ALREADY LOOKING BACK: Four Eyes, the now long-time songwriting and recording name for musician Erin Lovett, has released her first new music in at least a year and a half. The new release is a full-length album named I Hope This Finds You Well (Songs From Quarantine). By my rough estimation, I’ve been covering Lovett’s work for about a decade or so and, in this time, I’ve lost a lot of objectivity regarding it. That is, I can’t approach new work from her without accounting for how much her past work has moved me. Each record has been increasingly well-composed, and her lyricism progressively sharpened to poignant brevity. This new record is nine songs—each acoustic-based but with some slight electric accompaniment—that deal with what quarantine became. And, at its end, wonders aloud if this time would be missed. Not the reasons for quarantining, but the singular moments that provided now-cherished memories and the otherwise unremarkable days that became dear. On its surface it would appear these songs might appeal only to those who shared these times with a particular person. But that’s a narrow view as there are, hopefully, universalities here as well. Stylistically, Lovett stays in the same lane throughout the album and measures out just enough gentle folk for each one. Find this at foureyesathens.bandcamp.com. 

HOME IS WHEREVER WE ROAM: Late last month, Futurebirds released a collaborative EP named Bloomin’ with Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), who also served as producer. It was released courtesy of the band’s own VL4L label. It’s a super relaxed, four-song release that has the group exploring familiar and comforting musical touchstones. For example, I’ll be damned if there isn’t a taste of “Good Vibrations” hidden inside of “Sedan Man.” Any other possibly inadvertent homage you’re gonna have to find on your own. I’ll be over here with “Put Up, Keep Up” spinning on repeat. All four tracks are good in their own right, but this one has that great, spacious sound that transports the listener straight to the desert. Find this on your favorite streaming service, and for more information please see futurebirdsmusic.com.

GOING, GOING, GONE: It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen ‘ol Dexter Romweber (Flat Duo Jets) around town, but we’re about to. There’s always the possibility of understating his influence on the American underground, not to mention the garage rock revival of the late 20th Century, but I’m trying not to. In addition to his roots rock bona fides, he released an album of original classical piano compositions in the mid-2010s. During COVID isolation last year, he began a monthly live streaming show hosted out of The Cave in Chapel Hill, NC. Tickets are on sale now for his upcoming performance at the Flicker Theatre and Bar. The show happens Saturday, Sept. 18, and joining him on this bill are Atlanta’s Subsonics, whom we’ve also not seen for a long time. If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise, then tickets will likely move at a pretty quick clip for this one. Another thing to consider is that UGA plays South Carolina at home this same day, so prepare for crowds accordingly. Tickets are available to purchase at Flicker and are $12 in advance and day of show. 

LOOK NORTH: Athens native Nicholas Byrne is local through and through. He was reared in town, attended school here and even graduated from Camp Amped. Well, he’s been cooking things up in Asheville, NC lately with his band Hiding Places. Their out-of-town mailing address notwithstanding, the band recorded its first EP at its home studio in Colbert, and it was mastered by Matt Martin (Wanderwild). “Homework,” the first single from the planned three-song release, is out now. The tune is very reminiscent to me of Athens band Hetch Hetchy, but slightly more lighthearted all around and with a tendency to lean into the blues that the former never had. The minimal, but not insignificant, lyrics give this lots of room to breathe, as well. Check it out at hidingplacesnc.bandcamp.com.