I Am The Albatross: “Port City”

The Austin music census released last week confirmed the gathering clouds on the horizon: our local music industry is booming, but often at the expense of the musicians themselves. High rent, declining music sales, and low-paying local shows are some of the main culprits. It’s never easy being a musician to begin with, but as Austin changes, it’s getting progressively harder.

It’s only fitting that this creeping unease would pop up in some local music. I Am The Albatross formed a few years ago as trio, debuting last year with a well-received EP. Lonesome Son–out August 7–takes a hard look at Austin’s realities. The band’s ragged rock is triumphant more than despondent, but the themes are written in Jesse Berkowitz’s lyrics. Though “Port City” tackles the I-10 corridor, the parallels are pretty apparent. “Maybe it’s the long nights, maybe it’s the whiskey,” he sings, “fear of the future or the weight of history / Maybe I just spent too much time alone.” It’s the sound of a cautionary tale: a once-vibrant community that’s crashed back to earth. Download “Port City” below and catch them at the Sahara Lounge tonight.

–Art Levy

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