Abram Shook – Sun Marquee


Rating: ★★★★ ·

Abram Shook has toiled around the streets of Austin for some time trying to find the right band to fit his unique vision of where his songwriting could go.  But, after various line-up changes to his former group, Great Nostalgic, it seems Abram made the right decision to try things out all on his own.  His album Sun Marquee carries his vision further than we expected, leaving listeners with a warm experience that you’ll find ultimately rewarding.

Those of you getting your first introduction should immediately take notice of Abram’s unique voice when you play “Recovery.”  It’s got a bit of a drawl to it, coated here in an effortless cool that evokes the best of warm climes. He uses the strength of his voice as a central focus in his songs, and he builds the tracks from there.  The following tune, “In Mind,” has incredible layering with varying guitar parts working in unison, though each occupying their own space and time.  It reminds me of the best moments of old Here We Go Magic tunes, though there’s more of a dreamy quality to the numbers on Sun Marquee.

But while much of the record is devoted to songs that carefully unfold as minutes pass, there’s a few tunes that have some immediacy to them that’s gratifying upon the moment you press play.  Take the smooth stomp and swagger of “Distance,” which features a melodious chorus that allows Abram Shook to display his knack for catching the ears of even the most casual of passersby. Or you could take the bright ringing of the guitar that starts “Lifeguard” before the rest of the track begins to unfold into a blissful world of purposeful pop music. It even pulls in this great bit during the chorus that illustrates a bit of playfulness, not to mention Shook’s musical range/influences.

Ultimately, you want an album to be about an experience, about a journey you take as a listener, from start to finish.  I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap things up for this listen than with “Black Submarine,” taking all the convincing aspects of the record to this point and compiling them into one strong tune.  Whether it’s the guitar interplay or the wash of layers or even the distinctive vocals, you’ll find that it’s a perfectly emphatic finishing stroke by a talented artist.

People always reference stepping out of the darkness and into the light, and it seems that Abram Shook‘s own journey to solo artist serves as   his own coming party.  Sun Marquee shows him stronger and more creative than we’ve heard him to date, providing listeners with an album they can revel in for more than just a few rotations on the turntable.


Download: Abram Shook – Distance [MP3]

CONTEST: Abram Shook Sun Marquee Vinyl Giveaway!!!

Abram.Shook.1.300As long time supporters of Abram Shook, we’re overly excited about the release of his new album, and you should be too! Sun Marquee has already shown its promised with a few incredible singles (which you can stream below), but we’ve got a steal for you! For the price of a simple comment, you can get your hands on a vinyl copy of the record, courtesy of Western Vinyl (and us). I figure since it’s an Austin artist, we should make you leave a comment about the best place in Austin to get a taco.  What’s your favorite place? Comment, and it could win you a free LP!

But, if you’re not able to win, and you live in the Austin area, you’ll have a chance to get your hands on a copy during his release show on January 24th at the Mohawk.  Tickets are $6, and opening acts Royal Forest and Good Field aren’t too shabby either.  Stream the tracks and leave a comment. Contest ends Monday at 11:59 PM.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/03-Distance.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/06-Coastal.mp3]

Austin Spotlight: More New Music from Abram Shook

Abram.Shook.1.300Just a few weeks ago we brought you the first single from Abram Shook, and now he’s gone and outdone himself with another track for your ears.  I love the sound of his voice on this recording, plus the light-hearted emotion that’s created in the tune itself.  There’s lots of layers, but the construction of the track is such that it keeps things airy and joyous.  Listening to this track, you can see why we named Abram as one of our Emerging Artists for 2014. His album Sun Marquee is going to be a must-have when it’s released by Westerny Vinyl in early 2014.


Download: Abram Shook – Distance [Mp3]

Friday Top 5: Emerging Austin Artists 2014

2014 Austin BannerThose in Austin have surely taken note that the Austin music scene seems to have been on a high as of late, and 2014 is starting to look just as good for our local community.  We wanted to take a little time out of your day to harp on some new acts, or acts that we expect huge things from in the upcoming year.  They’re numbered in no particular order, just the five artists to look into. Feel free to disagree, and add on to this list so we know who else to keep an eye on. I completely expect a few of these artists to emerge beyond Austin and make some pretty heavy national waves as well.

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Austin Spotlight: New Music from Abram Shook

Abram.Shook.1.300We’ve long been huge supporters of Abram Shook, one of the nicest musicians around Austin.  We adored his work with Great Nostalgic, but now he’s opted to go it his own, which might be for the best if you take a listen to this track.  I hear a bit of Bolan in his vocal delivery, but I like how that works against the twanging guitar that calmly sits in the background.  Sounds like he’s got things moving in the right direction, which we’ll all get a chance to hear when he releases his Sun Marquee, his new album for local label Western Vinyl.


Download: Abram Shook – Coastal [MP3]

Single Cuts Music Collaboration

Not long ago, our amigo Abram of The Great Nostalgic came to us with this crazy idea of gathering some of Austin’s finest musicians and asking them to write, records, and mix a song in one day.  Despite thinking the guy may have lost his mind, we loved the idea and were excited to see if he could actually pull it off.  Well now welcome Single Cuts, the project created by Mr. Shook along with some of the finest talents this town has to offer.  Already the collaboration project has posted a new song entitled “Jackie” which features members of The Lemurs, Royal Forrest, One Hundred Flowers, vocals from Dana Falconberry, of course Abram from TGC, and engineering from Erik Wofford.  For a song written, recorded, and mixed in less than 24 hours, it actually turned out pretty swell.  Stay tuned to the Single Cuts website, twitter, and facebook for updates on another upcoming project.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Jackie.mp3]

Download: Single Cuts – Jackie [MP3]

SXSW Interviews: The Great Nostalgic

Make no mistake about it, The Great Nostalgic are easily one of our favorite up and coming local bands.  What with an appearance on our album’s of the year list in 2009, labeled as Austin album of the year, and major exposure here, it’s easy to see we dig their music.  In our quest to let the world know more about TGN, we recently sat down with leading man and primary songwriter Abram Shook to discuss the current state of his band.  You’ll be happy to hear that they are still going strong and getting ready to release their sophomore LP on the world.  Follow the jump for more.

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