The Deer have built a devoted audience for their uninhibited, cosmic indie folk the old fashioned way: playing their hearts out, night after night. The band formed in the college town of San Marcos, Texas; half an hour south of Austin, where the members attended Texas State University and where singer/co-songwriter Grace Rowland lived on a farm. They cultivated a fervent presence in Texas Hill Country, playing the likes of Kerrville Folk Festival and Old Settler's Music Festival, and collaborating often with local staples like Bayonne's Roger Sellers, players from Asleep at the Wheel, and fellow festival act Elephant Revival. The Deer expanded to the national stage with extensive headlining and support slots for Big Thief and The Head and The Heart. Their label debut Do No Harm, released in 2019, marked a set of career breakthroughs, topping the KUTX chart and earning a nomination for the Austin Music Awards’
Album of the Year. When live music took global pause, The Deer had momentum to sort. The five musicians took the energy historically reserved for tour into the studio, a pressure cooker not only for creativity, but newly, for existential contemplation. The result is two full albums, the first of which, The Beautiful Undead, will be released September 9, 2022 on tastemaking indie label Keeled Scales. It’s a rollicking collection reflecting upon what it means to lose your sense of purpose. The Deer, amidst turbulent assessment, transformed a paralyzing void into an empowering surrender of ego—an exuberant submission to the immense unpredictability of existing.
Throughout the album, The Deer maintain the modern folk flutter and Mazzy Star melodiousness they’re known for, but infuse those delicate bones with emotional tension, and indulge a new sonic edge. Enlivened by multi-dimensional instrumentation—synths, fiddle, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitars, slide guitar, piano, upright bass, and even mellotron populate the record—The Deer’s full arrangements shift their sound to an impressive pocket between Fleetwood Mac and Big Thief. The Beautiful Undead is luminous, boisterous, and invigorating; a free-spirited album fueled by hard-earned revelation.
AKA Matt Clark. Singer & songwriter. Guitar player for White/Light and Pinebender. Ex-Joan of Arc and Love of Everything. Musical contributor to This American Life.