June 12, 2016 — “High Rise” by Cross Record

Cross Record

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “High Rise” by Cross Record (2016, from the album Wabi-Sabi).

Cross Record is an experimental rock/doom-folk duo from Dripping Springs, Texas. That’s a postage stamp-sized town in the Austin Metropolitan Area. It’s just 3.3 square miles, and less than 2000 people live there.

The band started as a solo project for Emily Cross. At some point, she was studying Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she spent some time studying abroad in Ireland. While she was there, she really found a passion for writing and recording. When she got back home, she got to work on Cross Record. Starting in 2010, she made some home recordings, and self-released a few things. It was mostly just her, but she had a lot of guest musicians help her out. Eventually, she met recording engineer Dan Duszynski, they got married, and he joined Cross Record. This year, they released their first proper album Wabi-Sabi. I may have the order of events out of order, but these are the things that I know about Cross Record.

Wabi-Sabi, by the way, is a concept in Japanese aesthetics centered around the acceptance of impermanence and imperfection.

I had never heard of the band until the Hopscotch Music Festival announced its lineup for the 2016 Festival. The festival is the second weekend in September in downtown Raleigh, and I’ll be there again for the fifth straight year. The lineup was announced last month, but the schedule won’t be set in stone until mid-August. Either way, I have plenty of time to research and make a long list. As soon as I got to Cross Record in my research, I immediately added them to my short list of bands to see this September.

On tonight’s song, it starts off like an early Cat Power song, then at about 0:44, it gets much louder, much heavier. much thicker. I don’t know what to compare it to at that point. Any number of noisy girl/boy duos that I loved in the mid 1990s, and a second round of them in the early 2010s. There’s also something about the guitar and the drums that remind me just a bit of the Pixies. Add to that, Cross Record does the quiet/loud/quiet thing that the Pixies were so, so good at.

This is that song.
“High Rise” by Cross Record

And for fun, there’s an accompanying video. It’s a little weird, but it’s worth a watch:

You can buy Wabi-Sabi via Bandcamp here.

They’re currently on tour of Europe, and I’ll presume that they’ll be on a tour of the east coast US in the autumn.

You can buy Hopscotch passes here. In July or early August, they’ll announce the schedule of headlining shows. At that point, single day passes and main stage passes will go on sale. Between now and the festival, I’ll be featuring a bunch of the bands from the lineup that I’ve got on my long and short lists. This is just the beginning.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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