The Echocentrics

Echo Hotel (Nacional Records)

Texas Platters

Guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada remains best known for his stints in Austin's Brownout and Grupo Fantasma, but his most daring musical ideas have always been stashed away in side projects like Ocote Soul Sounds and now the Echocentrics. Like its predecessor, debut Sunshadows in 2011, Echo Hotel invokes the big skies and arid climes of the American Southwest. There's his trademark Latin flourishes, but the album's also equal parts desert blues, spaced-out psychedelia, heady electronica, and country twang. As with Damon Albarn's Gorillaz, Echocentrics boast a cohesive sound born from a single creative vision malleable enough to accommodate a diverse guest list. Natalia Clavier (Thievery Corporation) and Brazil's Tita Lima, lone vocal luminaries on Sunshadows, return to add ethereal grooves on "Muerto en Vida" and "O Sol," respectively. Alex Maas (Black Angels) leads the brooding funeral march of "Death of a Rockstar" and laces a bittersweet duet with Jazz Mills on "Canyon." White Denim's James Petralli mines Spanish Gold on "Staring at the Ceiling," the disc's likely hit. The album's best moment is its most unlikely: Quesada coaxing a groovy vocal performance out of morose singer-songwriter Bill Callahan over a swirling desert-funk track on "Gettin' Away With Your Gal." Echo Hotel isn't quite as cohesive as its precursor, but it offers a far more expansive and illuminating trip. (CD release: Thu., June 23, Parish)


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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
Chapter One (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Kendall Beard
Here Comes Trouble (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Thomas Fawcett
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018



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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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