We’ve got a great scene here in Austin, that’s no secret, but it never fails to warm my heart when a local can kill it both in the local and national scene, which is precisely what Emily Cross has done not only with her act, Cross Record, but also with her work in Loma. I’m pleased to share a new track from Cross Record off her forthcoming LP. “PYSOL My Castle” does what every great song from Cross Record has done in the past, which is put the spotlight on Cross’ incredible vocals. What’s different on this track is the instrumentation seems more keen on electronic elements–you get layers of soft synths from the get-go, and the whole tune feels subtler than before. I’m excited to hear more from this upcoming record, which will be out on 8/2 via Ba Da Bing! Pre-order it here.
So this may not be the biggest new news that you’ll be met with on this Thursday, but it’s very important that you get aboard the Loma train as it’s about to leave the station. Hell, since the band is already signed to Sub Pop, you may already be too late–but it’s good to stay informed. Loma is the project some Austin darlings– Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg and Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record. Together they’re making entrancing music, as you’d expect from this epic combination, with Cross’ vocals at the centerfold, ensnaring your attention. The instrumentation bubbles underneath with a sinister tonality to it– synths pulse and glide while the steady drum beat keeps everything at a constant run. The whole track builds to a nice ending that you should definitely check it out. I’m stoked for the release of their self-titled debut, which you can pre-order herebefore its February 16th release via Sub Pop.
It should come as no surprise that members of Cross Record and Shearwater will garner a lot of attention, but the depth of song’s like the one below clearly hint at how great this new Loma album is going to be. There’s a wonky, unsettling groove that opens the track, but Emily quickly comes into the picture to calm the storm with her voice. This track was built for her, with layered atmospherics withering in and out of the tune, leaving plenty of negative space for her to carry us with her voice. A different vibe than the first tune, but one we adore over here; look for the self-titled album to hit on February 16th via Sub Pop.
Sub Pop have a winner with Loma; I’m going to come out and say it right now. The project is a new musical partnership between Cross Record and Jonathan Meiburg, so it should be no surprise that we’d fawn over the release. And, to be honest, if one was to concoct this mixture fictionally, the actual band sounds precisely what one might create. Emily’s voice seems to be at the front, with Meiburg’s deepened, operatic tones just behind hers; the track unfolds ever so carefully, allowing for instrumental flourishes that are important in the work of their own respective projects…particularly the falling piano line that enters periodically. It’s ornate, textural pop, and we’ll get to hear the entirety of their self-titled debut album on February 16th.
We’re nigh approaching SXSW season, so naturally you should be taking advantage of the fact that your city has great music to see year round and head out to a show this weekend before it’s so crowded that you can’t stand it. Below are merely the highlights and my picks as to where you should post up Friday and Saturday nights. Wherever you go, you really can’t go wrong; the weather should be lovely, so go outside during the day and round out your night somewhere downtown…
While Julia Lucille has more than made a name for herself since her move to Austin, she’s clearly going for big things with her next release, Chthonic. This new single starts memorably enough, with this ghostly charm haunting your ears…the music sits back behind Julia. But, there’s a brilliant songwriting touch at the 2 minute mark, with quieted guitar ringing carefully, almost crafting a synthetic effect behind the vocals (all courtesy of Paul Mitchell of Tapajenga). This is one of those tunes that’s easiest to describe if you simply call it other-worldly; it’s quality continues to unfold as the song does. Look for her new effort on April 7th via Keeled Scales. Austin folks can catch her Saturday night at Mohawk with Molly Burch and Cross Record.
Dear lord, there’s so much going on this weekend, so many releases and what not. Please, support one another and go out and listen to some great music, buy some stuff. There’s something for you all, so just get out there, hit up a show, grab a drink and have a rad weekend. Here’s my suggestions… Read more
Cross Record consists of Emily Cross and her husband, Dan Duszynski. Put these two absurdly creative individuals out on a ranch in Dripping Springs, TX after living in the buzzing metropolis Chicago for years and what you get is Wabi Sabi; a stirring example of highly contemplative and carefully crafted experimental folk music. The album balances minimalism with explosive bursts of sound for thirty-five minutes that seems to last much longer in its infinite depth.
The Curtains Part is the opening number on the record, and the band slowly eases you into their eclectic folk soundings. A storm of instrumentation wells up around Emily Cross’ central vocals, hollow guitar strumming, orchestral fluttering and cymbal fills encompass this peripheral storm, hinting at whats to come. The band begins to really sink their teeth into you on Two Rings, the instrumentation here playing on the quietness that they established in the first track and building upon this with their layers of both electronic and organic sounds.
Then you get to the gale-force strength trio of tracks that starts with Steady Waves, and Cross Record completely wins you over. While the first two tracks come across as a bit of an awakening for the duo, this middle portion of the album gives you a taste of their utter power and strength once theyve come to that awakening. First off, Steady Waves is an utterly gorgeous song, an example of the precise balance between softness and ferocity that Cross Record do so well on Wabi Sabi. Cross vocals are impossibly tender and lush, contrasted by the growling guitars that buzz in and out of the mix, while winding acoustic guitar simmers underneath. The number is at once serene and unsettling, building its way to a crescendo and then petering out to a quiet ending, akin to wind chimes gently stirred in the breeze.
Next up in the meat of the album is High Rise, which takes Cross vocals to an impossibly translucent level, their whispery quality floating atop the bombastic, exploding drums that give the song its drama and such a drama continues on Something Unseen Touches A Flower To My Forehead, which forsakes the gentleness of the previous two tracks and just hones in on the violence of the folk music.
The rest of the album falls under the quieter side of Cross Records spectrum of sound, though this is by no means boring or too subtle. On the contrary, I found myself constantly enamored with the entrancing simplicity that these two have harnessed into Wabi Sabi. Do yourself a favor and savor this album, as its bound to become one that you revisit over the coming year.
Tuesday night had me forsaking all other responsibilities to hit up this early show at The Sidewinder— I just couldn’t resist the chance to check out this bill of both local and touring bands. Read on after the jump for some thoughts on the chilly evening of folksy tunes and indie rock.
Before the show season hits a halt and lets us settle into the Holiday season, we should all take advantage of the great traveling acts still coming to our fair city. One such act, who’ve always done well here, is Here We Go Magic; they come into town to play at The Sidewinder tomorrow night at 6:30 PM. The group comes into town supporting their latest release, Be Small, which has been well received far and wide. It focuses on the gentle building of pop structures within the confines of Luke Temple’s mind, always sounding elaborate and ornate simultaneously. Joining them will be Brooklyn’s Big Thief and local up-and-comers Cross Record; I promise you that Cross Record will be the band on everyone’s lips next year, if they aren’t already. Show is $12 HERE, with doors at 6:30 PM…so you can get home and get some sleep.