Seattle singer-songwriter, Damien Jurado, has released an expansive volume of work since the days of his original cassette-label in the 90’s. Many years later, he concludes a dream-inspired trilogy of records with his latest album, Visions of Us on the Land. This is the 12th full length studio record from Jurado, and he continues to expand his sound through cosmic layers of synths, strings, keyboards, and vocal arrangements across all 17-tracks. While staying true to his roots, Jurado pushes the limits of songwriting tradition into a dreamy psychedelic realm with the production help of Richard Swift (known for his production work with acts such as The Shins & Foxygen). Questioning mortality and spinning a tale of self-discovery, Visions is curiously beautiful and Jurado’s voice creates a calm narration, sharing similarities to Nick Drake.
After playing a show at the Parish last night with Ben Abraham, Jurado stopped by Studio 1A this morning to share a few new songs off Visions. He delivers warm acoustic renditions of his tunes sans-band, which is a testament to his brilliant songwriting. Jurado will continue his own journey on an extensive US and European tour. So for now, sit back and enjoy his performance below.
From wrestling bears to founding music festivals, Eric D. Johnson has done it all. As the single permanent member of the band Fruit Bats, Johnson has been writing music under the name for close to two decades, during which he’s released six studio albums and composed for seven feature length films. Having worked alongside The Shins, Ugly Casanova, and The Dodos, Johnson’s talent can be traced through some of the best indie rock music of the last decade. After a bittersweet farewell in 2013, fans thought they’d seen the last of Fruit Bats. But after Johnson rejoined the project in 2014, it appeared much more as a hiatus than a tragic end.
Released last week on Easy Sound, Absolute Loser is Fruit Bat’s first studio album since the band’s triumphant reunion. A tale of resilience and redemption, the album is a story of absolute loss – written in the aftermath of Johnson’s own personal tragedies. Following his work with film-makers, Johnson integrates an element of story telling unlike any of his previous works. Produced by Thom Maonahan (Vetiver, Neal Casal), Absolute Loser sheds the sunny pop elements found in 2011’s Tripper and trades them in for a 70’s aesthetic featuring Johnson’s long lost love: the banjo. The new americana spirit of the album melds with the upbeat rock melodies fans know and love, creating a fusion that makes it hard to be anything but grateful that Fruit Bats is back.
Today, KUTX was lucky enough to have Fruit Bats join us in Studio 1A. Just in case you can’t make it out to their show tonight at Parish, you can stream the studio performance below.
Five years ago, Melbourne artist Ben Abraham stood on a windy roof with a ukelele and a video recorder in the hopes of getting Sara Bareilles’ attention. His song ‘Will You Sing With Me Sara?‘ was a viral hit. She quickly responded and just a few short months later he was singling alongside her at a Melbourne show.
Ben Abraham’s debut album Sirens is a uniquely emotional experience. It’s a kind of sincere intimacy that nestles into a soft spot right between the nostalgia of childhood innocence and the heartbreak of a fresh break up. Abraham’s experience in screenwriting contributes a cinematic element while the album’s delicate folk melodies and angelic ballads tell a deeply personal tale of love and loss.
Released March 4th on Secretly Canadian records, the album has found a home alongside bands The War on Drugs and Gardens and Villas. Although Sirens is his first studio album, Abraham spent years leading up to the release building a strong fan base, by first touring with Bareilles and later with Emmylou Harris, as well as collaborations with Gotye.
Abraham stopped by Studio 1A yesterday. Listen to the performance below.
– Roxanne Zech
A heart wrenching breakup ballad, a windows-down car ride anthem, a Friday night dance club banger – Lucius’s new album Good Grief has a song for every occasion. The Brooklyn based 80s dance-pop band released their sophomore album in early March and it’s been climbing the charts ever since. Good Grief marks a mature transformation from the upbeat optimism of debut album Wildewoman, detailing the raw emotional ups and downs of relationships. The album’s profound intensity is occasionally interrupted by songs like “Born Again Teen,” an energetic dance jam that provides sweet comedic relief to an otherwise emotionally rich track list.
As we head into a week full of forecasted thunderstorms, sit back and take a listen to “It Almost Makes Me Wish For Rain.” You might feel a little bit brighter about May’s crummy weather.
Listen to their Studio 1A performance from this weekend down below.
Two people shouldn’t be allowed to make this much noise. I may only understand physics via late night wikipedia rabbit holes, but I’m confident that between the two of them, Black Pistol Fire is accelerating the inevitable heat death of the universe. Every lick from Kevin McKeown’s guitar threatens to ignite the atmosphere, and Eric Owen is a controlled conflagration of head-banging beats. The last time a two-piece gave me a bangover (a post metal show affliction where your neck is sore from headbanging too violently) this bad was after hearing the opening track of the Black Keys’ Thickfreakness for the first time.
Despite the irreparable damage these Canadian pyromancers have caused to the upper spines of their fans, and the reality that they are potentially guiding us towards a more entropic universe, Black Pistol Fire is KUTX’s Artist of the Month. McKeown and Owen came into Austin via Toronto several years ago and quickly became known around town for their high-powered live shows and undeniable musicianship. Pulling inspiration from Muddy Water’s Chicago style electric blues, and rock n’ roll greats from Led Zeppelin to Nirvana, the duo embody the raw energy of their rockin’ mentors without losing an ounce of the sound of a larger lineup. Witness them live at their album release party for Don’t Wake the Riot at Emo’s this Friday, and prepare yourself with their Studio 1A session below.