By Grace Wartman
Local Music Journalist
Later this week on Sept. 21, is the Third Thursday of the month, meaning it’s KTSW’s monthly Third Thursday takeover at The Porch! For this month we have the two San Marcos bands Soho Holiday and Chasing Tigers. Soho Holiday is a San Marcos indie-rock group that kicked off their career just about a year ago in 2022. The five-piece, consisting of members Joe Powell (vocals), Hayden Denby (guitar), Hudson Devlin (drums), Aidan Guzman (bass), and Jonathan Andrew (lead guitar), have two studio releases that were released earlier this year – let’s check them out!
The group’s first single, “Make Up” has a cover featuring a moody photo of two hands, both holding onto a cigarette. The track begins with a fun guitar rhythm, setting up the playful yet laidback energy that’s consistent throughout the song. Powell’s vocals are then added in, which are reminiscent of Harry Styles (most likely because Powell also rocks a British accent). I was intrigued by how the instrumentals fade out near the end and then crescendo into the last bit of the song – it gives the tune a fantastic flow.
To keep a theme going, their second release, entitled “The Choppy One”, has a cover of just one hand holding a cigarette in its owner’s lonesome. Despite the potentially saddening symbolism that this could be foreshadowing, the song itself is surprisingly upbeat, with lyrics of comfort and reassurance towards whoever the songwriter had in mind while chopping this one out – just what you need if “you’re on rough waters or if your relationship resembles that of a sinking ship,” says frontman Powell in his social media promotion of the song’s release. Logistically, the song has so much going for it: an excellent instrumental build-up into the chorus that hooks you in and makes you want to keep listening, as well as awesome guitar riffs throughout the song (I especially liked the one within the chorus – the harmonies are very well done and contribute a lot to the summery ambiance of the song).
The group’s overall sound is similar to the groups Miniature Tigers, Three Legged Dog, and Under High Street. The instrumentals have hints of The Wombats and sound like a nice long drive with the windows rolled down alongside a beach, adding to the holiday element and allowing the songs to live up to their stage name. The percussive style in both songs reminds me a lot of The Kooks with the amount of upbeat snare hits the drummer includes – a detail rather minuscule but without it, their overall sound would be a lot more tough and would take away from the beachy feel of their music. Their recorded material was put out before they went on a short hiatus and got two new band members, Denby and Guzman. With this change, I’m looking forward to seeing how their sound has evolved after getting two new band members as well as what music they will put out in the future of their career.
If these guys sound like something you would enjoy, come catch Soho Holiday this Thursday at The Porch in San Marcos for KTSW’s Third Thursday! The band goes on at 11pm after Chasing Tigers. In the meantime, check out their Instagram – @sohoholiday.
Written by: Danielle De Lucia