Song of the Day

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April 19, 2023

Tone Royal: “Nick at Nite”

By: Jack Anderson

If you’ve attended your fair share of hip-hop shows, this has happened to you at least once. You discover a new rapper, fall in love with their music, and seize an opportunity to see them live. But right after they take the stage, they inexplicably start cupping the mic, distorting their once-intelligible lyrics into gobbledygook. It can really put a damper on things, even when they’re clearly giving it their all. So when you watch a seasoned emcee prove their worth as a “mic controller” in what could’ve quickly become a garbled cacophony, it’s refreshing as hell.

Considering Ray Villareal’s various public-facing side hustles – as an esteemed stadium sports announcer (for NCAA, UT, and beyond), frequent Double Toasted Bites podcast contributor, or as an outspoken pal determined to buy a round of Buds for the whole bar – it makes sense that Tone Royal treats microphones with a lot of technical understanding and respect. Tomorrow night, the San Antonio-raised, Austin-based vocalist assumes the headlining throne for Empire Control Room’s all-ages “Slow Roasted” 4/20 showcase, preceded by openers MCs Unknown, Shrt_lyf, Daddy Nat, and ZC3, all alongside DJ Buck Rodgers.

This morning Tone Royal sparked up the anticipation with his first single since last August’s “I Hate You”. While the straight-laced often associate 3AM with the witching hour, lonely partakers of the herbal persuasion can relate to the red-eyed reflections and retro re-runs that reside shortly before the day’s first 4:20. Somewhere between a modern torch song and a blunt-rolling bop, Nick at Nite picks up where Passion Pit and Timmy Trumpet left off with a fresh interpolation of Mary O’Hara’s “Óró Mo Bháidín” baking under hazy sax in the background. Tone Royal’s trademark laid back swagger (on both the studio and live version of “Nick at Nite”) has us begging for a full-band full-length follow-up to 2018’s Late some time in the near future, but until then, we’re just fine with putting the remote in the freezer and letting the dial collect dust.


Episodes

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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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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April 2, 2024

The Watters: “Set to Cruise”

Prayers for rain resonate all throughout the Lone Star State year-round…even in April with a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse on the horizon. So without wanting to entice a cosmically inconvenient drench, let’s dip our toes into The Watters. This Americana soul love affair is teeing up to hit the two-decade mark, but the bond between husband […]

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April 1, 2024

Reyna Tropical: “Sauvecito” (KUTX Live at Scholz Garten)

Don’t you love those unexpected brushes with old chums during South By South West? Sure, for us native Austinites they feel less like chance encounters and more like the inevitable kismet of living in a metropolitan area as small and dense as ours. But there’s still nothing quite like finding an old friend return to […]

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