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Folk/Country

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Katy Kirby's "3" EP Is Maybe the Best Austin Music We Missed Last Year

Katy Kirby is somethin' real rare. Not just in relation to her pure voice, or true skill with words, but in a very now-specific way: Katy Kirby, somehow, in 2016, has figured out how to write a love song both fresh and authentic.

Kirby released a three track EP aptly and simply named 3 in mid 2015, but it just got over to our ears about a month ago, and it is without question one of our bigger misses of last year. This is a strong piece of recording, the kind of single-person guitar-heavy folk that can only come from an obviously young, obviously flipped-on young person that hits their musical stride at just the right age to capture that elusive something, as wild as it is sad, that only the youth ever have captured in folk. Often someone this age, and this hip to modern sounds, writes folk that's indulgent and immature in its approach, not knowing the history of its genre enough and wanting to be taken too seriously. But not Katy Kirby. You can take her seriously right now. She's got the stuff, and she's using it right.

3 is evidence of that. The EP in question begins with its strongest track, though don't take that to mean that the rest isn't quality. It is, but opener “Every Time” is a sunny day special. Like a classic folk song (it wouldn't surprise me one bit to learn that Kirby is well versed in such songs), it gets to its good hook early, and damn is it good when Kirby sings “Every time I count my blessings/I count you first."

That there's a line worthy of a song, as is Kirby's voice itself that sings those endearing words. You notice that voice particularly in the bridge, where most of the 60s-inspired “fields-and-mountains” guitar picking quiets down to let you hear her timbre nice and clear. Katy Kirby's voice is the star of these tracks, just as it should be, and you know it's truly quality because it's best when it hits its highest notes. Those tone are pure and clear like only some talented young girls have ever been able to do (well, and Diane Coffee), and it's not something you have to question. You hear it in your bones.

The other two tracks may not grip me in the heart (and have me thinking of that countryside air I grew up in) quite like “Every Time,” but they're nothing but good as well. “Every Time” is followed by the much more country “Come Back to Nashville,” a nice track that shows off Kirby's story-building skills and continues to trbrsl her modern era-bucking ability to write those damn love songs that really get to you.

3 then closes at its most experimental, though with a track that's still quite well-built and efficient for being so. Called “All of Everything,” the song is much slower than the rest of the record, and it ditches the guitar for a hymn-ready organ sound and a filtering of Kirby's robin's tones through a heavy electric fade. It sounds like a song you'd unexpectedly hear playing out of one of those old kids “The cow says moo” toys, complete with barnyard sounds and the true spirit of the South inside of it, and indeed the whole song feels like Kirby's take on the past seen through the lens of now. It's her own hymn, sripping the form of its oldschool dogma and making it breathy with the air of the modern, independent era, which has its own way of looking at the world's pretty things.

This is a real romantic's record- no bullshit and full of lovely clouddrifter harmonies. It might be almost a year old at this point, but it's good enough and still little-known enough to absolutely demand to be on your Spring 2016 playlist, espeically as we hit the kind of rare temperate days in Texas that Kirby says the record was completed during. The next sunny day, take this one out with you and sit with it a bit in the light and the breeze. You won't regret it one bit, nor will you regret taking a second to try Katy Kirby on for size below.

(You can also vote for Katy Kirby for The Deli Austin's Artist of the Month to the right, so get on that if you like what you hear.)

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Boston folk rocker Seth Wonkka plays Middle East on Monday (3/28)

A few months ago, Boston folk-rock musician Seth Wonkka shared “I Have It All” (streaming below), a sparse guitar track that intrigues with its emotional grandeur. Featuring hearth-like instrumentation reminiscent of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love,” the song has the smooth-voiced Wonkka praising a lover’s sheer presence while kindly asking for the “cool breeze” that will keep him calm amidst the haste and noise. Reportedly at work in the studio recording (having previously released ‘More Than Him’), Wonkka plays at Middle East in Cambridge, Massachussetts on Monday (3/28). – Zach Weg 

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Freak Nest Festival - A New Music and Arts Fest for the Bay Area -3/26

 

We're excited to share that the upcoming community based music festival Freak Nest will be taking place on March 26th at The Cave in the Dogpatch District of San Francisco!

Freak Nest is an independent Bay Area music festival showcasing the local artistic community. The festival will be held on March 26th, 2016, at a warehouse in the Dogpatch district of San Francisco.

Freak Nest was founded as a way to unite the local community of artists, musicians, performers, entertainers, writers, photographers, poets, and people. The festival is an attempt to revitalize of our inherent responsibility to stand together in this time of spiritual and financial adversity.

All of the bands are local and independent. The lineup consists of Down Dirty Shake, Night Shapes, fpod bpod, Little Sister, Trans Van Santos, LOCO TRANQUILO, Michael Musika, Mayya and the Revolutionary Hell Yeah as well as a handful of other special guests, including Adam Vida (FKA A-1).

Local artists being featured include but are not limited to Kyle DeMartini, Taylor Lissandrello, Charlie Prather, and Will Durkee.

 

FREAK NEST 

 

 

 March 26th, 2016 

 

 

The Cave 

 

 

3201 3rd St San Francisco, CA

 

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Rosu Lup Album Release Show at JB's March 20

What began through a Craigslist meet-up between Jonathan Stewart and Josh Marsh has resulted in the creation and celebration of their recently released debut album, Is Anything Real. Tonight, Rosu Lup will be anchoring a Philly-forward show at Johnny Brenda’s after the band took the new album on the road, performing the atmospheric indie-folk tracks from the group's latest effort. The tone of their music shifts from soaring Tom Petty stadium-style rock to blooming, wandering folk with lush arrangements that recall The Acorn and Lord Huron. Jonathan Stewart has a gentle, pleasing voice that, at times, sounds more than just a little like Adam Granduciel from The War On Drugs; not that being reminiscent of one of Philly’s biggest musical exports is a bad thing. Longtime Deli favorites, Levee Drivers, led by the grinding and gritty voiced August John Lutz II, will be warming up the crowd this evening. Rounding out the show is Hemming, the acoustic project of singer-songwriter Candice Martello, who we know from the rollicking and too short-lived project Omar, with drummer/manager Nick Fanelli. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave., 8pm, $10, 21+ - Adam G.

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Providence folk artist Ian Faria plays AS220 on 3/29

A little over a week ago, Providence folk musician Ian Faria released his unabashedly joyous latest album, ‘Animal Songs.’ Starting with the ambling “Raccoon Song,” halved by the elegant “Cassafrass Blues,” and including “Prayer Song” (streaming below), a ukulele-jumped track that features fellow Providence eccentric Edgar Clinks, the technically masterful fifteen-song effort (which follows Faria’s ‘Covers’ album from last year) exudes real-life gravitas while jubilantly soaking in summer joy. Ian Faria plays AS220 in Providnce, Rhode Island on 3/29. – Zach Weg 

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