Chicago music

Rudy De Anda: “Tu Mirada”

These days us Austinites know all too well that an Adrian Quesada production credit is ostensibly a golden ticket to brilliance. And although Adrian’s predominant territory is Tex-Mex soul, the style that courses through his formulas wouldn’t be what they are without California’s historic Latin psych scene. That’s a no-brainer for native Los Angeleno Rudy De Anda, who formalized his ’60s psych-rock tastes in the scenic stretches of Long Beach, despite major sources of inspiration from London’s The Kinks and NYC’s The Velvet Underground.

However, in drawing from the psych products of those grayer, more industrialized musical hubs, De Anda’s turn-of-the-decade relocation to Chicago makes a lot more sense. And while it didn’t take long for Rudy to find his footing in the Windy City, that cross-country migration put a lot of distance, physically and emotionally, between himself and his lifelong home state friends. But it was that vulnerability allowed De Anda to brush off the surface-level sun and sand aesthetic typically ascribed to his Cali output in favor of confessional cultivation.

For his latest LP, De Anda recorded outside of California for the first time – but not in Chicago. Instead Rudy recruited his Cali bandmates to join him in Adrian Quesada’s Electric Deluxe recording studio right here in Austin. The new setting, plus a decision to track straight to tape, finds De Anda and the band approaching the process more seriously than ever before, and soon we’ll hear the fruits of that labor flourish on Closet Botanist.

Closet Botanist drops April 28th, introducing us to ten lush sonic shrubs, all audibly (though unobtrusively) influenced by Quesada’s production input. These bilingual herbs will feel right at home in your record collection, and give you a bit of insight into Rudy De Anda’s journey over the past two years, as heard on Closet Botanist‘s next installment, “Tu Mirada”. Inspired by the Brazilian baroque pop and psych folk of Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges’ 1972 landmark Clube da Esquina, “Tu Mirada” (the first track Rudy penned post-Chicago) is a great look for De Anda’s new grooves, bookended by a sunrise-slow introduction and an instrumental jam section that climaxes into mind-melting reversed soundscape.

Dezron Douglas: “Atalaya”

Jazz has pretty much always been my favorite genre. But along the way, I’ve discovered that the biggest barrier of getting into newer stuff (for myself, personally) is a general lack of connection to any sort of jazz royalty. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Dezron Douglas.

Once apprentice to the late legend Jackie McLean, this Hartford-born educator-bandleader-bassist-producer-composer has also lent his talents to the likes of Ravi Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, just to name a few. Even in America’s most-competitive jazz hubs, Dezron’s dexterity, discipline, and deep understanding of theory have propelled him towards the top. In the realm of studio releases, Dezron Douglas only rode the momentum of his 2020 Brandee Younger collab Force Majeure for just a bit before recruiting the dream quartet for his solo debut.

Entitled ATALAYA, this LP is a ten-track trek across all kinds of avant-garde jazz. Bop, free jazz, and even effects-drenched solo fusion (see the penultimate tune, “Octopus”) whisk together better than ever before. And if you’re after a multi-sensory listening experience, consider copping a bag of Douglas’ very own coffee blend! A piping hot cup curated by the aficionado himself, plus ATALAYA (and its eponymous album opener) on vinyl? Sounds like an all-around rich cross-cultural roast for the winter.

Dehd: “Control” (ACL Fest Pop-Up)

Oh boy, after two long weekends out at Zilker Park, we’re betting the vast majority of fest-goers are dead tired after Austin City Limits. Not us though! Our impeccable multimedia team’s been hard at work turning around an exclusive batch of intimate, backstage performances, starting today with Dehd. Six years since their eponymous debut, these Chicago indie rockers dropped their fourteen-track fourth full-length Blue Skies back in late May. Post-Blue Skies, Dehd’s been dominating a tour that extends to Scandinavia and the UK before a three-night New Year’s Eve wrap-up back in their hometown’s Empty Bottle.

That tour included a couple pit stops here in town for our humble festival, and following the first of two Sunday afternoon performances on the T-Mobile stage, Dehd was kind enough to treat us to something a little more stripped down than what the rest of the fest got. Rather than double down on their usual dose of decibels, instead Dehd took a minimalist approach for the arrangement of Blue Skies‘ short-but-sweet anxiety-inspired album opener, “Control

Hollyy: “Someone Just Like Me”

Along with Detroit and Memphis, Chicago was a major hotspot of classic soul back in the ’60s and ’70s, so it’s no real surprise that the sound persists in the Windy City today…although not always in the places you’d expect. Say hello to “retro rock” quintet Hollyy, who released their 2020 debut album Miss the Feeling within their first year together. True to their double-consonant/double-vowel handle, Hollyy’s sound splits the difference between Daptone-style soul and rock that lands somewhere between ’90s indie and ’70s folk. With the help of engineer/producer Mark Needham (who’s worked with Fleetwood Mac, The Killers, Elton John, and more) Holly just shared their sophomore EP If You’re Ever Lost this morning. This new record may be a bit shorter than Miss the Feeling, but boasts a natural cohesion and infectious blending not quite achieved by its predecessor. But going back to Chicago soul, you’ll hear that influence right away with one of If You’re Ever Lost‘s top tracks, “Someone Just Like Me”!

fruit collective: “walk”

Though the restrictions of COVID-19 are cautiously lifting, certain social distancing implementations have proved fruitful for some. For example, before everyone got used to living behind their laptop and collaborating remotely, it wouldn’t have been all that easy to put together a trio whose members live in different metropolitan cities, but that’s exactly what happened with fruit collective.

The Chicago-Austin-Boston three-piece bears seeds of indie, pop, and R&B for their lo-fi harvest, transplanting the berries of the late Mac Miller and contemporary KUTX favorites like Clairo and Anderson .Paak into fruit collective’s fresh sound. We all know Friday is market day, so stock up on fruit collective for the weekend with the group’s gorgeous debut single, “walk”!