Li'l Cap'n Travis

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Li'l Cap'n Travis

Lonesome and Losin' (Sleepy Bunny) Li'l Cap'n Travis is pretty sweet. Not sweet as in, "Dude, that's sweet," rather as in, "Aw shucks, how sweet." What's remarkable is not that in the irony-addled post-y'allternative indie world they choose to be somewhat straight, but that they can be so, well, sweet about it, and not only pull it off, but do it with a consistency that makes them seem almost too clever for their own good. Songs like the title track and "Alone at the Drugstore" are caked in, get this, sensitivity. C'mon, they manage to invoke the FFA in song without it being a flat-out joke or a hunk of cheese so trite it would be an affront to Gnashville brand fromage. Whereas many post-angst contemporaries still lean on their own disaffection, the Cap'n embraces what might be called sincere detachment. Sure, they venture into the fun-poking realm ("Restless," "Pink Elephants"), but it's more self-flagellating than it is conceited, and its truth is more palatable than any contrived pop sentiment. Moreover, the subbing out of multi-instrumentalist Earthpig for lap steel player Gary Newcomb lends Lonesome and Losin' an accidental country warmth that the band's self-titled debut was a little thinner in. Lonesome and Losin' is no masterpiece, no work of staggering genius, dragging in the back end around "Cupid" and the Ethan Azarian-penned "Young Girl in Love," but its honesty and smarts make it damn near impossibly charming. Oh yeah, it even rocks occasionally. Pretty sweet, dude.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Bertin
Margaret Moser Tribute: Kathy Valentine
Kathy Valentine
Right place, right time, right woman to share the joy with

June 30, 2017

SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
Little packages of just-so honesty

March 15, 2014


Li'l Cap'n Travis

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle