Release Date: Apr 3, 2012
Record label: Undertow-Recordings
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Rocky Votolato does simple well. He’s proved it since his breakthrough Barsuk-released album in 2006 with Makers, and he’s working with the format again on his ultra-lean new album, Television of Saints. The album marks the first time Votolato’s been without a label since he joined with Barsuk, with the 10-track, 33-minute album receiving funds by the way of Kickstarter donations to the singer.
Listening to the lovely acoustic folk pop of singer/songwriter Votolato’s recent years, it’s difficult to imagine he started his career as a Fugazi-influenced punker. He continues that easy going trend with this Kickstarter financed effort that strips down his approach on most songs to a few acoustic guitars fronted by his earnest, boyish vocals. The introspective, poetic often conflicted lyrics –printed on the disc’s sleeve and well worth re-reading-and sparse melodies are sometimes reminiscent of Neil Young, especially when he uncorks his harmonica.
Rocky Votolato grew up in rural Frost, Texas, the son of a member of local motorcycle gang the Scorpions. Though he grew up on a steady diet of country music, his mother moved the family to Seattle in Votolato’s early teens, and he began playing in various punk and indie groups before forming the Fugazi-indebted Waxwing with his younger brother Cody (also of erstwhile spazz-rockers the Blood Brothers). While Waxwing was still active, Rocky began playing quieter, acoustic-based music under his own name.