Song of the Day

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March 1, 2024

Scott Ballew: “Mutiny”

By: Jack Anderson

Austin may be a metropolis, but it’s still smack dab in the middle of Texas, football fanaticism, Western legends, vast landscapes, and all. There are a lot of artists who embody that Lone Star aesthetic, but today we’re tippin’ our hat to Scott Ballew.

After his initial acts as football star and filmmaker, this central Texas troubadour is now living middle age to the fullest as a songwriter. Scott’s quick to point to his documentary work with Terry Allen as a pivotal moment in his career, and sure, you can see similarities in just comparing album covers , like the cresting scenery of their respective debuts Juarez vs. Talking to Mountains or the minimalist interiors of Lubbock (On Everything) vs. Middle Age Crazy. But that said, there’s something especially cinematic-minded about his cosmic Americana compositions that he couldn’t have simply copped from Allen’s outlaw country repertoire.

And that Western aesthetic really comes to a head on Scott Ballew’s third LP, Rio Bravo, out March 29th. Down to its already iconic title (Cat Ballou would’ve been too on the nose, right?) Rio Bravo is shaping up to be a ten-scene saga of survival, less in the realm of gunfighter ballads and more so contemporary confessions, like if Ennio Morricone brought his timeless Spaghetti Western magic to a newly-unearthed Townes Van Zandt album. Ballew started saddling up for Rio Bravo last month with “Suicide Squeeze” and galloped further today with “Mutiny”. Safe to say we’ll spend this next month patiently awaiting the rest of the stragglers, whose full posse of songs could’ve only been made in Texas, plain and simple.


Episodes

April 19, 2024

Melotheory: “Breathe”

When you have roommates, at least good ones you get along with, group activities naturally arise around the house. For most folks, it’s watching TV, recreational smoking and drinking, or maybe the occasional board game. For musicians, however, having a practice space within eyeshot of your bedroom door is too good of a scenario to […]

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April 17, 2024

Rhythm&Truth and Sakari: “Bring It All Back”

We won’t say that successful collaborations should mandate a solo artist’s trajectory. But if something built together leaves people wanting more, it’s not a bad idea to get back together and sate those desires, right? Because what’s unachievable on the individual level often just needs to get catalyzed by some good collabo chemistry. So let’s […]

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April 17, 2024

Myia Thornton: “Never Good 4 Me”

Unlike the legendary machines of Stax and Motown who relied on a ton of well oiled cogs to make any R&B singer into a star, these days the new blood has to do everything themselves, talent agent or not. And while not everyone can be Prince or D’Angelo in terms of multi-instrumental discipline, bringing something […]

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April 15, 2024

Felt Out: “Crash Inside It”

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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April 15, 2024

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

Tagua Tagua: “4AM (Acústico)”

Feliz sexta! Today we’re talking about Tagua Tagua, the passion project of São Paulo songwriter-producer Felipe Puperi. Now, Brazil is an enormous country, full of fervent creators; it takes a ton of traction to get towards the top. But in the seven years since Puperi launched off, Tagua Tagua’s become one of the nation’s most […]

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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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