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Under the Big Blue Umbrella Sky, You Should Know, Murmuration, Nectar

Technicolor Hearts, Carrie Ann Carroll, Rare Birds in Flight, and Wendy Colonna

Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., April 18, 2014

Texas Platters

Girlie Action

On the cover of Technicolor Hearts' debut Under the Big Blue Umbrella Sky, the Austin/Los Angeles duo's singer and onetime Agent Ribbons provocateur Naomi Cherie comes wrapped alongside co-conspirator Joseph Salazar in multicolored yarn and holding a dreamcatcher. It's the kind of scene you expect from the freewheeling hippies at Eeyore's Birthday, but this isn't acoustic guitar-driven barefoot work. "Chicago" and "Pretty" motor the six-song EP with a drum machine and psychedelia. Fanciful enough, dreamcatcher definitely applies. Relative newcomer Carrie Ann Carroll might classify herself as a folk musician, but the local's got country heartache on You Should Know. Coordinating with Austin mainstays Will Sexton, Redd Volkaert, Brad Rice, and Michael Hardwick, the NYC transplant shows off her back porch introduction to Texas, adopting a Southwest narrative on "Call Me Darlin'" and "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done." Duo Rare Birds in Flight first found its voice in Wisconsin and it shows. Birds of a feather, twins Elizabeth and Laura Moliter flocked to Austin and released six-song EP Murmuration after a few years of gigging around town. "Waiting for Roses" demonstrates a careful study of folk standards belonging to Simon & Garfunkel and Joan Baez, and not a speck of sibling rivalry. After an eight-month illness that threatened to take her out of music, Wendy Colonna returned with last fall's long-player Nectar. Follow-up to 2010's We Are One, it dabbles in the swampy Southern rock of her home state of Louisiana, as she cuts loose with Guy Forsyth on "Dance With the Moon" and delivers a fitting, carefree hot-weather ballad, "Texas Summer Love."

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