Paper Cuts: Alejandro Escovedo’s Deconstructed “Bury Me” and Five More Songs

New Austin music picks from Geranium Drive, Soupmakesitbetter

photo by Nancy Rankin Escovedo

"Paper Cuts" features new songs and music videos from Austin artists.

Alejandro Escovedo, “Bury Me”

Piranha Records in Round Rock stocks an Alejandro Escovedo genesis point: S.F. punks the Nuns. A half-century later, the journeyman Texan beats every ounce as avant-garde. Due March 29, just-announced Echo Dancing documents the local Hill Country bard reinterpreting 14 songs spanning first solo release Gravity (1992) to latest studio offering The Crossing (2018). Opening the deconstructionist disc is "Bury Me," a mortal rumination off his first album. Where the original murmured Lone Star roots mysticism, its redo strips down to West Texas skeletal, a High Plains electro eclecticism full of paranormal innuendo. Le Tigre remixes Escovedo? Eventually.  – Raoul Hernandez

Geranium Drive, “Fridgian Cartwright”

Mountain and the Mirror, Geranium Drive's new EP, nods to several Sixties influences, from the Beach Boys harmonies of opener "Rosewood" to the Doors-esque organ peppering instrumental closing jam "Fairy King." In second track "Fridgian Cartwright," however, the band steps firmly into the next decade, replacing dreamy psychedelia with proto-punk fervor. "Don't be late 'cause keeping me waiting's so wicked," Autumn Furtak sneers, delivering his own "Search and Destroy" mission statement. "Gonna summon the sound from inside of you," he promises. When choppy chords give way to wailing solos, the bandleader casts his spell.  – Carys Anderson

Wild Child, “Backwards”

The tentative Wild Child reunion keeps pace with their popularity into 2024, extending last year's surprise End of the World LP and tour with a new single as they prep for an upcoming European jaunt. In fact, "Backwards" delves into the Wild Child archive with a previously unreleased recording from the duo of Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins. The R&B-tinged song still fits their recent work, blurring the lines between the band's pop and Sir Woman's surging swank. From the saucy, grooving build to infectiously smooth chorus, Wild Child only dishes earworms.  – Doug Freeman

Soupmakesitbetter, K Like the Letter, & Ifé Neuro, “Harvest”

Compton-born, Houston-grown local MC Soupmakesitbetter links up with frequent collaborators Ifé Neuro and K Like the Letter for spellbinding new single "Harvest." Community-oriented tastemaker Soup is known for founding indie label/lifestyle line Paid Better, championing an unfettered DIY ethos with colorful projects and homegrown tours, plus a 2022 custom ice cream flavor with local sweets peddler Luv Fats to boot. With an accompanying visual shot by UT-Austin student Thomas Blanco, his latest release's pensive bars surf the wave of a hypnotic vocal sample, culminating in an offering even better than Campbell's.  – Elizabeth Braaten

Leti Garza, “Mi Amor (Español)”

"I am fascinated [by] looking at the passage of events through the lens of time," posted Leti Garza on her socials last month. "How do we view the world as a child, as a teenager, as an adult?" Second single from the singer's second LP, this month's Canciónes Sobre la Vida y la Muerte (Songs About Life & Death), "Mi Amor (Español)" waltzes just such timelessness. Piano strung onto Andrés Salguero's whimsical clarinet, Garza's OG enunciation – a Spanish from our grandparents – weaves into subtle orchestration and the seasons of love: yesterday, yesteryear, tomorrow's nostalgia. Time determines the joy and torments of amor.  – Raoul Hernandez

Graham Reynolds & Marta Del Grandi, “Linger in Silence”

Multifaceted composer and instrumentalist Graham Reynolds (Golden Hornet, The Sound of Silence, The Intergalactic Nemesis) plows many fields: classical, jazz, soundtracks, dance pieces, TV scores. So why not add pop music to the mix? On "Linger in Silence," Reynolds collaborates with Italian singer-songwriter and Fire Records labelmate Marta Del Grandi, who's carved her own distinctive path in the last few years. Lush strings, noisy piano, atmospheric pedal steel, clattering drums, and Del Grandi's silky throat caress a circular melody that's as much Sixties easy-listening as it is 21st-century indie folk. Available in both English and Italian versions.  – Michael Toland

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