Austin360 On The Record: Laura Scarborough, Suspirians, Uche, Dani McDonnell

OUT THIS WEEK

Laura Scarborough, “Reflection.” There’s a lot to take in on this nine-song release from the pianist known primarily for her key role in the outlandish local outfit Golden Dawn Arkestra and as a backing musician with artists including Kat Edmonson, Bob Schneider and Suzanna Choffel. Though it’s not her first record — she released two more than 15 years ago, before turning toward a supportive role — “Reflection” is an adventurous and ambitious return to the solo spotlight. Working with producer Kyle Ellison, Scarborough casts spells using all manner of keyboard-based instruments, from piano to synth to accordion to vibes to toy organ. On the ethereal soundscapes “Picture Show,” she aspires toward mystical melodic heights once reached by the late Austin composer Laurie Freelove. The title track is most notable for fascinating webs of syncopation, woven with both instruments and vocals. The two non-originals here are revelatory: John Lennon’s “Love” is performed exquisitely with piano and vocal only, while “Figure Eight” brilliantly rescues a hauntingly memorable tune from the 1970s TV-cartoon “Multiplication Rock” series and gives it the legitimate musical showcase it has long deserved. Release show June 8 at Townsend. Here’s the video for the track “Silence,” which begins with Leonard Cohen-esque rhythmic-chant verses before soaring high into the stratosphere at the end:

Suspirians, “Ti Bon Ange” (Super Secret). American-Statesman/Austin360 writer Deborah Sengupta Stith observes: “The latest from local alt-rock trio Suspirians is a heavy dose of psychedelic hypnosis. Melodies drift into and out of focus over fuzzy guitar riffs propelled by relentless pulsing rhythms courtesy of Lisa Cameron, who used to play drums for Roky Erickson.” Release show June 9 at Electric Church. Here’s the track “Black Holes”:

Uche, “My Generation” (EP). Most of the six songs from this Texas State University student lean toward high-energy dance music that splashes modern electronica waves over an old-school funk foundation. But he’s not averse to slowing things down: “Made of Steel” is a tender soul ballad that brings Uche’s vocal talents to the fore. Release show June 8 at Scratchouse. Here’s the video for the single “Mob Luxuries”:

Dani McDonnell, “Neon’s Callin’” (EP). Known until now as a member of her husband Aaron McDonnell’s band the Neon Eagles, Dani steps out here with five songs that mine a similar honky-tonk vein, though she gets a bit darker and swampier on the second track, “Louisiana Cannonball” (written by producer Tate Mayeux of local duo Mayeux & Broussard, whose other member Brian Broussard plays bass and lead guitar on the EP). Of the other four songs, two are co-writes with her husband and two were written by him. Release show June 9 at Threadgill’s South.

 

MORE RECENT RELEASES: New records from Austin artists Fastball, Missio and more

COMING SOON

  • JUNE 16: Jon Wolfe, “Any Night in Texas.”
  • JUNE 16: Abram Shook, “Love at Low Speed” (Western Vinyl).
  • JUNE 16: Quin Galavis, “The Battery Line” (Super Secret).
  • JUNE 16: Night Drive, self-titled, release show June 16 at Cheer Up Charlie’s.
  • JUNE 20: Stan Coppinger, “Fortune Morning,” release show June 20 at One-2-One Bar.
  • JUNE 21: Sam Baker, “Land of Doubt.”
  • JUNE 23: Slaid Cleaves, “Ghost on the Car Radio,” release show July 16 at Stateside at the Paramount.
  • JUNE 23: Eliot Lipp, “Skywave” (Young Heavy Souls).
  • JUNE 30: Shakey Graves, “Nobody’s Fool/Donor Blues EP” reissue (Dualtone), playing Sept. 15 at ACL Live.
  • JULY 1: Mount Pressmore, “The Masked Battle,” release show July 1 at One-2-One Bar.
  • JUNE: Carolyn Wonderland, “Moon Goes Missing” (Home).
  • MORE ON THE RECORD: Check out our full archive of recent local releases

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