Palo Duro

Ryou Cannon (30th Century Records / Sony)

Texas Platters

Having signed with renowned producer/artist Danger Mouse's 30th Century label, Palo Duro – Austin singer-songwriter Michael J. Winningham, formerly of the indie rock band Gold Beach – understandably indulges in a cinematic, tightly and cleanly produced, and (mostly) hook-heavy debut LP heavily evocative of contemporary Arcade Fire. The achy, love-drenched Ryou Cannon not only checks off those boxes, it even contains attractive lead single "Darken the Glow," an Afro-psych number with a gorgeous, towering chorus. The screams commencing "Embers" give way to a bright wall of sound, layered in acoustics and sunny synths. "True Fade" continues the essence, including punchy surf rock drums. Not everything works, specifically the lyrics. For example, the well-composed "Indian Ocean" has all the right sound markers for true love song success, but misses the target when Winningham sullies the beautifully realized track with cornball lyrics: "My body feels electric, so inspired." (CD release: Cheer Up Charlies, Friday, Oct. 27)


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