Watch an exclusive video performance by the rising star from Austin.
BY ELIZABETH GRIFFIN
APR 8, 2015
Shakey Graves has no elevator pitch. Try to lump his music into a particular genre, and you’ll find yourself fumbling. He’s not country, not folk, not straight-ahead rock, though his music encompasses all three. His songs are distinctive and familiar all at once.
And that may very well be because of the city the musician—whose real name is Alejandro Rose-Garcia—calls home: Austin, where regions, countries, cultures, and conversations bleed, and especially musically, where one foot seems to be in the past while the other is in the future.
Fittingly, when we caught up with Rose-Garcia in his hometown at SXSW earlier this year, he played us a song in which he takes on dual roles. “Pansy Waltz” off his 2014 album, And the War Came, was influenced by Elliott Smith and by his “evilest ex-girlfriend.” “I was listening to Elliott at the time and I kind of was trying to take a swipe at a ditty,” Rose-Garcia says. “I always felt like he was able to write kind of jaunty, short, catchy songs that had a lot of weight to them. And around then, this one person I was really hung up on for a long time called me specifically to tell me about how she was dating some guy I had a huge man-crush on in high school. It was brutal. What do you say to that? ‘Tell me what his abs feel like! Awesome!’ And then later that song became fairly relevant again in a different relationship, mainly because of the ‘I should have been a better friend to you’ part. It’s nice to look back on work you’ve made in the past that was vengeful and then realize: Oh, now I’m the bad guy. Ha!”
It’s tough to believe Rose-Garcia could really ever be ‘the bad guy’, but he certainly is one bad-ass songwriter.
Thanks to uShip for providing the performance space.
View the video and original article