I'll be frank when I say I've been not so patiently waiting the release of new Asian Fred music. Frontman Fred Huang can attest to the occasional, "So, you're going to let me know when you have new music, right?" from me. And, if you've been waiting like I have, I've got some good news in the way of two brand new tracks.
What I love about this local band is the commitment to making good, fun indie music in a time where psych is a near ubiquitous descriptor of up-and-coming bands. Their music has moments of alt-country riffs and some jazzy piano flourishes, but at it's core, Asian Fred goes straight for that Beatles-y nostalgia that so many turn their nose up at—and guess what, they're doing it well. When folk want to channel early Sabbath, get that Stones attitude or go trippy like the Byrds or the Animals, Asian Fred responds with music that's fun and addictingly upbeat. No need to raid the thrift store for fringed vests and snake skin boots.
Joined by Noah Horton (guitar, vocals), Kyle Gutierrez (bass, vocals), Steven Romo (drums) and Nick Letson (keys), Huang sought to make music that kept it interesting as much for those listening to it as those playing it.
"I wanted to make music that was fun to play," Huang says, "with weird timing changes and chord changes."
Huang pegs influencers like the Kinks, the Beatles and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, while seeking to get more "groovy" than his last project, the folky Of the Painted Choir.
"I wanted to incorporate Motown-style R&B because that's what I grew up on," he says. "It's sort of my go-to or default, but it's hard to replicate that sound."
Huang's experience mastering and recording albums for other Arizona bands like Twin Ponies and the Numb Bats shows on the two tracks, though he admits that if and when the band makes a full length, he'll want a fresh set of ears on it. Asian Fred plans to release two more songs on a split with Dirt Friends this fall and seeks to put out something "more substantial" following that.
The songs will be released officially on Saturday, June 25 at The Flycatcher (340 E. Sixth St.). Ne-Hi and Macaulay Vulcan will open the show, which begins at 9 p.m. Cover is $5 and it is a 21 and over event.
But, without further ado, dig on these summer jams from Asian Fred: