PREMIERE | Soft Animal, "Nice and Easy"

Introducing Soft Animal; courtesy of the band.

Introducing Soft Animal; courtesy of the band.

From Goner Records, Fat Possum, Infinity Cat, Jeffrey Drag Records and countless other imprints and upstarts; there has always been a constant Southern organic array of talents that have helped tune our world a little bit differently. Applying the focus now on rising band Soft Animal from the neighborhood of Leonidas, New Orleans — the group makes their debut with the shambling electric energy of "Nice and Easy". The garage blasted bliss is delivered by guitarist/vocalist Charley Ray with bandmates Becca Rhode, Federico Mejia and Hayden Corwin that cook up classic freak beat chords with a sense of succinct modern economies. Taking cues from the counter culture canon of bands that made music for jukeboxes (as opposed to long-players); Soft Animal summons the audio designs of dissonant measures that orchestrate chaos in a concerted array of amplified elements and sonically charged items of interest.

“Nice and Easy” rocks in that familiar way like when the mods became psych rockers in the mid 60s. Soft Animal flips through those dog-eared back pages of anachronistic anarchists that exhibits the timeless nature of stripped down rock & roll. Rhythm guitars seesaw with the motions of attitude, anxiety and angst as Ray wears all the emotion and feelings on full display in an impassioned delivery that leads the audience to a gateway of squalling guitar solos. Soft Animal’s style struts like an artful band of dodgers with a sound suited for all the dives in all the world with an eye set on the venues of festival stages everywhere.

Soft Animal live at Old Arabi Bar in New Orleans; press photo courtesy of the band.

Soft Animal live at Old Arabi Bar in New Orleans; press photo courtesy of the band.

Soft Animal’s Charley Ray shared the following thoughts on the new single “Nice and Easy”:

Leonidas is situated at the edge of New Orleans, bordering the university district Old Jefferson and Hollygrove where Lil Wayne is from, with the Mississippi river rounding out one corner. I am a transplant, having been here for two and a half years and something of an outsider and I try my best to support local businesses and be a good neighbor. The neighborhood has been good to me, but it has rough edges. There have been multiple shootings and I have to be vigilant about making sure my equipment is safe. One thing about New Orleans is a constant state of celebration, as well as tragedy. There is a constant tension between the decay of the city and the vibrancy of the city. I think the song comes from that tension. People in my neighborhood love music and we play loudly and you can hear our band from the street. People have complimented us and critiqued us. Something you can count on in New Orleans is interaction and engagement with your music. Whatever you are playing, somebody will be interested, because music is an important language here. I record all the music in my apartment off facing Monroe street, several blocks from the levee. The recording space is often leaked into by the sounds of trains, loud music playing from cars, people talking outside and even sometimes parades. It is an incredible energy and the vibe of this place has provided a lot of inspiration for writing music. The rawness, the vitality and the tension are what makes the neighborhood inspiring and I think you hear some of that in this song. It’s one of the most fun songs to play and it is a jiving and cohesive song for the band.

Listen to more from Soft Animal via Spotify.