It’s on White Denim’s sixth album called Stiff (released on Downtown Records) that reveals just how far the band from Austin has come. There’s a retro tone to the band overall, which has always been the thread of the foursome, but now it’s revolutionized—it’s more indulgent rock, adventurous and jazzy. The album was produced by Ethan Johns (who has worked with Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon, and Laura Marling).
The band came about in 2005 after two separate bands had a little change-up with members and then they decided to reinvent themselves under the name White Denim. It didn’t take long for their sound to explode in the local scene, and even led them to playing major gigs like CMJ and SXSW. But after the release of Corsicana Lemonade, two members of the band decided to call it quits, leaving singer James Petralli and bassist Steve Terebecki wondering what will come of White Denim. Should they break up? What will fans think? But instead they plugged on, added guitarist Jonathan Horne and drummer Jeffrey Olson, used the switch-up as inspiration, and decided to indulge in a new go-with-the-flow style of recording that actually better suits their throwback sound.
White Denim falls into an interesting pocket of genres, but that’s the charm and fun of listening to them. They leave you floating somewhere in the past—a toss between jamming with The Allman Brothers and then playing some kind of psychedelic festival. But whatever funky textures they decide to douse their ever-evolving sound with, there’s one thing that’ll be for certain, just as it’s sung in “Had 2 Know (Personal)” off their latest album: “Oh, we’re gonna have music. Mu-sic.” Damn right, folks. That’s exactly what you’re gonna get.