It’s officially pool season, and appropriately New West Records is releasing Pool Party, the second album from Ponderosa, on July 31st. Dave Fridmann’s production input amplifies the group’s shift from a fairly straightforward, somewhat undistinguished Southland rock outfit into more expansive, celestial sonic quadrants. Soaring, interstellar harmonies, booming drums, spatial textures, offbeat tangents and reverb aplenty are a few of their newfound traits on full display for the new elpee, which brings them closer in approach to that of groups like Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket and Athens’Futurebirds. A most welcome growth spurt, indeed. Before Pool Party makes it out, however, we’ve been treated to Ukred, a solo album from Ponderosa frontman Kalen Nash, out on May 29th. Sparse and intimate, though there are similar production techniques occasionally used the ten songs act as an effective counterbalance to Pool Party’s saucerful of secrets. Named for Kalen’s great grandfather Euquid “Ukred” Lee Nash (who penned the album opener “Don’t You Love Me Baby,” one of its standout tracks), Ukred is the initial offering from New West’s Athens-based imprint label, Normaltown Records. Next on Normaltown’s release schedule is the debut album from Nate Nelson’s new Athens-based band White Violet in August. One song each from Kalen and White Violet’s albums are also on a split 7-inch now available at their respective shows.
Read the full article at Stomp and Stammer.