Vox and the Hound
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Vox and the Hound

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
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"Tonight: Vox and the Hound Releases Courage"

Courage Review - Alex Woodward // Gambit Weekly


"Tonight: Vox and the Hound Releases Courage"

Courage Review - Alex Woodward // Gambit Weekly


"The Hot List: One's to Watch"

WHO: Vox & The Hound

WHAT: dapper and disheveled orchestral pop and campfire sing-along anthems

Vox & The Hound's self-described "Western" influence is more spaghetti than country, with composer Ennio Morricone cited as inspiration. The band shares Morricone's meticulous dedication to composition — those perfectly placed slinky guitar lines and shuffling timpani are not unlike the detailed spreadsheets the band uses as reference while recording its full-length debut Courage, out Nov. 30. The band (Leo DeJesus, Rory Callais, Andrew Jarman, Eric Rogers and Daniel Ray) "planned it out to a T," Ray says. The band's classically trained ears have a knack for heart-hugging harmonies and locked-in offbeat pop grooves. — Woodward - Gambit Magazine


"The Hot List: One's to Watch"

WHO: Vox & The Hound

WHAT: dapper and disheveled orchestral pop and campfire sing-along anthems

Vox & The Hound's self-described "Western" influence is more spaghetti than country, with composer Ennio Morricone cited as inspiration. The band shares Morricone's meticulous dedication to composition — those perfectly placed slinky guitar lines and shuffling timpani are not unlike the detailed spreadsheets the band uses as reference while recording its full-length debut Courage, out Nov. 30. The band (Leo DeJesus, Rory Callais, Andrew Jarman, Eric Rogers and Daniel Ray) "planned it out to a T," Ray says. The band's classically trained ears have a knack for heart-hugging harmonies and locked-in offbeat pop grooves. — Woodward - Gambit Magazine


"Crazy Like a Vox"

When I briefly lived in uptown New Orleans, the first band poster I saw (everywhere) was for a group called Vox and the Hound. Due to a fondness for defunct Austin indie-poppers Voxtrot, the coincidence of two Southern bands using the fox/vox interchange instantly caught my attention.

I first saw Vox and the Hound perform with Modern Skirts at the Hi-Ho Lounge, accompanied by anotherKLSU expatriate so enamored with the arena grit-folk sound that she bought two of the band’s HermosaEPs, encased in a flannel pocket.

Since then, the band’s been hard at work, getting ready for the next stage of their growth. This past June, they released a track they recorded at the respected Living Room Studio down in Algiers called “The Man You Thought Was King.”

“We actually recorded a full-length [album] in February that we’re [tweaking right now],” said guitarist Rory Callais. The album has an intended release date of November 30 and will feature almost entirely new material.

“There’s a couple of songs that we did for a compilation,” Callais said. “We re-recorded those, but everything else is all new.”

Vox and the Hound is set to perform this Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Spanish Moon with Baton Rouge groups Prom Date and Liam Catchings & the Jolly Racket, as well as Tennessee-born, Paste-beloved darlings Star and Micey. Callais, a recent alumnus of the University of New Orleans’ graduate school, did his undergrad work at LSU and is excited to play Baton Rouge (and the Sp’oon) again. “[We played] the Moon in January 2011,” he said. “We haven’t played anywhere else in Baton Rouge. It’s a great venue [and it] sounds really good,” Callais continued. “I went to LSU for a couple years and used to go to ‘80s Night and had a really good time.”

Good times are a critical part of Vox and the Hound. Their shows are decidedly high energy and fun. If you think about it, we live in a bad time for music: The overproduction and the overuse of studio technology mean that sometimes artifice surpasses talent. This, combined with the fact that conglomerate music studio producers make their money from album sales (not touring artists), means that mainstream music production is sales-driven and, at the risk of sounding like a ‘70s burnout, it’s not about the music anymore.

Not so with Vox and the Hound, who emphasize live performance, play New Orleans frequently, and enjoy playing with other local bands.

“The Moon kind of hooked us up for the most part,” Callais says. “We wanted to get there. We hadn’t played Baton Rouge in a while. We contacted Prom Date and it all sort of came together that way.”

For string-focused, pop-bluegrass trio Star and Micey, Baton Rouge is the last stop on their tour promoting their upcoming October EP release I Can’t Wait, produced by Elvis Costello and Modest Mouse collaborator Dennis Herring. Their third and second-to-last performances will be in Starkville, Miss., on August 23 at Rick’s Café, and on Aug. 24 the trio will play the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette.

Combining the intensity of Irish arena-folkers Frightened Rabbit with John Darnielle’s earnestness, strained through Frontier Ruckus’ sensibility, Vox and the Hound is sure to be a favorite for both the cultured and the undiscerning.

If you’re looking for a band name, no musicians have claimed “Starvox,” “Firevox,” or “Voxy Brown” yet. Dibs on “Portions for Voxes,” though. And if you’re looking for a great live show to take in this weekend, the Spanish Moon is where it’s at. - Mark Redmond for Dig Baton Rouge


"Crazy Like a Vox"

When I briefly lived in uptown New Orleans, the first band poster I saw (everywhere) was for a group called Vox and the Hound. Due to a fondness for defunct Austin indie-poppers Voxtrot, the coincidence of two Southern bands using the fox/vox interchange instantly caught my attention.

I first saw Vox and the Hound perform with Modern Skirts at the Hi-Ho Lounge, accompanied by anotherKLSU expatriate so enamored with the arena grit-folk sound that she bought two of the band’s HermosaEPs, encased in a flannel pocket.

Since then, the band’s been hard at work, getting ready for the next stage of their growth. This past June, they released a track they recorded at the respected Living Room Studio down in Algiers called “The Man You Thought Was King.”

“We actually recorded a full-length [album] in February that we’re [tweaking right now],” said guitarist Rory Callais. The album has an intended release date of November 30 and will feature almost entirely new material.

“There’s a couple of songs that we did for a compilation,” Callais said. “We re-recorded those, but everything else is all new.”

Vox and the Hound is set to perform this Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Spanish Moon with Baton Rouge groups Prom Date and Liam Catchings & the Jolly Racket, as well as Tennessee-born, Paste-beloved darlings Star and Micey. Callais, a recent alumnus of the University of New Orleans’ graduate school, did his undergrad work at LSU and is excited to play Baton Rouge (and the Sp’oon) again. “[We played] the Moon in January 2011,” he said. “We haven’t played anywhere else in Baton Rouge. It’s a great venue [and it] sounds really good,” Callais continued. “I went to LSU for a couple years and used to go to ‘80s Night and had a really good time.”

Good times are a critical part of Vox and the Hound. Their shows are decidedly high energy and fun. If you think about it, we live in a bad time for music: The overproduction and the overuse of studio technology mean that sometimes artifice surpasses talent. This, combined with the fact that conglomerate music studio producers make their money from album sales (not touring artists), means that mainstream music production is sales-driven and, at the risk of sounding like a ‘70s burnout, it’s not about the music anymore.

Not so with Vox and the Hound, who emphasize live performance, play New Orleans frequently, and enjoy playing with other local bands.

“The Moon kind of hooked us up for the most part,” Callais says. “We wanted to get there. We hadn’t played Baton Rouge in a while. We contacted Prom Date and it all sort of came together that way.”

For string-focused, pop-bluegrass trio Star and Micey, Baton Rouge is the last stop on their tour promoting their upcoming October EP release I Can’t Wait, produced by Elvis Costello and Modest Mouse collaborator Dennis Herring. Their third and second-to-last performances will be in Starkville, Miss., on August 23 at Rick’s Café, and on Aug. 24 the trio will play the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette.

Combining the intensity of Irish arena-folkers Frightened Rabbit with John Darnielle’s earnestness, strained through Frontier Ruckus’ sensibility, Vox and the Hound is sure to be a favorite for both the cultured and the undiscerning.

If you’re looking for a band name, no musicians have claimed “Starvox,” “Firevox,” or “Voxy Brown” yet. Dibs on “Portions for Voxes,” though. And if you’re looking for a great live show to take in this weekend, the Spanish Moon is where it’s at. - Mark Redmond for Dig Baton Rouge


Discography

"Hermosa EP"
Released Jan. 2011
available for streaming, digital download, and CD

"The Man You Thought Was King" single
Released on Father's Day, June 17, 2012
available for streaming and digital download

"Courage"
Release date November 30, 2012
available for streaming, digital download, CD, and vinyl

"Cowards"
Release date January 19, 2013
available for streaming, digital download, and vinyl

Photos

Bio

After stints in various indie rock bands, Leo DeJesus’s ambition was to pass an artistic thread through the tail of a cultural needle. On the one hand attempting to avoid the new-project/side- project/offshoot-project trappings of coming from such a prolific local scene and, on the other hand, making no effort to blindly jump into the melee of a fickle, fleeting American indie rock culture, DeJesus faced the much more personal challenge of creating a distinct musical voice in a city not very much known as a rock and roll Mecca. That city, New Orleans, Louisiana, however, became the site of two furious years of non-stop writing and performing as Vox and the Hound, surrounded by one of the most eclectic line-ups one is likely to ever come across. With frequent collaborator and drummer Eric Rogers, punk rock renaissance ivory man Daniel “D-Ray” Ray, local rock guitarist Rory Callais and area bassist Andrew Jarman, DeJesus’ would-be singer/songwriter vehicle quickly became something of a coordinated supergroup that managed to turn heads at South by Southwest 2012 and beyond, amassing a rabid following that stretched across the Gulf South.

The result of this 48-month labor is Courage, a peculiar and subtly original record that eschews fly-by-night relevance but instead gives heed to anyone curious about how Vox and the Hound has become one of the most beloved acts in the entire state of Louisiana. Recorded in the shadow of the Crescent City Connection at the Living Room Studios in Algiers, the ten track, painstaking analog jaunt through the New Orleans underground pops, buzzes, thumps and sings in ways that largely place it at odds with the aught-tens’ saturation of attention-seeking lo-fi. Stylistically, the band walks a narrow tightrope between the intelligence of modern day content-conscious indie rock and the organic sophistication of jam time-era prog. If an air of one-off aberrance seems to surround Courage, it’s because homegrown records this perfectly executed don’t coalesce very often.

- Taylor Gray, August 17, 2012