Song of the Day

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July 9, 2024

Amy Annelle: “East Texas Son”

By: Jack Anderson

When you look past the vast sea of love lyrics out there, songs inspired by natural phenomena are just about the greatest equalizer across music’s history. And it makes sense; there’s something so primal and timeless about evoking the rumble of thunder, the whip of wind, or the roar of the ocean. Sure, you can point to jazz or blues as place for many a rainy day refrain, but if we’re talking about a truly bucolic bond to nature, even in modern digital times, folk really relishes in reflections on the weather – be it good or bad.

Yes there are plenty of youngsters who appreciate that longstanding tradition, but here in Austin we’re doubly lucky to have a two-and-a-half decade veteran who clearly “gets” what makes folk tick – Amy Annelle. Going back to 1999’s Which One’s You?, this singer-guitarist (who also once went by The Places) has made her largely-percussion-less, Muir-esque musings a delight to listen to, whether you’re in the midst of a midday picnic or a weekend-long hike through the nearest national park. On top of a provably popular take on Townes Van Zandt’s “Buckskin Stallion Blues”, Amy Annelle’s rightfully earned opportunities to work with folk legends Bill Callahan and Daniel Johnston, and corralled her own octet of handpicked Austin talent to help enhance her transportive originals – The Velvet Hand.

Fortunately in 2024 Amy finds herself on the other side of a long struggle with chronic illness. With her health back in good shape and the life lessons of those tough years under her belt, Amy’s eager to pay that array of recent experiences forward with The Toll, out August 2nd. With the help of The Devil Makes Three’s Cooper McBean on production, Neko Case engineer-producer Darryl Neudorf on mixing, and industry icon Greg Calbi handling the master, The Toll is a one dozen offering of fine-tuned folk that sounds as pristine on home stereo as it would strumming and humming in a dilapidated deep woods cabin. At the tail end of this month, Amy Annelle’s set to play The Toll in full for the album release show on Saturday, July 27th at Scottish Rite Theater alongside opener Creekbed Carter, benefitting Communities For Recovery. But now that that’s in the forecast, let’s get back to nature.

One of The Toll‘s two originals that engage with the gargantuan aura nature wields over us all, the LP’s third lead single “East Texas Son” arrives especially poignantly as Tropical Storm Beryl leaves millions of fellow Texans without power. From flowing rivers and raging hurricanes to hungry quicksand and breezy, burning thunder, the ominous lyrical precautions of “East Texas Son” are elegantly offset by an optimistic orchestral, acoustic arrangement, one that reminds us of the healing power of nature, even after a catastrophe. But it’s also the sound of a seasoned songsmith returning to form at the top of her game.

Is that thunder you hear? No. It’s our applause for Amy Annelle.


Episodes

July 12, 2024

Sir Woman: “Never Gonna Give Me Up”

Self love. Loss. Disco balls. You’ll feel the freeing energy of all three across two neat little packages later this year. We’re talkin’ about Austin’s secret soul weapon, Sir Woman. This week Sir Woman broke the news about an upcoming twin release – two full-lengths set to drop this fall – If It All Works […]

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July 11, 2024

Margo Scout: “Otters”

Ready for something brand new? We got you! Take our paw, lean back, crack a clam open on your belly, and float downstream with some fresh ATX talent. Introducing Margo Scout. This the inaugural indie rock project of Austin singer-songwriter Rachel Pierron, who just graduated from UT. So sure, Pierron may still be young. But […]

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July 10, 2024

Passiflora: “Backyard Birds”

Feeling the heat and humidity outside for just thirty seconds confirms it: we’re well past the season of birds and bees. Yet even as cicadas steal the atmospheric spotlight with that iconic, steamy soundscape of theirs, birdsongs never really go out of style – Cindy, ornithological vocalizations, or otherwise. So let’s talk Passiflora. Having only […]

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July 9, 2024

Amy Annelle: “East Texas Son”

When you look past the vast sea of love lyrics out there, songs inspired by natural phenomena are just about the greatest equalizer across music’s history. And it makes sense; there’s something so primal and timeless about evoking the rumble of thunder, the whip of wind, or the roar of the ocean. Sure, you can […]

Listen

July 8, 2024

Karima Santi: “Arizona”

Short attention spans and TikTok sensations. That’s one of the biggest pairings in modern media today. So you can’t really blame younger creators for taking the quantity-over-quality approach and just cranking out singles, essentially playing a numbers game for potential traction. But let’s be honest. You’d rather hear something from a patient perfectionist than an […]

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July 5, 2024

Foxglove: “Sunday Highs”

Craving some musical soul food for this weekend? Treating yourself to some Foxglove ought to be a good fit! Since 2022 this Austin six-piece has scattered their musical remedies through fields of funk, soul, and R&B alongside forays into indie and hard rock. And as heard on last October’s Ephemeral Daydreams EP, Foxglove forgoes the generic formulas in favor […]

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July 4, 2024

Counterfeit Cowboy: “20 Beers”

Happy Fourth of July! As with every Independence Day, you know people are gonna be celebrating loudly, music blaring. If you’re set to watch fireworks from Lady Bird Lake, from experience we can expect a cacophony of sonics from the sea of individual bluetooth speakers. But by and large, across the Lone Star State, we’re […]

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July 3, 2024

The Brothers Burn: “Stepped In Gum”

What happens when you possess all the technical prowess to make a modern record and a newfound abundance of time, but you’ve never tried your hand at music? Best get crackin’, right? At least that’s the backstory behind Austin producer Scott Osborn, better known by his creative alias The Brothers Burn. Sure, Scott’s already in […]

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