Max Frost drops new EP ‘Intoxication,’ plays ACL Fest late show

Max Frost performs at Stubb's Thursday, March 20, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for the AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Max Frost performs at Stubb’s Thursday, March 20, 2015. (Stephen Spillman / for the AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Roughly two years after Max Frost’s debut EP “Low High Low” dropped on Atlantic Records, the follow up is out. The 23-year-old Austinite released a six song collection called “Intoxication” today and he’s feeling good.

“It’s been way too long,” he says. Frost is not playing ACL Festival this year, but he’ll debut the new material for an Austin audience on Saturday when he headlines an official festival late show at the Parish.

The past two years have been a whirlwind for Frost. He toured the country with fellow Austinite Gary Clark Jr. in 2013 and then again with Fitz and the Tantrums last year. He changed management companies and he’s been writing. A lot.

“I feel like I’ve really skimmed off the top of material that I’ve been working on for a couple years,” he says. “I think this is really strong stuff that I’m putting forward and so I feel completely ready to go out and play it a bunch, and show it to people, and kind of live in it as my world for a while.”

The new songs find Frost mixing his signature dance pop with bluesy breaks, old school soul and even hints of woozy psychedelia.

“I look at music as an abstract art form no matter what you’re trying to do with it,” he says. Frost believes even in a commercial context genre boundaries are not fixed the way they used to be. The psychedelic elements in his music are derivative of the kind of hazy vibes that permeate modern R&B pop artists like the Weeknd. “I call it kind of a haunted spaciousness that I’m trying to create with all these songs,” he says.

These days Frost’s physical world is split between Austin where he lives and New York City where his lawyer, label and management are based. But unlike many other Austin artists who have signed to major labels Frost has no plans to relocate to the Big Apple full time.

“The person I see myself morphing into from spending time in New York, I just don’t want to be that mean of a person,” he said.

The city has a rapid fire pace and New Yorkers have a reputation for being brusque, but it’s the sonic landscape that gets to Frost. “The fact that you can’t find a silent space kind of drives me crazy,” he says. “I’m sure I’d get used to it but it does something to my subconscious and puts me on edge. That noise and sirens.”

Luckily, he won’t have to worry that East Coast grind for a while. The day after his Austin show he leaves for a few dates in Arizona before joining Wild Child on their western U.S. tour.

Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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