Threats & Promises

Garett Hatch’s Kudzu, And More Music News and Gossip

Garett Hatch

WHERE YOU BEEN: Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter McKendrick Bearden (Grand Vapids) will release his debut solo album Friday, Feb. 24. Recorded by Bearden largely at home during the lockdown days of 2020, he played most things himself, but also enlisted an enviable cast of players. The record also took shape at Chase Park Transduction, where it was mixed by Ben Hackett. Fans of the fuzzy shoegaze rockers that Grand Vapids excelled in producing will most likely immediately take to this, as it’s not wildly divergent from Bearden’s work with that group. However, as the sole captain of his current ship, this new record, Bright As The Mines Out, is solely his personality shining through. Some of his most gorgeous and deeply personal work appears here (“Iron Suture,” “Shoulder of Joy,” “I Could Be Happy”), as well as what I believe may be the most compelling guitar riff he’s ever written (“Continental”). Without being too reductionist about this, it’s something of a missing link between Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine. There’s some similarity here, too, with Nuçi Phillips’ 1990s project Koncak, which is especially noticeable in the rhythm arrangements.  A release party happens at Ciné on Saturday, Mar. 4 with opener Allegra Krieger (NYC). Find this on all major streaming platforms, throw on your headphones, relax and float downstream. 

SOLID IS AS SOLID DOES: There’s something to be said about being a dependable rock and roller. I’m not sure exactly what’s to be said, but I’m sure it’s something pretty good. Which brings us to the new album, Kudzu, by Garett Hatch (Mother The Car). It’s his first full-length release in about a year and a half, and he once again proves to be a master of economy and limits this album to 10 songs. The album jets off with a pure Hatch-styled, moody-yet-moving rocker “Hounds.” From here, though, Hatch really bends toward his more experimental side and makes good use of his keyboards. That said, we’re not talking noise here but, rather, Hatch loosening up even further than he has previously and employing psych (“Familiar Spirits”), Spaghetti Western-isms (“Branches”) and lullaby-worthy melodies (“Little”). I won’t lead you into a trap, though, and say there’s something for everyone here. That statement is never true in any context, and it’s certainly not true here. Those who dig songwriters playing to their own piper, though, and are willing to give this a solid chance should find themselves aptly rewarded. Find it at

BOYS ON FILM: Athens’ own Matt Hudgins (Brown Frown, Athens Cowboy Choir, Shit Hot Country Band, Pencil Thin Reefer Band) has spent the past several years making inroads in the film industry, and he recently returned to town to pursue his Master of Fine Arts in film at UGA. He’s currently raising funds for his short film shooting next month, Wokelahoma: A Representative Singing Cowboy Comedy. Now, pay attention, because this is an actual real thing despite its impossibly on-the-nose title. As Hudgins describes it, it’s a singing cowboy film that focuses on themes of diversity and representation. The script is written, the music is arranged and recorded, and all systems are go. Casting is underway, the crew is assembled, and locations scouted. If you’d like to contribute, please head to and make your voice heard. 

THE DEVIL WEARS DADA: Addictively interesting group Immaterial Possession will release its album Mercy of The Crane Folk on May 5 courtesy of UK label Fire Records. The first single, though, is out now, and its accompanying video is a beautiful piece of work that is only undermined by the crowd shots which harken a bit too much back to the Elephant 6 glory days. I dunno. I mean, they do fit the narrative, but I just didn’t dig ‘em all that much. That said, the rest of the film is gorgeously creative and visually captivating. The song itself, though, “To The Fete” is the prize here. It’s a wonderfully groovy tune packed with psychedelic flourishes, a driving and thumpy rhythm, and a vocal melody worthy of Siouxise Sioux, Grace Jones and/or Grace Slick. All you real Athens old timers will find ready comparisons to Limbo District, too. You can find the video over at and keep up with Immaterial Possession via 

PURE DEAD BRILLIANT: Contemporary Scottish folk group Breabach will make its Athens debut Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Hodgson Concert Hall. The group’s current U.S. tour was actually spurred into action by UGA Performing Arts Center director Jeffrey Martin who saw the group perform virtually during the days of pandemic lockdown. The group has released six critically praised albums in its 17 years. In addition to being presented by the UGA Performing Arts Center, this performance is supported by Thomas P. and M. Jean Lauth, and Herb West and Myrna Adams West. For more information on the group, please see, and for tickets, please see