LOST X LOST WEST: PELVIS WRESTLEY

Pelvis Wrestley is Benjamin Violet, Sun June’s Sarah Schultz, Behnam Arzaghi, Daphne Tunes’ Santiago Dietche, and Hannah McVay, the group is currently recording their debut album with local pop outfit Smiile’s Jake Miles. -Austin Chronicle

LOST X LOST WEST: ABRAM SHOOK

Austin-based musician Abram Shook is a remarkable wellspring of ideas when it comes to songwriting. When he sat down to write his third album, he produced two distinct batches of songs, one very personal collection titled Love at Low Speed, and a darker, more detached collection titled Love in the Age of Excess. Due to time and money constraints, he opted to only record the more personal album, which explores themes of love, loss, and connecting with others, all themes he’s been careful to avoid on previous albums. As he explains, “I avoided the subject of love in the past because I thought it was a cliched, overwrought topic. What else could I really add to the canon? Writing the album directly coincided with some pretty big changes in my life, mainly the ending of an 11 year relationship.” Love at Low Speed proves that Shook has plenty to offer on these topics, and that he’s at his best when he digs deep, mining his years of experience for confessional tales peppered with hard-wrought wisdom. 
The production on the new album is fittingly more intimate and organic than what we heard on his previous albums Sun Marquee (2014) and Landscape Dream (2015). Inspired by the unique worlds of sound David Bowie created throughout his career, Shook and close collaborators Christopher Cox and Grant Johnson kept the album’s production focused from beginning to end. “With Love At Low Speed I wanted to use a more consistent palette of sound to tie things together better than I had on my previous records. A touchstone album for me has always been Club Da Esquinha (Milton Nascimento/Lo Borges). It explores multiple genres but filters everything through the same beautiful production arrangements, which lends to its cohesion. I think in the back of my mind, I’m always striving to achieve something close to that album’s rare blend of unique songwriting and challenging production choices, without sacrificing a certain pop sensibility that invites new listeners.” Their efforts paid off, and throughout Love at Low Speed the world of sound they created balances Shook’s tender tenor with sensual bass grooves, and strings provided by Austin’s Tosca String Quartet. Mixed by Noah Georgeson (known for his work with Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Andy Shauf, et al) the album has a clarity and warmth that focuses your ear on Shook’s emotional delivery. 
Shook grew up in California where he spent his days surfing, studying jazz, and absorbing the rich radiant music of Brazil and West Africa, before moving to Portland, and then Boston, before finally settling in Austin, TX over 10 years ago. “Settling down in Austin for a longer period of time has allowed me to establish a rich community of peers to draw from for influence and support. With time comes trust, and I’ve learned to give over some control to others in hopes to gain a perspective on songwriting that I might normally overlook.” In addition to becoming an important part of Austin’s creative community, being landlocked for a decade has helped Shook develop an affirming perspective on his past, which helps him quell his anxiety, and focus on his creative pursuits. “I write about a California that no longer exists in the nostalgic form that I hold in my memory, just as the people that have journeyed in and out of my life are no longer the same either, nor am I the same to them. If everything is malleable at all times that means I am too, and that’s a notion I can take comfort in.” – Western Vinyl

LOST X LOST WEST: STAR PARKS

Austin-based band Star Parks, originally a solo project, frontrunner Andy Bianculli has grown Star Parks into an elaborate nine-piece mini orchestra. They boast a rich and soulful pop production, with a trombone, trumpet and vibraphone rounding out the usual guitar, bass, drums and keys. Star Parks tends to bleed into the melancholy; their lush and upbeat arrangements disguise often cynical lyrics. Their sophomore album, The New Sounds of Late Capitalism further dives into this concept, discussing themes of alienation and disappointment. The substantial lyrics add yet another layer to an already textured and expansive sound that draws from the group’s large pool of talent. — Annie Lyons, KUTX Intern

Photo credit @michaelminasi

Star Parks full lineup made up of Andy Bianculli, Nathaniel Klugman, Sam Pankey, Andy Beaudoin, Sam Howden, Derek Phelps, Wayne Myers, Keith Lough, Jason Frey, and Carolyn Trowbridge. 

LOST X LOST WEST: FRIDAY BOYS

Friday Boys is the absurdist post-punk duo of songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Scott Friday paired with the hyperactive textures of drummer Balin Friday. Together the two create a fuzzed-out, sharp-witted brew all their own, with notes of the 70’s New York avant-garde and the raw Detroit garage rock of the 90’s.

LOST X LOST WEST: Joseph Salazar

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

Joseph Salazar is an Austin musician in two bands: Technicolor Hearts and Spectrabeam. Halcyon Eon is a glimpse into his solo works.

LOST X LOST WEST: THE LIVING ROOMERS

The living roomers just put hot coals in your socks when you weren’t looking. Snuck into your bones with elemental uncertainty. They are radiating harmonies and thumping rhythm and good vibes. You’re nowhere but right here right now. TLR is made up of Truman Flyer, Jacko Ricko, Alison Berry, and Lily Dale. They hail from mid-city Los Angeles, between downtown and the beach. Their music is born of that dialectical aura, giving ground and air to what so many find disorienting in the middle of this beast of a city. A lost generation is rising from the ash pile of online identities, confused and asking “is this it?”. What feels good and what is important? Is there Morality, anything absolute in a time when subjectivity rules? Is there somethings which can bring us all together or are we bound only by each of our unique and interconnected webs? Where every voice has a platform on which to speak, will we continuously be divided until warring factions become clear, will we be lost among the current of too many tides, or will the forces of connection and love overpower the rest? TLR is working on the side of love and truth. That through our differences there are some things which bring some of us together and some thing that brings us all together.  

LOST X LOST WEST: DRIFTING PIXELS

Drifting Pixels is Danny Piccuirro (Songwriter/Producer/Drummer) out of Austin Texas. Drifting Pixels is Danny’s first self-titled solo album. Hailing from New Jersey and graduating from Boston’s Berklee College of Music in 2010, Danny began circulating the Austin music scene, performing with such bands as Glares, The Heavenly States, The Lovely Sparrows, Zettajoule, Knife in the Water, and Warm Sugar. This debut EP is an invitation to self-reflection and to question modern values. These songs come from a place of hope for a less polarized political and social structure, and to inspire people to create the reality we all know we deserve. Call it optimism. Call it idealism. Call it Drifting Pixels.

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

LOST X LOST WEST: LADYFANG

The four-piece claims “chaos pop-rock” as their genre, whipping up a heavy maelstrom of funk, folk, indie, alternative and above all – high octane rock. Ladyfang’s got no trouble biting through any predictable genre formula, and with Cara Juan’s uncouth lyrics and unabashed delivery on top, it’s a truly energizing, off-the-wall set of sounds. – KUTX 98.9

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

LOST X LOST WEST: GO FEVER

Go Fever is an Austin-based rock and rolla band fronted by Australian singer-songwriter Acey Monaro with Keith Lough (guitar, hair), Ben Burdick (bass) Joshua Merry (guitar, hair) and Stijn Dobbelaere (drums).

Daydream Hawker, a 5 track EP recorded at Public Hi-Fi, Austin, engineered by Brad Bell (War On Drugs, Arcade Fire) and mixed by Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Gruff Rhys, Perfume Genius), was released February 2019.

The band has toured the US nationally, performed at SXSW and Treefort Fest and opened for Mini Mansions, Peach Kelli Pop, A Giant Dog and Plague Vendor.

Their eponymous debut LP was independently released in February 2017 and pushed its way onto the North American College and Community Top 20 Chart. The Austin-American Statesman raved: “the self-titled album, built around Aussie ex-pat Acey Monaro’s solid songwriting, was one of 2017 strongest debuts”.

Go Fever are heading back in the studio in early 2020 to record a full length album and will also be working on a special covers EP to be released mid-year. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

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