Frankie Leonie

Texas singer-songwriter, Frankie Leonie, is inspired by, and often mixing country, folk, and rock, while also weaving in many modern sounds. She’s at times reminiscent of Emmylou Harris … but also, Phoebe Bridgers. She reveres country and folk acts from decades gone by and masterfully paints pictures of heartbreak and hardscrabble lives … yet she’s only just entered her twenties. And when you put it all together it works beautifully, bound together tightly by Frankie’s distinctive voice. Simultaneously silky and strong, her voice carries you along through each song, shifting seamlessly from quietly soothing to powerfully booming.

Taylor Young Band

With his scruffy beard, pearl snap shirt and soulful blue eyes, Taylor Young certainly  looks the part of a Texas born and bred singer-songwriter. However, his solo debut,  Mercury Transit, reveals an artist unafraid to break from convention and unwilling to be  typecast. 

That figures, since he’s taken such a roundabout journey to get here. As a teenager,  Young broke onto the Dallas music scene as the drummer for local psychedelic heroes  Hi-Fi Drowning. His frenetic-yet-flawless playing style quickly earned gigs with the likes  of Young Heart Attack and The Polyphonic Spree, but after years of touring he longed  to step out from behind the kit. When he finally did, Young defied expectations and co founded folk-country duo The O’s, honing his songwriting, guitar playing and frontman  presence over four albums and hundreds of live shows. 

With Taylor Young Band, these seemingly incongruent split personalities meet. Under  the guiding hand of producer and bandmate Toby Pipes, the entire album was recorded on analog outboard equipment in Pipes’ College Station, Texas home studio. Over a  year of laid-back regular sessions, the two discovered the perfect balance of Young’s  uncanny gift for melody and a clever turn of phrase with Pipes’ shimmering  atmospherics and pop sensibility. 

The result is an album that’s more power pop than country, with breezy harmonies and  big hooks seasoned with just a pinch of Southern twang. Opener “Get Around” gets the  point across right away, sounding like Alex Chilton fronting Teenage Fanclub. The  genre-bending continues on the lead single, “Rattled,” which wraps a Tom Petty style  ballad in a cozy shoegaze blanket. 

A persuasively optimistic hopeless romantic, Young sings earnestly about almost  blowing it (“Make You Wanna Stay”), post-breakup second thoughts (“Out of My Mind”),  and cosmic eternal destiny (“Shine On Me”). He’s also an old-school storyteller, ripping 

through honky tonk stomps “Daze of the Week” and “Drinkin” with a wink and self deprecating smile. 

Ted Lasso with a telecaster, Young imbues the entire record with relentless positivity – even against all odds. Album standout “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” turns a string of bad  luck into the jauntiest jangle pop this side of The Smiths. It’s this disarming sort of  charm that turns strangers into friends, and helps friends feel sure everything will work  out fine in the end. 

The current incarnation of Taylor Young Band sees Young and Pipes joined by guitarist  Michael Smith and drummer Austin Green – further evolving and expanding the  signature Americana dream pop sound established on Mercury Transit. Expect the TYB  good vibes to continue into 2022, with a much-anticipated European tour and second  album on the way. Until then, take a bit of advice from Young and “don’t let it bring you  down, ‘cause it will always come back to you.”