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Video Premiere: Austin Cash - 'Franklin, King of the Beers'

July 7, 2023 2:33 pm GMT

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We have a saying here at Holler when we get sent a new song from Gar Hole records: “Goddamn it! Get it on and turn it up!”

The label that brought us Dylan Earl, Nick Shoulders and Jude Brothers can do no wrong to our ears, and they’ve done it again with the stunning new EP from Austin Cash, a guitarist and composer from Fayetteville, Akansas, who pursues the boundaries of American primitive, avant garde sonic art and Americana.

The first taste of Cash's forthcoming Hello, Franklin EP, ‘Franklin, King of the Beers’, is a haunting minimalist instrumental. Written over a long year and recorded in a night, the song translates the nameless experience of late-pandemic life to solo guitar.

Its taut melodic phrasing giving way to a looser jagged drone before it stumbles and begins to collapse in on itself. It’s beautiful in the same way loneliness is. Delicate and overwhelming, like a weighted blanket of sound pressing down on you and holding you perfectly still as it wraps itself around you.

With a sound indebted to John Fahey’s intricate finger-picking style and progenitors of the American Primitive style, Cash joins contemporaries like William Tyler and Hayden Pedigo, in shaking up the world of fingerstyle traditionalism with a refreshingly adventurous, almost punk spirit.

The video for ‘Franklin, King of the Beers’ is premiering exclusively at Holler below.

“I was thinking of Michael Snow’s Wavelength with this,” Cash told us about the video. “I’m not sure what he was getting at with that, but I like things that take as long to consume as they do to produce, or that at least give that impression. The picture is from the last time in my life that I could confidently pull off western wear"

Hello, Franklin is an intimate audio portrait of conflicted feelings of isolation and self-mending, anxiety and solace. Cash and engineer and co-producer Eric Whittans treat the guitar as an ensemble all its own. These recordings fixate on the instrument’s dynamic nuance and full expressive potential in a way seldom heard on solo guitar recordings.

You are hearing the instrument as Cash himself heard it when carving experience into these melodies and structures. On Hello, Franklin he delivers equal parts despair and elation, fixing teeth to a genre-space defined by drony bliss and whispered meditations.

Hello, Franklin is released on Gar Hole Records on 11th August. Click here to preorder from Bandcamp.

Written by Jof Owen