Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.


OUT THIS WEEK


Missio, "Can You Feel the Sun" (2B/BMG). After a fast rise with a 2017 debut album and a single that might have pegged Missio as a one-shot novelty ("Middle Fingers"), the duo of singer-songwriter Matthew Brue and multi-instrumentalist/engineer David Butler took a big step forward with last year’s deep and diverse "The Darker the Weather // The Better the Man." Their third album, recorded in Austin at producer Dwight A. Baker’s Matchbox Studios, continues that upward trend. Missio’s foundation remains heavily rhythmic electronic music, but there’s a stronger pull toward synth-pop here, with dramatic dynamics and an emphasis on Brue’s vocals that puts his often intriguing lyrics front-and-center. Carnivalesque keyboards lead in to "Wolves," which contrasts hip-hop verses against a foreboding chorus ("Somebody turned the lights out, the wolves are watching"). Brue’s writing skews to darker themes, but on the title track, his voice soars as he reaches toward brighter horizons. Better still is "Don’t Forget to Open Your Eyes," in which he confronts hard realities head-on: "The world is a really dark place, but I love it." That’s an especially resonant message during the coronavirus pandemic, and it fits the healthy perspective Butler voiced in press materials accompanying the new record: "Being able to write songs for ourselves has to be its own reward even though we’re hoping we can get out on the road and play music for people again soon." Here’s the video for the track "Vagabond," featuring Esoteric of Czarface:


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Larry Seaman, "Death Takes a Holiday" (Flak). One of Austin’s best songwriters since he emerged with the Standing Waves in the 1980s, Seaman played in bands for decades until releasing an album under his own name for the first time last year. "Death Takes a Holiday" builds on what he established with 2019’s "Resurrectionist." Tuneful electric rockers such as "A Lighthouse in Your Eyes" and the title track commingle with more acoustically oriented fare such as the moody "All the Colors of the Dark" and "Have You Seen My Bride," co-written with Walt Wilkins about their respective parents’ twilight years. Best of all is the instantly indelible melodic pop tune "Levitate," which features Jon Dee Graham on lap steel. Others who contributed to the sessions were co-producer Ron Flynt, guitarists Jon Sanchez and Whit Williams, backing vocalists Lisa Gamache and Walt & Tina Wilkins, and drummer Dana Myzer. If Seaman’s guitar-based songcraft feels almost like a lost art in an increasingly wide-open Austin music scene, that just makes what he’s doing all the more significant in keeping alive a vital part of the city’s creative legacy. Album-release livestream 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at facebook.com/larry.seaman.1. Here’s the video for "Levitate":


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RECENTLY RELEASED


La Lechuza, "Lost Weekend." After a debut album a decade ago, this ensemble consisting of two couples — husband Mario Matteoli of the Weary Boys and wife Cayce Marsh, plus husband Matt Hubbard of New Bohemians and wife Martha Fowler — got busy with other projects but recently reconvened to record this 10-song set of melodic folk-rock material that brings to mind 1990s San Francisco alt-country band Tarnation. Guest musicians include Jeff Johnston of Little Mazarn on saw, and Hubbard and Fowler’s son Dean on guitar. Here’s the track "So Gorgeous":


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COMING SOON


OCT. 30: Jackie Venson, "Vintage Machine"


OCT. 30: Sideshow Tragedy, "After the Fall"


NOV. 6: Honey Made, "Brand New"


NOV. 6: Andrea Magee, "Only Love"


NOV. 6: Alan Moe Monsarrat, "Agriculture"


NOV. 13: Nané, self-titled


NOV. 13: Josh Abbott Band, "The Highway Kind"


NOV. 13: Sour Bridges, "Roll Us Up Something Good" EP


NOV. 20: Desure, "Pollen" EP


DEC. 4: Alex Maas, "Luca" (Innovative Leisure)


DEC. 4: Mark Willenborg, "Cold Beer and Country Music"


DECEMBER: James Steinle, "Cold German Mornings"


FEBRUARY: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, "Hunter & the Dog Star"