Houston Music

Ancient Cat Society Releases New Single And Performs At Continental Club

Just as COVID began shutting everything down in 2020, Splice Record’s artist Ancient Cat Society was heading into the studio. Now the band is ready to let listeners into their new album, due out next year, with the release of their first singles “City Breathes” and “Out Of My Mind.”

The band will be performing on Friday, November 26 at The Continental Club in celebration of the release of “Out Of My Mind.”

“I think these two songs are a pretty good vibe of what the record is like. It’s more groove centric, that's just where my head was at the time. It does get a little more mellower at times with songs that are more uptempo and songs that are slower, these two songs are in the middle of that,” says Sergio Trevino who is one of the main songwriters for the group.

“I think these two songs are a pretty good vibe of what the record is like."

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Ancient Cat Society is part of the shape shifting crew of Houston musicians who support each other in various bands including Dollie Barnes and Vodi. The band members are like ingredients that can be used to make various dishes with distinct flavors despite having the same base.

“It's like Mexican food,” agreed Trevino. “There’s no super egos. Everyone is helping each other find their vision rather than trying to push their sound or agenda or anything like that so it's a really positive work environment.”
Trevino’s vision in his songwriting is clear in the band's first single, “City Breathes,” released this past September. The song follows a love sick wanderer searching all over the city for his lost lady set to the rhythm of a repetitive piano riff that at times escalates matching the sentiment of the frantic search.

“City Breaths” is a low key funky track with a starkly different vibe than the band's usually sweet harmonizing folk songs.

“City Breaths right out the gate just sounded like it was ready to go,” says Trevino as he sets the stage for the scene of the song saying, “You’ve got your overcoat pulled up as high as you can, you're walking down alleyways looking for this person. Everything is in black and white and it can be in New York or downtown Houston, it doesn't really have a specific location, it's just being in the city.”

“Out Of My Mind” had a completely different origin as Trevino described it as being the song which was in “worst place” out of the eleven tracks recorded for the album. Originally, Trevino did not think it would make the cut to be on the album so he decided to take it to local pedal steel wizard Will Van Horn which took the song to another level and put it back in the running to be on the new album.

For many years now Ancient Cat Society has relied on local sound engineer Steve Christensen. Christiansen is a Grammy winner who has helped many local bands achieve their sound in the studio using his low tech and natural approach to recording.

Most recently, Christensen has been known for his work with Houston band gone big, Khruangbin on their album Mordechai.

For these new songs, the band recorded with Christiansen but then sent the songs off to Adam Thein. Trevino became familiar with Thein through his work with Djo, the musical project of Stranger Things actor Joe Keery and was delighted to learn that Thein lives in Houston.

“I messaged Adam and he was very sweet and nice. I went over to his house we started mixing “City Breeze” and by the end I was really happy with how it turned out,” says Trevino.

“To me that's such a good combination because with Steve we are actually recording onto tape. We are not recording digitally, it's actually on an old vintage tape system and once we start getting it mixed we start mixing it with really modern effects and so I feel like it's a cool combination of new and old techniques.”

Ancient Cat Society will perform on Friday, November 26 at The Continental Club 3700 Main, 9 p.m., $10-20.