Song of the Day

Song of the Day > All Episodes

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.


May 7, 2024

Steel Gemini: “Only Freak”

If you’re a fan of that synth pop section of indie electronica in the ilk of Goldfrapp, Grimes, and CHVRCHES…there’s a relatively recent artist right here in town that’ll absolutely scratch that itch. And that’s Steel Gemini, the Austin-based project of singer-songwriter-producer Joy Baldwin. Ever since her December 2022 debut, Baldwin’s been a real joy […]


May 5, 2024

Jana Mila: “Somebody New”

In an environment as dense and competitive as Americana, a unique set of lens can really help you stand out. But if that habitat appears even remotely unnatural to others, every little bit of local color improves your odds of surviving in the long run. Meet Jana Mila. Mila’s Amsterdam upbringing was spent in the […]


May 2, 2024

Mikky & The Doom: “Garbage, USA”

In most situations, if you got it, flaunt it. But in an industry that demands infinitely more from your ears than from your eyes, if the hottest person on the planet doesn’t have the pipes to match their looks, they probably don’t have a shot at succeeding as a singer. So let’s talk newcomer Mikky […]


May 2, 2024

Henry the Archer: “ViolinT”

If this late Spring’s got your spirits shook up and you’re looking for some renewed motivation to tend to your garden (be it literal or figurative), we’ve got a DFW act that’ll make you go hard in the yard. And that’s on behalf of singer-guitarist-keyboardist R. Hennessy, AKA “Henry O”, who’s been hitting the mark […]


May 1, 2024

Emily Shirley: “Morning Light”

It’s the classic end to an encounter. You meet someone new. Sparks seemingly fly. You have fun for a night. But when you wake up ready to tell your new boo you’d like to see ’em again…they’re long gone. Hell, and in the modern era, that might all happen on just on an app alone. […]


April 30, 2024

Grandmaster: “Castle Door”

Watch out, Golden Dawn Arkestra…there’s a new costumed collective in town, and they’re hunting for for fresh converts! But instead of frenetic Afro-inspired dance grooves, these fanatics have so far stuck to the slower side of ’70s-style jazz funk rock; think War whisked together with Steely Dan. Not that you’d be able to tell from […]


April 29, 2024

Trip Cigs: “Comeback Kid”

When a seasoned musician wades out of their genre comfort zone, you love to hear it. Because the technical expertise, jam stamina, and songwriting skills are already in place, but opening the gate to different inspirations and influences is always a welcome breath of fresh air. So let’s talk Rod Gator, who – as you […]


April 24, 2024

Viben: “Pablo Picasso”

Lyrics are a fickle field. You can be wordy as hell, hoping that at least one line sticks in listener’s minds. Or, you could just loop the hell out of some barebones sentences – guaranteed to have a lot more hypnotic staying power through sheer repetition, especially in the realm of dance music. Now let’s […]