OutWest talks their unique blend of country tinged post-emo, growing up in a sleepy beach town called Ventura, being in bands by the time they were preteens, and perform the title track of their Through Highways EP

Lil Racecar and Gravelust grew up together in Ventura, a sleepy beach town north of LA, south of Santa Barbara. It’s known as a small mecca for pop-punk and surfing, but it might’ve birthed the next big thing in post-emo. Already being dubbed “country trap,” I think they’re more than a gimmicky subgenre. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find them at their best trading contemplative lines over vaguely country twanged acoustic guitars. Sure there are occasional 808 subs and machine gun high hats, but it’s the songwriting that will keep you around.

The duo met around junior high and each knew about the other making music. It wasn’t until Gravelust heard  Lil Racecar’s experiments with autotuned melodic rap they realized they should be working together. Products of the music internet, whereupon regional influence is essentially nullified, SoundCloud filled their heads  with all sorts of cross genre hybrids. Gravelust’s love for industrial pop like Depeche Mode, and Racecar’s modern rap influence inspired much of their early collaborative efforts. But a fateful trip, getting fucked up in the desert, caused a realization that their direction should take a more country / western turn.

OutWest is still young, 18 and recently out of high school. They’re still honing their sound and will surely evolve over time, but I think they have a very interesting base and the songwriting and chemistry is there. They remind me of music I would’ve cried to as a lovelorn teen. The passion is clear in their voices, and their tunes would be as fitting around a campfire as they would be at a festival. Hear us talk about growing up in a sleepy beach town, early music experiments and much more.

Lee

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