Austin360 On The Record: Bright Light Social Hour, A. Sinclair, more
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
OUT THIS WEEK
Bright Light Social Hour, “Jude Vol. 1” (Modern Outsider). American-Statesman/Austin360 writer Deborah Sengupta Stith observes: “Known for sprawling instrumental jams and fuzzed out grooves, the new release from Austin’s indie rock powerhouse is the band’s most lyrically explicit, personal and moving work to date. The band members wrote the album in the throes of grief, leaning on the music they were creating to cope with the 2015 suicide of Alex O’Brien, brother to bassist Jackie O’Brien and the band’s manager for four years. The songs are vulnerable and poignant but shimmer with a quiet beauty. The album is the first of two releases that carry Alex O’Brien’s middle name.” In-store Feb. 1 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the official lyric video for the track “Lie to Me”:
A. Sinclair, “Catpaws” (Nine Mile). The latest from Austin-via-Boston indie-rocker Aaron Sinclair and his band further demonstrates his ability to consistently churn out sharp and smart rock & roll that draws upon garage-punk’s energy as well as new-wave’s angular melodicism. Producer Danny Reisch, who helmed A. Sinclair’s previous two releases, worked with them again at his Lockhart studio, but the band also did some tracks with Justin Douglas at King Electric studio in Austin. Up-front tracks “Hurts So Good” (don’t worry, not the John Mellencamp song) and “Just Remind Me” best represent the group’s core aesthetic, but the album’s closing numbers, “The Same Thing” and the instrumental “Just Remind Me Again,” drift intriguingly toward dream-pop at times. Release show Feb. 2 at Mohawk. Here’s the song “All I Wanna Do”:
Go Fever, “Daydream Hawker” EP. Following up their 2017 full-length debut, Australian singer-songwriter Acey Monaro and her band further establish themselves as one of Austin’s best indie-pop acts with this five-song release. The clear standout is the opening track, “Olivia,” which allows Monaro’s voice to soar high in its joyously buoyant chorus, though there’s also an intriguing twist of western flair in the closing “KOTRA” and its pivotal declaration: “Nothing left for me in Apache Junction.” We’ll have more on Go Fever in Friday’s American-Statesman. Release show Feb. 2 at Cheer Up Charlie’s, in-store Feb. 17 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the track “Feel So Much”:
Kenny Williams, “Sings” EP. A Reagan High School graduate who studied voice at the University of Texas and sings in the contemporary lineup of classic 1950s-60s R&B/soul group the Platters, Williams steps out on his own with this cordial seven-song solo debut. It’s an admirably minimalist affair, with Art Carvajal’s tasteful guitar the only accompaniment to Williams’ sweet and smooth delivery of jazz-pop standards such as “Stardust” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” There’s a recurring lunar theme here, as he adds David Mann & Redd Evans’ “No Moon at All” and Van Morrison’s “Moondance” to the mix. Release show Jan. 31 at Parker Jazz Club. Here’s the track “The Very Thought of You”:
Quiet Company, “On Corners & Shapes” EP. Writing about this five-song release on the group’s Bandcamp page, leader Taylor Muse explains that he made it apart from previous bandmates, tracking songs with Test Tube Audio studio engineer Kevin Butler and instrumentalists including Niamh Fahy, Joe Reyes and Juan Lopez. The Quiet Company lineup is partly recast with other musicians now, but Muse and his current bandmates decided to still use the QC name for these songs that reflect Muse’s recent divorce and other personal issues. Release show Feb. 1 at Mohawk. Here’s the track “Red Right Hand”:
Black and White Years, “Arthur #1” EP. Joining Quiet Company at the Feb. 1 Mohawk release show is this 13-years-running indie outfit, with a new three-song digital-only EP of their own that’s “the first in a planned series of EPs,” according to the band’s website.
Beth // James, “Falling” EP. The duo of Mikaela Kahn and Jordan Burchill (they use their middle names for their band moniker) follows up 2017’s six-song debut with three more tracks of tasteful, melodic indie folk-pop. Release show Feb. 1 at Cactus Cafe. Here’s the opening track, “Wasted on Sundays”:
FEB. 5: George Ensle, “Home” (Berkalin), release show Feb. 9 at Threadgill’s.
FEB. 8: Gurf Morlix, “Impossible Blue” (Rootball), release show Feb. 1 at El Mercado Backstage.
FEB. 8: Rosie Flores, “Simple Case of the Blues,” release show Feb. 9 at Continental Club.
FEB. 8: Altamesa, “Idol Frontier,” release show Feb. 8 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.
FEB. 8: Charlie Faye & the Fayettes, “The Whole Shebang,” release show Feb. 8 at Continental Club.
FEB. 8: Mamahawk, “Brain Invaderz,” in-store Feb. 8 at Waterloo Records.
FEB. 8: Rebecca Loebe, “Give Up Your Ghosts” (Blue Corn), release show Feb. 9 at Saxon Pub.
FEB. 8: Daisy O’Connor, “Ether” EP, release show Feb. 10 at Cosmic.
FEB. 9: Anna Larson, “Shifting Sand,” release show Feb. 9 at Townsend.
FEB. 14: Robert Ellis, “Texas Piano Man” (New West), in-store Feb. 14 at Waterloo Records.
FEB. 14: Harlem, “Oh Boy,” release show Feb. 16 at Antone’s.
FEB. 15: Hayes Carll, “What It Is” (Dualtone), playing Feb. 20 at Saxon Pub, Feb. 21 at Continental Club, Feb. 22 at 3Ten and Feb. 23 at Antone’s; in-store Feb. 21 at Waterloo Records.
FEB. 15: Leche, “Trickle Down My Ass,” in-store Feb. 15 at Waterloo Records.
FEB. 22: Gary Clark Jr., “This Land” (Warner Bros.).
FEB. 22: Moving Panoramas, “In Two” (Modern Outsider), in-store Feb. 22 at Waterloo Records.
FEB. 22: William Harries Graham, “Jakes,” in-store March 3 at Waterloo Records.
FEB. 22: Frederico7, “Exotico Americano,” release show Feb. 23 at Empire.
FEB. 22: Kelly Hafner, “If It’s Love.”
MARCH 1: Croom, “Belladonna.”
MARCH 8: Patty Griffin, self-titled (PGM/Thirty Tigers).
MARCH 8: Danny Schmidt, “Standard Deviation.”
MARCH 22: Tia Carrera, “Visitors/Early Purple” (Small Stone), playing March 13 at Lamberts during SXSW.
APRIL 5: Rod Melancon, “Pinkville.”
APRIL 5: Brandon Wayne DeMaris, “Brave Bones,” release show April 10 at Antone’s.
APRIL 26: Randy Rogers Band, “Hellbent.”