Austin Shaddix’s distinctive vocal delivery, and musicianship makes his debut, Little Sunshine a refreshing ride. The EP is an enchanting, melancholic folk journey where emo clashes with Woody Guthrie. At just 20 years old Shaddix mixed, mastered, produced, performed, and wrote all five tracks from the comfort of his living quarters (one hell of a guy, right?). The dusty, tobaccy spittin’ aesthetics of the genre are repackage for a 21st century crowd. Let me be a little more specific, Shaddix’s abilities on certain tracks deliver a pop feel within the banjo and Ibanez, so there’s something there for the average music consumer. Shaddix full length LP is on the way, and it’s going to turn heads. Stay up date with what’s in store on the Gram, @austinshaddix and follow his band @thecatchkids.
“I have never seen a boy who’s sadness was his only toy…”
The EP opens with “Little Sunshine,” but you won’t find any light here. The intense strumming and minor chords, in addition to the sad tales told, make you want to grab a coat to travel through the cold dark town so vividly depicted by Shaddix. Be prepared to meet clowns, and children that may very well be the children of the corn. The moon never shines, it rains all the time, sheesh… if you haven’t noticed by now Shaddix is also a great storyteller.
“I’ll Stay for just a while in this town where no one smiles…”
The body percussion and tambourine define “In the Fire We Go.” Compared to the more upbeat opening to the EP things slow down, but some elements remain such as, the premise for the story telling. Are we still in the same miserable town? Somehow we make it out of there with “Wave the Flag,” which is the liveliest presentation of the whole EP. Shaddix really displays his playing skills on the strings with this one, and even breaks out into solo on his guitar.
“These Nightmares they seem to linger on…”
Shaddix shows up on “Mother, May I” with blues chords, and more captivating tales. This track has a lengthy instrumental part that carries to the end; it sounds like Shaddix is playing with the ghost of Leadbelly. Speaking of Leadbelly, when u listen to Little Sunshine you may be thinking of ways to describe Shaddix’s style of singing, it has such a unique quality. Have you ever listened to any of Leadbelly’s music? I suggest checking out “House of the Rising Sun,” because there are points where Shaddix sounds eerily similar to the folk legend. The EP wraps up with a soulful sounding piece titled “All I Need.” This is definitely a crossover track as its composition is soulful, folky, and screams “please make my Carmel Macchiato skinny!” (Ahem) okay, aside from the coffee house appeal, on the scale of repeatability it ranks high. It’s a crying shame that it’s also the shortest of all the tracks. Support indie music by picking up the EP on Bandcamp, https://austinshaddixmusic.bandcamp.com/releases.