Saint Pé / Crocodiles / The Static Dial
Saint Pé: In 2014, after 10 years of touring the world (literally every continent but Antarctica!) in Atlanta’s legendary Black Lips as well as the critically-acclaimed Diamond Rugs, guitarist and vocalist Ian Saint Pé needed a change. As he put it, “The only thing you can’t change is time, So it was time that changed me. I loved the Black Lips, but I needed to enjoy new environments. So I got a brand new bag: Saint Pé.”
He packed up his gear and moved to Nashville, where he settled down in a log cabin formerly owned by country legend Roy Acuff. Before long, that home had also turned into a studio, and with the help of a number of Atlanta-based friends, the Album, Fixed Focus was born. It’s less a departure from the sounds of the Lips and Rugs as it is an informed continuation of them that maintains all the hooks and pop sensibilities of his previous acts, while refining them with a bit of Nashville class and a hint of the darkness that 10 years on the road imbues upon the soul.
From singalong stompers “Street Lights,” “Got The Look” and “Kiss It Goodbye” to Southern Gothic explorations like “Burning Bright” and “Carbon Maker,” Fixed Focus is a fully-formed solo debut that sounds more like an album from deep into an established career.
Recorded by Saint Pé himself, Fixed Focus was then mixed by Matt Boynton (Kurt Vile, MGMT) in New York City and mastered by Joel Hatstat in Athens, GA.
With his first record finally in that brand new bag and new songs already on the way, Saint Pé plans to spend the foreseeable future back on the road with this latest project, bringing his new sounds to plenty of familiar faces.
Crocodiles: Tarnishing sunny melodies with a scuzzy recording style and lots and lots of feedback, Crocodiles’ Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez met during their formative teenage years in San Diego. Playing together in various incarnations since then, including in the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, which featured Welchez on vocals and Rowell on guitar, the duo re-formed in a lo-fi capacity under the name Crocodiles in April of 2008. After self-releasing a distortion-driven 7″, their single Neon Jesus was championed by No Age on a Stereogum best-of-2008 poll. As Crocodiles’ debut full-length was recorded over that winter, blog readers started taking notice, and Summer of Hate was released by Fat Possum in late April of 2009. That winter, Crocodiles put out a Christmas-themed split 7″ with Dum Dum Girls and prepped their follow-up, Sleep Forever, for the summer of 2010. After adjusting their lineup to include bassist Marco Gonzalez, keyboardist Robin Eisenberg, and drummer Anna Schulte, Rowell, Welchez, and the group traveled from their hometown of San Diego to record their third full-length in Berlin. That album, Endless Flowers, was released in the spring of 2012 on Souterrain Transmissions in the U.K. and French Kiss in the U.S.
Crocodiles’ fourth album, 2013’s very focused and poppy Crimes of Passion, was produced by the Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner and featured just the duo of Rowell and Welchez, plus the occasional guest on backing vocals and horns. Taking a break from the band, Welchez recorded an album with his wife, Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls, under the name Haunted Hearts. The group reconvened and set up shop in Mexico City to record its next album. Working with producer Martin Thulin, the duo continued refining the poppier aspects of its sound, while incorporating some Latin influences. Boys was released in May of 2015 on Welchez’s own Zoo Music label. Their next album was recorded in the same location, with Thulin contributing instrumentation as well as steady production. Arriving in 2016, Dreamless de-emphasized guitars and used keyboards and other instruments to fill in the arrangements.
The Static Dial: Hailing from the motor city; a place with a rich musical and cultural history. The Static Dial was built on the idea of an “indie fusion”, that’s both a reflection of it’s diverse Detroit roots, and a creative unit built on the dynamic of a trio; thriving on exploring new styles, sounds, and approaches.
Initiated by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Bill Gerazounis as a vehicle for solo material; and partnering up with drummer Mike Frizzell, and bassist Jon Letts; the project developed into a band shaped by the chemistry of it’s various members and their different musical backgrounds. With the release of their debut; “The Static Dial EP”; a sonic texture was established and then further built upon with the extended single, “Move Along”. With the release of the follow up single; “Desert Song”; the band worked with friend and film producer Jason Conley on a video that brought a vibrant, imaginative visual to accompany the track. As various indie and major radio from the U.S. to the UK began picking up the band’s catalog, and shows with national and international touring outfits began to fill up live dates; the trio began work on what would become their full length debut; “Audio Nomad”. The band again worked with a close friend; producer Michael Skib; to capture the creative leap forward. Resulting in the sound of the 10 tracks that make up the album. With some time taken to work on new material and approach some new ideas creatively; while also growing their established sound; The Static Dial put together what would become the “New Sounds For Outlier Radio” 6 track EP; released in June, 2017. It finds the band’s potency at an absolute peak as songwriters, arrangers, and all around musicians.