December 8, 2023

nolo: “Appetite”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

If you’re looking to get out of the house this evening and support some local music without just padding the band’s drink tab, we’ve got just the thing for you.

Consider this our official nod to nolo, an Austin alt-rock quartet whose four members first met up in rehab a half decade back. Don’t worry; the boys are all still sober. And as a matter of fact they’ve teamed up with Recovery Unplugged to create and host the Sober Sessions open mic series. So even though nolo’s put the hard stuff down, their energetic brand of rock is an intoxicating upper all on its own.

Lately nolo’s been working up their debut full-length, set for release next Spring. And this morning nolo served up the LP’s second lead single “Appetite” alongside a manic music video, silly string, strobe lights, white psych patient scrubs, and all. If you’re tired of shit stressing you out from this past work week, dance it all out with nolo 10:45PM tonight at our station’s neighbor Hole in the Wall. If you’d rather stay cooped up in your own resident looney bin, at least pump the fine-polished pop rock of “Appetite” again through your favorite pair of headphones or speakers.

December 7, 2023

Honey Hideouts: “Goodbyes”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

By nature, the id of a creative is often occupied by abstract fragments, waiting to be manifested. But sometimes the spark to bring something new to fruition only arrives with a change of scenery. And a recent case of such comes courtesy of Denmark’s Markus Artved.

An accomplished producer who’s lent his ear to Lukas Graham alongside several Scandinavian up-and-comers, Artved’s also been praised for his sound design and music composition in Denmark’s theater and play circuit. Those endeavors already embedded in his aura, last year Markus made what turned into a pilgrimage of sorts to the U.S., a trip that unlocked a previously-oppressed appetite in Artved.

Enter Honey Hideouts. Less a departure from his typical wheelhouse and more an extension of his intrinsic passion, this solo aspiration takes cues from ’60s-’70s psych-pop icons with a twist indie and jazz here and there. The inspiration became a reality after a recent respite from the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen at Artved’s remote family cottage out near the North Sea, and today we received the inaugural dip from Honey Hideouts’ jar.

The first comb from what’s set to be a fuller hive in 2024, “Goodbyes”, despite its farvel-bidding title, is a warm introduction to Honey Hideouts. At a steady tempo that feels like stirring around a gloopy pot, crystallized electric guitar, a viscous rhythm section, and Artved’s unhurried, mellifluous singing, “Goodbyes” is just sticky enough to keep buzzing in your head well after the tune’s deliciously abrupt ending.

December 6, 2023

Uncle Lucius: “All the Angelenos”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

If you missed out on some quality family time during Thanksgiving, we’ve got some musical kin for you who’ll help clean out any leftovers. We’re talking about our dear Uncle Lucius, an Americana rock endeavor spearheaded by Kevin Galloway. A beloved Austin institution since their 2006 debut Something They Ain’t, the fellas actually considered putting Uncle L to bed back in 2018. But with millions of streams still showing support, especially 2012’s “Keep the Wolves Away” (which racked up hundreds of such, eventually reaching Gold status), Galloway and the gang realized this unofficial family affair still had plenty of fuel to stoke the flames.

So, almost a decade after their previous LP The Light, this Friday Uncle Lucius returns with Like It’s The Last One Left. True to its title, LITLOL packages ten new tracks that find Uncle Lucius in tip-top form, and would hypothetically make for a mighty fine farewell if the circumstances arose. But since we’re not banking on the boys calling it quits anytime soon, we don’t see this as a Hail Mary. Instead its a mighty fine amalgamation of seventeen-plus years of tour-proven excellence, with some reorganized roles and restructuring as a sextet.

Like It’s The Last One Left also went the inclusive route, inviting in collaborators like Reckless Kelly fiddler Cody Braun, who graces the album’s final lead single “All the Angelenos”. Speaking of other towns, Uncle Lucius heads over to Houston this weekend before performances in Dallas and Goliad later this month, which’ll bookend a gig at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater 7PM on Saturday, December 30th. So put a positive spin on Austin’s ever-increasing population growth with “All the Angelenos”, because you really can’t get enough new folks to stop by and meet their new Uncle Lucius.

December 5, 2023

Gary Devlin: “Waves”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

We’ll never deny the merits of lyrical therapy. Then again, the staying power and worldwide accessibility of meditative genres like classical and jazz has little to do with curated words. And more often than not with that universality, comes positivity.

Cut to El Paso-born, Arlington-based songwriter-guitarist Gary Devlin. Sure, Gary’s got the makings of a great singer, as heard on his 2016 debut Pick Your Heart’s Desire, but he also appreciates the intrinsic power of letting his six-string do the talking for him. That’s no doubt thanks to Devlin’s upbringing in a golden age of rock composition, when Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Zeppelin, and the too-many-to-list rest were the standard for quality songwriting. The way he sees it? Why put a perimeter around genres when you can make your mission statement “feel good pop rock”?

Well, to get the ball rolling on his as-of-yet-untitled 2024 LP, last Friday Devlin imparted some of those lessons onto a sans-lyric love song. And because it’s inspired by that-most complicated emotions, this sprawling five-minute instrumental doesn’t really stick to one lane. Instead “Waves” weaves smooth acoustic guitar jazz with ’70s-inspired prog rock that doesn’t pause until a final cathartic repose.

December 4, 2023

The Tibbs: “Ain’t It Funny”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again; the retro-soul renaissance of the last 10-15 years has been one of the most refreshing trends to break into the mainstream. And it’s been especially intriguing to hear countries outside of the U.S. tackle that classic Motown/Stax sound with their own takes on those brassy, upbeat, vocal-driven formulas.

And of those who’ve represented Western Europe, few have done it quite as long as Amsterdam’s The Tibbs. Starting off with their cover-stuffed 2014 LP Cleaned Out, this septet’s spent the past decade-plus scoring millions of streams thanks to a tenacious work ethic and unwavering dedication to the iconic ’60s-’70s aesthetic, even down to their album artwork. In terms of American soul interpolations, The Tibbs don’t just make a pastiche of the classics; they mix in a timeless potpourri of garage grit, sophisticated jazz-funk, mid-century pop, and even a little bit of blues and ska to boot.

Well, with a respectable amount of records already under their belt, last Friday The Tibbs announced their third full-length, Keep It To Yourself, set for release late next month. At a dozen tunes, Keep It To Yourself is expected to at least go toe-to-toe with Fall 2020’s Another Shot Fired. Yet with that extra element of post-COVID compassion, and the invaluable few additional years of experience, Keep It To Yourself may turn out to be The Tibbs finest work to date. And based on the LP’s lead single, which came last Friday alongside the release announcement, we’re willing to take that bet straight to the bank. Because between the transparency of its music video (which shows off the seven-piece’s live chops), some unforgettably in-the-pocket horn lines, an undying rhythm section that effortlessly support keys and guitar, and of course Roxanne Hartog’s soon-to-be-iconic pipes, “Ain’t It Funny” can only make us laugh in terms of how friggin’ good it is.

December 1, 2023

Chief Cleopatra: “December All Year” (Live in Studio 1A)

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

Apologies in advance to all the Scrooges out there, but the winter holidays are on our doorstep. So if you haven’t already, prepare for in-store speaker systems, radio spots, TV commercials, and hell even carolers to give us our annual fill of festive favorites. And while the Bing Crosbys and Brenda Lees of generations past still pack an iconic charm into this last month, we love that the novelty of “Christmas music” hasn’t negated the creation of holiday-inspired originals from modern artists of all backgrounds, like our February 2022 Artist of the Month Chief Cleopatra.Cleo combines soul, rock, gospel, hip-hop, funk, R&B, and more into a non-genre-denominational sound that perfectly complements this singer’s eccentric and often ornamental sense of fashion. She blew us away at the onset of COVID with her eponymous three-tune debut, and made an even more memorable impact last spring with her Walker Lukens-produced follow-up EP Luna. Chief Cleopatra also wowed us with the wide arrangement on this past March’s “Weekend Warrior”, yet it’s the piece of DSII-produced yuletide joy we found under our tree this morning that reassure us how special this Austin treasure is.So much so that we invited Chief Cleopatra and a backing sextet to cut an extended live edition of December All Year in our very own Studio 1A. A mellow Christmas miracle from its first full-band downbeat through its closing keyboard quote of “Jingle Bells”, Chief Cleopatra makes Mrs. Claus seem more like Ellen Griswold with register-spanning vocals that have us second-guessing if there’s mistletoe above us.

November 30, 2023

Cinnamontal: “P.R.P.P.P.”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

If the corporate powers that be haven’t already ushered in the official start of Christmastime, December 1st will certainly flip the switch. So might as well ignite the yule log early with some new, locally-sourced aural ornaments, starting today with Denise Murray.

Better known by her nickname Cinnamon, and by extension, her creative handle Cinnamontal, this Austinite’s a classically-trained, Berklee, Spain-educated bassoonist, producer-singer-songwriter who’s performed on Slovenia’s Eurovision, rubbed elbows in-studio with Grammy winners, achieved semifinalist status at Montreux Jazz Fest’s Jazz Voice Competition, and become host of The Music Executive podcast. So, it’s easy to see that Murray’s plate stays pretty full even outside of the Thanksgiving season.

That said, this past year Cinnamontal’s taken some real strides in establishing her solo act, having released her debut streaming single “Gold Star” in mid-June and following it up with late August’s “Be Like U”, both of which have introduced us to a powerful new voice in Austin R&B. And while there’s no point in trying to snatch Mariah’s crown when it comes to most beloved holiday R&B song, Cinnamontal and her bassoon James sure have put a saucy twist on the iconic “Little Drummer Boy” melody with a tune that wraps voluptuous vocals, hearth-warming woodwinds, head-bobbing beats, and gift-ready guitar into a neat little Christmas package. So put “P.R.P.P.P.” on your holiday playlist and try not to imagine St. Nick getting seduced by its slinky sonics, kissing mommy or not.

November 29, 2023

Olivia Nowadays: “Damn This Is Real Bad”

Song of the Day

By: Jack Anderson

In the era of the phonograph, when sound quality was essentially nonexistent, whatever got cut to the cylinder is whatever crackled out. Nowadays, there’s a huge divide in listener tastes when it comes to fidelity. On one side of the spectrum you’ve got audiophiles who demand nothing less than ultra-refined digital masters that make it sound like you just had an ear cleaning; on the other, there are the lo-fi aficionados who prefer a muddier analog sound over a pristine mix. And of course, there are folks smack dab in between who relish in a midway fidelity – which we’ll call mid-fi.

That’s not to say mid-fi is mediocre…far from it. It takes a certain sensibility to narrow down centrist sounds that please without being too pockmarked nor pristine, a talent imbued in Albuquerque duo Olivia Nowadays. The genre-defying pair’s first eccentric collection How to Be Okay With the Everyday dropped right before COVID, and since then, these self-proclaimed “basement boys” have only gotten bigger and bolder. This Friday they unfurl their sophomore full-length The Sky Doesn’t End At The Top Of The Page, featuring nearly a dozen new tunes that scratch that itch of oddball auditory stimulation with fascinating field recordings, admirable amounts of experimentation, and overall just awe-inspiring ambience.

We’ve already received five of the eleven puzzle pieces, and this morning, Olivia Nowadays helped us visualize the fuller picture with an album closer actually inspired by a move to Austin, “Damn This Is Real Bad”. But don’t take the title at face value. This sans-lyric transportive wonder starts off simply enough with unhurried synth arpeggios, resolves tranquilly with horizon-cresting orchestral plucks, and swells smack dab in the middle with lush vocal harmonies and pulsing percussion. Not much left to say other than, “Damn. This is real good.”