June 13, 2024

Rival Waves: “Time’s Up”


By: Jack Anderson

When you’re in the high seas, you’re at the mercy of rogue waves. When you’re in Texas during the summertime, you’re at the mercy of heatwaves. But if you’d prefer to get thrashed around and work up a sweat without ever facing the sun or leaving port, here in Austin we’ve got Rival Waves.

Starting with their 2018 debut full-length Transducer, this quintet’s ebbed and flowed through all kinds of rocky channels, ranging from alternative and indie to grunge and punk. Sure, the tides of mainstream music have shifted, and we’re at least a couple decades removed from most of those genres’ commercial heydays, but that hasn’t stopped Rival Waves from making a big splash in the local scene and beyond; just check out their respectable streaming numbers between last August’s A Meaningless Chaos and late April’s NAMI EP alone.

Well, ahead of a single release show 8PM next Friday, June 21st at The Courtyard ATX, Rival Waves has a foreboding message to any remaining naysayers: “Time’s Up”. Like the training montage soundtrack that escalates to a final climactic battle, Rival Waves crash against high octane punk and melodic alternative with an almost operatic song structure and chord sequence on “Time’s Up”. But in terms of Rival Waves’ still-cresting career? They’re not stopping the clock any time soon.

May 10, 2024

Tobias Lund: “Let Me Know” (feat. Phono Magic)


By: Jack Anderson

Everyone’s got their favorite blue-eyed soul artists. And sure, it’s technically a derogatory term, but if you’re after some super blue-eyed soul…like so blue-eyed it’s Scandinavian, then look no further than Austin’s Tobias Lund.

This is the third time we’ve talked up Tobias, and long story short, the keyboardist-singer’s already shown a ton of talent across the soul-pop spectrum. So after a strong sequence of sultry standalone solo and collaborative singles, imagine our delight upon hearing about Tobias Lund’s debut EP, Leap of Faith, out next Thursday.

Lund plays a set Hole in the Wall 10PM that same evening with EP guests Camila Rivers and Phono Magic, plus The VYB Project alongside opener EddieAngel at 9PM and closer Chico Jones at 11PM. And just yesterday Lund lent us the album’s second lead single made in cooperation with Phono Magic, “Let Me Know”. We knew Tobias was smooth, but damn, this one just breathes baby-makin’ magic. Whichever way you lean, this erotic piece of modern R&B is an instant aphrodisiac for aural arousal.

April 25, 2024

Nick Taylor: “Dead Land Future”


By: Jack Anderson

For native residents of cultural music hubs, the locale’s unique opportunities tend to be taken for granted. But for folks from comparatively podunk parts of the country, the prospect of a potentially transformative emigration is too good to pass up. Yeah, you can draw parallels to those poor Okies’ desperate westward flight from The Grapes of Wrath, but fortunately the chance of success for musicians is a lot higher than that of Depression-era protagonists.

So let’s talk Nick Taylor, whose sylvan Southeast Texas upbringing indoctrinated with country icons like Patsy Cline, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. His tastes expanded to include classic rock and jazz, and the latter inspired a love of singing in high school. But the jazz bug bit it and quit it in some sense, since Taylor quickly ditched a formal degree in favor of the autodidact approach on guitar. And after acclimating to Austin, Nick Taylor put together a band, starting getting paid gigs, and apparently caught the right pairs of ears. We say that because Nashville producers ended up inviting Nick to “Music City, U.S.A.” to give his debut album that added Americana authenticity.

With that regional authority backing him, Nick Taylor only started sharing his stuff on streaming this year. Those singles have been coming out at roughly a monthly pace, incrementally revealing a fuller picture (seriously, check out the individual single artwork) of his introductory LP Not Alone in the process. Ahead of the record’s release on June 21st, plus a show 7-9PM tomorrow night at Austin Eastciders and again 6-8PM next Saturday at Frontyard Brewing out in Spicewood, Nick Taylor’s just gifted us the full-length’s fiddle-fueled fourth lead offering.Dead Land Future was inspired by college days spent navigating a tightrope of Texas farmland master’s studies and hands-on agrarian labor, matching Nick’s rich baritone as he beckons us to find new ways to survive. Societally, it sure can feel like the buzzards are circling, but for Nick Taylor’s promising career, this is clearly only the beginning, no matter where he finds himself next.

April 11, 2024

Street Peach: “Heavy”


By: Jack Anderson

If we’ve learned one thing from Destiny’s Child, it’s that vocal groups aren’t always limited to one breakout singer. Even if fate favors one over another in the long run. And that’s kind of lining up with how we see some of the expats from former Austin R&B trio Keeper.

See, while Keeper’s Yadira Brown has kept busy with longtime collaborator BoomBaptist through The Vapor Caves, her fellow Keeper co-founder Lani Thomison only started picking up speed with her solo project Street Peach in the past few months. As we already heard in Tomison’s work with Keeper, Street Peach’s techniques blend R&B, soul, and choral, plus (as you might’ve guessed from her handle) some extra urban sex appeal as well. Sure, Street Peach’s introductory standalone, “Qiller”, has kept us as sated as possible since May 2020. But truthfully, we’re already licking our lips over news of a full batch this fall.

That basket arrives this October in the form of Street Peach’s debut EP, Monarch, a seven-song spreading of wings created alongside producer Willie Green. And following Monarch‘s first offering that’s already enjoyed consistent spins on recent episodes of The Breaks (mid-February’s “Caroline”), another nubile installation just landed in our lap. “Heavy” lays the seduction on thick, thanks to delineated drums, drizzling synths, and a Sylvia Striplin-style chord progression channeled through a killer chorus guitar groove – one that makes the bed for Street Peach’s featherlight vocals. And those steamy conditions forecast for next week? They could get you sweatin’ juuust right for when Street Peach heats up the stage 7:15PM next Thursday at Hotel Vegas ahead of Daphne Tunes.

February 25, 2024

Byron Hurt and Althier Eady, pt. 2 (Ep. 13, 2024)

In Black America

By: John L. Hanson

This week on In Black America, producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. concludes his conversation with writer and filmmaker Byron Hurt and Althier Eady, granddaughter of Lee and Liza Hurt, discussing the development and production of Lee and Liza’s Family Tree, Hurt’s documentary film about the history of the Hurt family.

February 23, 2024

A Case For Curiosity Part II

Two Guys on Your Head

By: Rebecca McInroy

Have you ever wondered about something but didn’t ask about it because you thought it was something you should already know about? You may have worried someone might think less of you for not knowing. It turns out that that happens more often than we’d like to admit mainly because of subtle judgments we may have received early in life. However, curiosity is a vital part of what it means to be an intellectually flourishing human so how can we ensure we are nurturing curiosity in ourselves and others?

In part II of A Case For Curiosity with Two Guys on Your HeadDr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about strategies to cultivate curiosity.