Photo Credit: Emree Weaver/KUTX

Austin’s Zettajoule have done a lot of growing since their last release in 2015, which, in this case, means shrinking, paring down from a full band to a stellar synth-pop duo. It’s that shrinkage, however, that seems to have truly allowed Meggan Carney and Matt Sheffer to grow. Their latest EP Always Looking Up sees the duo taking their sound and presence up several levels, sounding like pros who have been releasing gold records for a decade. The 6-song EP was recorded and mixed totally on an iPhone before having it mastered at Matt Parmenter’s Ice Cream Studios (Quiet Company, Slomo Drags). The duo each take the lead on two of these tracks, lending the album a luster of the latest in clean, cool synth-pop that can sometimes wax a little new wave.

Austin musicians respond to the cancellation of SXSW by recording new music during the quarantine of 2020.