The first time I met Chase Weinacht was back in high school. Let’s call it 2008. He and fellow Marmalakes co-founder/frontman Josh Halpern dropped by band practice. Despite their infinitely superior songwriting and performance skills (and assumedly awareness of such), I’ll never forget how humble and supportive they both were. And still are.
Fast forward to 2019. Chase, Casie Luong, and I were Artist Instructors for Mother Falcon Music Lab. As Casie and I essentially lectured on how to create a podcast, Chase just sat back there behind the campers and soaked it in. Like the biggest, most curious kid in the classroom, for another charming moment of humility.
And if you’ve ever seen Chase perform, you know that he’s not only one of Austin’s most talented songwriters, but also one of the most graciously unassertive. Which is why you might not have heard about his new project, Feeling Small. Based on the band’s debut single, Feeling Small seems to be a reflection on our overall insignificance in the grand scheme of things, a blissful sense of nihilism. Even though Weinacht could tackle such subject matter in a solo setting, he’s surrounded himself with some of his best friends, who also happen to be a few of Austin’s most prolific: Why Bonnie’s Sam Houdek on bass, The Stacks/Good Looks frontman Jake Ames on lead electric, Frozen Orange/Lomelda/Daphne Tunes contributor Andrew Stevens on bari guitar and percussion, and Estuary expert ear John Michael Landon handling sampler, synth, and production duties.
That first tune, “One-Eyed Paradise”, is a series of little snapshots, like smash cuts that exemplify the beauty of moments that may seem minuscule at first. A soft shaker crescendo starts off this short-and-sweet stoner confessional (complete with lyrics about breakfast edibles and expensive pens) that ends up sounding like Mac DeMarco took a chill pill on top of his natural lackadaisical character. Huge bonus points for that one-of-a-kind Estuary sense of acoustic space, tight instrumental interplay, and a shift of focus away from the weight of life’s abundant anxieties.
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