Austin Shaw: Felt (Self-Released)

Austin Shaw

The latest batch of songs from singer-songwriter Austin Shaw could be your soundtrack of the summer – honest, real, breezy and feels so good. Shaw released a four-song EP, ‘Selections From Felt’ earlier this year and now offers his full-length debut ‘Felt,’ and truth in the title, it’s sure to make you feel.

In a world filled with negativity, Shaw brings us a feeling good, gutsy set of songs. No facade with Shaw, this Santa Cruz-based songwriter, singer and surfer bares his soul through words and music leaving you feeling positive and hopeful.

My personal favorite and on both his EP and full album is the very personal, “Citrine,” it’s a beautiful take on love, pain and surviving losing somebody close to you. We commend him for having the strength to turn his sadness into an amazing song. The song “I’ve Been Leaning”, is a thank you note to somebody who has been there for you backed by a melodic mix. The title track feels relaxed and is filled with contagious guitar riffs. Elsewhere, “Without You” tells the story of break-up and what we all tell ourselves to get over a broken heart and “Will You Wait” has a haunting vibe. Just naming a few but all the songs are a testament to the human spirit in all of us.

Joining Shaw on this journey is producer Robert L. Smith (Defy Recordings), and the talents of guitarist Larry Saltzman (Paul Simon), drummer Joe Bonadio (Sting), bassist Malcolm Gold and vocalist Clara Lofaro. Shaw’s voice is soothing and at his core he’s a storyteller with an uplifting spirit. He paints pictures with words and takes you to a better place and a world where darkness and light both exist, but light wins in the end.

Reminiscent of artists I’m guessing he grew up listening to like Jackson Browne, James Taylor, and Paul Simon, listening to Shaw takes you back to a time before over-produced music, and brings honest emotion in his words, sharing songs that have been beautifully realized.