Photo by Christina Fallara
Abram Shook has long been something of a utility player when it comes to the Austin music scene. The multi-instrumentalist has spent time with local luminaries like Shearwater, the Low Lows, and the Great Nostalgic. A few years ago, he also helped organize Single Cuts, a short-lived but interesting project that tasked various Austin musicians to write and record a song in a 24-hour time span. To Shook, collaboration adds a necessary spark to the creative process.
Not that he’s lacking for inspiration. Before settling in Austin, Shook spent time traveling the world. He grew up in Southern California, soaking in the sunshine with a hefty dose of jazz and rock. He eventually took his talents to Boston and Portland and circled the globe both as a musician and a tourist. His keen eye and ear are now united on Sun Marquee, Shook’s solo debut. Out January 21, the record features Shook’s unique musical outlook, and he also gets help from a number of friends he’s picked up along the way. Members of Dana Falconberry’s band provide backing, and local producers Danny Reisch (Midlake, White Denim) and Erik Wofford (the Black Angels, the Octopus Project) pitched in mixing assistance. Sun Marquee marries Shook’s jazz background with an ethereal psych-pop sensibility, twisting and turning with every song. “Coastal” hits a hard groove and tips its cap to T. Rex’s Marc Bolan–albeit with a hazier atmosphere. The song–and by extension, the album–prove that sometimes it takes an entire village to raise an artist to his highest heights.