Walker Lukens

Confession Response #3

GOOD GOLLY! we asked and we received TWENTY FIVE SONG SUBMISSIONS!! In this episode, you’ll hear new songs by Chris Robeson, Con Davison, We Sell Shirts, Brittany Banowsky, and Bu Gee, as well as clips from several more. You can hear all 25 songs on a playlist we made for you to listen to all in one spot.

Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Confession Call #3

Do you write songs? If you do, we want you to write a song based on the confession in this episode!! If we love it, it may become the KUTX Song of the Day.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Listen to the latest episode of the Song Confessional podcast. You’ll hear an anonymous confession that we collected back in March at the KUTX Live at Scholz Garten series.
  2. Write a song inspired by that confession and record it. Anything from an iPhone memo to a full-on bedroom production, whatever puts you in the zone.
  3. Submit it to kutx.org/confession by Sunday, May 12th
  4. Some of the songs will be featured on the May 15th episode of the Song Confessional podcast

Plus the Song Confessional Team will choose their favorite song and give the winner a day in the studio with Walker Lukens to professionally record your song! That song will be featured on the KUTX Song of the Day.

Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Artist Interview: Pigeon John – “Time to Move Out”

HOLY MOLY! WE’RE RE-AIRING OUR INTERVIEW WITH PiGeOn JoHn from last year. We highly recommend checking out our previous episode featuring PJ’s song “Time To Move Out” as well as last year’s episode about “Dibs On Trevor” before diving into this interview.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Confession & Song: Pigeon John – “Time to Move Out”

GREAT SCOTT! Pigeon John hath blessed part one of our 3RD EPISODE with a nouveau song called “it’s time to move out”! inspired by one woman’s desire to kick her grown son out of her house, Pigeon John uses ragtime piano, dreamy strings, and percussion loops to turn mama’s infaticidal (ok maybe that’s a stretch) desire into pure pop delight! This confession was taken at the Artsplosure Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Artist Interview: Buffalo Hunt – “Anonymous Pleasure”

FEAST YOUR EYE EARS ON PART TWO of our episode featuring Texan songbird actor director person, Buffalo Hunt. We highly recommend listening to the confession and song in PART ONE before Stephanie Hunts recounts how she transformed this raunchy boomer memory into such a sultry modern bop in our interview.

Big thanks to Visit Austin and Brand USA for sending us down to the festival.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Confession & Song: Buffalo Hunt – “Anonymous Pleasure”

GOODNESS GRACIOUS THE SECOND SONG OF OUR 3rd PODCAST SZN IS HERE!! “Anonymous Pleasure” was written by Texan songstress, actress, person, and place, Buffalo Hunt AKA Stephanie Hunt, and inspired by the true real life confession of an older Australian woman. Get your bath salts & licorice sticks warmed for this one, y’all. It’s steamy. THIS IS PART ONE OF A TWO PART EPISODE. Clap HANDS!!

Big thanks to Visit Austin and Brand USA for sending us down to the festival.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Artist Interview: Wood Belly – “Late Bloomer”

BEHOLD PART TWO of our episode featuring  Colorado “new grass” experts, Wood Belly!! We highly recommend listening to the confession and song in PART ONE before Wood Belly singer Brennan Mackey tells us all about his life got flipped, turned upside down and, if you’d like to take a minute to just sit right there, tell you how he became the prince of a band called Wood Belly.

Check out more Wood Belly here: https://www.woodbellymusic.com/

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Confession & Song: Wood Belly – “Late Bloomer”

Colorado “new grass” aficionados, Wood Belly, turn our confessor’s low key embarrassing first romantic encounter into high key folk pop delight in OUR FIRST EPISODE OF OUR THIRD FULL SEASON. HuZzAH!!! In this here part 1, you’ll hear the song and confession, and Zac talk about meeting his wife. In part 2, you’ll hear Wood Belly member Brennan tell you about the band’s history and what exactly it sounds like when doves cry.

Check out more Wood Belly here: https://www.woodbellymusic.com/

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Caelin: “Will I Ever Love Again”

Love at first sight has ignited countless fairy tales, both modern and classic. But as common as those instantaneous head-over-heels plunges are in day-to-day life, statistically speaking, “happy endings” are a lot less likely. And breakups sure do suck…but that’s why breakup songs go so hard, regardless of your relationship status.

This is where we call in Caelin, an Austin singer-songwriter who categorizes their sound as “dreamy emo country”, which, while accurate, excludes the elements of folk, R&B, indie Americana, and pop we heard on her debut record save me from me that dropped last May. This year, Caelin’s coming hot off some caught feelings…well…more like getting over an intense infatuation. And she’s set to expand on that timeless “loved and lost” outlook over the course of her sophomore EP Strangers In Love, out sometime around late Spring or early Summer.

For Strangers In Love, Caelin enlisted the production talent of KUTX favorite Walker Lukens as well as the Big Apple’s Ben Coleman to help this poignant post-mortem panoply of past memories and soul searching really pop. This morning Caelin released Strangers In Love‘s introduction, “Will I Ever Love Again”, ahead of a show 9PM tonight at Mohawk alongside Madison Baker, Barb, and a DJ set from Vonne. Just in time for the flurry of Valentine’s Day drivel that always floods the first half of February, this Lukens-produced lead single captures the enduring, existential pain of occupied thoughts over the one who got away for a wholly pensive effect…all without sounding pouty or puerile. Between an ethereal arrangement, lyrics that scour emotional scars, and one hell of a vocal performance, “Will I Ever Love Again” might bury you alive in heartbreak. So remember. The magic may be momentary. But the music and its empathic abilities last forever.

The new season of Song Confessional starts Feb 7th!

The new season of the Song Confessional podcast arrives on Feb 7th! Walker Lukens and Zac Catanzaro travel around the world collecting anonymous confessions from everyday people and then give them to songwriters and bands who turn them into new original songs. This season features new songs from artists like Golden Dawn Arkestra, Woodbelly, Buffalo Hunt, Pigeon John, and more !

Kam Franklin: “Byrd And Shepard”

Admirers of modern Texas soul-funk-R&B ought to already be well acquainted with Houston outfit The Suffers. And if you’re hip to that group, you’re also aware that part of what makes them so special is frontwoman Kam Franklin.

This powerhouse can make just about any subject matter sound groovy as hell, so as a performance artist, orator, and activist, it’s no surprise that Kam’s comfortable broaching some tough topics as well. Within her solo saga that really started picking up steam at the turn of the 2020s, Franklin’s recently tackled two notorious United States hate crimes, that of James Byrd, Jr. and Matthew Shepard on her aptly titled latest single “Byrd And Shepard”.

The weight and pain of all-too-real bigotry history doesn’t stop Franklin from soaring on “Byrd And Shepard”, in which a simple percussive pulse and tortured key-and-six-string pairings support Kam’s championing of checking facts and protecting poignant books that policymakers want to ban. Behold Kam Franklin as she joins the star-studded lineup that wraps up KUTX’s 10th Birthday Concert Series with Walker Lukens’ The Last Walt tomorrow night at The Paramount, and give “Byrd And Shepard” a few extra spins not only in the name of preserving our painful-yet-important past, but also because it’s a powerful ballad that could’ve been a Whitney Houston/Tina Turner-Highwaymen collaboration.

Stella and the Very Messed: “Merchandiser”

Lots of longtime local concertgoers are likely to remember Cruiserweight. Now Cruiserweight has shared new music as recently as 2021, but not long before that, a couple of its crew members split off and started something a bit more…messy. We’re talking about Dave Hawkins and Stella Maxwell, co-founders of Austin quintet Stella and the Very Messed.

After testing out a couple of stripped-down demos at the turn of the decade, Stella and the Very Messed got a jump on the impending pandemic in early 2020 with their debut nine-track as a five-piece On Fences. Sure, S.a.t.V.M. retain a lot of the straightforward pop-rock formulas, hook-ready melodies and all, of their predecessor, but Stella et. al are admittedly more risky when it comes to playing around with arrangements and placement of instruments. Even though they kept listeners engaged with a triplet of new tunes in mid-2021 (Marigold), Stella and the Very Messed reckoned with the all-too-real creative obstacle of parenthood last year and ultimately decided to tap the brakes.

Well Stella and the Very Messed are finally back, and apparently pretty keen on making the most of their latest batch. They joined forces with Test Tube Audio producer Kevin Butler as well as Paradise Lunch co-producers Adam Mason and Walker Lukens to elevate a pair of pop originals into the pantheon of 2023 Austin-originating stunners. Catch the full band next Saturday at Sunny’s Backyard for an Oktoberfest release show, get a glimpse into “Crystal Ball” when you can, and make some space in your wardrobe for a T-shirt or two as you cash in with “Merchandiser”. It’s got a deceptively gentle introduction, because once “Merchandiser” hits the 40-second mark, the five-piece fires on all cylinders with ’80s-style synth arpeggios and MIDI percussion, moody electric guitar chords, a serious strut of a bass groove, and, almost goes without saying, the frontwoman’s fierce, refreshingly human vocals.

Katherion: “Roses and Daisies”

Song of the Day is finally back from a much-needed break! And as a token of appreciation for everyone’s patience in the interim, we’ve got some great new picks to catch y’all up on, one of which made an inaugural streaming appearance just last weekend.

We’re talking about Katherine Yuna, also known as Rion Reed, but best recognized by their stage name amalgamation Katherion. This Houston native with growing Austin exposure has been singing their whole life and penning tunes for the past decade, but didn’t unlock and realize their true form as Katherion until a semi-recent, life-changing experience in guided psychoactive therapy.

True to their handle (pronounced “Kath-e-Ryan”), this project provides a healthy balance of masculine and feminine, spiritual and emotional, and sonically speaking…indie and alt-rock. In fact, ahead of their upcoming debut album 33, Katherion teamed up with indie-alt-rock innovator and Song of the Day favorite Walker Lukens to co-produce the record’s lead single, “Roses and Daisies”. So before we’re blessed with the full bouquet of unbridled acceptance on 33 later this Fall, which’ll also include the sophomore single “Thank You” in about a month’s time, bask in the refreshing fragrance of “Roses and Daisies”, whose authentic aromas alternate between vulnerable solo verses and defiant double-tracked choruses. By the time you get across the bridge and into the final hook, you’ll better understand Katherion’s admirable mission of empathy, uplift, and humanity’s mutual bonds, no matter how you identify.

Walker Lukens: “Man & Wife”

As a commemoration of factory personnel, harsh conditions, and tumultuous union strikes, Labor Day often loses its meaning for all the folks just enjoying a Monday off. But a century-plus later, we can still take a moment to appreciate some less-industrial aspects of life that often get taken for granted. For example keeping up a clean, appealing appearance usually takes a continued concerted effort, and once those looks help you land a partner for life, the work doesn’t stop; it’s a real labor of love to keep a marriage going strong past the initial honeymoon phase. Keep those in mind as we commend all the hard work Walker Lukens has done over the years. He’s elevated himself from mere multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter to a monolithic must-have producer-for-hire here in Austin, not to mention a concept-driven creator who’s helped mastermind the Song Confessional podcast and the vast Texas Wild collaboration. Still, seems like Walker’s got an undying hunger (and somehow enough time) to make great tunes on his own accord. On that note, this Friday Walker Lukens finally unleashes his fourth full-length Accessible Beauty, self-produced and recorded at Lukens’ Paradise Lunch recording studio. He’ll be taking these eight mellow originals on the road for a week-long East Coast tour in October ahead of three Central Texas shows in mid-December, including “The Last Walt” December 15th at The Paramount as part of KUTX’s 10th Birthday Concert Series. But even though the locals will have to wait a while to catch the new Walker live, Lukens was kind enough to toss us some early access to Accessible Beauty with the LP’s latest and final lead single. A spiritual sequel-of-sorts to this April’s “The One Who Loves You”, “Man & Wife” keeps the affection flowing with shimmering synths, vocal harmonies that weep with reverb, and a hard-rocking hook that gives this multi-coupling of sounds some tasteful dynamic range. So consider celebrating Labor Day with a spell of spontaneous romantic gestures that’ll reaffirm the work you’re willing to put into a relationship (be it currently in existence or a dream for the future). And even if you’re single by choice and plan on keeping it that way, the soft, mature sensuality of “Man & Wife” will make your inner beauty feel sexier and more readily available then it’s ever been on a Monday.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez on Uvalde, one year later

On the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Uvalde that left 19 fourth-graders and two teachers dead, state Sen. Roland Gutierrez says he’s still pushing for gun reform. Meanwhile, trust in police remains frail in Uvalde.

A report from Matamoros on migrants in limbo after the end of Title 42.

As Austin firefighters rack up millions in overtime, the department is working to address mental health needs.

And state officials team up with a Texas producer for a walk on the wild side: a musical celebration of Texas parks.

Artist Interview: The Tender Things – “One Like You”

The Tender Things cooked up a classic song based on reckless decision gone wrong. In Part 1, you heard the confession and The Tender Things’ live recording of “One Like You”. In this episode, when Walker talks with Jessie about the confession, how it inspired the song, self care, and a whole host of other fun stuff.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

Help us out! Rate the show and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify.

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Confession & Song: The Tender Things – “One Like You”

The Tender Things cooked up a classic song based on reckless decision gone wrong. In Part 1, you’ll hear the confession and The Tender Things’ live recording of “One Like You”. Tune in for the next edition, when Walker talks with Jessie about the confession, how it inspired the song, self care, and a whole host of other fun stuff.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

Help us out! Rate the show and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify.

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Confession Response #2: Omg you drank my…

We’re back with the premiere of a new song that was submitted in response to our latest open confession call, in which a woman unknowingly drinks a container of…idk you’ll have to find out. This episode features the song “Wild at Heart” by Kelly Dugan. Walker and Zac break down the song and how it aligns so well with the confession.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

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Walker Lukens: “The One Who Loves You”

If you weren’t already well aware, we here at KUTX love Walker Lukens; we shined our Artist of the Month spotlight on this perfectionist performer back in January 2015, right when Walker Lukens and (his backing band) The Side Arms released their Jim Eno-produced single “Every Night”, a tune that now totes more than two million streams on Spotify. Since then Walker’s sort of mimicked the mysterious monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, touching down to intrigue the masses and revolutionize listener experiences, but only when the moment is just right.

That’s not to say that Walker hasn’t kept busy since 2019’s ADULT, his final pre-pandemic piece of output. On top of dropping two more full-lengths and an EP, Lukens has been helping to interpolate flirty little secrets as one of the two masterminds behind The Song Confessional podcast. Walker’s also been graciously offering up his production prowess and fine-tuned formulas as a noble service for his fellow Texas creatives.

But as seductive as Walker’s sonic sorcery is in-studio, if you’ve seen him play live, you know how whetting it is to witness the carefully-crafted studio magic replicated almost identically onstage, expertly-cut a capella loops and all. So imagine our excitement this morning when Lukens announced his fourth studio full-length Accessible Beauty for release in August alongside plans for a promotional tour.

That welcome news arrived alongside Accessible Beauty‘s lead single, “The One Who Loves You”, a re-introduction to Walker’s retro-pop tastes. Between invigorating reverse guitar, sexy synth squelches, and processed vocals that soar through a torrid chorus, “The One Who Loves You” boasts an enormous sense of space that easily towers over most of Tame Impala’s less-intense installations. Wish you could express your feelings as fiery as Walker does? Just forward this one to whomever you carry a torch for and get ready for romance.

Artist Interview: Matthew Logan Vasquez – “Untouchable”

Matthew Logan Vasquez creates a song about a rich boy in west Texas who seems to get away with everything…including homicide. In Part 1, you heard the confession and the song. In this episode, Walker chats with Matthew about his work, the confession, and how it inspired his song “Untouchable”.

Got a story you want to confess and maybe have it turned into a song? Join the Song Confessional mailing list to stay up to date on all of our latest episode, news, and the whereabouts of our confessional booth: https://songconfessional.com/connect.

Help us out! Rate the show and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify.

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