alexalone’s Insistent Soundscape and Five More Songs From Austin Artists

Next music picks from Large Brush Collection, Will Johnson, and more

photo by Montsho Jarreau Thoth

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

alexalone, "All I Need"

A five-song soundscape that alternates between brief spurts of uncomfortable quiet and meandering, soothing lullabies, alexalone's sophomore LP stretches out. Opener "All I Need" bridges that gap, offering an apt primer for ALEXALONE TECHNICAL RESEARCH's hardened vulnerability with diaristic impressions of quarantine malaise and gender dysphoria. An insistent riff permeates the first half of the track as Alex Peterson's muted, embattled verses ("Wanna feel safe/ I don't feel that way") build to a full-throttle daydream: "Lose my body/ Would be a sight to see/ It's all I need." A feedback fadeout ends the seven-minute single. For the noise-rock trio, it's all about balance.  – Carys Anderson

Large Brush Collection, “Better Be”

Though humorously possessing the genre tag "afternoon napcore" on Bandcamp, Large Brush Collection strikes as an ideal combination of indie folk and math rock. Delicate harmonies and fascinating arrangements loaded with musical eclecticism make it especially heady. "Better Be" – which previews the Austin group's debut LP, Off Center, out January 26, 2024 – stands as their best track yet, with bassist Nora Predey and flutist Gabriela Torres turning in especially engaging and hooky vocal performances. The single's compositionally epic enough to justify its five-minute run time.  – Kevin Curtin

THEBROSFRESH, “Consent (It’s Been a While)”

Ultracool alternative R&B crooners THEBROSFRESH recently returned with their second release of 2023, "Consent (It's Been a While)." With a sound that blends elements of soul, rock, and hip-hop, the Louisiana-hailing, Austin-based duo, made up of twin brothers Thurman and Torrence Thomas, are known for their progressive brand of Southern music. Their latest track, which pays homage to the duo's country-grown roots, is no exception. Twitterpated flirtations and swoon-worthy yearnings make this song as irresistible as THEBROSFRESH themselves, with smooth vocals, silky beats, and just the right amount of twang.  – Elizabeth Braaten

Will Johnson, “Of Passengers and Plight”

Will Johnson's ninth solo LP, No Ordinary Crown, roils a restless reckoning, grappling with uncertain identity in the midst of change. Closing contemplation "Of Passengers and Plight" offers an unsettled homecoming for the album's tension of guitar fury and meditation on the road: "So I found my way back/ To a place where I belong/ To a point where I can make some sense." Ricky Ray Jackson's pedal steel folds like falling snow over Johnson's weary vocals – with a touch of Vic Chesnutt in the haunted longing – as Lindsey Verrill's harmony shades a soft promise of light.  – Doug Freeman

On Being an Angel, “Hard Luck Woman”

That sailor's only daughter was too proud to be a queen, but Paige Applin isn't too proud to cover a Kiss track. On Being an Angel transforms Peter Criss-via-Paul Stanley's soft rock love song into a power pop anthem. Applin maintains the ballad's acoustic humility, and there are no left-field changes to the original composition. Still, Nick Flitton almost immediately stomps on his fuzz pedal, and it wouldn't be an OBAA track without a solo or two. The single B-sides upcoming original "Playin It Cool," out next month.  – Carys Anderson

Touch Girl Apple Blossom, “Sidewalk”

"I see you in the shape of clouds when I look up at the sky/ When you look up at the sky, do you see anything at all?" muses Olivia Garner on "Sidewalk," the deceptively upbeat second track off recently formed group Touch Girl Apple Blossom's rollicking first release. Sharing members with equally ear-catching indie rock outfit Funhouse, the quartet's four-song, 13-minute debut EP embraces catchy twee melodies without abandoning a lo-fi punk edge. Sprightly tambourine taps punctuate the signature surf-punk guitarwork of John Morales (Mujeres Podridas) as Garner mourns the loss of a special someone to a new city.  – Genevieve Wood

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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 Paper Cuts
Paper Cuts: No Desire's Agile Debut and Five More Songs
Paper Cuts
New Austin music picks from francene rouelle, variety

Carys Anderson, Jan. 26, 2024

Glasshealer’s Face-Peeling “Brace Yourself” and Five More Songs From Austin Artists
Glasshealer’s Face-Peeling “Brace Yourself” and Five More Songs From Austin Artists
New music picks from Pelvis Wrestley, 8BIT WIZRD, Magna Carda, and more

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 15, 2023

More Paper Cuts
Paper Cuts: Alejandro Escovedo’s Deconstructed “Bury Me” and Five More Songs
Paper Cuts: Alejandro Escovedo’s Deconstructed “Bury Me” and Five More Songs
New Austin music picks from Geranium Drive, Soupmakesitbetter

Raoul Hernandez, Jan. 12, 2024

Mike Melinoe’s Playfully Sinister “Casper” and Four More Songs From Austin Artists
Mike Melinoe’s Playfully Sinister “Casper” and Four More Songs From Austin Artists
New music picks from Loveme, sayang, Shaz, and more

Rachel Rascoe, Nov. 24, 2023


Paper Cuts, alexalone, Large Brush Collection, THEBROSFRESH, Will Johnson, On Being an Angel, Touch Girl Apple Blossom, Nick Flitton, Paige Applin, John Morales, Olivia Garner, Alex Peterson, Nora Predey, Gabriela Torres, Thurman Thomas, Torrence Thomas, Ricky Ray Jackson, Lindsey Verrill, alexalone, Large Brush Collection

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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