Knife in the Water, Star Parks, RF Shannon, Julia Lucille

Cheer Up Charlies, Jan. 3

Star Parks (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Amid the laundry list bills of Free Week's scatterbrained showcases, last Wednesday at Cheer Up Charlies delivered resonate indie-folk penned for Lockhart enclaves and West Texas plains, all untouched by Austin's impatient bustle.

Julia Lucille's intimate gentility on last year's third LP Chthonic bloomed into grounded, mystifying noir. Here, that material hovered between serenity and unsettlement, her voice finding breathing room in band dropouts. Finding common ground on the songs' weighted middles, the quartet gave bite and breakdowns to Lucille's foreboding bedroom captures.

RF Shannon delivered palatable twang in cowboy boots via sprawling, ambient, country bliss. A walking pace put Shane Renfro's deep whispers on equal footing with the group's spacey, psych-hued instrumentation. Plus, their pedal steel sustained for reassembled Nineties act Knife in the Water, which churned Galaxie 500-like slowcore into organic mantras. Founder Aaron Blount granted each soft phrase deliberate landing space, emphasized in sighing echo by local songwriter Jana Horn.

A bright burst of Star Parks reinvigorated the late weeknight, trumpet and slide trombone teasing the flower power romanticism of 2016 debut Don't Dwell. Singer Andy Bianculli charmed with quick-witted blues guitar and a big take on George Harrison's "Let It Down." At their exit, four acts had reconstructed Texas' rock and folk tradition in novel but familiar form.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 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 Knife in the Water
Knife in the Water Resurfaces
Knife in the Water Resurfaces
Nineties slowcore pioneers quietly re-emerge after a decade-plus layoff

Libby Webster, May 5, 2017

Texas Platters
Knife in the Water
Reproduction (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 31, 2017

More Star Parks
Star Parks' New Album Proves Prescient in These Uncertain Times
Star Parks' New Album Proves Prescient in These Uncertain Times
Sophomore LP, The New Sounds of Late Capitalism captures our suddenly insecure moment

Doug Freeman, April 3, 2020

Star Parks Album Review
Star Parks Album Review
The New Sounds of Late Capitalism (Modern Outsider)

Rachel Rascoe, April 3, 2020

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Rachel Rascoe
Faster Than Sound: Love Wheel Records Rolls In
Faster Than Sound: Love Wheel Records Rolls In
Austin music mainstay Mike Nicolai retails vinyl and Indoor Creature parties at the Ballroom

June 18, 2021

Faster Than Sound: The Spiritual Side of Quentin Arispe
Faster Than Sound: The Spiritual Side of Quentin Arispe
Plans for Pride Month, Resound concert promotions, and IRL record store day

June 11, 2021


Knife in the Water, Star Parks, RF Shannon, Julia Lucille

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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