Tim Easton

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Record Reviews

Tim Easton

The Truth About Us

There's a lot to like about Tim Easton's The Truth About Us. An L.A.-based singer-songwriter, stylistically Easton's all over the map, but this ain't no disjointed folk dribble. In fact, one of the endearing qualities of The Truth About Us is the way it slides seamlessly from introspective ballads to jangly pop to flat-out rock without a trace of self-consciousness or unnecessary posturing. Members of Wilco, along with Victoria Williams and Mark Olsen, join Easton on his New West debut, the former adding punch on "Happy Now," which recalls Elvis Costello's "I Hope You're Happy Now" with its ringing guitars, and on the slowly building ode to lost love, "I Would Have Married You," which borrows a page from Tom Petty with its easygoing lilt and hooky chorus. The album's centerpiece is "Get Some Lonesome," a Dylanesque guitar and harmonica ramble that features the telling couplet, "He's just a shadow, but he wants to be real." Even though Easton invites comparison to such giants of songwriting, he's able to withstand it, as he has enough originality in his melodies and lyrics to draw the listener in and keep your attention. Another part of that is the production work provided by Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, U2, the Bangles), who mixes bits of Mellotron, beatbox loops, and e-bow guitar with Easton's basically acoustic-based sound to create backdrops that are startlingly original. The truth about The Truth About Us is that it's one of the best collections of songs released so far this year, possessing more than enough originality to ensure it will remain fresh for years to come. (Friday, March 16, Continental Club, 10pm)

****

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