OUT THIS WEEK
Wild Child, "Expectations" (Dualtone). Four albums in, the Austin indie-folk band-that-could has become increasingly confident without losing the sense of childlike
wonder that’s so central to the spirit of their music. "Expectations" is ambitious undertaking, one that involved worldwide
work at studios in Norway, Wales, Montreal, Philadelphia and Seattle as well as homebound tracks in Austin and Wimberley.
Much of this mixed-bag of production was done with local luminaries, including Adrian Quesada, Matthew Logan Vasquez and Max
Frost, but a key outsider is Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, who was involved in the Norway tracks. Musically, the dozen
tracks on "Expectations" follow suit from the songwriting style that co-leaders Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Baggins have long
established, brought to fruition by the lush instrumental support of their well-knit crew of Sadie Wolfe (cello), Matt Bradshaw
(keyboards/trumpet), Cody Ackors (guitar/trombone), Tom Meyers (drums/percussion) and Tyler Osmond (bass/backing vocals).
They go big on songs such as the cinematic "My Town," show off their pop smarts on the horn-spiked "Back & Forth," and
strip things down to beautiful bare essentials on "The One."
Release show Feb. 10 at Empire. Here’s a live version of "The One":
Curtis Roush, "Cosmic Campfire Music" (Modern Outsider). This might irk some fans of Bright Light Social Hour, the popular Austin band Roush and Jack O’Brien founded more than a
decade ago, but judging from this debut record, I think I like Roush better as a solo artist. Recorded at Austin’s Cacophony
studio with producer Erik Wofford but written largely in the West Texas desert (thus the title), these nine tracks reflect
those wide-open environs with spacious production that leaves plenty of room for the music to breathe. Touches of Bright Light
Social Hour’s psychedelic rock ’n’ roll are evident here, but the acoustic foundation of mesmerizing tracks such as "Polestar"
and "You Already Got Me" suit Roush’s tuneful arrangements and plaintive tenor vocals well. Nestled in the middle is "Marfa,"
a gorgeous one-minute instrumental that succinctly sums up the spirit of the album.
In-store Feb. 8 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the track "Getaway":
Wade Bowen, "Solid Ground" (Thirty Tigers). A Waco native and Texas Tech grad who lived in Austin for a couple years after college and is now based in New Braunfels,
Bowen has released nearly a dozen records since his 2002 debut, gradually becoming one of the biggest names on the Texas roadhouse
circuit. "Solid Ground" is full of immediately appealing twang-rock tunes, and there’s a special Austin connection with the
song "So Long 6th Street," which also name-checks Antone’s and features backing-vocal cameos from Miranda Lambert and Jack
Ingram. Other tracks extend the record’s Texas/Mexico theme, including "Acuna" and "Day of the Dead," which references the
West Texas border town of Lajitas The backing crew here is impressive, including the husband-wife team of guitarist Audley
Freed and keyboardist Jen Gunderman, Foo Fighters/Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee and longtime Sheryl Crow guitarist Jeff
Playing Feb. 23 at Mohawk outdoor. Here’s the track "So Long 6th Street":
Jerry David DeCicca, "Time the Teacher" (Impossible Ark). Formerly of the Ohio indie band Black Swans, songwriter and record producer DeCicca moved to the Texas Hill Country a few
years ago. The rural geography seems to have influenced his music: "Time the Teacher," his second solo record, is built on
minimal guitar, piano and acoustic bass foundations, with DeCicca’s plainspoken vocals drifting serenely above them. London-based
co-producers Jeb Loy Nichols and Benedic Lamdin added flourishes of horns and female vocals horns here and there, deepening
the mystic moods of these 10 tracks.
Release show Feb. 10 at Beerland. Here’s the album’s title track:
Abhi the Nomad, "Marbled" (Tommy Boy). Born in India and a resident of many countries and U.S. cities while growing up (thus the Nomad stage name), Abhi recently
landed in Austin, where he’s attending Austin Community College. "Marbled" features R&B-influenced hip-hop and pop tracks
that partly document his tumultuous journey. Here’s the video for the track "Somebody to Love":
Hovvdy, "Cranberry" (Double Double Whammy). The second album from the indie-folk duo of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor features a dozen songs that draw upon their rhythmic
backgrounds (both started as drummers) but divine their appeal mostly from hushed vocals wound around gauzy guitar melodies
with string accents.
Release show Feb. 9 at Barracuda. Here’s the track "In the Sun":
Jeff Bryant, "Sleeping With the Lights On." More than an EP if not quite a full-length record, this seven-song release stresses Bryant’s commercial pop instincts. Aformer
Alpha Rev band member who still tours with the group, Bryant also has played a supporting role in the bands of Cory Morrow
and Hudson Moore.
Release show Feb. 11 at Empire.
Check out all our Austin360 On The Record roundups of local music
COMING SOONFEB. 16:
Loma, self-titled (Sub Pop).
Altamesa, "From the Idol Frontier, Vol. 1: The New West/The Drifter Speaks" EP, release show Feb. 16 at White Horse.
Arielle LaGuette, "Settle For You" EP, release show Feb. 22 at Stubb’s indoor.
Shawn Colvin, "The Starlighter" (Amazon).
Wilson Marks, "Peregrine," release show Feb. 24 at Cactus Cafe.
Sharks in the Deep End, EP.
Sue Foley, "The Ice Queen" (Stony Plain), in-store March 4 at Waterloo Records.
Sarah Sharp, "Wake" EP.
Uncle Walt’s Band, "Anthology: Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Could Sing" (Omnivore).
Patterson Barrett, "Give ’Em What They Want," release show April 10 at Saxon Pub.
Caroline Says, "No Fool Like an Old Fool" (Western Vinyl).
Erika Wennerstrom, "Sweet Unknown" (Partisan).
Johnny Chops & the Razors, self-titled.
Holy Wave, "Adult Fear" (Reverb Appreciation Society).
Wood & Wire, "North of Despair" (Blue Corn).
Josh T. Pearson, "The Straight Hits!" (Mute).
Andy Macintyre, "Melomania" EP, release show April 14 at Antone’s.
Ty Richards, "Welcome to Flat Earth."
Arkansas Dave, self-titled (Big Indie).
Mobley, "Fresh Lies, Vol. 1."
Shakey Graves, "Can’t Wake Up" (Dualtone).
Jeff Plankenhorn, title TBA.