Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
Los Coast, “Samsara” (New West). Next week’s arrival of the first full-length Black Pumas album has been long-awaited, but the debut of this youthful five-piece outfit led by singer Trey Privott and guitarist/keyboardist John Courtney is a similarly significant event for eclectic funk-soul-based sounds coming out of Austin in 2019. Los Coast, which also includes bassist Megan Hartman, drummer Damian Llanes and keyboardist Natalie Wright, knocked out a Waterloo Records in-store crowd last week with a half-dozen songs from “Samsara” that showcased a band with natural charisma to burn. It’s fitting that one of the standout tracks on “Samsara” is titled “(Everything But) the Kitchen Sink,” which brings hip-hop rhythms into a spread that elsewhere draws on jazz, blues, folk, indie-pop and more. Like most of the best Austin bands across the decades, they’re more interested in breaking down genre boundaries than adhering to them. They’ll spend time this summer opening for the aforementioned Black Pumas, as well as St. Paul & the Broken Bones and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, but Austinites can catch them on June 27 at Antone’s. Here’s the track “Monsters”:
Shinyribs, “Fog & Bling.” More than decade into a run that began as a Gourds side-project for Kevin Russell, Shinyribs now has a half-dozen records (counting last year’s “Kringle Tingle” holiday fling). The swamp-pop vibe of the core unit plus the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns and Shiny Soul Sisters singers is well-established now, so there’s no real surprises here, just a welcome fresh batch of 10 songs that expands the palette of a band best-known for its audaciously energetic live performances. We identify two instant classics here, though. “Crazy Lonely” doesn’t have a lot more words in it than “crazy” and “lonely,” but the melody and groove are so instantly infectious that not much more is needed (like 2013’s “Donut Taco Palace,” but with a more easygoing feel). And “Highway of Diamonds” instantly vaults into the count-on-one-hand ranks of Russell's best songs, with a bittersweet guitar hook that feels like painting the western horizon an impossible shade of blue-green-orange. Release show June 14 at Mohawk. Here's the track "Hoods of Cars":
Bill Callahan, “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest” (Drag City). After 15 years of releasing records as Smog, Callahan started using his own name in 2007. The eighth such record is his first studio release in five years, and it’s a big one, a 20-song double-album that covers a momentous period in his life. The 53-year-old lo-fi pioneer got married, had a child, and left Austin for California for 10 months before moving back. Much of the narrative about the new record that has appeared so far has focused on a more open approach to lyrics. Musically, though, if you always appreciated Callahan’s penchant for uncluttered arrangements that kept the focus squarely on his rich baritone vocals, “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest” will be yet another auspicious arrival. It’s especially acoustic in tone: Callahan told Bandcamp Daily he “wanted something that you would listen to in your backyard, so sparse and quiet that birds are singing, cars are going by, the rustling of trees and leaves.” Playing Aug. 29 at Scholz Garten. Here’s the track “Son of the Sea”:
Jamestown Revival, “San Isabel” (Thirty Tigers). Following two albums for Universal affiliate Republic Records, the duo of Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance move to the indie ranks for their third album, which further documents their melding of Americana-folk and indie-pop styles. They get personal on the track “Round Prairie Road” (a recent Austin360 song premiere), and dig into classic folk-rock history with a cover of the Mamas & the Papas’ “California Dreamin’.” The album title comes from Colorado’s San Isabel National Forest, adjacent to the studio where the recording sessions were held with co-producer Jamie Mefford (Nathaniel Rateliff, Gregory Alan Isakov). Here’s the track “Who Hung the Moon”:
Michael Fracasso, “Big Top” (Lucky Hound). Drawn from sessions stretching back two decades, these 10 songs extend upon Fracasso’s collaboration with guitarist/producer Charlie Sexton and the late bassist George Reiff that began with Fracasso’s 1998 album “World in a Drop of Water.” Check out our Austin360 Artist of the Month feature story on Fracasso. Playing Aug. 2 at Threadgill’s. Here’s “Mother Nature’s Traveling Show” from an in-store performance earlier this week at Waterloo Records:
Calliope Musicals, “Color/Sweat” (Rhyme & Reason). Frontwoman Carrie Fussell says she wrote these songs, which follow up the theatrical indie-psych-pop outfit’s 2016 release “Time Owes You Nothing,” largely in response to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, “knowing that I was waking up in a world that doesn't value humanity and life and kindness and diversity. This wasn't just happening in my personal life, but in lots of people’s lives and I couldn't have written a record that didn't address that even if I tried.” In-store June 14 at Waterloo Records, release show June 15 at Radio Coffee & Beer. Here’s the video for the track “Cosmic Poison Arrow”:
Oscar Ornelas, “Some Gospel.” A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist originally from San Angelo, Ornelas will be playing tenor sax with local ensemble Hector Ward & the Big Time at their record-release show next week. But first, Ornelas has an album of his own to launch that documents his blend of jazz, funk, soul and blues. Release show June 13 at Mohawk. Here’s the title track:
Rich Hopkins & Luminarios, “Back to the Garden” (San Jacinto). Longtime Sand Rubies/Sidewinders guitarist Hopkins splits his time between Arizona and Austin, making records with his wife and songwriting partner Lisa Novak. “Back to the Garden” carries the hallmarks of Hopkins’ tuneful desert-guitar-rock past, with contributions from Austin musicians including Lars Goransson, Jon Sanchez and Darin Murphy. Release show June 13 at Hole in the Wall. Here's the track "Till I'm Gone":
JUNE 20: Hector Ward & the Big Time, “Smile Into Life” (Blackfinger), release show June 20 at Antone’s.
JUNE 21: Willie Nelson, “Ride Me Back Home” (Legacy), playing July 4 at Circuit of the Americas.
JUNE 21: Black Pumas, self-titled (ATO), release show June 21 at Antone's.
JUNE 21: Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, “Beautiful Lie” (Next Waltz), release show June 22 at Continental Club.
JUNE 21: Eric Tessmer, “EP 2,” release show June 21 at Scoot Inn.
AUG. 9: Jesse Dayton, “Mixtape, Vol. 1” (Blue Elan).
AUG. 23: Croy & the Boys, “Howdy High-Rise,” release show Aug. 24 at Sam’s Town Point.
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