Austin360 On The Record: Lady Dan, Croy & the Boys, Missio, more
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
Lady Dan, “I Am the Prophet” (Earth Libraries). The project of singer-songwriter Tyler Dozier, who moved to Austin a few years ago from Alabama, Lady Dan had released a five-song EP in 2019 and a single last year leading up to this full-length debut.
In the press bio that accompanied the album, Dozier says she grew up listening to “country, psych rock, bluegrass, punk and old socialist folk,” and you can hear elements of all that here, even if the end result sounds like none of those things in particular. Working at producer-engineer Jeremy Clark’s home studio in Nashville, Dozier recruited a cast of indie musicians, including pedal steel guitarist Eddy Dunlap, violinist Laura Epling, cellist Ian Robinson, bassist Matthew Chancey and drummer Aksel Coe, to flesh out Lady Dan’s sound.
Lyrically, Dozier does a deep dive into her own identity in these songs, emerging from youthful years mired in a male-dominated Southern religious culture to assert her own creative spirit. As she puts it in her bio: “I started creating my own moral compass because I realized it had previously been made up by men in my life — pastors, boyfriends, people who didn’t care about my best interests. A lot of these songs are me processing and shedding all of that.” Here’s the video for the title track:
Croy & the Boys, “Of Course They Do” EP (Spaceflight). Though it’s all covers, this six-song set from Corey Baum and band stands out as resolutely original, thanks to ingenious recastings of punk classics in a Tex-Mex country mold.
The EP’s title is the chorus answer to “Do They Owe Us a Living” by 1970s English anarchist collective Crass, whom Baum says he’s long admired both musically and politically. “Ready to Fight,” from 1980s Detroit hardcore band Negative Approach, gets an accordion-driven polka-styled makeover for its quick-hit minute-and-a-half run. “Cashout” by D.C. punk icon Fugazi “Cashout” turns twangy midtempo country here, while Baum personalizes a classic from Austin punk first-wavers the Dicks by renaming it “Croy Hates the Police” and giving it a spaghetti Western flair.
While covers of Blaze Foley’s “Officer Norris” (renamed “Officer Manley” for Austin’s former police chief) and Billy Bragg’s “Between the Wars” are comparatively closer to the style of the folk-based originals, both fit neatly into the EP’s sociopolitical frame. Baum’s conceptual brainstorm comes to life thanks largely to ace instrumental support from band members Amy Hawthorne on bass, Casey Seymour on drums and Joe Cornetti on keyboards and accordion (plus guests David Longoria and Simon Page). Here’s the video for “Do They Owe Us a Living”:
Missio, “Skeletons III” EP (BMG). The electronic music duo of Matthew Brue and David Butler, which broke through with the 2017 hit single “Middle Fingers,” reimagined several of its songs for this new release, which follows two previous “Skeletons” EPs. The band enlisted renowned English violinist Fiona Brice to create new arrangements for the tunes that were then recorded with Austin’s own Tosca String Quartet. There’s also an intriguing cover of the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize.” Here’s the track “Losing My Mind”:
Calliope Musicals, “Between Us” EP (Spaceflight). The latest from lead singer and songwriter Carrie Fussell’s carnivalesque pop band features four new songs recorded with co-producer Frenchie Smith at Austin studio the Bubble, plus a Brothers Griiin remix of “Fear This Body” from the band’s 2019 album. Joining Fussell for the sessions were guitarists Elliot Liebman and Joe Cannariato, keyboardist Craig Finkelstein, bassists Ryan Brewer and Andrew Vizzone, and drummer Josh Bickley. Here’s the video for “Can You Tell Me”:
Danny Golden, “Changes” EP. Indie singer-songwriter Golden’s first release since his 2018 album “Old Love” features four original songs that range from the buzzing rock of “I Can’t Change” to the effervescent pop of “Alien” to the softer-touch balladry of “Cigarettes and Sunburn.” Local rising star David Ramirez produced the country-tinged “L.A. County” (not the Lyle Lovett song of that name), with John Michael Landon producing “I Can’t Change” and “Alien.” Musicians who helped flesh out the songs in the studio included guitarist Ben Brown, keyboardist Spencer Garland, bassist Sam Pankey and drummer Jeff Olson. Here’s the video for “Alien”:
MAY 7: Grace Pettis, “Working Woman” (Mpress)
MAY 14: Brandon Wayne DeMaris, “We’ll Be Alright”
MAY 15: Kate Howard, “The Best Medicine”
MAY 21: Ida Red, “Harmony Grits”
MAY 21: Wayne Sutton, “Blue Worm”
MAY 22: Ray Prim, “When It’s All Said and Done”
MAY 28: Ben Brown, “Sayonara Sorrow”
JULY 9: Pat Byrne, “Into the Light”
JULY 9: Giovanni Carnuccio III, “A Matter of Time”
JULY 23: Robert Harrison, “Watching the Kid Come Back”
JULY 30: Nobody’s Girl, self-titled (Lucky Hound)
AUG. 27: Shinyribs, “Late Night TV Gold”