The Deer Enter New Pastures
Austin Folk Band, The Deer, have a flawless dreamlike sound perfect for the unplugged festival atmosphere. Those lucky enough to have seen The Deer at shows like Camp Shhhhtimes have been able to witness their original sound, before they started to fine-tune it for larger gigs. Now when you see the Psychotropic Folk Band, you get a mixture of their soft airy vibes with some newer elements, like an electric guitar.
The Deer have had a lot going on this year. Fresh off winning the 2018 Austin Music Award for Best Performing Folk Band, a grant from Black Fret, and a new record due out soon, fans are excited as ever. On top of all of that, in May, The Deer signed to Keeled Scales. The Austin label was started by two musicians, Seth Whaland, the bassist from Tres Oui ,and Tony Presley from Real Live Tigers.
The five-piece band is telling its fans something. Communicating the message through their music. A sound that is transforming in front of the die-hard fans eyes. A new release “Do No Harm” due out this fall is the manifestation of pushing new terrain.
The new album is written with the electrified guitar in mind. Colorful pastures and even more importantly space, time and room where Michael Mcleod can shine. His degree of patience is notable, a combination of tastefully phrasing and his ability to sit back and not play too many notes is quite remarkable. Michael, a native Austinite was the perfect choice for The Deer. Michael adds another dynamic composer to the group. He shares his time playing bass with Good Field an indie rock band.
The idea behind The Deer’s new sound is to play bigger stages. The transformation has been incredible. The Deer are touring more, moving from clubs to theaters and playing for bigger and bigger crowds at festivals - the electric guitar gives them the bigger sound they need.
The Deer just got back to Texas after a 5 show run in snowy Colorado this past May. Loading and unloading their way through the rocky mountain towns. The Deer were rocking on all cylinders. Up next for the Deer is a West Coast Summer Tour starting in Coos Bay, Oregon. The tour continues though the Northwest then into Colorado, for the much talked about headlining show at the Fox Theater in Boulder Co. Huge things happening for the Psychotropic Austin band. Making the jump to theaters is one of the cornerstones in a bands career. How will their sound translate to the bigger rooms? Better sounds system, clearer venue acoustics, hidden sound board and BOH stations. A place to really let the art take form and connect to its viewers.
San Marcos is a cool town 25 miles south of Austin. A small hippy town, which means no lines for bathroom or beers and a cool laid back vibe. The first set got underway right around 10pm. Things got really fun with the 3 song combo of “Up in Roses”, “Reflection on Moonstone Beach”> “Winter To Pry”. A smooth segue to Winter showed off the bands chops. Rise Up Singing followed by “Sour Times” a Portishead original created a great space to fit in a well played jam segment, chalked full of screaming guitar and a tight pocket. A pocket so tight Jesse Dalton, a true force to be reckoned with, on stand up bass, shines a smile over at his groove mate, Alan Eckert, The Deer’s talented drummer.
In the set closer slot: “Mags” a new song off of Do no Harm is an instant classic. Fast tempo dance song with earworm potential; people were getting down to this song, dancing in the silliest way possible.
Set two started after a brief break with “Static” a single off Tempest & Rapture. Grace Rowland Park a San Marcos, TX local connected with the crowd in an unusually awesome way. As the set continued Grace crooned the front few rows with her mesmerizing vocal range and high register. The eclectic front-woman felt at home with her music and energy, making this a special night.
Noah Jefferies the muli-instrumentalist, found his groove and comfort zone during the second set, pushing psychedelic boundaries and dark territory. As they wrapped up the set a liquid theme was carried out in their jams. A full band drum jam ensues and the dance floor was packet with dancers and two steppers.
Friday night at the Kiva Lounge & Bar was a very special evening. The Deer, tour seasoned, brought their A-game. The band-mates have such a great connection, their songs are crisp and fine-tuned as can be, and they have a stage presence and musicianship that we know is about to take the world by storm. This is just the beginning for The Deer, and we can’t wait to see where they go from here.
SET ONE SETLIST
Wind n see, Take Flight, Up in the Roses, Reflection on Moonstone Beach> Winter to Pry, Rise Up Singing, Farther, Sour Times*, Like Thru, Mags
Static, Po Return, Look Alive, Hawkwoth, Shades, Army, Hair, Spectro, Errant, Lotus Flower, Swoon
Head over Hills
SET TWO SETLIST
THE DEER SUMMER TOUR 2019