Just as COVID began shutting everything down in 2020, Splice Records artist Ancient Cat Society was on its way into the studio. Now the band is ready to lock listeners into their new album, which will be released next year, with the release of their first singles “City Breathes” and “Out Of My Mind”.
The band will perform on Friday, November 26 at The Continental Club to celebrate the release of “Out Of My Mind”.
“I think these two songs are a pretty good mood of how the record is. It’s more groove-centered, it was right there, my head was at the time. It gets a little softer at times with songs that are more uptempo and songs that are slower, these two songs are in the middle of it, ”says Sergio Trevino, who is one of the lead songwriters for the group.
“I think these two songs are a pretty good mood of how the record is.”
Ancient Cat Society is part of the shapely team of Houston musicians who support each other in various bands, including Dollie Barnes and Vodi. The band members are like ingredients that can be used to make different dishes with different flavors despite the same base.
“It’s like Mexican food,” Trevino agreed. “There are no super egos. Everyone helps each other find their vision instead of trying to push their sound or agenda or something like that, so it’s a really positive work environment.”
Trevino’s vision in his songwriting is clear in the band’s first single, “City Breathes”, released in September last year. The song follows a love-sick wanderer searching all over the city for his lost lady set to the beat of a repeated piano riff, which at times escalates and matches the feeling of the hectic search.
“City Breaths” is a low-key funky song with a completely different mood than the band’s usually sweet harmonizing folk songs.
“City Breaths right out of the gate just sounded like it was ready to go,” Trevino says as he sets the stage for the song scene, saying, “You have your overcoat pulled up as high as you can, you’re going down “Alley and looking for this person. Everything is in black and white, and it can be in New York or downtown Houston, it doesn’t really have a specific location, it’s just being in the city.”
“Out Of My Mind” had a completely different origin when Trevino described it as being the song that was “the worst place” out of the eleven tracks recorded for the album. Initially, Trevino did not think it would make the cut to be on the album, so he decided to take it to local pedal steel wizard Will Van Horn, who took the song to another level and put it back in the running to be on the new album.
For many years, the Ancient Cat Society has been dependent on local sound engineer Steve Christensen. Christiansen is a Grammy winner who has helped many local bands achieve their sound in the studio using his low-tech and natural approach to recording.
Most recently, Christensen has been known for his work with the Houston band gone big, Khruangbin on their album Mordechai.
For these new songs, the band recorded with Christiansen, but then sent the songs off to Adam Thein. Trevino became familiar with Thein through his work with Djo, the musical project of Stranger Things actor Joe Keery and was happy to learn that Thein lives in Houston.
“I sent a message to Adam and he was very sweet and nice. I went over to his house, we started mixing ‘City Breeze,’ and eventually I was really happy with how it turned out,” Trevino says.
“For me, it’s such a good combination, because with Steve we’re actually recording on tape. We’re not recording digitally, it’s actually on an old vintage tape system, and once we start mixing it, we start mixing it with real modern effects, and so I feel it’s a bold combination of new and old techniques. ”
The Ancient Cat Society will perform on Friday, November 26 at The Continental Club 3700 Main at 21.00, $ 10-20.