Calliope Musicals

Color / Sweat (Rhyme & Reason)

Texas Platters

While 2016 breakout Time Owes You Nothing flourished jangled psych, Calliope Musicals' studio debut also bore down on the songwriting. The Best New Austin Band at the 2015-16 Austin Music Awards now strums a little less folk in grafting the heart of South Austin culture onto a hipster aesthetic, with electronic chords and mainstream-defying vibraphone. At first, Color/Sweat sounds like some of the weirder fringe pop brewing locally for the past two decades-plus, especially given frontwoman Carrie Fussell's tendency for theatrics and whooping off-key. Yet beneath the surface bounce some hidden gems. "That's Why We Dance" cuts a rug with ABBA's "Dancing Queen," overlaying electro energy with Craig Finkelstein's vibraphone and exhilarating vocals that contemplate, "You say God made it all / Then who made God?" Other standout tracks include "Whole Without It," which slows down its tempo with soft electric guitar that makes the listener mellow out into a blissful coagulation, and "Golden Clouds." The latter spikes the mood back up with a guitar riff that recalls fellow locals the Butthole Surfers, along with bellowing lyrics that are sure to lodge in your frontal cortex until your government-mandated lobotomy.

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