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Austin360 On The Record: Mr. Linen, Emily Wolfe, Ley Line, more new local music

Emily Wolfe's new album is titled "Outlier."

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

New releases

Mr. Linen, “Stay Cool.” A years-in-the-making collaboration between musician-producers David Messier, Dave Madden and studio ace Andre Cantave, Mr. Linen features nine tracks that harken back to the mid- to late-20th-century heyday of yacht rock and smooth jazz-tinged pop music.

During a preview event at Messier’s Same Sky Productions studio in East Austin earlier this week, the trio acknowledged the influence of such innovators as Quincy Jones and Steely Dan on these nine tracks, while also detailing some of the unusual recording techniques they indulged. The title track, which launched the project five years ago, is built around samples of KUTX DJ John Aielli uttering the phrase that gave the group its name, while the far out “Space Kung Fu” incorporates snippets of an unsuspecting telephone marketer intoning the words “supersonic laser.”

Throughout, the subject matter is lighthearted, from crushing on a woman who prepares Tex-Mex cuisine (“The Taco Song”) to hanging out at an imaginary tropical bar (“The Dirty Banana”). Mr. Linen’s music might fall into novelty territory in some respects, but the music is so expertly crafted that it ultimately rises to another level. Other musicians who contributed to the recording sessions include singers BettySoo and Ange Kogutz, trumpeter Kevin Flatt, saxophonist Greg Williams, trombone player Paul Deemer and flutist Russell Remington. 

Though Mr. Linen’s origins began long before COVID-19 existed, its arrival amid emergence from the pandemic seems well timed: Judging from the recent popularity of feel-good Texas acts such as College Station’s Surfaces and Austin’s Dayglow, the world may be ready for a wave of lighthearted pop fare. A 13-minute video that details the recording process and includes snippets of each song will be featured in a virtual release party at 6 p.m. Friday, July 2, via the Mr. Linen YouTube channel. Here’s the video for the track “Mr. Linen”:

Recently released

Emily Wolfe, “Outlier” (Crows Feet). After attending St. Edward’s University, Wolfe released her debut EP in 2014, then spent several years crafting her self-titled 2019 full-length debut album with Alabama Shakes member Ben Tanner producing. “Outlier,” released June 25, packs a similar visceral punch; this time around, she worked with Queens of the Stone Age/Mini Mansions member Michael Shuman at his Los Angeles home studio, along with her regular rhythm section of bassist Evan Nicholson and drummer Clellan Hyatt.

The record combines the rock & roll intensity of tunes such as “Damage Control” and “Cover of Virtue” with more pop-leaning tracks “Vermillion Park” and lead single “Something Better,” while Wolfe takes adventurous turns on electronica-influenced numbers “LA/NY” and “No Man.” Wolfe’s often blazing guitar runs balance against compellingly melodic vocals that range from scorching to soothing. Livestream from Waterloo Records at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, via facebook.com/WaterlooRecords. Here’s the video for “Something Better”:

Ley Line, “We Saw Blue: An Audio-Visual Journey Through Brasil.” A companion to the audio component that came out late last year, this self-described “music video, travel documentary, and art film all in one” came out in May and features footage that our December 2020 Austin360 Artist of the Month captured during a 2017 trip to South America by this multilingual quartet. Here’s a brief trailer that provides a taste of what it’s like:

Coming soon

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 9: Dossey, “Animal” EP

JULY 16: Midland, “The Last Resort” EP (Big Machine)

JULY 16: Danilo, “All I Want” EP, release show July 17 at Far Out Lounge

JULY 17: Roky Erickson tribute album, “May the Circle Remain Unbroken” (Light in the Attic)

JULY 17: Christine Renner, “Heartbreaker” EP, release show July 17 at Empire

JULY 23: Robert Harrison, “Watching the Kid Come Back,” release show July 30 at 3Ten

JULY 23: Molly Burch, “Romantic Images” (Captured Tracks), playing Sept. 21 at Mohawk

JULY 23: Dallas Burrow, self-titled, release show July 23 at Sagebrush

JULY 30: Nobody’s Girl, self-titled (Lucky Hound), release show July 29 at venue TBA

READ MORE:Our Austin360 Artist of the Month feature on Nobody's Girl

AUG. 13: Jade Bird, “Different Kinds of Light” (Glassnote)

AUG. 20: James McMurtry, “The Horses and the Hounds” (New West)

AUG. 27: Shinyribs, “Late Night TV Gold,” release show Aug. 27 at Paramount Theatre

AUG. 27: Alejandro Escovedo, “La Cruzada”

AUG. 27: Blk Odyssy, “Blk Vintage,” playing Oct. 10 at ACL Fest

AUG. 27: Bob Schneider, “In a Room Full of Blood With a Sleeping Tiger”

AUG. 27: Altin Sencalar, “Reconnected” (Next Level), release show Aug. 27 at East Austin Piano Shop

AUG. 27: Suzanne Santo, “Yard Sale,” release show Aug. 26 at Antone’s.

SEPT. 10: Heartless Bastards, “A Beautiful Life” (Unknown/Thirty Tigers)

SEPT. 17: Rod Gator, “For Louisiana” (Blue Elan)