Never’s Post-Punk Introduction and Five More Songs From Austin Artists

New music picks from Malik Baptiste, Felt Out, and more


Never, “Hard to Go”

To stay in a doomed relationship (trouble) or strike out on your own (double)? Emily Ng wrestles the age-old question in "Hard to Go," debut single of the Nevil guitarist's new project, Never. The track pairs a snaking bassline and buzzing synths with the singer's aloof delivery, as if king slacker Stephen Malkmus found himself fronting contemporary post-punks Automatic. "Don't wanna let you go, but mostly I just don't wanna be alone," goes the aromantic refrain. Rounded out by members of Nuclear Daisies, Luna Luna, and Thelma & the Sleaze, the fivepiece becomes the latest signee to Feels So Good Records. – Carys Anderson

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore, "Borderland"

Downey to Lubbock in 2018 dropped a new element on Americana's periodic table. Californian Dave Alvin and Panhandle rambler Jimmie Dale Gilmore intersected at Southwestern, and the rest fell into place like the movie Paris, Texas. "Borderland" reprises from way back in 1996, off Gilmore's Braver Newer World, which bent cosmic country toward the avant-futuristic. Behind Alvin's twang and Lisa Pankratz's bang, the song now blooms like a long-closed room whose windows went up. Gilmore flutters through it as trusty as ever, as an all-star Austin ensemble rattles and hums in Dripping Springs. Where the Rio Grande bends into Mexico soundtracks right here. – Raoul Hernandez

Lord Friday the 13th, "Wallace and Vomit"

The only kind of intolerance Lord Friday the 13th will stand for is lactose intolerance. Thus the glammy garage punks rage against the mozzarella on "Wallace and Vomit," lead track off their Disaster Piece EP, christened last week with a momentous gig at Third Man Records in Nashville. Cursory internet research indicates the existence of at least a dozen songs about cheese sickness, but none have as wonderfully outlandish rhymes as Felix Lenz's fervent shouts like, "I'm a PTSDiety once I get feeling queasily!" The track peaks 90 seconds in with a breakdown that effectively simulates retching up cheddar. – Kevin Curtin

Malik Baptiste, "All You Need to Know"

Despite playing a large part in Deezie Brown's 5th Wheel Fairytale last year, the ARTium/Mass Appeal signee has mostly remained radio silent since promising 2020 project Spectrum (demo) as Malik. Now going by an extension of his real name, Malik Baptiste pens a heartfelt love letter to Austin as he bids farewell, with Swedish singer-songwriter Snoh Aalegra cooing on the chorus. In reference to Ye's "Homecoming," he promises: "I just gotta see the world for my education/ 'Til I get to track 12 off Graduation/ Then I'm headed right back for the celebration." – Derek Udensi

Felt Out, "At Best"

Like extraterrestrial feedback, Sowmya Somanath's Auto-Tune pitch echoes in static waves on Felt Out's newest single. Latest from her duo with Walter Nichols, "At Best" will be featured on their forthcoming April record, Until I'm Light. As soft keys reverberate with delay and synths blossom into smoke plumes, Somanath's cruising vocal melodies blip in and out like an incoming radar frequency. While percussion beats skittered zig-zags on the group's last single, "Closer," follow-up "At Best" slow-burns into an electro-pop ballad, as timbres intimately gleam and repeated instrumentals combust to supernova. – Alejandra Ramirez

Lyd Marie, "Sweet Memory"

Lydia Froncek, percussionist who laces Ley Line's mesmerizing harmonies with her eclectic world rhythms, explores solo with charming EP 5 Love Songs. "Sweet Memory" delivers the collection's most adventurous offering, swooning softly behind Froncek's soulful vocals, before shifting into a slightly poppier key. The song drifts like a daydream, tender and sincere in her musings and easy keys against the shading of Sadie Wolfe's cello, winding into a rapturous wonder. Froncek holds the moments close, even more so for recognizing their fleeting pull. A small, delicate offering to a lover when nothing else could capture the feeling. – Doug Freeman

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