Attention music lovers, the best possible news: The band Semiwestern is releasing a debut LP this year, with singles to come this spring!
Who is this band Semiwestern you speak of?
In November 2022, like a delicate shot across the bow, California’s redoubtable Spirit Goth Records released “Velvet Sea.” I naturally believed this was new music. It was, in fact, a remix of a song recorded by Semiwestern’s members ten years earlier as The Vliets.
Before we go any further, listen to the updated “Velvet Sea” to understand how I swooned over this atmospheric, Luna-inflected recording. It was my #1 or #2 favorite song of the entire year. Since, then, I have listened to “Velvet Sea” approximately one billion times.
I’ll be honest, there’s not a ton of information on the world wide interwebs about either The Vliets or Semiwestern. But here’s what I can tell you.
Semiwestern, formerly The Vliets, reappear a decade later
A brief history of the world. The band Semiwestern emerged from Austin’s The Vliets (pronounced VLEETS), who were active about ten years ago. The Vliets, lead by singer Ty Bohrnstedt, released The Vliets EP in 2011 and God’s Drug EP in 2012. God’s Drug included the original “Velvet Sea.”
These early EP’s by The Vliets are more traditionally alternative. Here is “Pale Solar Stream” from 2012’s God’s Drug EP. You can hear just an echo of what Ty would mix in 2022.
The band Semiwestern plans full release
I was so smitten by the band Semiwestern’s remix of “Velvet Sea” that I inquired with both Spirit Goth and Semiwestern about a new album. Was I a wee bit stalker-y? Possibly, but not completely psycho.
Ty says “a full length album (is) coming. It’s finished but we have to shoot a few music videos and tie up a few loose ends before we set release dates. My best guess is we’ll start putting the singles out around April or so.”
That means we could be six weeks out from new Semiwestern material and I couldn’t be more excited. Will it be consistent with The Vliets indie-centric back catalogue? Or more of the California dream pop like “Velvet Sea?” We will find out!
One more platform for the single, here is the video for the updated “Velvet Sea.”