Austin Leonard Jones’ Dead Calm might just be the best tongue-in-cheek surrealist country album you’ll hear this year.
Available from Perpetual Doom on vinyl, tape and digital, this record finds the Texan singer-songwriter crooning about things like barfly werewolves and vampires, the quiet joys of small town life and returning to the Black Lagoon.
Despite the sometimes quirky subject matter, the songs here are all performed with the upmost sincerity. With smooth-as-whiskey vocals, tearfully somber pedal steel and an overall late night honky-tonk atmosphere, this record could easily sit side by side with any Tom T. Hall album.
Yet, the breezy nonchalance of witty songs like “Exotics,” immediately brings to mind the work of Michael Hurley. Despite being deeply immersed in legit Texan country sounds, there’s an undeniable Snock influence that keeps the record firmly planted in the realm of the weird. This blend of vibes and styles makes the album stand far above its rural contemporaries.
If Ida Con Snock, The Silver Tongued Devil and I and Sweet Revenge get more plays in your house than any other albums, then you should pick up Dead Calm today. Click here to order your copy now.
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