTJ,” enthused Williams Monday afternoon.
Filling out the Blue Stage, Transmission’s tapped FFFF vets Flying Lotus and Z-Trip, SXSW highlight Gary Numan, and the recently dormant Girl Talk, back after a four-year recording hiatus. The Digital Wild and Zorch, the avant-electro duo responsible for running East Austin’s Museum of Human Achievement, represent the only Blue locals on the list. Find Austin Francophiles Crooked Bangs on the Black Stage instead. Speaking of which....
In addition to big-time get King Diamond, namesake singer of über seminal Danes Mercyful Fate, modern metallurgists Pallbearer return to FFFF after two years, plus there’s Municipal Waste offshoot Iron Reagan. Highlight: Rocket from the Crypt, whose drummer Mario Rubalcaba just rattled Carson Creek Ranch during Austin Psych Fest as the propulsion in Earthless. Austin favorites Black Lips, last year’s last-minute dropouts Death Grips, and Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra with his Guantanamo School of Medicine rate mosh worthy.

Of course that’s all window dressing for festival headliner Judas Priest, which descends on Austin for the first time since 1988, when the British Steel magnates slayed the Erwin Center for the third time in a five-year stretch that saw demolition of catalog jewels including 1982’s Screaming for Vengeance and 1984’s Defenders of the Faith. The Birmingham quintet’s down to three original members (singer Rob Halford, guitarist Glenn Tipton, and bassist Ian Hill), not that anyone’s keeping track given that old school headbangers will be counting their blessings Transmission’s booked a metal act that laid the groundwork for its most famous headliner, Slayer.

Topping off the hefty grab bag: Red House Painters core Mark Kozelek in Sun Kil Moon, which slayed in March at SXSW; DJs Ryan Hemsworth and the Internet, comprised of Odd Future’s Matt Martians and Syd the Kyd; 2013’s it-girl Sky Ferreira; and sexual genius Elgin “Ginuwine” Lumpkin, whose 1996 showstopper “Pony” remains the most provocative song this side of a D’Angelo jawn.

All that remains for now is which stage moves across the street to Butler Park and who’s going to fill out the comedy-centric Yellow Stage, announced July 1. Williams added that last year’s capacity issues presented by the Yellow Stage’s too-small tent shouldn’t force the same issues this year, saying Transmission plans to book comedy “within our means this time.”

“Tenacious D wanted to do an underplay with a small space [last year],” explains Williams. “This year, I think we’ll have the right size acts in the right spaces to avoid that and keep the tent option, but I can’t be sure until we finish booking comedy and working out the production around the lineup.”

Tickets for the festival go on sale Tuesday, May 20, at 10am. Might just want to start hitting the “refresh” button on your browsers now. - Austin Chronicle


"The Sour Notes Are Not Going To Save The World, It Seems"

The Sour Notes are a quirky, exciting, thoughtful indie-rock group that makes interesting, layered music and, as we've been told, are adept in concert. They're also, for the most part, Austinites. Generally, that'd be reason enough for us to point the Artist of the Week starship in the opposite direction.
But that "for the most part" thing, that qualifier is there because super-talented former Houstonians Jared Boulanger (who founded the Sour Notes as a solo project while still here) and Elaine Greer are in the band, and as Moses foretold*: Thou shalt not ignoreth bands that Elaineth Greereth doth partake in.

*Moses might not have actually foretold that. It's been a bit since we've been to church. He probably did, though. Who really knows?

So we called up The Sour Notes, who play at Fitzgerald's Sunday, as they drove into New York to bother them for a few minutes about Neil Young, the Devil and Lil' Flip. Keep it moving.
Rocks Off: First up, tell everyone everything they need to know about The Sour Notes in exactly six words.

The Sour Notes: Sparkly, vibrant pop from the South.

RO: If you played your Neil Young "Harvest Moon" cover for Neil Young, would he be pissed or amped with what you guys did to it?

TSN: He would probably not recognize it for the first four minutes, but he would probably think there was some life breathed into it after that.

RO: How'd you all end up on that song?

TSN: We were asked to play it at a tribute show in Austin with a bunch of other bands. We had like three months to work on it. We wanted to do something different. That one offered the most opportunity to change it up. We wanted to do something space rock-y. Plus, we changed all the cords, which we were really proud of.

RO: Better question: Is Neil Young pissed or amped with Jared stealing his haircut?

TSN: [laughs] He grew it just for the cover. He says he wanted to really get into the spirit of Neil Young.

RO: You know what song we really like? "Never Mix, Never Worry." We guess that's not really a question, but that doesn't mean it didn't need to be said.
TSN: Thanks. That song is actually based on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf*.

*Generally, we would've followed up on this with something clever, but we have no idea who Virginia Woolf is or why anyone would be afraid of her, so we just acted like it didn't get said. It's the same thing we do when one of our sons asks us a question we don't know the answer to, like "Where is my red car?" or "What's the capital of California?"

RO: Let's say the rapture was here and you guys, the sparkly, vibrant pop rockers from the South, were tasked with convincing the Devil not to upend everything entirely. He tells you that you can play him one song, and if it's good enough, he'll hold off on destroying humanity -something about music taming the beast or whatever. What song do you pick?

TSN: Hmmm... we're going to play "Last Looks."

RO: Why?

TSN: Because it's the end and we're not gonna save anyone.

RO: What about if you could pick any song in all of music?

TSN: We wanna say "We Are the World." The other one we might pick is "Don't Stop Believin'."

RO: Oh, man. The Devil is definitely a Journey fan. You should go with that one. How are you all able to pump out so much music? I mean, it seems like there's a new tape each week. You guys are like indie-rock's Lil Flip.

TSN: We just kind of do this stuff everyday. It's the only thing we want to do. We're not getting any younger so we want to do as much as possible. It's a point of pride for the band to do as much as possible. It's something that all of our efforts go into. There's no point in doing it if you're not going to put out six albums. [laughs]

RO: Anything you want to make sure gets mentioned?

TSN: We're having a great time on tour. We're touring with Elaine's band, so we're all in the van together being smelly. We haven't showered in three days. We're hard in the game [laughs]. And we're excited about our Houston show. - Houston Press


"CMJ Spotlight: The Sour Notes"

For an unsigned band based in Austin, TX, the Sour Notes has big aspirations for its music. Aside from having five releases in a little over three years, the release show for its fourth full-length album (that the band is currently seeking funding for via Kickstarter) is going to include Mother Falcon, a 20-piece orchestra, in the biggest event the group has ever attempted.

“It’s gonna be the closest thing to Spiritualized as I can get,” explains lead singer/guitarist Jared Paul Boulanger to CMJ, who counts the UK band as one of his influences along with Elliott Smith and Radiohead. The group’s newest album, Last Looks, takes its name from a line in Kill Bill Vol. Two, and isn’t the first display of Boulanger’s love for cinema.

“I used to be a manager of an indie movie theater, so I used to watch a lot of ’50s and ’60s movies,” said Boulanger. “Sometimes, in my head, I would just kind of score certain scenes of the movie.” Having moved to Austin on his own three years ago, Boulanger spent most of his time writing and recording songs until he created a full catalog. Now with the Sour Notes, he’s trying to catch up on all the material.

“Our music might sound really poppy and catchy, but there’s definitely a really trippy, psychedelic theme,” said Boulanger. Most of the group’s songs don’t exceed three minutes, but each takes unexpected turns in hopes of presenting unconventional music in a pop setting. Keeping an open mind in terms of style, the Sour Notes have incorporated elements of ’50s doo wop, ’60s surf themes, and have covered other artists such as ’90s punk band Jawbreaker and pop superstar Beyonce.

Sharing stages with We Are Scientists, Daniel Johnston (during his only show in Austin), Marnie Stern and High Places, the Sour Notes has begun to build its touring reputation on the brink of its newest release due out in February. Backed by Mother Falcon and its newly revolved cast of characters, Last Looks is a milestone for the band as it departs from using heavy synths and cool sounds for filler, and move onto what Boulanger describes as a more “songwriter-y” sound. - CMJ


"The Sour Notes play sweetly at Portland's Valentine's"

On their first West Coast tour the Austin, Texas based The Sour Notes played a fiery 10-song set at Valentine’s February 10. The Portland stop was part of a quick 13-date road trip and warm up to their third straight year as SXSW Showcase Artists at the renowned SXSW Festival next month. The band performed as a lean, stripped down four-piece version of itself but certainly didn’t prevent a raucous display of Southwest sizzle.

The Sour Notes showed off their indie-pop punch with abandon. The foursome was led by animated spark plug, singer/guitarist Jared Boulanger, who jumped in place excitedly in the tight confines and played a feverish guitar. Boulanger was backed by equally energetic band mates Jessica June Kim on keyboards, Amarah Ulghani on bass, and anchored by Erin Howell on drums.

The band powered through their set splitting playing time between five songs from their soon to be released fifth album, Do What May, and earlier material. The band kicked off the evening with the title track, What Do May, with its lively dance beat intro. The song quickly shifted into a gritty driven rocker with a camouflaged pop groove.

The Sour Notes continued with a track from Do What May, including Two Hands Wait, with its dark, haunting descending guitar and bass lines and carnival keyboards over top. The focused four-piece gave the song even more urgency and a sinister delivery coinciding with the edgy horror video compliments of band friend and director, Paul Avellino.

Other new tracks performed included Cutthroat. With its slow brewing intro, the hypnotic guitars drifted over a steady drum beat that swelled into a splash of a R&B while Boulanger sang of dirty deeds done with reassurance. The tune wounds down and swirled back into a psychedelic finish. Don’t Listen, and It Could Be Worse, provided their own adventure with the former’s sassy rock swing, sounding grittier without the backing horns on the album. The later was a racing romp that ebbed and flowed between Boulanger’s lead guitar and vocals that settled into a contemplative tranquility before shifting back to the robust beginning.

Boulanger then led the group through a number of songs from their previous release, Last Looks,including the big sound of Big Dreams, the distorted retro rocking Hot Pink Flares, and the trippy waltzing adventure of Last Looks.

It was an economically performed set that could have lasted twice as long because of the abundance of smartly crafted songs from their growing catalog, consisting of a cascading, genre-touring soundtrack.The Sour Notes have created an original blend of sounds and styles that contradict the band’s namesake.

It’s not a surprise The Sour Notes were selected as a SXSW Showcase Artist for the third year in a row. Here’s hoping the band gets some deserved attention on their West Coast swing and makes it back to Portland in the very near future. - Examiner


"Don't Listen (Single Premier)"

Austin’s The Sour Notes are keeping one of music’s most celebrated bastions weird, wild, and all around awesome. Lead by Jared Paul Boulanger, these Texans pack a volatile mix of new tricks and vintage considerations on their premiere of, “Don’t Listen” off their upcoming album, Do What May. Desert future synths point to tomorrow’s digital designs, as the band synchronizes the galloping guitar hooves with horns and retro Hammond organ exclamations that are indicative of the Southwest sound.

If there is a message on “Don’t Listen”, it’s sit up, shut up, shut out the noise, and just do it. From the get-go, Jared spells it out in big bold lyrics. “Get with it come on if you wanna, get your feet wet, just dip your toe, quick send someone with the car, grab your things and pick up and go.” Other notable moments include the awesome tongue in cheek put downs of, “get bent, get lost, get real, glad to be here,” that introduce an element of humor to the forceful ethos. In time to the steam driving tom-tom drums, keyboard calls, guitar motors and organized-organ attack; Boulanger spits it out with a collected and restrained venom. The result feels like a dazed-out-desert-hazing, where The Sour Notes take you to task through their own obstacle course/citadel to determine whether or not you are worthy enough to roll with them. Highlighted by the organ air gusts, the titular chorus provides the paradox to the band’s instructions that keeps you guessing what spiked sweetness and spices of sound the The Sour Notes will dish out next. - Impose


"Do What May (Album Review)"

Five LPs in five years with a few EPs mixed in between. No wonder Jared Boulanger, chief orchestrator behind the regularly remolding Sour Notes, has gotten the hang of a mixing board. Building on the stripped-down optimism of Last Looks in 2011, Do What May moves beyond aspiring wall of sound into pop symphony territory, layering strings (“In the Meanwhile”), full-bodied, multi-instrumental sequencings (“Do What May”), and well-placed guest vocals: Sabrina Ellis on the title track, Bailey Glover on “With Ease, With Time,” and Sara Houser on “In the Meanwhile.” What’s more, there’s a pace, and consideration for how tracks fit together, particularly through the midsection: “Two Hands Wait,” “Cutthroat,” and “In the Meanwhile.” At certain junctures, like the hook on “Two Hands Wait,” the frontman punches above his vocal weight class, but that’s less prevalent now than in the past. On Do What May, Jared Boulanger’s brought it all together. - Austin Chronicle


Discography

Do What May (LP, 2014)
In The Meanwhile (Cassingle, 2013)
Two Hands Wait (7-inch, 2012)
Last Looks (LP, 2011)
Hot Pink Flares (7-inch, 2011)
It's Not Gonna Be Pretty (LP, 2010)
Never Mix, Never Worry (7-inch, 2009)
Received In Bitterness (LP, 2009)
The Meat Of The Fruit (EP, 2008)

Photos

Bio

BOOKING: thesournotes@gmail.com

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Austin, Texas band The Sour Notes are known for their cross-genre, DIY aesthetic, self-releasing five albums, three 7-inch records and a cassette. They have toured nationally over ten times, making appearances at CMJ, SXSW, NXNE, Fun Fun Fun Fest, The UMS, Free Press Summer Fest and have shared stages with such diverse bands as The Dandy Warhols, Of Montreal, Foxygen, Future Islands, We Are Scientists, Marnie Stern and Daniel Johnston.

Band Members