299 episodes

The KUTX music team looks high and low for songs and artists that should be on your radar. It's a no-frills showcase for some of the great music that comes through the "live music capital of the world." Join us to discover new music and revisit some old favorites -- one song at a time.

Song of the Day KUT & KUTX Studios

    • Music
    • 4.2 • 91 Ratings

The KUTX music team looks high and low for songs and artists that should be on your radar. It's a no-frills showcase for some of the great music that comes through the "live music capital of the world." Join us to discover new music and revisit some old favorites -- one song at a time.

    Babe & The Crystals: “The Way You Love Me”

    Babe & The Crystals: “The Way You Love Me”

    Sometimes all you need to reignite a long dormant project is just revamping the name. Well…that and maybe a brush with death for good measure.







    At least that’s what recently rekindled the creativity for Nashville four-piece Babe & The Crystals, who first started out a decade back under the handle Kid Freud. Kid Freud called it quits in 2018 and the pandemic rolled through soon after, as did a tornado that tested frontman Alex Tomkins’ limits. But with everybody ultimately okay and Kid Freud’s catalogue accruing impressive streaming numbers online, Tomkins’ latest batch of tunes proved too good to keep cooped up. And after the release of their existing material under the Kid Freud umbrella album this March, it was finally time to put that six-year hiatus to bed and re-solidify the fellas as Babe & The Crystals.







    Based on how natural and rejuvenated Babe & The Crystals sounded on this month’s reintroduction “Forevereverever”, you’d have never guessed they spent so much time apart. And though that revival evoked the artsier side of indie rock (spoken word verse and crazy catchy hook included), Babe & The Crystals really shine on their millennium-enmeshed second installment, “The Way You Love Me”. If you made a dartboard of your favorite indie pop rock radio darlings from the late ’00s, “The Way You Love Me” hits the bullseye dead center between ’em all. Rock on, babe. Rock on.

    • 3 min
    Lavender Scare: “I Hate Saturdays”

    Lavender Scare: “I Hate Saturdays”

    Pride Month kicks off in just a few days, and to help you celebrate in style, we’re swirling the colors with a rising Queer project. And that’s Lavender Scare, whose midcentury reference of a band handle alone tips you off to their championing of LGBTQ identities.







    Chief songwriter Ruby Del Mar commands the quartet with high-octane vocals and riveting rhythm guitar, collectively creating what they call “slop pop punk”. And based on what we’ve heard from their upcoming debut Bites, that’s a pretty accurate classification; the power chord subdivisions and instrumental synchronization might not be perfectly precise at these breakneck tempos, but with pop-inspired chord sequences and radio-friendly runtimes, this four-track introduction almost sounds like Against Me! mixed with Yellowcard, all with a bit of a Queer Texas twist.







    We’ll be able to sink our teeth into Bites when it hits streaming this Friday or in-person for the record release show 8PM next Thursday at 13th Floor alongside Shysters and Reality Refugee. But until then, embark on Lavender Scare’s snark with the EP’s lead, “I Hate Saturdays”, because like the anthem to a bizarro, weekend-loathing Garfield, this loneliness-engendered tune’s gonna leave you hungry for more.

    • 2 min
    Cara Van Thorn: “Rage”

    Cara Van Thorn: “Rage”

    Lookin’ to rage this Memorial Day? Well we’ve got something that you might not’ve expected but’ll definitely do the trick.







    And that’s in reference to Austin’s Cara Van Thorn, initially born from Donkey Island ex-pats Adam Donovan and Carrie Stephens who continue to spearhead what is now a six-person wagon train. Since Fall 2019, this whimsical, bristly cavalcade’s become a common sight in modern swing circles, but their penchant for upbeat prohibition-era Jazz has always been leveled out with starker styles of rock, specifically ’90s Alternative and ’80s Goth.







    And boy did the latter sound steal the show on Cara Van Thorn’s latest single, “Rage”, that just swept through last Friday. Between a menacing theremin, some absolutely disgusting synth bass, simplistic-yet-sinister percussion, subtly tense horn chords, and ominous lyrics that effortless shift between first and second person (further enhanced by additional vocals from A Good Rogering’s Skunk Manhattan), “Rage” sounds like Frankenstein’s monster ripped the bolts out and unleashed all the emotions bottled up beneath to an unsuspecting village. In other words, Cara Van Thorn totally went beast mode on this one.

    • 4 min
    The Cuckoos: “Dirty Pictures”

    The Cuckoos: “Dirty Pictures”

    If you mainly draw inspiration from older generations, after taking a lengthy break, you may find that the needle on your tastes has moved forward in time too. At least that’s what we’re seeing unfold with Austin project The Cuckoos.







    Ostensibly the one-man band (who also operates as a four-piece) of flock leader/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer Ken Frost, The Cuckoos have historically nestled around classic rock, psych, and funk. But after flying off in a near half-decade-long songwriting hiatus, The Cuckoos have recently come home to roost in the best way possible – with a touch of New Wave.







    Ahead of their next record (produced by KUTX Favorite Chris “Frenchie” Smith), this morning The Cuckoos clocked in somewhere between Soft Cell and Depeche Mode with “Dirty Pictures”. “Dirty Pictures” goes face to face with the ’80s aesthetic with four-to-the-floor drums, raunchy guitar, salacious synth stabs, arousing lyrics with moody vocals, and a snapshot sound effect that’d make Duran Duran nod knowingly. A lot of producers might say “don’t go crazy” with a new sonic direction…but c’mon Ken…if you keep going cuckoo for the flashback stuff, you sure won’t rustle our feathers.

    • 4 min
    Grandma Mousey: “When I’m Not There”

    Grandma Mousey: “When I’m Not There”

    Ever since we first caught sight of them in 2022, we’ve continued to make room for Grandma Mousey in our wheelhouse, even after their initial nest expanded from three members to five. Yeah, Granny M’s grown on us so much over the past couple of years, that we don’t mind ratting on their talent again at all.







    Because between endeavorous concert stage props, Apollo program-era influences spanning from psych and classic rock to jazz, a humble refusal to take themselves too seriously, and an ongoing obsession with grasshoppers in their song titles (see the previous point), this Austin indie rock lab experiment feels like an anthropomorphic version of Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, and Phooey, spacey tastes included. And coming off their third studio installment Couch Surfing from last October, they’ve stirred local show rodents into a modest following…at least enough to keep the Orkin man from shuttin’ ’em down.







    Now, a half decade out of their hole, Grandma Mousey’s stickin’ their not-so-elderly indie rock whiskers into something that’s a little less Mothers of Inventions and a little more your grandma’s speed – Motown-inspired modern rock. And that’s on behalf of “When I’m Not There”, the lead single from Grandma Mousey’s upcoming EP Slime Community – out this Summer. Where Vanilla Fudge famously put a decelerated, painfully melodramatic twist on The Supremes, Grandma Mousey maintains the powerhouse harmonies, infectious hand claps, upbeat tempo, and major chord progressions of soul’s golden era, albeit into strange places of softly sweet, paradisal psychedelia thanks to some choice synth swells, liquid bass lines, and far out lead guitar.







    In terms of Grandma Mousey’s gig next Friday at Anderson Mill Pub? We hope you’ll be there. To Grandmother’s mouse we go!

    • 3 min
    Carson McHone: “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face”

    Carson McHone: “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face”

    No matter how much success a young artist finds down the line, there’ll always be opportunities to pay respects to their predecessors and contemporaries. Whether it’s an early choice (Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s Kicking Against the Pricks), a mid-career reset (Souxsie and the Banshees’ Through the Looking Glass), a later vocation salute (Bruce Springsteen’s We Shall Overcome), or the final chapter of a band’s studio discography (RATM’s Renegades), a collection of covers can make for a real triumph within a musician’s catalogue.







    Among the Austinites with bright futures, bygone muses, and a legitimate respect for their musical elders? Our October 2016 KUTX Artist of the Month, Carson McHone ranks high. A decade removed from her debut Goodluck Man, collective millions of streams accrued for her originals, and current headquarters in Southern Ontario, Carson’s certainly manifested a fast track to international recognition. But despite that familiarity in the Folk-Americana-Country forum, McHone will still take prudent humility over precocious hubris any day, as made clear on her upcoming EP ODES, out July 19th.







    Just like the title implies, ODES holds a handful of homages to some of McHone’s biggest influences from the ’60s and ’70s – including Conway Twitty, MC5, and Margo Guryan. And the EP announcement arrived this morning alongside the third of ODES‘ four covers and the EP’s lead single – Carson’s take on a Arthur Russell posthumous fan favorite with an already-rich history of cover versions from the likes of Glen Hansard and The Avett Brothers, and inherently feminine renditions on behalf of Jessie Baylin and Elizabeth Moen. But where Baylin approached “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face” entrenched in folkadelia and Moen with eggshell delicacy, Carson’s evokes her trademark warmth and Southern confidence by swapping out the original organ for a pretty straightforward acoustic-electric-guitar-and-piano pairing, all while maintaining the original’s tasteful breakdowns and painful farewells. And after watching the accompanying music video, we just can’t wait to watch Carson McHone perform this one in person…honestly with a little eye contact and face time preferred.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
91 Ratings

91 Ratings

Jpisel ,

Finally no intros

They finally got rid of the dude screaming about tacos of Texas at me every 3 minutes or less.

Hdaisy2020 ,

This is awesome 👏🏼

Great job bringing these back thank you! 😁🫶🏼👌🏼

KUTX 98.9 ,

We heard you!

After reading the complaints about too many promos, we cut them by more than half. If you hear one at all, it’ll be at the beginning of a song only. KUTX is a public radio station so we do have to find ways to make what we do (play awesome music and support those artists) possible. Thanks for listening and supporting the Austin Music Experience. Enjoy the tunes!

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