Austin360 On The Record: Dayglow, Ida Red, Ray Prim, more new local music
Austin360 On The Record is a weekly roundup of new, recent and upcoming releases by local and Austin-associated recording artists.
Dayglow, “Harmony House” (Very Nice). Just four years after he graduated from a high school near Fort Worth and headed to the University of Texas, pop singer-songwriter Sloan Struble (aka Dayglow) is appearing on late-night talk shows and playing both the “Austin City Limits” TV show and its big fall festival.
In an Austin360 feature story, American-Statesman writer Deborah Sengupta Stith calls Struble’s new follow-up to “Fuzzybrain,” his 2018 debut, “a gloriously retro collection of upbeat therapy pop that includes the viral sensation ‘Close to You.’ … Struble initially conceptualized ‘Harmony House’ as an imaginary sitcom about his life, which had taken a strange turn with the smashing success of ‘Fuzzybrain.’”
Ida Red, “Harmony Grits.” The debut from well-traveled local musicians Rose Sinclair and Sophia Johnson — who moved to Austin in the past decade from Massachusetts and England, respectively — digs into the fertile ground between country and jazz that produced Western swing. Their 13-song debut album mixes vocal and instrumental tunes, Sinclair (steel guitar) and Johnson (guitar, lead vocals) supported by the steady rhythms of upright bassist Phil Spencer and drummer Jason Baczynski. Read our full Artist of the Month feature story on Austin360.com. Release show Saturday, May 22, at Sam’s Town Point. Here’s a live version of the track “Texas Blues”:
Ray Prim, “When It’s All Said and Done.” “When I look back on this pandemic I'll be able to say to my granddogs that I was productive,” Prim wrote recently in a social media post to his fans. While many artists took to livestreaming over the past year, Prim doubled down on studio work, producing tracks for singers such as Erica Michelle and Natalie Price but also recording quite a bit of his own new material.
He follows up last summer’s impressive “Grey” with this nearly hourlong 16-song release that pushes his self-described “singer-soulwriter” sound outward to encompass elements of pop, jazz, funk, classical and other styles. (We previewed the video for the bluesy single “Half a Dolla Short” last month.) Prim’s high and sweet voice is at the center of richly layered arrangements that reveal an artist who pays close attention to the presentation of his songs. Release show Saturday, May 22, at One-2-One Bar. Here’s the track “Sweet Redemption”:
Grace Pettis, “Working Woman” (Mpress). Pettis is part of the local trio Nobody’s Girl (with Betty Soo and Rebecca Loebe), whose long-in-the-works debut album is due this summer, but she also released her own solo debut on May 7. It’s an attention-grabbing 10-song set of Americana-based original material that puts the spotlight on her powerhouse vocal delivery.
“Working Woman” also lives up to its title: Recorded in Nashville with producer Mary Bragg and an all-female band, the album features an impressive roster of guest artists, including the Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, the Watson Twins and Austin’s own Ruthie Foster and Gina Chavez. In her press bio, Pettis says the album is “about recognizing and honoring the work that women do in every space in our society. It’s about claiming our own power and place in the world.” Playing June 30 at Haute Spot in Cedar Park. Here’s the video for the title track:
Kate Howard, “The Best Medicine.” A singer-songwriter who got a foothold in the local community partly through Kacy Crowley’s open-mic shows at the now-shuttered Strange Brew, Howard enlisted both Crowley and Beat Root Revival’s Ben Jones to co-produce this 12-song debut album.
Howard’s songs revolve around often humorous wordplay and unflinchingly honest observations, set to folk-based instrumentation provided by a handful of A-list Austin musicians. Pat Byrne joins her for a duet on “Notes From a Friend”; elsewhere, multi-instrumentalists Jeff Plankenhorn and Scrappy Jud Newcomb help to color the arrangements with a variety of stringed instruments.
The album has served as a personal milestone for Howard, who recently underwent brain surgery to address a neurological disorder called dystonia. Here’s a video for the track “Piñata Girl” that was created by local artist Seela:
MAY 28: Asleep at the Wheel, “Better Times” EP
MAY 28: Jamestown Revival, “Fireside With Louis L’Amour” EP
MAY 28: Ben Brown, “Sayonara Sorrow”
JUNE 4: Primo the Alien, “Heart on the Run” EP (Spaceflight)
JULY 9: Flatlanders, “Treasure of Love” (Thirty Tigers)
JULY 9: Pat Byrne, “Into the Light”
JULY 9: Giovanni Carnuccio III, “A Matter of Time”
JULY 17: Christine Renner, “Heartbreaker” EP
JULY 23: Robert Harrison, “Watching the Kid Come Back”
JULY 30: Nobody’s Girl, self-titled (Lucky Hound)
AUG. 13: Jade Bird, “Different Kinds of Light” (Glassnote)
AUG. 27: Shinyribs, “Late Night TV Gold”
AUG. 27: Bob Schneider, “In a Room Full of Blood With a Sleeping Tiger”
AUG. 27: Altin Sencalar, “Reconnected” (Next Level)
AUG. 27: Suzanne Santo, “Yard Sale”