Song of the Day

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June 9, 2023

Black Sheep Optimists: “Questions and Lies”

By: Jack Anderson

Our Saturday night specialty show The Breaks does a great job of highlighting Austin hip-hop. But naturally, stuff is bound to slip through the cracks, especially when it comes to events before broadcast. That brings us to Austin three-piece Black Sheep Optimists, who’ve been bending genre norms since the start of the pandemic. The trio dropped their debut EP Book One in that uncertain summer of 2020, a four-track tour de force of trunk-rattling ’90s-style beats, rapid-fire rhymes that seamlessly tie braggadocio and introspection together, and two top-tier collaborations from right here in our local community – with KUTX favorites Kalu James and Jackie Venson.

Subsequent BSO singles have veered into more modern sonic territory, with a higher level of production to match their earnest ugly-duckling-turned-alpha-underdog aesthetic. But the spirit of collaboration is still alive and well, as heard on last September’s joint with Kaylin Karr “Lost Boys” and a new single that just came out today. For the latter, the fellas have teamed up with certified Austin shredder Matt Muehling for a four-and-a-half-minute mad dash ahead of BSO’s upcoming sophomore record Book 2.

So shear into the weekend with “Questions and Lies” and take part in the Black Sheep Optimists’ flock this evening at The Hive off Menchaca if you can. “Q&L”‘s live instrumentation gives its looping drum break a ton of extra weight, deft flirtations with vocal effects pump up the already-lurid lyrics, the chorus is nothing short of epic, and Muehling’s nimble guitar work will have you making some serious stank face throughout. Just don’t flatline til the tune’s over.


Episodes

April 15, 2024

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When we last geeked out over Austin’s Felt Out, we broke down their foundation as that of auto-tune innovators on the cutting edge of alt-pop. And following the first anniversary of their second full-length Until I’m Light, that’s clearly still the case for these multi-instrumentalist-producers. They still sound like a next generation Imogen Heap. Their […]

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Tone Royal: “Alone” (feat. Daddy NAT)

When rappers claim to be “the best on the mic”, they’re talking about verbal skills, not their technical prowess with any specific equipment. Clearly that’s the case, since you’ll see those same people spend a whole set cupping the SM58 ’cause it turns out their mic technique actually sucks. But in terms of intimate familiarity […]

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April 12, 2024

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April 10, 2024

Faaris: “Taken Not Given”

As our ever-evolving hip-hop scene steadily expands, so does the representation of nations, cultures, and identities from its contributors. And for some truly refreshing cross-cultural flavors that have made their way into the ATX hip-hop melting pot, look no further than Faaris. Brought up in a Pakistani household right here in Austin, Faaris brings a […]

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April 9, 2024

Adam Sultan: “The Great Divide”

They say, “write what you know”. And in music, if you know something well enough to perfect its performance, that usually means you’ve absorbed the material enough to build upon it and make it your own. So let’s talk about Austin’s Adam Sultan. Sultan started off a singer-guitarist in the ’90s with Poi Dog Pondering […]

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April 5, 2024

Flicker Vertigo: “Midnight Fantasies Upon Prospect Hill”

As an unabashed Pink Floyd fan, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to firing up the Atmos mix of Animals on my home theater setup when the BluRay drops next month. Sure, the full record’s been etched in my memory forever now, but through the lens of the latest mix an full […]

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April 4, 2024

Mountains in Stars: “Hazards of Loving Creatures”

You’ve heard it a million times before: a picture is worth a thousand words. But go ahead and try it out if you dare. Pick a picture and start verbalizing. Yeah…you’ll give up far before you get anywhere close to a four-digit word count. Music on the other hand? Each chord carries various connotations, which […]

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April 3, 2024

Nané: “Always On My Mind” (Live in Studio 1A)

As with any active artistic community, the Austin music scene has suffered its share of too-soon tragedies. And the passing of Daniel Sahad – the flamboyant frontman of Austin sextet Nané who left us in April ’22 – still feels especially fresh in our memory. Thankfully Daniel’s legacy still lives on through his music, Nané’s […]

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