The JAG Vinyl Release

By name alone, The JAG may suggest hard corners and sharp edges, but their baroque moods comprise more winding curves than straight lines. Founding members Aaron Tyler King, Joe Regan and Gant O’Brien are going on a 10-year history of musical collaboration spanning three bands, originating in the saintly Southern Gothic heat of Jackson, Mississippi. Finding themselves in Nashville, TN in 2012, the three joined with Scott Harper to form The JAG and have been evolving in fascinating ways ever since.

Starting with an informed homage to 60’s acid rock and early glam, the band quickly progressed into a rare mix of influences. Singer Aaron Tyler King tangos like a bayou David Byrne, calling out opaque aphorisms with the same clarity and conviction. Highly composed, slanty keyboard hooks and bass lines pay clear respect to the likes of Brian Eno in his famous work on Bowie’s Heroes. Brooding shoegaze occasionally peeks in the door, Marc Bolan tips his enormous top hat, and the ever-present psychedelic groundwork ties the music with a fancy bow into a compelling whole.

This potent mix has garnered significant attention within the Nashville rock scene. After touring with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and collaborating with Ben Trimble of Fly Golden Eagle, The JAG recorded their sophomore album with the Bomb Shelter’s Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Fly Golden Eagle, Benjamin Booker). Although officially composed of five members, the live lineup fluctuates Brian Jonestown Massacre-style, boasting up to eight members in various configurations.

HR_Lexy is a female fronted, electronic trio based in Nashville, TN. The group's sound has been described as haunting electronic pop, with synth soundscapes, driving drum beats, and ethereal, dream-like vocals. HR_Lexy lyrically explores the pull between dark and light, humanity's relationship with nature, and spiritual awareness. Their live show includes symbolism and theatrical elements that further emphasize these themes. HR_Lexy recently released their second EP entitled Slaves to the Light in Oct 2016. The band's debut EP Nature Vs Neon was released in 2015

Nashville’s DEDSA wields psych-rock like a flaming sword to illuminate sci-fi tales of love and medieval debauchery. The band’s debut full length, Salmon Velocity, melds electronic music, psychedelia, metal and shoegaze into a powerful musical elixir. The project is an unholy pact between drummer Grant Bramlett, bassist/keyboardist Ben Carreon, guitarist/vocalist Stephen DeWitt, and keyboardist Robbie Ward.

“Nothing is off limits if it sounds like fun,” says the band, “we’ll try anything once in a song.” That mentality arises throughout the album as the listener delves into vintage Japanese electronic music, Mellotron tones, harpsichords, swerving guitar effects and more.

Salmon Velocity is a tome of dichotomy. It whips from cinematic grandeur to pure rock ‘n’ roll nonsense. Lyrics contrast utter hopelessness with complete elation. Those elements are captured visually in the band’s hand drawn and animated “Annihilation” video by keyboardist Robbie Ward. “Robbie aimed to create a dual feeling of dread/anticipation and a calm acceptance of fate or destiny,” says the band. ”The imagery strives to strike a balance between beauty and the grotesque.”

Ward’s animation in film has garnered well-deserved attention for DEDSA. The band’s “Lighter Click” video was selected in the top 9 videos of nearly 700,000 submissions to be showcased in the Slamdance Film Festival in the Anarchy Shorts category. The video is set to be featured in the 2017 Ann Arbor Film Festival. The Nashville press took note as well, with the Nashville Scene proclaiming the video to be “on another level.”

Though their videos keep gaining attention, it’s DEDSA’s live performances that keep people interested. Nashville’s Independent Radio Lightning 100 has featured the band as Artist of the Week. No Country For New Nashville says the band is “simultaneously catchy, crunchy and strange,” adding, “they’ve got a great live show to back up their impressively imaginative recorded music.”

Founding DEDSA members Robbie Ward and Stephen DeWitt met in Nashville in 2010 as transplants from Colorado and Alabama. Ben Carreon joined the project shortly after. The three recorded their first EP, Thrash Plastik in 2013. Though their original sound lacked live drums, the introduction of Grant Bramlett to the band allowed the group to explore more complex acoustic and electronic percussion sounds. The band recorded Salmon Velocity in their own home studio with each member contributing as producers in recording and mixing. Salmon Velocity is set for a March 3, 2017 release.

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