Magna Carda's Wild West Refresh and Four More Songs From Austin Artists

New music picks from Farmer's Wife, Sentimental Family Band, and more

Photo by Kimiko Matsuda-Lawrence

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

Magna Carda, “Cowboy”

Hip-hop artistry being its own wild Wild West, Austin duo Magna Carda's latest relates to the unsung determination of Black cowboys in the South. Centered around a spoken field recording from a New Orleans corner store, the song feels like working the cricks out of your neck with a beeping, slightly off-kilter beat from producer Dougie Do – following prior release of a soundtrack for MC Megz Kelli's debut short film "little trumpet." A gorgeous Kelli-directed video brings the sax-and-trumpet-supported "Cowboy" home with shots of East 12th holdout Marshall's Barber Shop, as well as Austin's Eastside Riders on horseback. Wandersome jazz interludes lessen the density of the vocalist's lines, landing a refreshing renewal for the decade-plus-galloping project.  – Rachel Rascoe

Farmer’s Wife, “Pool Song”

"You're electric, you're a track star/ Imagine all that we could be," yearns Molly Masson to a far-off paramour in the college-age quartet's first offering since rebranding from Sludge to Farmer's Wife. The track, released alongside the equally shoegazey "Bleeder," represents a major shift in sound for the group. While Sludge romped in political pop-punk playgrounds, "Pool Song" opts for moodier, heavily reverbed waters, like the sonic equivalent of nighttime Barton swims. Guitarist Jude Hill cuts through angst with a screaming guitar solo, leaving no doubt that the group hasn't forgotten how to rock under their new title.
– Genevieve Wood

Sentimental Family Band, “Face to a Name”

An impressive debut single emerges from an unlikely country project that's calcified itself on the bandstands of Austin's two-steppin' circuit, including a weekly slot at peculiar honky-tonk bastion Sam's Town Point. On "Face to a Name," singer/strummer Camille Lewis – who also drums in indie bands and anchored experimental pop trio Dead Recipe alongside Sentimental bandmate Kyle Albrecht – evokes Loretta Lynn's confidence and clarity over a Nixon-era country sound with plangent pedal steel. It triumphs on lyrical concept as Lewis dismisses a blowhard scenester who "ain't got one ounce of shame." For a band that mostly moves the dance floor with covers, it has the makings of a signature song.
– Kevin Curtin

Seth Celdrán, “Annalee”

Recorded, mixed, and mastered from home, Seth Celdrán's latest single explores a question posed by the Band's 1968 hit "The Weight": "What about young Anna-Lee?" The 19-year-old songwriter responds with a summery anecdote between his move from West Virginia to Austin last year. Sloshed in warm sepia, "Annalee" reminisces about the days spent chasing a chance encounter – beginning with the sound of a freshly lit cigarette. The multi-instrumentalist's visions crystallize in a swaying ensemble he plays himself, including an organ and sauntering bassline. Celdrán's low, zephyrous voice crescendos until the end, the artist promising to "come running" against all odds.  – Angela Lim

Grocery Bag, “Alone”

With a steady bombardment of laserlike fretwork ricocheting in all directions, Grocery Bag's debut single packs enough punch to soundtrack an Edgar Wright alien invasion film – appropriate given that the garage rock quartet resembles a more feverish, polished version of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's fictional band Sex Bob-omb. Released just under a year after their live debut, "Alone" delivers a barrage of in-your-face drum fills, gritty yet blazing guitars, and fuzzy, reverberating vocals by contributing Chronicle photographer Isabella Martinez. Never slowing down, the foursome's pairing of grungy angst and psychedelic resonance forms a meteoric track fit for an extraterrestrial-inspired running playlist.  – Wayne Lim

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