The Sour Notes

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The Sour Notes
Sour Notes at Holy Mountain in Austin, TX.jpg
The Sour Notes performing at Holy Mountain in Austin, Texas, February 2013
Background information
Origin Austin, Texas, U.S.
Genres Indie rock, dream pop
Years active 2008–present
Members Jared Boulanger
Amarah Ulghani
Chris Page
Yola Blake
Adam Sharp
Past members Elaine Greer
Taylor Steinberg
Kelly Dewitt
Andrew Stevens
Erin Mikulenka
Travis Hackett
Justin Selman
Brandi Dipietro
Courtney Howell
Erin Howell
Rene Chavez
Jessica Kim

The Sour Notes are an American independent rock band.

Based in Austin, Texas, The Sour Notes are known for their cross-genre, DIY aesthetic, self-releasing five albums, three 7-inch records and a cassette. They have toured nationally over ten times, making appearances at CMJ, SXSW, NXNE, Fun Fun Fun Fest, The UMS, Free Press Summer Fest and have shared stages with such diverse bands as The Dandy Warhols, Of Montreal, Foxygen, Future Islands, We Are Scientists, Marnie Stern and Daniel Johnston.


The Sour Notes began initially as the moniker for singer-songwriter Jared Boulanger's solo recordings while living in Houston, Texas. The name of the band stems from Boulanger's collection of Moleskine journals containing drawings, rhyme schemes and notes on self improvement, which he called his "Sour Notes". Upon finishing work on what would become his 2008 debut EP The Meat of the Fruit,[1] Boulanger asked long-time friend Chris Page to join him in forming a live band in Austin. There, they met drummer Travis Hackett and bassist Brandi Dipietro through mutual friends and started performing as a four-piece with Boulanger and Page using up to five synthesizers on stage between them. After playing only a handful of shows together, the group recorded their first collaborative effort Received in Bitterness in the laundry room of their East Austin home and hit the road on a snowy, 13-date winter tour up the East Coast.

In Fall 2009, the band released 7-inch single "Never Mix, Never Worry", which presents a more standard-rock format to The Sour Notes' characteristically evolving sound. Shortly after, bassist Brandi Dipietro left the band, causing The Sour Notes to incorporate live electronics and sequenced bass parts at shows. The Sour Notes added keyboardist Elaine Greer to the band during the recording of their synth-heavy third LP It's Not Gonna Be Pretty,[2] which was released on January 1, 2010 to much critical acclaim. Following an East Coast tour in support of the album, the band added bassist Amarah Ulghani and The Sour Notes were selected as official showcasing artists at the 2010 SXSW Music Festival, opening for We Are Scientists at the Official SXSWi Closing Party and Daniel Johnston's that summer. The Sour Notes spent the remainder of 2010 touring with numerous additions to the band, playing over 60 shows in and around the U.S. that year, including Free Press Summer Fest in Houston and the CMJ Music Marathon[3] in New York City.

The Sour Notes performing live on air at KVRX 91.7 FM in Austin, Texas

At the turn of 2011, The Sour Notes released 7-inch single Hot Pink Flares and fourth LP Last Looks,[4] featuring orchestral group Mother Falcon, who arranged string sections on the album and backed The Sour Notes at their release show at Mohawk in Austin. The album was recorded almost entirely without synthesizer and contains a dominant use of acoustic instruments and female vocals. The band toured the East Coast in support of the album and were invited to play the 35 Conferette in Denton and the 2011 NXNE Music Festival in Toronto. 2012 brought the release of split 7-inch record Wait//White with fellow Austin band Marmalakes on the No Play Music label. The 7-inch featured the single "Two Hands Wait" from their upcoming album Do What May, which The Sour Notes would spend the next two years recording. Later that year, U.S. television series Shameless featured The Sour Notes songs "Do-ers & Say-ers" and "One Fell Swoop" during its second season premiere on Showtime.

In March 2013, The Sour Notes were first-round picks at SXSW before releasing cassingle In The Meanwhile, which featured the second single from their upcoming album and a cover of the Wire song "Mannequin". The Sour Notes spent that summer road-testing[5] new songs and were selected based on fan voting, to open for The Dandy Warhols as a part of Red Bull's Sound Select program in Austin that Summer. Upon wrapping up recording on fifth LP Do What May in 2014, the band embarked on a West Coast tour in support of the album that took them to Seattle and back in just 10 days. The album was later released on a rainy September night at Cheer Up Charlies[6] in Austin to glowing reviews and featured many local guest musicians, including Sabrina Ellis (Sweet Spirit, A Giant Dog), who sang on the title track.[7] A couple of months later, The Sour Notes were invited to perform at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, where they played an exclusive aftershow with Foxygen at Red 7.

The Sour Notes continue to play in and around the U.S. and are scheduled to release a new EP titled Darkest Sour in 2015.



Release date Title Format Label
September 6, 2014 Do What May LP/CD No Play Music
July 21, 2012 Last Looks (reissue) LP/CD No Play Music
February 17, 2011 Last Looks CD self-released
January 1, 2010 It's Not Gonna Be Pretty CD self-released
January 1, 2009 Received in Bitterness CD self-released
May 24, 2008 The Meat of the Fruit CD self-released


Release date Title Format Label
June 4, 2013 In The Meanwhile / Mannequin (Wire cover) Cassette No Play Music
February 9, 2012 Wait / White (split w/Marmalakes) 7-inch No Play Music
December 31, 2011 Dance of the Sour Plum Fairy (Tchaikovsky cover) Download No Play Music
June 20, 2011 Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover) Download Self-released
December 31, 2010 Hot Pink Flares / Psych Thrill / Halo (Beyoncé cover) 7-inch / Download Self-released
September 11, 2009 Never Mix, Never Worry / Rose Puzzles 7-inch Self-released
January 1, 2009 Accident Prone (Jawbreaker cover) Download Self-released


Release date Song Format Label
December 2014 Do What May Remix EP (featuring The Octopus Project)[8] CD / Download No Play Music / Red Bull Sound Select
June 2012 Last Looks (From the album, Last Looks, 2011) Download Tunecore / NXNE "Best of NXNE 2012" Compilation
March 2011 As Crude As Watercolor (From the album, Last Looks, 2011) CD RethinkPopMusic SXSW Sampler 2011
June 2009 Holy Terror (From the album, Received in Bitterness, 2009) CD Filter Magazine / Landmark Music Summer 2009
March 2009 Double Negative (From the album, Received in Bitterness, 2009) CD Soda Pop Sounds: Star Fruit Comp
March 2009 Weak at Heart (From the album, The Meat of the Fruit, 2008) CD Austin Sound – Sound Advice Vol. III: Starry Eyes
March 2009 Weak at Heart (From the album, The Meat of the Fruit, 2008) CD Filter Magazine / Landmark Music Fall 2008


Release date Title Director
April 2014 Do What May (From the album, Do What May, 2014)[9] Eric Morales
February 2014 Two Hands Wait (From the album, Do What May, 2014)[10] Paul Avellino
June 2013 In The Meanwhile (From the album, Do What May, 2014)[11] Paul Avellino
December 2012 Last Looks (From the album, Last Looks, 2012) VidKidz & JPB
September 2012 The Sour Notes – Tour Documentary 2012 Jared Boulanger
May 2012 Nothing's More Contagious Than Evil (From the album, Last Looks, 2012) Laura Wallgren
December 2011 Beyond Recognition (From the album, It's Not Gonna Be Pretty, 2010) Jared Boulanger
July 2010 A Cute Little Ruin (From the album, It's Not Gonna Be Pretty, 2010) Eric Morales
November 2009 Psychological Thriller (From the album, Received in Bitterness, 2009) Paul Raila
December 2008 Is It Happening? (From the album, Received in Bitterness, 2009) Jared Boulanger



Sources consulted
  1. ^ Chris Gray, The Austin group releases The Meat of the Fruit EP, Houston Press, retrieved 2008-05-21 
  2. ^ Austin Chronicle, Album Review: The Sour Notes - It's Not Gonna Be Pretty, Austin Chronicle, retrieved 2010-01-15 
  3. ^ Brianne Galli, CMJ Sonicbids Spotlight: The Sour Notes, CMJ, retrieved 2011-01-28 
  4. ^ Austin Powell, Texas Platters: The Sour Notes – Last Looks, retrieved 2011-04-15 
  5. ^ Chase Hoffberger, The Sour Notes Tour Diary, Austin Chronicle, retrieved 2013-06-28 
  6. ^ Rory Burbeck, The Sour Notes Celebrate Fifth Album with a Party!, SXSW, retrieved 2014-09-04 
  7. ^ Chase Hoffberger, The Sour Notes - Do What May (Album Review), Austin Chronicle, retrieved 2014-06-06 
  8. ^ * Shane Edwards, The Sour Notes - 'Do What May' Remix EP Premiere, Red Bull, retrieved 2014-12-09 
  9. ^ Elliott Sharp, The Sour Notes - 'Do What May' Video Premiere, Red Bull, retrieved 2014-04-24 
  10. ^ Carter Delloro, The Sour Notes Video Premiere 'Two Hands Wait', OVRLD, retrieved 2014-02-17 
  11. ^ Elliott Sharp, Watch The Sour Notes' New Video 'In The Meanwhile', Red Bull, retrieved 2013-06-20 
  12. ^ Raoul Hernandez, The blurbing of SXSW: Wednesday Picks & Sleepers, Austin Chronicle, retrieved 2010-03-19 
  13. ^ Recycled Love Songs, About the Song: The Sour Notes – "Never Mix, Never Worry", Recycled Love Songs, retrieved 2009-07-27 
  14. ^ Nathan Lankford, Welcome Home the Sour Notes, Austin Town Hall, retrieved 2013-06-20 

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