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Molly Burch's Tennis team-up, Robert Harrison's solo debut, more new Austin music

Molly Burch's new album is titled "Romantic Images."

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

New releases

Robert Harrison, “Watching the Kid Come Back.” An Austin music fixture for 30 years with his bands Cotton Mather and Future Clouds & Radar, Harrison makes his solo debut with this 10-song release recorded shortly after he’d moved to Dripping Springs before the onset of the pandemic. “By the summer of 2020 it was clear this was going to need to be a very different sort of record for me, one that could be made for the most part alone — and also one that contended with the emotional weight of the times we were all experiencing,” Harrison wrote in press materials accompanying the album.

It’s not entirely solo; ace local bassist Brad Fordham appears on every track, with more assistance coming from guitarist Whit Williams, pedal steel player Gary Newcomb, singer Betty Soo, and drummers Darin Murphy and Rick Richards. But Harrison’s guitar and keyboard parts are at the core, along with his distinctive tenor voice.

RELATED:Nicole Atkins' local ties include collaborations with Cotton Mather

It’s also the most songwriting-focused album Harrison has made to date. Songs have always been central to his Beatlesque material, but he hones in on that element here, elevating the prominence of the lyrics on nine original tunes that probably swing closer to Americana territory than the indie-pop of his bands’ recordings.

A beautiful closer is Johnny & Jackey’s 1961 classic “Someday We’ll Be Together,” later a chart-topping smash for the Supremes. Delivered as a duet with Suzanna Choffel and beautifully arranged with a retro vibe, it rings true to the longing for companionship during the depths of pandemic isolation. Release show July 30 at 3Ten. Here’s the video for the title track:

Molly Burch, “Romantic Images” (Captured Tracks). For her third album since an attention-grabbing 2017 debut (fourth if you count a 2019 Christmas record), indie singer-songwriter Burch traveled to Colorado to work with Alaina Moore and Pat Riley of the band Tennis, with whom she’d been touring just before the pandemic hit. “Romantic Images” is full of richly melodic arrangements that lean toward synth pop, thanks in part to mixing collaborations with Gloria Kaba, Mikaelin “Blue” Bluespruce and Heba Kadry.

Burch’s cool and clear vocals, which range from a conversational lower-register tone to mesmerizing high-end flights, remain the biggest pull into her songs. Lyrically, her focus shifts a bit from previous records: “I’ve written quite a bit about anxiety and heartbreak in the past,” she writes in press materials accompanying the album, “but this record is more inspired by confidence and self-love.” Playing Sept. 18 at Mohawk.

Dallas Burrow, self-titled. The New Braunfels country-folk singer-songwriter follows his Nashville-recorded 2019 debut “Southern Wind” by staying close to home, working in Lockhart with producer Bruce Robison. A renowned songwriter himself, Robison helps keep the focus on the songs; the organic instrumentation enhances but never gets in the way of Burrow’s subtly soulful vocals and plainspoken stories.

Key studio contributors included multi-instrumentalist Larry Chaney, bassist/backing vocalist Sterling Finlay, Kelly Willis drummer Josh Blue on drums and Charley Crockett sideman Kullen Fox on keyboards, banjo and trumpet. Press materials accompanying the album describe its lyrics as being “about embracing maturity and the responsibilities of family life.” Release show July 23 at Sagebrush. Here’s the video for “Country Girl”:

Recently released

Freedonia, “Bring Back the Dinosaurs” EP. When local drummer Scott Laningham died in May, his Freedonia bandmate Christopher Cross mentioned the group would soon release an EP in tribute to Laningham. It arrived last week, a four-song set of outtakes from the band’s 2018 and 2019 full-length releases that “fell through the cracks until recently,” Cross says. They’re a worthy supplement to those two albums, especially the track “So It Goes,” a richly melodic tune that likely would appeal to fans of Cross’s early-career Grammy-winning work. At present, the EP is available only via Apple Music and iTunes. Here’s a preview of “And So It Goes”:

Coming soon

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

JULY 30: Paul Oakenfold, “Shine On”

JULY 30: Jesse Daniel, “Beyond These Walls”

AUG. 10: Mike & the Moonpies, “One to Grow On,” playing Oct. 2 at Gruene Hall

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

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

AUG. 20: Belle Sounds, “All About Love” EP

AUG. 20: William Harries Graham, “Plainfield Tapes” EP

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. 3: Joe King Carrasco y Colectivo Chihuahua, “Beers, Bars & Guitars”

SEPT. 3: Terri Hendrix, “Pilgrim's Progress Project 5.5”

SEPT. 10: Heartless Bastards, “A Beautiful Life” (Unknown/Thirty Tigers), playing Friday at C-Boy’s and Saturday at Continental Club through August

SEPT. 17: Rod Gator, “For Louisiana” (Blue Elan), release show Sept. 17 at Far Out Lounge

More from Austin360 On The Record:

JULY 16:Roky Erickson tribute, Pocket FishRmen, Midland, Danilo, Christine Renner

JULY 9:Flatlanders, Giovanni Carnuccio III, Dossey

JULY 2:Mr. Linen, Emily Wolfe, Ley Line