Editor's note: Austin photographer Daniel Cavazos has built a reputation on creating evocative and interesting portraits of the people that help make up the cultural fabric of our city. For this piece, he looks at four Austin musicians who are making it big.
Like many singer songwriters, Jana Horn started as a solo artist. She began writing songs on a guitar handed down to her by her father and was immediately drawn to the intimate and introspective components of folk music, particularly the music of Leonard Cohen. Using the master wordsmith as her inspiration, Horn began writing her own songs. After performing under her name for several years as a solo artist, Horn recruited the help of local musicians Paul Price and Jason Baczynski to flesh out her sound. The result was Reservations, a more dynamic version of what Horn had been working on over the last several years.
In April of 2013, the band released their self-titled EP, Reservations, a dreamy six-song adventure through the mind of Horn. Her sound has been described as poetry set to music and, while her songs are folk at the core, Reservations leans more towards Mazzy Star than Leonard Cohen.
The band is currently in the studio recording their debut LP due out sometime in the next few months.
Emily Wolfe was a busy lady last year. In 2013, she released two EPs (Mechanical Hands and Night & Day) showcasing two different sides of her writing ability. Meanwhile, she was also busy sharing stages with talents like the legendary Suzanne Choffel and rising star Max Frost. And then there was that little publication Paste Magazine which premiered her video for "Lion Heart" over the summer.
It's no surprise that Wolfe has garnered the attention she's received. Her music is catchy and her sound is fresh. She is currently previewing a new track called "Swoon" which will be available in full on February 11, just in time for her gig four days later on February 15 at the Paramount Theatre opening for Gina Chavez and Amy Cook. Fans call also expect a "singles roll out" over the rest of 2014.
Sure, Jess Williamson plays the guitar. But y'all, she plays the banjo even better. Coupled with her hauntingly smooth voice, Williamson's stringed instruments serve as the catalyst for incredibly personal moments playing out for anyone to hear.
She spent most of 2013 playing shows both locally and on tour. In November, Williamson had a three week residency at the legendary Cheer Up Charlie's (which has since closed its doors at the original east side location as it moves to the space that was once Club DeVille). That same month, Pitchfork debuted "Blood Song", the single off her heavily anticipated 7-song release, Native State.
You can catch Williamson on January 30 at Hotel Vegas as she celebrates the release of Native State.
Michigan native Dana Falconberry has locally been honing her craft since 2006. She's been featured on NPR's Tiny Desk concert series, had a video showcased on SPIN.com and last year graced the stages of the 2013 Austin City Limits festival. Her music is a mysterious blend of both the ethereal and surreal injected into her take on folk-pop. In 2012, Falconberry released Though I Didn't Call It Home, a four-song EP which was followed up by a full length, Leelanau, later that year. Her popularity is steadily growing both on the local and national level.
Falconberry is spending the early part of 2014 recording her heavily anticipated follow up to Leelanau, due out some time this fall. For the currently untitled album, she has enlisted the help of producer-giant Jim Eno (Spoon, Polica, !!!, Alejandro Escavedo), a slow and steady process in contrast to the "record-your-album-in-a-week" method that has gained popularity in this modern era of recording technology.