KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 23
KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 23 (93.3 KGSR Radio Austin)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 4, 2015
As KGSR celebrates a quarter-century on-air, the local flagship frequency's annual artifact of live recordings marks year 23, benefiting Austin's SIMS Foundation and the Seton Fund. A host of artists make return appearances, but Broadcasts upholds its decades-long tradition of introducing the most promising international acts before they break (revisit Adele's "Right as Rain" on Vol. 17). Homegrown favorites lead off both discs, Spoon dishing "Inside Out" and Shakey Graves starting the second with "The Perfect Parts," though Aussie standout Courtney Barnett (gorgeously downbeat "Depreston") and Michigan songwriter BØRNS ("Electric Love") stand out even more so. The overall tenor of the first platter strikes a tinder box of tender-voiced emotions (Vance Joy's "Mess Is Mine," Leon Bridges' stellar throwback "Coming Home," the Head & the Heart's "Let's Be Still"), with none more exceptional than newcomer Zella Day's trembling "Jameson." Still, enough grit (Ryan Bingham's poignant "Broken Heart Tattoos," Elle King's low-down "Ain't Gonna Drown") and pop (Walk the Moon's jittery "Shut Up and Dance," Bahamas' silky "All the Time") interlaces compellingly until closing blasts from Hozier and the Bright Light Social Hour. Only ZZ Ward's shrieking chorus of "Love 3X" breaks the immaculate spell. Disc two follows suit with lovelorn ballads by Kaleo, the 1975, and Austin's Max Frost, before Walker Lukens slides another local blast with "Every Night." Brandi Carlile's "The Eye" highlights the back end, and Robert DeLong wraps intriguingly with the warp of "Long Way Down." Like radio itself, KGSR's compilations highlight the art of the segue, and these 37 tracks rank among their top mixes.