Austin360 On The Record: Adam Torres, Giulia Millanta, Blue Healer

OUT THIS WEEK

Adam Torres, "Pearls to Swine"

Adam Torres, “Pearls to Swine”

Adam Torres, “Pearls to Swine” (Fat Possum). There’s an affectation common to millennial-era male singers that I sometimes refer to as “indie-rock vocal disease,” an overplayed falsetto that can obscure an artist’s truer voice. But that’s not what’s going on with Adam Torres, even if your first reaction to hearing him likely will be surprise at his upper register. It quickly becomes clear, however, that it’s not a put-on: This is simply how Torres sounds best as a singer. Those high notes underscore the beauty and emotion of the chamber-styled acoustic instrumentation that surrounds him on these nine tracks. The material is largely pastoral in tone, as titles such as “Mountain River” and “Morning Rain” would suggest. Torres, who played with the Ohio band Southeast Engine before relocating to Austin for grad school at UT, recorded “Pearls to Swine” this past winter with co-producer Erik Wofford and a talented cast of locals including percussionist Thor Harris and violinist Aisha Burns. Release show Sept. 10 at Cactus Cafe. Check out the official video for the lead track “Juniper Arms” above.

giulia-millanta-moonbeam-parade-cd-coverGiulia Millanta, “Moonbeam Parade” (Ugly Cat). Building upon 2014’s “The Funambulist,” Italy native Millanta once again delivers a fascinating album that defies genre categorization. The credits read like an Austin A-team, with aces such as guitarist Charlie Sexton, bassist Glenn Fukunaga and drummer Dony Wynn among a cast that colors this adventurous material with the razor-sharp skill it deserves. Almost all the material is original, with co-writers on a few tracks including her husband David Pulkingham, guitarist Gabe Rhodes and fellow songwriter Michael Fracasso. The lone cover is an ingenious Italian-and-English take on David Bowie’s “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide” that features Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb as a deadpan duet partner. Playing Oct. 21 at Strange Brew. Here’s the track “Pieces”:

bluehealeralbumcoverBlue Healer, self-titled. Not many bands fresh out of the gate get a crack at ACL Fest, but someone apparently believed enough in this trio formed just last year to give them a shot. Former Sons of Fathers member David Beck is out front on lead vocals, guitar and bass, teaming with keyboardist Bryan Mammel and drummer Dees Stribling, who also contribute vocals. On this 13-song debut, they travel in lush, melodic indie-pop, sometimes dreamy and sometimes punchy, veering slightly into dance/electronica territory at times. Of special note is the last track, “I.Y.F.L.D.” (for “If You Feel Like Dancing,”) which may or may not be a tribute to Prince, but it sure sounds that way. Playing Oct. 8 at Austin City Limits Music Festival. Here’s the track “Luminescent Eyes”:

Texas Never Whispers, “The Further I Go West” EP. The four-song follow-up to last year’s self-titled debut splits the difference between indie-rock and Americana realms, with a focus on quality songwriting that puts bandleader Tim Regan’s lyrics front and center. Release show Sept. 10 at Hotel Vegas. Here’s the track “This Is Your Life,” which features a guest duet vocal from Sweet Spirit’s Sabrina Ellis:

Gary Clark Jr., “Take Me Down” single. It’s just one song, released early on digital formats from the upcoming Sept. 23 soundtrack to the film “Deepwater Horizon.” But if it’s a harbinger of where Austin’s hottest musician will turn next, we’re intrigued by the soulful-folk, acoustic-guitar-and-harmonica-based arrangement, spiked with slide runs and floating on Clark’s smooth-as-silk vocal delivery. Playing Dec. 4-5 at the Paramount.

COMING SOON

SEPT. 12: Flyin’ A’s, “You Drive Me Crazy,” release show Sept. 18 at Strange Brew.
SEPT. 13: Keeper, “Corners” EP, playing Oct. 7 at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
SEPT. 16: Willie Nelson, “For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price” (Legacy), playing Oct. 9 at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
SEPT. 16: Meat Loaf, “Braver Than We Are” (429).
SEPT. 16: Jesse Dayton, “The Revealer” (Blue Elan), playing Nov. 4 at Antone’s.
SEPT. 16: East Cameron Folkcore, “Better Off,” release show Sept. 24 at Empire.
SEPT. 16: Elijah Ford & the Bloom, “As You Were” (Nine Mile).
SEPT. 16: Wild Bill & the Lost Knobs, “Scumbags of the Rodeo,” release show Sept. 16 at ABGB.
SEPT. 16: Golden Bear, “Dimensional Place” (C-Side).
SEPT. 16: Jackie Venson, “Live,” release show Sept. 18 at Antone’s.
SEPT. 17: Henry & the Invisibles, title TBA, release show Sept. 17 at Empire.
SEPT. 23: Katie Shore, “Fall Away,” release show Sept. 22 at Continental Club.
SEPT. 23: Reckless Kelly, “Sunset Motel” (Thirty Tigers).
SEPT. 23: Ruby & the Reckless, “In My Head.”
SEPT. 23: Tele Novella, “House of Souls” (Yellow Year).
SEPT. 23: The Sword, “Low Country” (Razor & Tie), acoustic counterpart to last year’s “High Country”; playing Emo’s Oct. 14.
SEPT. 23: Tameca Jones, self-titled EP.
SEPT. 23: Gary Clark Jr., “Take Me Back” single, from soundtrack to “Deepwater Horizon” film.
SEPT. 30: Survive, “RR7349” (Relapse), release show Sept. 30 at Barracuda.
SEPT. 30: Dale Watson, “Under the Influence” (Red River).
OCT. 1: Jon Dee Graham, “Knoxville Skyline” EP.
OCT. 7: Sophia Johnson, “One Year,” release show Oct. 7 at Continental Club.
OCT. 7: Eric Johnson, “EJ” (Provogue), in-store Oct. 3 at Waterloo Records, playing Nov. 19 at Paramount Theatre.
OCT. 7: Terri Hendrix, “The Slaughterhouse Sessions” (Wilory).
OCT. 7: Jamestown Revival, “The Education of a Wandering Man” (Republic), playing Nov. 4 at Emo’s.
OCT. 7: Thor & Friends, self-titled (LM Duplication), playing Sept. 10 at Cactus Cafe.
OCT. 14: Tinnarose, “My Pleasure Has Returned” (Nine Mile), release show Oct. 14 at Barracuda.
OCT. 14: Paul Cauthen, “My Gospel” (Lightning Rod), release show Oct. 14 at Stubb’s indoor.
OCT. 14: Walker Lukens, EP, release show Oct. 14 at 3Ten.
OCT. 21: “Highway Prayer: A Tribute to Adam Carroll” (Eight 30), in-store Oct. 26 at Waterloo Records with James McMurtry, Gordy Quist (from Band of Heathens), Jamie Lin Wilson, Noel McKay &Brennen Leigh.
OCT. 28: Bonnie Whitmore, “F— With Sad Girls,” pre-release show Sept. 29 at Continental Club.
OCT. 28: Brownout, “Brown Sabbath, Vol. 2,” release show Oct. 29 at Scoot Inn.
FALL: Croy & the Boys, title TBA.

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