In the clubs: The Bubbles
It would be a stretch to say that pop music saved William Glosup's life, but it certainly helped out.
'When I was around 15, I was like super into smoking weed, and not really into going to school, and I got busted by the cops,' says Glosup, now 18. 'And I was like, "Well, something has to be entertaining to me now." So I broke away from all that I had been consumed in and decided that what I really wanted was to make a pop record.'
What he eventually created was 2008's 'Super Psychedelic Sound Explosion,' a memorable album that put Glosup's band, the Bubbles, on the local music radar. Two years later, the Bubbles celebrate the release of their sophomore LP, 'Daydreaming in Technicolor' with a release party tonight at the Mohawk, and the band's sound — expansive and clever and striking — has grown every bit as much as Glosup has.
Even at that tender age of 15, Glosup was an old hand when it came to musicianship — his parents, both mathematicians, enrolled him in a Suzuki method violin program at the age of 2. By age 7, he'd picked up a guitar, and by the time he crossed into the double digits he was pounding the drums and picking at a bass guitar.
As he moved into high school, Glosup forged an abiding love for pop music, especially music with an edge.
'I just discovered music snobbery and kind of became addicted to that and how awesome being a music snob was,' Glosup says. '... I guess all the kids I went to high school with were just getting into Led Zeppelin and stuff and I was all, "I'm into Pavement and no one else is, and I'm just going to be a huge snob." '
'Super Psychedelic Sound Explosion,' recorded at Austin's SuperPop Records and released on the studio's own label (which also boasts Austin artists Leatherbag and the Archibalds, among others) consisted of 10 cuts of perfectly giddy, spiky pop that recalled the Apples in Stereo and the Flaming Lips at their catchy, eccentric best. A live band, featuring Glosup on guitar and vocals, formed and quickly disintegrated but later stabilized with the addition of fellow guitarist and vocalist Chris Balcom. The band was a finalist in the Austin City Limits Music Festival's battle of the bands in 2009.
And over the course of two years, Glosup brewed up 'Daydreaming in Technicolor,' again at SuperPop Records, playing every instrument and writing every song. 'Daydreaming' builds on the strengths of 'Super Psychedelic Sound Explosion' — the production cleaner, the hooks more memorable and the sound more mercurial. The record wanders from the hushed, lovely acoustic strummer 'I Belong to the Stars' to the electric lovelorn rock of 'It's You.' It dabbles in indie pop, garage rock and dreamy sonic experimentation.
'For the first time I really felt comfortable at that studio and really just wanted to play around and let the song go where it wanted to go. And I had a lot of opportunity to do that,' says Glosup. 'I was just working one-on-one with an engineer, and we had plenty of time to do it. So I think the songs are a lot more psychedelic because of that.'
And most importantly, the Bubbles remain ... well, bubbly, with a keen ear for optimistically minded songs. Don't let that closing track 'We're All Gonna Die' fool you.
'That song is just kind of a cynical, satirical play song,' Glosup says with a laugh. 'It's interesting to me when pop bands like Of Montreal take such a poppy kind of rhythm but then sing about death. I really like that juxtaposition. But for the most part I really like to write fairly uplifting songs. Everybody in the band has that as their intention.'
When: 10 p.m. Thursday.
Where: 912 Red River St.
Info: mohawk austin.com