Singer songwriter Austin Plaine will release his debut self-titled album on September 11th on Washington Square. Austin revealed the album track “Houston” via Relix. Listen to “Houston” here.
Wild Honey Pie recently said of Austin’s songs that, “the lyrics … echo daydreams – dreams of disconnecting from attachments and voiding ourselves of responsibilities… his music is relatable, sweet, catchy and easy.”
On his debut album, you can hear why 23 year old Plaine’s plaintive lyrics and calming rasp have earned early praise. His folksy music, at times both unsettling and a comfort, has been hailed as “the soundtrack for nostalgia-drunk road trips.” And his voice: “Like worn flannel and faded jeans.”
His influences are varied: the storytelling of Dylan, of course (Plaine explains, “Coming from Minnesota, it’s hard not to be influenced by him….“Boots of Spanish Leather” is one of the first songs I really felt a connection with”). You’ll be reminded of the breadth and genius of Conor Oberst. Listen closely, and you’ll hear bits of his other childhood heroes: Kurt Cobain, Springsteen, Ryan Adams.
Plaine’s journey from unknown to rising talent started innocuously. “Being a musician full-time was the last thing I thought I would do,” Plaine remembers. “I mean, at one point, I was studying for my LSATs to be a lawyer. But as I was writing more songs, I realized I could see myself doing this.” He was invited down to Nashville to record a few tunes. No pressure, no expectations. Just him and producer Jordan Schmidt (Quietdrive, Motion City Soundtrack), out to try a few songs.
Somebody caught on early. MasterCard starting featuring his track “Your Love” in a national commercial. Song appearances on the CW shows Hart of Dixie and NBC’s The Biggest Loser followed. Remembers Plaine, “It’s about that time I was like, hey, maybe this is something I should pursue.”
Lyrically, Plaine teeters on the autobiographical, with the singer’s personal life mixing seamlessly with his knack for colorful storytelling. Take “Houston,” for example. “We just started with a chord progression I was working on and two lines: ‘Losing don’t mean nothing when there’s nothing to lose/living isn’t living when I’m missing you,” he explains.
When Plaine tours later this year, expect a more stripped-down affair, just a man, his guitar and some stories. “It’s definitely more folky, more Dylan-esque,” he explains. “Sometimes there’s a band, but sometimes it’s just me, my guitar and my harmonica.”
In the end, Plaine is happy with his unexpected new path.
“This album is my real start in life,” he says. “My beginning. I want to make music and hope people connect with it. And then make more music from there.”