Will Sexton

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Records

Will Sexton

Scenes From Nowhere (India)

It's been six years since we last heard from Will Sexton. We may not be sure what musical roads he's traveled in that time, but Scenes From Nowhere finds the local songwriter in a pensive mood that fits him well. This collection could be seen as a kind of song cycle with emotional desolation as its focal point, not exactly uplifting stuff, but a striking listen nevertheless. With the help of labelmates Kitty Gordon (Mark Addison and Nina Singh, who also run this Austin indie label), Sexton carves out landscapes that alternate between pure pop and seemingly unfinished tone poems. The use of electronic beats, weepy steel guitar, and somber guitar riffs form skeletons for his lyrics that explore his vision of love or the lack of it. Sometimes he's more successful than others, but at his most tuneful, Sexton shines like a diamond. "Wondering -- L.A. The Whorehouse by the Sea" is a sweet slice of jangle pop with an affective hook. Meanwhile, on "Last Faithful Lover" and "Happiness -- I Can't Fall," he devises sultry sonic backdrops for his lyrics of desire and pain that recall recent Chuck Prophet or Ron Sexsmith -- a singer-songwriter on the edge. This disc needs to be listened to from start to finish to fully appreciate Sexton's artistry. The "little brother" has obviously grown up. (Friday, March 16, Speakeasy, 11pm)


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