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Songwriters





Powerhouse Singer Cari Hutson Drops New EP "Salvation & Soul Restoration"

As anyone who has ever studied singing can tell you, music fans often define stellar singing according to whether they are partial to singers in the big voice belting camp (Pat Benatar, Brittany Howard) or the sweet, feminine, clear as a bell camp (Diana Ross/Emily Blunt/Katy Perry.) Austin favorite Cari Hutson is however a vocalist bridging both preferences, unexpectedly Carrie Underwood-like for someone who once played Janis Joplin for six months in a very credible off-Broadway production. 

 

On her first EP since winning a coveted Black Fret artist’s monetary grant in late 2019, she sings romantically about domestic bliss, finding me-time as a mom of a four-year-old during a pandemic and the callousness and dishonesty of Donald Trump and Governor Abbott in the funk-blues-dance tune, “Blame”, a throwback to the Stevie Wonder/Sly Stone era where a protest song could be funk and blues to which a person could dance. Hutson’s sweet voice and her rocking gritty voice possess so much impact that her few over-the-top wails seem just sort of there

 

On her video for “My Breath”, the 42-year-old Hutson, backed by her good-natured band (which includes her husband on guitar), takes the stage with the face of a cherub, softly arranged ginger curls, perfect makeup and a tasteful pantsuit that would be so Hillary Clinton if it weren’t for the shawl with  vertical black and white stripes. In true Stevie Nicks fashion, complete with sweet sultry looks, she beckons the audience to come into her spider web. If “My Breath”'s Melissa Etheridge hooks and guitars don’t make it to modern rock radio in 2021, I would be very surprised. 

 

The ironically encouraging thing about the times our society is in is that there is an increased awareness of a seriously flawed America. An EP like Salvation & Soul Restoration, just like a Biden presidency, would be good at any time, but in 2021, the second year of pandemic hell, an artistic AND obviously appealing album release that sounds like the Refinery 29 blog would sound if it was a pop album is going to speak to many, many diverse fans while keeping its integrity and edginess.

 

- Jill Blardinelli

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Mitchell Jay "DEARMAN Down"

Mitchell Jay of The Weekend Run Club recently released his debut solo EP, "DEARMAN Down".

The EP's lead single is called "I Don't Know" and is accompanied by the video below.

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Sean McCole "Fade Away"

Sean McCole of Life of Death has released a new single called "Fade Away". This is his second single since the release of his debut EP, "The Color, Envy", back in 2020.

Life of Death also released a new single, "Disco Decor", earlier this month. Here he is joined by Andrew Green, Dan Silberman, Sean Jacobi, Ben Norsworthy and Sonya Major.

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Wild Pink's "A Billion Little Lights"

 The release of new music from the Wild Pink is cause for mellowed-out celebration and so today we're in luck because the band (but not that band) just yesterday released their third full-length LP (yes I realize that's redundant) and it's called A Billion Little Lights. From the first bars of "The Wind Was Like A Train" an auditory spell is cast by John Ross & Co. as a warm-hued synth melody is joined by chiming guitars and marching band snare and weeping steel guitar woven together like a comfy quilt and finally Ross himself as he gently intones a Zen koan about what sounds like a game of horseshoes played on a frozen lake and how he's got your back despite the seeming recklessness of this scenario with the song culminating in a string section flourish all clocking in at an economical 2 minutes and 37 seconds.

Listening to the opening track I can't help but think of Jason Lytle and Grandaddy during that group's heyday, or at least their gentler material, but Wild Pink provides an Americana spin on the indie aesthetic that sets them apart, and on the whole, A Billion Little Lights finds many beautiful wrinkles to explore in the veins of blissed out folk and alt-country and roots rock reveries all while contemplating subjects such as the inevitability of time's passage and the violent settlement of the West and social media oversharing and Carl Sagan's Cosmos and Florida retirement homes (Ross grew up in Central Florida before relocating to NYC years ago) with the latter two of these enumerated subjects acting as inspiration for the song below whose video features one of the stars of Schitt's Creek and also features backing vocals (just like "The Wind" above) from Julia Steiner who fronts the Chicago-based band Ratboys. (Jason Lee)

 





Jackie Hayes "eye 2 eye"

Jackie Hayes is back with her first single of 2021, the Billy Lemos produced "eye 2 eye". This is the first new music from the Indie Pop artist since the release of her debut EP, "Take It, Leave It" in 2020.

According to Hayes, "This song is about feeling lost and not knowing what to do with my life. It was written back in March and I was looking for a direction at the time."

photo by Adam Alanzo

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