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.
Once again, there’s tons to do on a weeknight in Austin, but this will be one of those shows you decide to go to last minute that makes your week. I was geeking out pretty hard over this folksy and beautiful new track from Cross Record that was released last week, so I’m stoked to get to hear it in the live setting, as well as the rest of their folksy catalogue. Not to mention, the bill tonight at Cheer Up Charlie’s is stacked with other great local acts like Future Music and Silent Land Time Machine that will delight you with their and electro-acoustic psych soundscapes. Doors aren’t until 9:30, and the best part is that it’s completely free. Come out and support the locals, won’t you?
I know it’s only Tuesday, but you’ve just found your song of the week right here. Cross Record, if you didn’t know, are husband and wife duo Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski, and they’ve been making waves around the live scene here in Austin, and will blow you away with this track “Steady Waves,” which mixes loud and soft folk rock elements for the perfect balance of gentle sound with a growing rock bite to it. It’s a sprawling number, with tinkling wind-chime-esque guitar plucking alternating with heavy rock builds, showing the influence of the remote recording location out in Dripping Springs. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to close your eyes and simply let the music push and pull you where it pleases, forgetting everything else is around. It comes off of Wabi-Sabi, the band’s upcoming record that is set to be released January 29th on Ba Da Bing Records, which you will most certainly want to pre-order right here.
Nathan and I were commenting on the plethora of shows going down this weekend, so I figured it’d be nice to lay it all out night by night for you so you know where you need to be to hear the best tunes. I’ve got all your options broken up by days and if you play your cards right, it could be a weekend filled to the brim with great local and visiting acts. See for yourself after the jump and prep with some tunes… a few more hours and it’s the weekend!