S.L. Houser’s Earnest “Wind in the Door” and Five More Songs From Austin Artists

New music picks from Rod Gator, BLK ODYSSY, and Cloud Companion


photo by Rae Mascardo

Paper Cuts features new songs and music videos from Austin artists. Listen to our playlist on the @austinchronicle Spotify.

S.L. Houser, “Wind in the Door”

Cymbals crash and six-string power-chord slabs stream on "Wind in the Door." Booked as a touring musician for Matthew Logan Vasquez and Zella Day, indie-pop act S.L. Houser offers her first release in over a year via Spaceflight Records, following up the lo-fi ballad "It's Just What You Do." The ricocheted, up-down hi-hat anchors the blast of coiled string reverb and delay that echoes extraterrestrially. As if enveloped by the instrumental maelstrom and swept up by the earnest propensity, she sings, "After the gold rush, I flew to the sun/ Burning for you."  – Alejandra Ramirez


Rod Gator, “In the Night”

Like the song in the last scene of a horror film, "In the Night" kicks in as the protagonist lights up a cigarette and drives into the darkness, face covered in blood. Since walking away from the Americana scene with two middle fingers in the air last year, the Louisiana-raised singer has taken on a strain of swaggering hard rock. Dark and heavy with striking vocals, it's reminiscent of Danzig, and not just because of his huge biceps. Ever cinematic, Gator's latest video finds him rocking out in a leisure suit, fighting an industry executive to the death, and ultimately burning one of his Americana LPs in a satanic ritual.  – Kevin Curtin


BLK ODYSSY, “You Gotta Man”

Literally teasing DIAMONDS & FREAKS, BLK ODYSSY reveals the June follow-up to 2021 bow BLK VINTAGE as "an erotic novel by musician and poet Keisha Plum with narration by bassist Bootsy Collins." First dripped March's "Honeysuckle Neckbone," a carnal R&B come-on chaperoned by said P-Funk bass god. Then "Odee" came knocking atop whispery aural BDSM. Opening inside Eastern accents and sitar, third single "You Gotta Man" ("... and I got a girlfriend") coos an insatiably hormonal duet between Sam Houston and KIRBY (Lauryen Dockery), their digital slink matching the new LP's titular nod: 1991 Prince caress Diamonds and Pearls.  – Raoul Hernandez


Cloud Companion, “Can U Hear Me”

Resonant yet disheveled instruments greet listeners on Cloud Companion's debut single. Past the entropic intro, the song serenades ears with synth arpeggios and a minimal hi-hat, reminiscent of a Beach House deep cut. From TC Superstar collaborator Aaron Chavez, the solo project flags dream- and bedroom-pop influences from a mile away. Cloud Companion gears up for the release of their upcoming album Ordinary Time with help from fellow TC member Connor McCampbell. If the album bears any similarity to "Can U Hear Me," expect twinkly riffs and squeaky-clean electronics straight from heaven.  – Adam Cherian


Primo the Alien, “More Love”

Acoustic guitars amalgamate into neon-colored synths in Primo the Alien's latest single. Illustrating the chromatic spectrum of human love, the self-producing artist threads the titular two-word hook with simplistic intentionality. Universal sentiments of living in the moment and relishing the night ring clear above layers of reverbed harmonies and cloud-capped percussion. Easing into the touch of a carefree summer, the electro rover's hypnotic voice carries the weight of hungry hearts looking for "a little hope in a world so damn dark." Imbuing the earthling experience into her lyrics, this time-traveling alien's desire for adventure fuels a futuristic wave of nostalgia.  – Angela Lim


Fat Tony & Paul Wall, “(Hey Baby) Que Paso”

Leave it to Texas Parks & Wildlife to drop one of the best compilations of the year. For the department's centennial, Walker Lukens gathers some of the biggest Lone Star artists to remake Texas classics. The lead-off single's take on Texas Tornados' "(Hey Baby) Que Paso" sets pace behind Fat Tony and Paul Wall, with backing support from members of Grupo Fantasma, Sir Woman, and the Texas Gentlemen. The Houston rappers put a swank groove on the original, minus Flaco's accordion but with a badass bassline and enough Tex-Mex rhythm to match Wall's verses. A true Texas-flavored, cross-cultural surprise.  – Doug Freeman

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