New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
San Antonio-based alt R&B band of brothers, Idyll Green, share the first single from their forthcoming, debut EP, When Love Ends, Be The Water. The track, "Moonlit Magic," comes along with a self-directed video, showcasing the band's talent on both sides of the camera.
You may recognize Rene, Jaime and Abe from their past bands: Hacienda and The Fast Five, where they were covered by Rolling Stone, NPR, MTV, Consequence of Sound, and Paste Magazine, among many other amazing music news sources. You might have also caught them on late light TV, where they were on "The Late Show with David
Letterman" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." They also played shows and festivals in The US, Canada, Europe
"Moonlit Magic" is the very first single from the new project, and is very close to the brother's hearts. It's a love story that captures the tension of unexpectedly finding a connection through music in a surreal South Texas
Rene (Idyll Green's songwriter and singer) explains, "For our first song as Idyll Green, my brothers and I want to show people the world that our music lives in, and "Moonlit Magic"is the perfect song for that. It's everything we love about Chicano culture in Texas. Mixing Jaime's Hip Hop beats, Abe's moody Alt-R&B production, a nod to Houston
Legend Johnny Nash, fine whiskey, a '57 Chevy and falling in love, "Moonlit Magic" has the kind of creative vibe that permeates late night South Texas. San Antonio has such a diverse history of art and music and it's inspiring to live here and feel that every day. Everything
written for this upcoming EP, When Love Ends, Be The Water, is autobiographical and that means finding our identity in the words, music and visuals; we're telling our story our way. Having that freedom was the biggest reason we decided to stay independent as artists.
When it came to bringing our South Texas
romance "Moonlit Magic" to life, we had to oversee every detail ourselves, but we didn't do it all alone either. We asked the super-talented Natalie Medina
to star as the video's lead, along with me. Natalie's vibrant presence and creative style makes her perfect as the driving force of the story. She also provided key pieces of custom/vintage clothing from her boutique, Grey Moon Vintage. Capturing our direction is our long time visual-collaborator West Vita. West always finds the romance in an image so when we thought of creating the visuals for "Moonlit Magic" he was the first one that came to mind. "Moonlit Magic" is a dreamy-surrealist take of an actual moment in my life. We wanted to capture the truth of the emotion from that night. The feeling when the world disappears and the only thing that matters is a connection with someone else. A vibe that is other-worldly and yet lives here in South Texas.
Describing the single itself, Rene says, "We have these late-night summer river parties where the guys would drive out to the country to meet friends and on one night, I met and lost a good friend and love. The song has this Johnny Nash inspired vibe that's referenced in the lyrics. We wanted it to be fun but still have this magical-strangeness to music. In the outro, you can hear a recording of a night time campfire under the guitars."
Still Waters Run Deep for Idyll Green. Between the funky spoken word ramble opener, the movie-scape-like interstitial pieces, and the dreamy title track closer, the framing of a larger story hides beneath the polished surface of the catchy, r&b inspired debut EP, When Love Ends, Be The Water.
Though each song stands individually, Rene (the Writer/Singer), and his brothers Jaime and Abe (Producers) built out a subtle, larger arc over their songs. Reconnecting themes and melodies between tracks, hiding layers of meaning under lighthearted beats. And that is, the songwriting group says, all about the way we understand story.
"When Love Ends, Be The Water is autobiographical. A musical interpretation [of] one of the weirdest weekends of my life," says Rene. "We didn't want to approach the story head-on like a musical, but to support each song with the context of my life and what it meant to us."
At the heart of When Love Ends, Be The Water, is a love story. "Yeah," Rene explains, "the romance of being young and single is confusing enough for anybody, and that's what is driving every song, but when you're a Progressive Chicano in South Texas, everything about interacting with each other becomes stranger. And we wanted to have that feeling in and under every song. Because that's how life is for us.
"I don't think I could talk about our lives honestly if we didn't add these extra filters around our songs. Love stories are universal, but a love story in the South is weighted differently for people like us, trapped between worlds. Between cultures. We live in constant tension to belong and to be individuals. Of participating, and having all this extra weight on everything we do. For us it's an inescapable conflict to stand our ground without starting a fight. "
These meta-filters make the songs serve as both backdrop and narrative, like in Jukebox Gentleman, about Rene's pursuit for love in a small bar in South Texas
that also sounds like the kind of laid-back R&B fun that would play in a jukebox. The song ends with Rene getting punched by one of the regulars for pursuing the "wrong" person.
Or the dreamy Moonlit Magic, where the brother's shine in this deep arrangement, that recalls both the twilight atmosphere of falling in love, a fire at a party in the woods, and a fun end-of-summer song playing through the car speakers on a cool Texas
While performing as members of Hacienda and The Fast Five, the 3 brothers honed their songwriting and live performances to be one of the tightest and most vibrant acts around.
(Playing shows and festivals all over North America, Europe
and Australia, as well as The Late Show with David
Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien).
"They have consistently impressed me with their natural chemistry," said long time collaborator Dan Auerbach of The Black
Keys. But the brothers are on quest to deconstruct and evolve their music.
Rene thinks about questions of his past carefully, "We felt abandoned by the 'Garage Rock Music
Scene.' I mean, we still love music from the past, ours included, we needed to make something new. Embrace
technology and progress our voice and culture in the studio... To tell our story on our terms. We just couldn't do that honestly from a rock mentality."
For the brothers, that meant building their own studio from scratch in their South-Texas home, not making the record in Nashville with Dan Auerbach (who produced all 3 Hacienda albums), no longer calling themselves a band and focusing on being Songwriters first.
"[Dan] will always be a part of what we do, but we are exploring different areas. That scene, is rooted deeper into a past that we feel less and less a part of. We are trying to exist with what's happening for us today."
The songwriting trio left behind the older ideas of how music should be and started making music the way they wanted to. There are still flashes of the vintage touches that the brothers had been so praised for, (there are some grooves that would make WAR proud) but now in a new context (Miguel, Frank Ocean
and Childish Gambino
were cited as inspiration for Be The Water).
"We were tired of being called 'too Mexican' or 'not Mexican enough,' 'too vintage, ' or 'not the right vintage' so many people had ideas of what we should be," Rene says proudly, "but we should be the ones to decide that. Idyll Green is our space to be whoever we want."
It might be easy for some listeners to turn on When Love Ends, Be The Water and enjoy the music completely absent of the larger story. "Life isn't about everyone living and understanding one thing. It's strange and complicated. One event can be told several ways and that is the heart of When Love Ends, Be The Water.
"Water, like stories, holds no shape. That's why we felt it was better to break up the narrative into the music and the book."
Rene, who has developed a modest but loyal fandom for his poetry and spoken word (Idyll Green also takes its name from a poem by Rene) wrote a companion book for the EP that delves into the heavier themes of the story. And provides a new perspective to each of the songs. "[the book] is another example of the freedom of being independent. A way for people to get into my head, the meaning of the songs, and learning about what life is like."
Idyll Green is excited to announce the first EP When Love Ends, Be The Water.