The Preservation: “Modern Dance”
Over the course of a calendar, KUT features 260 songs of the day from a wide range of artists, each one catching our collective ear. For the last two weeks of the year, we’ll be highlighting the best songs of the day from 2011, featuring big names, new discoveries, Studio 1A exclusives, and some tunes that might have gotten lost in the shuffle in the past twelve months.
Mario Matteoli has been a fixture in the Austin music scene since he was nineteen. For years, you could see him around town (or at a number of clubs around the country) as the frontman for the Weary Boys, a cow-punk quintet known for its raucous live shows. In 2006, Matteoli left the band for a solo career, releasing two well-received albums that showed the singer in a more laid-back mood. During those recordings, he found his future wife, Cayce, who appeared on the records as a back-up singer.
While touring as a duo, the couple decided it was time for a new band. In 2009, the Preservation was born. It’s a new look for Matteoli–he’s back as the frontman, but his songs are sharper, owing a great deal to early ’70s AM radio pop and Bob Dylan and the Band. He’s got tremendous support from the musicians around him. Cayce Matteoli lends her voice well, as do most of the other members, resulting in rich four-part harmonies. Even if they don’t play with the same reckless abandon as Matteoli’s former band, the Preservation are rousing in their own right, relying on tight arrangements that are both danceable and memorable.
That seems to be the point of “Modern Dance,” from the band’s debut album, this year’s Twin Sisters. On top of a bouncy keyboard and an even bouncier bass line, the Preservation deliver one sugar-sweet hook right after another.