Those starving for fresh, homegrown music should have a taste of Touchy Touchy. The Augusta natives have been picking up speed — and fans — with their energetic garage rock since forming just over six months ago. Touchy Touchy’s heavy but nuanced sound has landed them gigs this past winter alongside such acts as Futurebirds and the Whigs, and they’ve shared a bill with local favorites Funk You for two sold-out shows.
The band — guitarist and lead vocalist Paxson Summer, 24, bassist AJ Howell, 25, and drummer Ryan Barrett, 21 — even played two shows this past Saturday: during the Fight for Freedom Festival at Lady Antebellum Amphitheatre Saturday afternoon and Sky City later that night.
“It was a great night for us,” Summer said after the shows. “In terms of sound, everything was set up so well; hearing all the parts perfectly makes playing so much more enjoyable. Along with Lady A, I think Sky City definitely has one of the best-quality sound systems in the area.”
The band weren’t the only ones enjoying the show as a crowd danced to a mix of instrumental originals and a smattering of covers, from My Morning Jacket and Tame Impala to Outkast and even the Beatles.
“We feel super lucky to have the opportunities that we’ve had,” says Summer, “I feel like it’s given our friends an excuse to get out and see live music, which is awesome.”
Following the lead of other three-man bands like Nirvana and Primus, along with more upbeat influences like the Talking Heads, they manage a sound that balances complex, sometimes off-kilter rhythms with heavy, organic drum and bass. It’s a constant challenge, and one the trio embraces.
“I love listening to full bands like Frank Zappa, Stereolab, s*** like that, where there’s so much going on,” says Summer, “Having those kinds of influences and then writing for a three-piece is interesting to do, because we’re trying to find ways to fill all this space with less people, but at the same time not make it overly complex.”
Whatever they’re doing, it’s catching on. And they plan to keep at it this summer by expanding their tour schedule, working to record an EP and playing regular shows here at home.
See Touchy Touchy this Saturday, May 24, at Greenlight Studios, a new all-ages venue at 1030 Reynolds Street; Wednesday, May 28, at the Soul Bar and Thursday nights in May and June at Surrey Tavern.