Planning Escapes (Wren & Shark)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Aug. 5, 2016
A band of hippies, Austin's Brothers & Sisters cultivated a fervent local following for bandleader Will Courtney and his sister Lily. The sprawling ensemble made two albums packed with sun-streaked California pop and alt.country that alternated between introspective and effervescent, one self-titled in 2006 and Fortunately in 2008. Since then, Courtney's been to Los Angeles, Nashville, Santa Fe, and now Dripping Springs, where his second solo effort Planning Escapes was conceived. Brothers & Sisters fans will find much to enjoy here. Rockers like "The Days When Bands Could Make You Cry," a pointed bit of nostalgic power-pop, and the guitar booming, Crazy Horse-inspired "The Pain (Song for Dennis Wilson)" stand apart from the near psychedelic melancholy of "Sad, Sad Eyes" and fireplace crackling in the background of "Your Smile Reminds Me of Home." If Brothers & Sisters doesn't ring any bells, Planning Escapes will thrill those who favor Phosphorescent and Son Volt.