Just as COVID started shutting everything down in 2020, Splice registration artist Society of Ancient Cats was heading towards the studio. The group is now ready to welcome listeners on their new album, which will be released next year, with the release of their first singles “City Breathes” and “Out Of My Mind”.
The group will perform on Friday November 26 at The Continental Club to celebrate the release of “Out Of My Mind”.
“I think those two songs are a pretty good vibe of what the record looks like. It’s more groove-centric, that’s exactly what I had in mind at the time. It gets a little softer sometimes with faster songs and slower songs, those two songs are in the middle of that, ”says Sergio Trevino, one of the band’s main songwriters.
“I think those two songs are a pretty good vibe of what the record looks like.”
Ancient Cat Society is part of the changing team of musicians in Houston who support each other in various groups including Dollie barnes and Vodi. Group members are like ingredients that can be used to make various dishes with distinct flavors despite the same base.
“It’s like Mexican food,” Trevino agreed. “There is no such thing as a super ego. Everyone helps each other find their vision rather than trying to push their sound or their program or something like that, so it’s a really positive work environment.
Trevino’s vision for songwriting is clear in the band’s debut single, “City Breathes,” released last September. The song follows a loving wanderer looking for his lost wife across town, to the beat of a repetitive piano riff that sometimes escalates, matching the feeling of frantic searching.
“City Breaths” is a low-key funky track with a radically different vibe from the band’s generally harmonious folk songs.
“City Breaths right outside the door sounded like he was ready to go,” Trevino says as he sets the stage for the song’s scene, saying, “You’ve got your overcoat pulled up as high as you. can, you are walking down the alleys looking for that person. Everything is black and white and it could be New York or downtown Houston, it doesn’t really have a specific location, it’s just being in town.
“Out Of My Mind” had a completely different origin as Trevino described it as being the song that was in the “worst place” out of the eleven tracks recorded for the album. Originally, Trevino didn’t think he would be selected to be featured on the album, so he decided to hand it over to the local pedal steel magician. Will Van Horn which took the song to another level and put it back in the running to be featured on the new album.
For many years, Ancient Cat Society has relied on a local sound engineer Steve christensen. Christiansen is a Grammy winner who has helped many local bands get their studio sound using his low-tech, natural approach to recording.
Most recently, Christensen is known for his work with the grown-up Houston band, Khruangbin on their album Mordecai.
For these new songs, the band recorded with Christiansen but then sent the songs to Adam Théin. Trevino got acquainted with Thein through his work with Djo, the musical project of Strange things actor Joe Keery and was delighted to hear that Thein lives in Houston.
“I messaged Adam and he was very sweet and kind. I went to his place, we started mixing ‘City Breeze’ and at the end I was really happy with the result,” said Trevino.
“For me it’s such a good combination because with Steve we’re actually recording to tape. We don’t record digitally, it’s actually on an old vintage tape system and once we start mixing it we start mixing it with some really modern effects so I feel like it’s is a cool combination of new and old techniques.
Ancient Cat Society will perform on Friday, November 26 at Continental Club 3700 Main, 9 p.m., $ 10-20.