Idyll Green Share Debut EP WHEN LOVE ENDS, BE THE WATER Out Now

Idyll Green Share Debut EP WHEN LOVE ENDS, BE THE WATER Out Now

San Antonio-based alt R&B band (and brothers), Idyll Green, share their debut EP, When Love Ends, Be The Water, out now. A book of poetry by the same name, is also available now, written by the band's own Rene Villanueva and illustrated by Rikkianne Van Kirk, who also created the album artwork. "Water, like stories, holds no shape. That's why we felt it was better to break up the narrative into the music and the book," says the band.

You may recognize Rene, Jaime and Abe from their past bands: Hacienda and The Fast Five, where they were covered by Rolling Stone, NPR, MTV, Consequence of Sound, and Paste Magazine, among many other amazing music news sources. You might have also caught them on late light TV, where they were on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." They also played shows and festivals in The US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

The Big Takeover, who debuted the album, make the point that, "The genre of When Love Ends, Be The Water is closest to Alt-R&B, which is a departure from the band's previous garage / indie-rock leaning projects in Hacienda and The Fast Five," and go on to say, "Songwriting became the most important part of their future as musicians, and this EP was so personal that they needed to make in their home studio South Texas. San Antonio is such a major player in the songs - it feels like a character in this EP's story." This is key because all of the brother's previous music (made with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) was recorded in Nashville.

The Big Takeover describes the EP, saying, "The laid-back and funky backbone of the songs make this EP more of a stoner classic for intellectuals and more palatable. This is key because the lyrics are meant to shine, and the melodies are there to guide fans through the story (this is even more fun with the book of poetry in hand). The South Texas energy brings a mellow heat that feels romantic and dreamy that separates it from the fast pace of the east coast and the super slowed down pace of the west. "We were tired of being called 'too Mexican' or 'not Mexican enough,' 'too vintage', or 'not the right vintage' so many people had ideas of what we should be," Rene says, "but we should be the ones to decide that. Idyll Green is our space to be whoever we want." That's likely why the stories Rene tells are often true stories about his life. It's authentic because it's real. Not too much or too little: just his perspective on real moments in time."


Rene Villanueva quoted in Billboard on for the 25th anniversary of Pavement's 'Crooked Rain':

My introduction to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was a burned CD called Boy With a New Haircut. I had no idea what I was in for when my then-girlfriend handed me this thin purple jewel case with collage art, a handwritten tracklist and told me to listen to it over spring break. She filled it with 13 tracks of 90s alt / 00s indie and featured two tracks from Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain ("Cut Your Hair" and "Silent Kid"). I think a not-so-subtle jab at my quietness and ability to avoid combing my hair for months at a time? Like every vacation my family took, that spring break we took a 3ish hour drive to Laredo in our Suburban. Eager to listen to this in peace (and read and re-read the note she wrote with it), I claimed the entire back bench to myself. Lying down with headphones, watching the sky pass and listening to these songs on repeat. I remember Pavement so vividly as the catchy anger and humor run through me. Pavement has the kinda music that got in-between the spaces of my brain, causing me to remember it during the strangest times of my life and making my older brother order it from eBay as soon as we got back. Crooked Rain is now buried in my subconscious of first loves and boring family drives, of times when I made my own t-shirts of albums I liked and burned copies of songs that meant the world to me for friends, and listened to everything until the night fell into morning watching the battery line slowly disappear on my cd player.

Still Waters Run Deep for Idyll Green.

Between the funky spoken word ramble opener, the movie-scape-like interstitial pieces, and the dreamy title track closer, the framing of a larger story hides beneath the polished surface of the catchy, r&b inspired debut EP, When Love Ends, Be The Water.

Though each song stands individually, Rene (the Writer/Singer), and his brothers Jaime and Abe (Producers) built out a subtle, larger arc over their songs. Reconnecting themes and melodies between tracks, hiding layers of meaning under lighthearted beats. And that is, the songwriting group says, all about the way we understand story.

"When Love Ends, Be The Water is autobiographical. A musical interpretation [of] one of the weirdest weekends of my life," says Rene. "We didn't want to approach the story head-on like a musical, but to support each song with the context of my life and what it meant to us."

At the heart of When Love Ends, Be The Water, is a love story. "Yeah," Rene explains, "the romance of being young and single is confusing enough for anybody, and that's what is driving every song, but when you're a Progressive Chicano in South Texas, everything about interacting with each other becomes stranger. And we wanted to have that feeling in and under every song. Because that's how life is for us.

"I don't think I could talk about our lives honestly if we didn't add these extra filters around our songs. Love stories are universal, but a love story in the South is weighted differently for people like us, trapped between worlds. Between cultures. We live in constant tension to belong and to be individuals. Of participating, and having all this extra weight on everything we do. For us it's an inescapable conflict to stand our ground without starting a fight. "

These meta-filters make the songs serve as both backdrop and narrative, like in Jukebox Gentleman, about Rene's pursuit for love in a small bar in South Texas that also sounds like the kind of laid-back R&B fun that would play in a jukebox. The song ends with Rene getting punched by one of the regulars for pursuing the "wrong" person.

Or the dreamy Moonlit Magic, where the brother's shine in this deep arrangement, that recalls both the twilight atmosphere of falling in love, a fire at a party in the woods, and a fun end-of-summer song playing through the car speakers on a cool Texas night.

While performing as members of Hacienda and The Fast Five, the 3 brothers honed their songwriting and live performances to be one of the tightest and most vibrant acts around.

(Playing shows and festivals all over North America, Europe and Australia, as well as The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien).

"They have consistently impressed me with their natural chemistry," said long time collaborator Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. But the brothers are on quest to deconstruct and evolve their music.

Rene thinks about questions of his past carefully, "We felt abandoned by the 'Garage Rock Music Scene.' I mean, we still love music from the past, ours included, we needed to make something new. Embrace technology and progress our voice and culture in the studio... To tell our story on our terms. We just couldn't do that honestly from a rock mentality."

For the brothers, that meant building their own studio from scratch in their South-Texas home, not making the record in Nashville with Dan Auerbach (who produced all 3 Hacienda albums), no longer calling themselves a band and focusing on being Songwriters first.

"[Dan] will always be a part of what we do, but we are exploring different areas. That scene, is rooted deeper into a past that we feel less and less a part of. We are trying to exist with what's happening for us today."

The songwriting trio left behind the older ideas of how music should be and started making music the way they wanted to. There are still flashes of the vintage touches that the brothers had been so praised for, (there are some grooves that would make WAR proud) but now in a new context (Miguel, Frank Ocean and Childish Gambino were cited as inspiration for Be The Water).

"We were tired of being called 'too Mexican' or 'not Mexican enough,' 'too vintage, ' or 'not the right vintage' so many people had ideas of what we should be," Rene says proudly, "but we should be the ones to decide that. Idyll Green is our space to be whoever we want."

It might be easy for some listeners to turn on When Love Ends, Be The Water and enjoy the music completely absent of the larger story. "Life isn't about everyone living and understanding one thing. It's strange and complicated. One event can be told several ways and that is the heart of When Love Ends, Be The Water.

"Water, like stories, holds no shape. That's why we felt it was better to break up the narrative into the music and the book."

Rene, who has developed a modest but loyal fandom for his poetry and spoken word (Idyll Green also takes its name from a poem by Rene) wrote a companion book for the EP that delves into the heavier themes of the story. And provides a new perspective to each of the songs. "[the book] is another example of the freedom of being independent. A way for people to get into my head, the meaning of the songs, and learning about what life is like."

Idyll Green is excited to announce the first EP When Love Ends, Be The Water.

Related Articles View More Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram