Castanets’ contribution to the American music canon has always been a strange, experimental, defiant one. Beer-soaked country rock gone contrarian noise. Corpse-y folk and desert blues. Live shows and past records brought free-jazz and Nashville together or went dub like it was casual. But no matter how out there it’s gone, Castanets’ music has always had this sly, wizened eye for catchiness and a quiet, laidback flirtation with beats. In the five years since Castanets main-man Raymond Raposa dropped his Asthmatic Kitty debut, Cathedral, it has always seemed like Raposa was just one step away from writing a whopper of a totally accessible pop record.
And here it is, Texas Rose, The Thaw, and The Beasts. Only it’s not. By some dark alchemy, Castanets has managed to craft an album that is as catchy and well-defined as it is full of experimentation. And more so. More so on the catchy. More so on the song-craft. More so on the clean, majestic classy production (courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty’s artist Rafter Roberts.) But also more so on the noise, the haunted electronics, and the all-out remodeling of American song forms.
Here Raposa plays big boss to a cast of battle-ready heads including Rocket from the Crypt horn player Jason Crane, Bauhaus’ David J, Black Heart Procession singer Pall Jenkins, Gogogo Airheart drummer Andy Robillard, Asthmatic Kitty newbie DM Stith, Gabriel Sundy, Chris Cory, and regular Castanets contributors Henry Nagle and Suzanna Waiche. And what they walked away with is a 38-plus-minute dream-quest across a dissolving terrain of dark country music, electronic pop, and folk landmarked by soothing blossoms of noise, big beats, and tenuous sighs of pedal steel.
It’s something new and it’s something epic—and it satisfies. There are many things we can ask for from our music but to be satisfied is paramount. And now we present, Texas Rose, The Thaw, and The Beasts, the brand-new record from Castanets, out September 22nd on Asthmatic Kitty.
Castanets’ Tour Dates (7/3 – 8/3 w/ M.A. Turner):
Tue. June 30 New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage w/ Explosions in the Sky, Constantines
Fri. July 3 Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s w/ The Horse’s Ha
Sat. July 4 Detroit, MI @ Garden Bowl
Sun. July 5 Bloomington, IN @ Russian Recording
Mon.July 6 Cleveland, OH @ Skylab/The Shelf
Tue. July 7 Buffalo, NY @ Soundlab
Wed.July 8 Boston, MA @ Middle East
Fri. July 10 New York, NY @ Cake Shop
Sat. July 11 New York, NY @ Silent Barn
Mon.July 13 Baltimore, MD @ Talking Head
Tue. July 14 Charlottesville, VA @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
Wed. July 15 Chapel Hill, NC @ Nightlight
Thu. July 16 Charlotte, NC @ Mileston
Fri. July 17 Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
Sun. July 19 Nashville, TN @ The Basement
Mon. July 20 Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree
Thu. July 23 Houston, TX @ Rudyards
Fri. July 24 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
Sat. July 25 Lubbock, TX @ Bash Riprock
Mon. July 27 Phoenix, AZ @ Modified Arts
Wed. July 29 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Thu. July 30 Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
Fri. July 31 San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Sat. Aug. 1 Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place
Mon. Aug. 3 Portland, OR @ Worksound