Abram Shook: “Delusion”

After studying jazz in his longtime home base of Santa Cruz, California, songwriter-visionary Abram Shook took to the road and spent time in Boston and Portland before heading here to Austin. Soon after, Shook earned the distinction as our April 2015 Artist of the Month, thanks to his colorful aesthetic, make-it-look-easy performance prowess, and tightrope balance between soft-spoken lyrics and hard-hitting arrangements.

This Friday the three-time Studio 1A veteran has something new for fans to sink their incisors into, Velvet Teeth, an impressive array of psychedelic jazz-pop compositions that’ll leave you (as the kids say…) shook. The LP’s preceding singles all share the same mellow energy and give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from Velvet Teeth, such as “Delusion”, whose chill groove and subtle sonics floss between seductive and intoxicating.

We Can Choose Our Delusions

Merriam-Webster defines delusion as “a belief that is not true; a false idea.” But who’s to decide what is true? Being tagged as delusional carries a negative, unpleasant connotation – calling to mind straight jackets, or maybe some scenes from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” But thanks to our powers of perception – and Drs. Bob Duke and Art Markman – you can choose to change your definition of delusion. When you get down to it, much of human existence is delusional. We use our imaginations to fill in meaning, value, expectations and definitions around a small sliver of what we can actually observe in our surroundings. Our mental state – essentially our level of happiness or unhappiness – is based on how we choose to define and perceive our circumstances.