Justin Stewart

City Fox

Texas Platters

Picking up where his 2014 debut Flagship – named after the now-defunct Galveston hotel – left off, Justin Stewart heads north up I-45. Second LP City Fox begins with "Houston," a country-touched ode to his native city led by acoustic guitar and revelatory piano flourishes. After that, however, the album actually dwells in the far West Texas border town of Presidio, where the Austinite wrote most of the material. The steel guitar quips in "American Crow" seek familiarity in the unknown, wrapping it into a pleasing and poppy folk shell, while the subtle optimism of "St. Francis Plaza," reinforced by warm chords and a quiet "do-do-do" chorus, tunes in perfectly to the surrounding scenery just a stone's throw from Chihuahua.

***.5

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