Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Austin360 On The Record: Graham Wilkinson, Jaimee Harris, more

Graham Wilkinson's new album, "Cuts So Deep," highlights his songwriting talents.

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

NEW RELEASES

Graham Wilkinson, “Cuts So Deep.” The indie singer-songwriter’s first release since 2016’s “Because of You” features 11 songs he wrote across several years and recorded with engineer Patrick Herzfeld at Austin-area studio Signal Hill Recording. Herzfeld also contributed drums, keys, guitar, bass and backing vocals, with other participants in the sessions including guitarist Matt Gracy, bassist Morgan Patrick Thompson and the Shinyribs Tijuana Trainwreck horn section of Tiger Anaya (trumpet) and Mark Wilson (sax, flute).

“Cuts So Deep” highlights Wilkinson’s songwriting talents with mostly folk-rock-based arrangements centered around his conversational vocal style. It’s not clear whether the title track was written before or during the pandemic, but its chorus — “I miss seeing your smile/ Miss seeing your face” — certainly resonates in the midst of it. The album closes with a poignant piano-and-strings tune, “Balcony,” written largely for Wilkinson’s father, recently diagnosed with dementia.

In press materials accompanying the record, Wilkinson describes its songs as “simple reflections of what life is truly like, fleeting moments of beauty interwoven between the worry and stress that consumes our thoughts and hold us back from whom we really should be." Album-release livestream 8 p.m. Friday, March 5, via facebook.com/GrahamWilkinsonMusicFanPage; in-person outdoor release show 1 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at Far Out Lounge. Here’s the video for the track “Funny Feeling”:

LOCAL TIES

Jaimee Harris, “The Congress House Sessions.” Now in her early 30s, Waco native Harris spent her 20s in Austin, playing regularly in local clubs as she gradually built a repertoire of spectacular songs that she released on her 2018 solo debut, “Red Rescue.” Though she moved to Nashville shortly thereafter, she’s kept strong ties here, and returned to record “The Congress House Sessions” at the studio of that name with ace engineers Mark Hallman and Andre Moran.

Laying down the tracks “semi-live in a campfire-style setting,” as she describes the sessions on her website, Harris re-imagined seven tracks from “Red Rescue” in pared-down acoustic style, providing a more intimate view of the songs that brings them closer to how they began.

A few members of her Austin inner-circle contributed: guitarist Brian Patterson, keyboardist Sammy Powell, backing vocalists Kris Nelson and Jane Ellen Bryant, and fellow singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville on harmonica. Most dramatically recast is the opening track, “Damn Right,” an electric rocker on the “Red Rescue” album that cuts even deeper in a nearly solo arrangement. Here’s the video for “Creatures”:

RECENTLY RELEASED

Thee Conductor, “Spirit of a Ghost.” A collaboration between songwriter Jason Butler and engineer Justin Douglas of King Electric Recording, this eight-song release, which came out in late January, follows the 2017 debut “Cotton Tornado.” The album mixes atmospheric instrumentals with tracks featuring guest vocal appearances by fellow Austinites Will Johnson and Jana Horn, along with indie act Bonnie Prince Billy, who joins on three songs (and is working on a collaboration with Butler due later this year). Others on the record include the Tosca String Quartet, Hard Proof members Derek Phelps and Michael Patrick St. Clair, and Vince Delgado of Knife in the Water.

FEB. 26's Record Roundup:Willie Nelson, These Fine Moments, Deer Fellow

Here’s the animated video for the song “Tsk Tsk”:

SINGLES SPOTLIGHT

Ley Line, “En Busca Del Agua.” Our Austin360 Artist of the Month for December 2020 ironically recorded this song — its title translates to “in search of water” — the day before the winter storm that resulted in a loss of power and water for millions of Texans. Proceeds from sales on the group’s Bandcamp page will go to Austin Youth River Watch, an organization working to protect and conserve Central Texas water systems. The band also has just launched a new podcast series titled "Following Ley Line."

Nobody's Girl, "So Far Away." The rollout of this upstart local supergroup, which combines the talents of local singer-songwriters Betty Soo, Rebecca Loebe and Grace Pettis, has been slowed by the pandemic, with their debut album pushed to July after initial plans for a 2020 release. In the meantime, they've released a few singles, including this lovely rendition of the Carole King classic.

FEB. 19's Record Roundup:Riders Against the Storm, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, more

COMING SOON

  • MARCH 12: Blue Water Highway, “Paper Airplanes,” release show March 13 at Antone’s
  • MARCH 19: Midland, “The Sonic Ranch” documentary soundtrack (Big Machine)
  • MARCH 19: Nuevo, self-titled (Nine Mile)
  • MARCH 19: Mandy Rowden, “Parachute”
  • MARCH 24: Leti Garza, “Borderland” EP
  • MARCH 26: Armadillo Paradox, “Out of Gas in Oil Country”
  • APRIL 2: Zach Person, self-titled (Blackdenim)
  • APRIL 2: Joe Barksdale, “Omari”
  • APRIL 2: Shakey Graves, “Roll the Bones X” 10th-anniversary reissue edition (Dualtone)
  • APRIL 9: Balmorhea, “The Wind” (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • APRIL 23: Danny Golden, “Changes” EP

FEB. 12's Record Roundup:Paul Leary, Los Sundowns, Beth Lee, more