Week in Pop: Floam, Pleather, Sis

Sjimon Gompers

Seattle's own superstars Pleather from left—Butter & Andrew McKibben; photographed by Sofia Lee.

Memory Keepers

Austin’s new keepers of future memories—Memory Keepers; photographed by Travis Emery Hackett.


In recent years The Sour Notes’ own Jared Paul Boulanger has been amassing a plethora of musical gear to create new sounds for a new creative outlet. Collaborating with fellow cohort Amarah, Jared introduces us to the world of Memory Keepers with the release of the No Distraction / Tickling Air single. Presenting a project with roots that began back in the late 90s from song sketches, home brewed demos to work concocted courtesy of The Art Institute of Houston’s own recording studio—Amarah & Boulanger share a 7″ that was mixed by Steve Christensen at SugarHill Studios & mastered by Heba Kadry at NYC’s Timeless Mastering in NYC. The result is an entrance into an environmental realm of echoes governed by electronic approaches to conventions of audio creation that feels both classic & contemporary.

Memory Keepers invite the audience to join them to a brave new future of inspired electronic pop artifices. The new 7″ commences with “No Distractions” that casts all diversions to the ditches as Amarah & Jared join forces to battle juggernauts in a soundtrack suitable for both video game boss battles to cinematic showdowns between protagonists & their opposing adversaries. “No Distractions” travels through synth-speckled vortexes with vocoded deliveries that spell out the sorts of poetics that feel as if steeped from a Philip K. Dick storyline. “Tickling Air” works in spaces of echoes & ambiance that flows freely in a state of aural flight that contributes to a feeling of gently floating through the atmosphere. The track travels across the heights of the friendly skies with conscious streaming meditations where the chords & keys mimic the motions of the breeze as the restrained rhythms introduce slight cloud congested bumps of turbulence.

Jared Paul Boulanger elaborated for us a bit about collaborating with Amarah on the new side project Memory Keepers:

As you know, I’ve been collecting a bunch of gear over the years and with that, a lot of recorded material that just didn’t quite fit with The Sour Notes’ sound. That in combination with a brief health scare I had last year…I decided to start a new project with Amarah called Memory Keepers to umbrella all of those recordings in case my life became to difficult to release them in the near future. Luckily, my health improved after a few surgeries and things are under control now. Around that time, I was reading about the survivors of Hiroshima and noticing the skyline of Austin, Texas growing more littered with demolition and construction cranes. I sent the Memory Keepers recordings to my friend and artist Rene Cruz to design the album artwork with debris in mind.

Some of the songs we’ll be releasing and playing on tour in the coming months date all the way back to the late-90s, when I began experimenting after-hours at The Art Institute of Houston’s recording studio. I’ve never stopped listening to the bands I loved around that time (Underworld, Kraftwerk, Air, OMD, Stereolab) and it’s been a real treat to work on more-electronic music after 10 years of rock with The Sour Notes. The 7″ was mixed at SugarHill Studios with Steve Christensen (Khruangbin, El Lago) and mastered by Heba Kadry (Bjork, Slowdive) at Timeless Mastering in NYC.

Memory Keepers’ Tickling Air 7″ is available now via Spotify, iTunes & Soundcloud.

Cover for the new Memory Keepers 7″; created by Rene Cruz.

Memory Keepers’ 7″ release show is tomorrow Saturday, April 21 in Austin, Texas at Beerland.

Catch Memory Keepers as they embark on their 2018 Summer Tour via the following dates:

29 – Austin, TX
30 – Houston, TX

01 – Fort Worth, TX
02 – Shreveport, LA
03 – Fayetteville, AR
05 – St. Louis, MO
06 – Chicago, IL
08 – Lawrence, KS
09 – Tulsa, OK

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