Dig Baton Rouge

Wild in BR

By Nick BeJeaux

When New Orleans indie outfit Prom Date came back home from Stargayzer Fest 2014 in Austin, Texas, they opened the door for several acts coming out of the Lone Star State. It began with Austin’s Flavor Raid, and now Houston’s Wild Moccasins will find their way back to Baton Rouge.

The Wild Moccasins will be appearing alongside the well-oiled dance pop machine that is Prom Date and Rareluth at the Spanish Moon on Friday, Jan. 23 at 9 p.m.

“We’ve been fans of theirs for a long time and a few months ago at Stargayzer we got the chance to meet them,” said Prom Date vocalist and keyboard player David Fuller. “We talked about doing shows together and it really seems inevitable that this show was going to happen, looking back.”

Inevitable indeed. Both Prom Date and Rareluth are known for vibrant costumes, infectious dance beats and poppy lyrics that will not be ignored or forgotten. Give Wild Moccasins’ repertoire a listen on YouTube and Soundcloud, and it quickly becomes clear these three bands were made for each other.

“We really hit it off with Prom Date at Stargayzer,” said Cody Swann, Moccasins guitarist and vocalist. “They saw our set on Saturday and we met up and started talking about music, and then we started talking about playing shows together.”

The Moccasins’ lineup includes Swann, Zahira Gutierrez (vocals/keyboard), Andrew Lee (guitar) and John Baldwin (drums). Early last year the band released their second album 88 92, featuring the single “Gag Reflections.” While the music is upbeat and channels the likes of David Bowie and Karen Orzolek of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it takes on some pretty heavy issues all too common in the lives of Generation Y: panic attacks, social insecurity and diseased friendships.

The band also has at least two official music videos on the NewWestRecords YouTube channel for “Eye Makeup” and “Gag Reflections.” Both feature tight guitar work by Swann and Lee backed by subtle synths, and Gutierrez’s ethereal but rapturous voice almost makes you forget how dark the lyrics are.

“We play a kind of psychedelic, indie pop sound, so anyone that leans that way will love this show,” said Cody Swann, Moccasins guitarist and vocalist. “I like to think of our sound as having a 1980s New York City feel to it — we’re very inspired by the collaboration between visual and audio artists that happened then and now.

“We don’t have performers dancing on stage like Rareluth, but after eight years of being in a band with the same people, we’re all very open and loose on stage. It’s very easy for us to feed off of each other — we all have our little moves.”

The Moccasins’ show in Baton Rouge is the second of a ten-show tour, which includes stops in Lafayette, New Orleans and Monroe.  Swann says the band has played Baton Rouge before, and they have fond memories of the college town.

“We were touring with Of Montreal and it was great touring with them because they had a built-in audience so we got to share our music with a lot of people that otherwise wouldn’t know who we are,” Swann said. “Now we get to do the same with Prom Date and Rareluth. We’re really excited to come back to Louisiana.”

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