OUT THIS WEEK
Wild Child, “Expectations” (Dualtone). Four albums in, the Austin indie-folk band-that-could has become increasingly confident without losing the sense of childlike wonder that’s so central to the spirit of their music. “Expectations” is an ambitious undertaking, one that involved worldwide work at studios in Norway, Wales, Montreal, Philadelphia and Seattle as well as homebound tracks in Austin and Wimberley. Much of this mixed-bag of production was done with local luminaries, including Adrian Quesada, Matthew Logan Vasquez and Max Frost, but a key outsider is Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, who was involved in the Norway sessions. Musically, the dozen tracks on “Expectations” follow suit from the songwriting style that co-leaders Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Baggins have long established, brought to fruition by the lush instrumental support of their well-knit crew of Sadie Wolfe (cello), Matt Bradshaw (keyboards/trumpet), Cody Ackors (guitar/trombone), Tom Myers (drums/percussion) and Tyler Osmond (bass/backing vocals). They go big on songs such as the cinematic “My Town,” show off their pop smarts on the horn-spiked “Back & Forth,” and strip things down to beautiful bare essentials on “The One.” Release show Feb. 10 at Empire. Here’s a live video that Wilson and Baggins made for “The One”:
Curtis Roush, “Cosmic Campfire Music” (Modern Outsider). This might irk some fans of Bright Light Social Hour, the popular Austin band Roush and Jack O’Brien founded more than a decade ago, but judging from this debut album, I think I like Roush better as a solo artist. Recorded at Austin’s Cacophony studio with producer Erik Wofford but written largely in the West Texas desert (thus the title), these nine tracks reflect those wide-open environs with spacious production that leaves plenty of room for the music to breathe. Touches of Bright Light Social Hour’s psychedelic rock ’n’ roll are evident here, but the acoustic foundation of mesmerizing tracks such as “Polestar” and “You Already Got Me” suit Roush’s tuneful arrangements and plaintive tenor vocals well. Nestled in the middle is “Marfa,” a gorgeous one-minute instrumental that succinctly sums up the spirit of the album. In-store Feb. 8 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the track “Getaway”:
Wade Bowen, “Solid Ground” (Thirty Tigers). A Waco native and Texas Tech grad who lived in Austin for a couple years after college and is now based in New Braunfels, Bowen has released nearly a dozen records since his 2002 debut, gradually becoming one of the biggest names on the Texas roadhouse circuit. “Solid Ground” is full of immediately appealing twang-rock tunes, and there’s a special Austin connection with the song “So Long 6th Street,” which also name-checks Antone’s and features backing-vocal cameos from Miranda Lambert and Jack Ingram. Other tracks extend the record’s Texas/Mexico theme, including “Acuna” and “Day of the Dead,” which references the West Texas border town of Lajitas. The backing crew here is impressive, including the husband-wife team of guitarist Audley Freed and keyboardist Jen Gunderman, Foo Fighters/Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee and longtime Sheryl Crow guitarist Jeff Trott. Playing Feb. 23 at Mohawk outdoor. Here’s the track “So Long 6th Street”:
Jerry David DeCicca, “Time the Teacher” (Impossible Ark). Formerly of the Ohio indie band Black Swans, songwriter and record producer DeCicca moved to the Texas Hill Country a few years ago. The rural geography seems to have influenced his music: “Time the Teacher,” his second solo record, is built on minimal guitar, piano and acoustic bass foundations, with DeCicca’s plainspoken vocals drifting serenely above them. London-based co-producers Jeb Loy Nichols and Benedic Lamdin added flourishes of horns and female vocals horns here and there, deepening the mystic moods of these 10 songs. Release show Feb. 10 at Beerland. Here’s the album’s title track:
Abhi the Nomad, “Marbled” (Tommy Boy). Born in India and a resident of many countries and U.S. cities while growing up (thus the Nomad stage name), Abhi recently landed in Austin, where he’s attending Austin Community College. “Marbled” features R&B-influenced hip-hop and pop tracks that partly document his tumultuous journey. Here’s the video for the track “Somebody to Love”:
Hovvdy, “Cranberry” (Double Double Whammy). The second album from the indie-folk duo of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor features a dozen songs that draw upon their rhythmic backgrounds (both started as drummers) but divine their appeal mostly from hushed vocals wound around gauzy guitar melodies with string accents. Release show Feb. 9 at Barracuda. Here’s the track “In the Sun”:
Jeff Bryant, “Sleeping With the Lights On.” More than an EP if not quite a full-length record, this seven-song release stresses Bryant’s commercial pop instincts. A former Alpha Rev band member who still tours with the group, Bryant also has played a supporting role in the bands of Cory Morrow and Hudson Moore. Release show Feb. 11 at Empire.
- FEB. 16: Loma, self-titled (Sub Pop).
- FEB. 16: Altamesa, “From the Idol Frontier, Vol. 1: The New West/The Drifter Speaks” EP, release show Feb. 16 at White Horse.
- FEB. 22: Arielle LaGuette, “Settle For You” EP, release show Feb. 22 at Stubb’s indoor.
- FEB. 23: Shawn Colvin, “The Starlighter” (Amazon).
- FEB. 24: Wilson Marks, “Peregrine,” release show Feb. 24 at Cactus Cafe.
- FEBRUARY: Sharks in the Deep End, EP.
- MARCH 2: Sue Foley, “The Ice Queen” (Stony Plain), in-store March 4 at Waterloo Records.
- MARCH 2: Sarah Sharp, “Wake” EP.
- MARCH 9: Uncle Walt’s Band, “Anthology: Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Could Sing” (Omnivore).
- MARCH 9: Patterson Barrett, “Give ’Em What They Want,” release show April 10 at Saxon Pub.
- MARCH 16: Caroline Says, “No Fool Like an Old Fool” (Western Vinyl).
- MARCH 23: Erika Wennerstrom, “Sweet Unknown” (Partisan).
- MARCH 23: Johnny Chops & the Razors, self-titled.
- MARCH 30: Holy Wave, “Adult Fear” (Reverb Appreciation Society).
- APRIL 13: Wood & Wire, “North of Despair” (Blue Corn).
- APRIL 13: Josh T. Pearson, “The Straight Hits!” (Mute).
- APRIL 14: Andy Macintyre, “Melomania” EP, release show April 14 at Antone’s.
- APRIL 20: Ty Richards, “Welcome to Flat Earth.”
- APRIL 20: Arkansas Dave, self-titled (Big Indie).
- APRIL 27: Mobley, “Fresh Lies, Vol. 1.”
- MAY 4: Shakey Graves, “Can’t Wake Up” (Dualtone).
- MAY 4: Jeff Plankenhorn, title TBA.