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, “The Darker the Weather // The Better the Man” (RCA). Like the country trio Midland, synth-pop duo Missio seemingly arose out of nowhere a couple of years ago to become one of Austin’s highest-profile musical acts. Their 2017 debut “Loner” included the hit single “Middle Fingers,” with a video that racked up millions of YouTube views. Singer Matthew Brue and instrumentalist Andrew Butler up the ante on “The Darker the Weather // The Better the Man,” which moves beyond the catchy but borderline-novelty appeal of the first album’s highlights with songs that suggest Missio is in this for the long haul. There’s still plenty of in-your-face bravado on tunes such as “Temple Priest” (which features guests Paul Wall and Kota the Friend) and “Audi A4.” But on “Rad Drugz” they dig deeper, offsetting the song’s instant-party vibe with an addict’s realization of the damage drugs are doing. Missio’s also clearly interested in transcending genre barriers: Austin hop-hop act Blackillac guests on the groove-heavy “Shimmy,” while former Austin folk duo the Wind + the Wave turn up on the surprisingly graceful and melodic “Do You Still Love Me Like You Used To.” The single “I See You,” an instantly memorable pop tune with an upbeat message, was released ahead of the album in March and already has racked up 2 million YouTube views. The anthemic title track is a sort of Missio mission statement of personal survival through tough times: “You can take all you want, but not who I am.” And the closing instrumental “Esperanza en la Obscuridad” is a glorious cascade of sound that puts a perfect endcap on this ambitious, impressive record. Playing May 10 at Emo’s. Here’s a lyric video for “I See You”:
Adam Carroll, “I Walked in Them Shoes.” A delightfully simple recording, Carroll’s ninth album was done in one day at the Zone recording studio in Dripping Springs and consists of Carroll running through 10 songs on acoustic guitar, with producer Lloyd Maines occasionally adding subtle accompaniment. A Texas troubadour who’s been influential enough to have inspired a tribute album (2016’s “Highway Prayer”), Carroll writes with sharp lyrical detail and effortless tunefulness, both of which make this bare-bones approach ideal in terms of serving the songs. A handful of co-writers chipped in on a few tracks: Paul Cauthen, Michael O’Connor, Chris Carroll, Brian Rung, Dustin Welch and HalleyAnna Finlay Welch. HalleyAnna’s father, the late Kent Finlay, long championed Carroll at his San Marcos venue Cheatham Street Warehouse, and Carroll returns the favor in kind by saluting Finlay on the album’s final track, “Night at the Show.” Here’s a recent live version of the album cut “Crescent City Angels":
Natalie Price, “Through The Fog” EP. Debut release from this Americana singer-songwriter originally from Fort Worth. Release show April 12 at One-2-One Bar. Here’s a live version of the track “These Days”:
APRIL 26: Walker Lukens, “Adult,” release show April 26 at Mohawk.
APRIL 26: Randy Rogers Band, “Hellbent,” playing June 8 at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels.
MAY 3: Little Mazarn, “Io” (Self Sabotage), release show May 2 at Cactus Cafe.
MAY 3: Kim Simpson, “The Comets Swish Their Tails,” release show May 2 at Townsend.
MAY 17: Jimmie Vaughan, “Baby, Please Come Home” (Last).
MAY 17: South Austin Moonlighters, “Travel Light” (Station House).
MAY 24: Texas Horns, “Get Here Quick” (Severn).
JUNE: Willie Nelson, “Ride Me Back Home” (Legacy).
JUNE 14: Michael Fracasso, “Big Top.”
JUNE 20: Hector Ward & the Big Time, “Smile Into Life” (Blackfinger), release show June 20 at Antone’s.