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As Nashville-based band Dallas Ugly gears up to record their second album with Grammy-award winner Justin Ryan Francis (Madison Cunningham, John R. Miller, Orville Peck), they have settled into a sound that is equal parts playful and mature. Their 2022 debut album, Watch Me Learn, was described by critics as “full of shimmering magic” (Under the Radar Magazine), “as unique as it is dreamy” (Glide Magazine), and “a record that deserves a lyric sheet” (Nashville Scene). Those elements have persisted, deepened even, but with two more years of experience writing and performing together, the seeds that Eli Broxham, Libby Weitnauer, and Owen Burton planted in 2021 have flourished into a lush garden of sound. On the upcoming release of their singles, “Big Signs” and “Born Crying”, the trio digs in their heels and commits to the beauty in their collective quirk.
While the three core bandmates have been friends and collaborators for over a decade, Dallas Ugly officially formed in 2020 following Weitnauer, Broxham, and Burton’s decision to move to Nashville together after years apart. Prior to the reunion, Burton was serving with the Peace Corps in Senegal, Weitnauer was immersing herself in the New York City music scene, and Broxham was gigging in the bluegrass and country scene of Chicago, the city where the trio initially met. In the three years that have ensued since moving to Tennessee, they have been busy not only shaping the future of Dallas Ugly but also performing with a slew of other Nashville artists as respected side people (Kelsey Waldon, The Arcadian Wild, Nora Jane Struthers, and The Violent to name a few), experiences which have influenced the development of the band’s sound.
Mostly consisting of songs written before the band started, Dallas Ugly’s first album with producer Alec Spiegleman paints a sonic picture of the emotional chaos that accompanies early-twenties life. As the three bandmates have moved into a new chapter, so has their music. On their current batch of material, they’ve also had the luxury of writing alongside one another, which has enabled their highly collaborative process to dive even deeper. “We know our sound will continue to evolve, but it feels like after a few years of touring and writing together, we’ve landed on something that articulates our musical vision in a way that other people can access that vision, too,” says Weitnauer. This little pair of singles is such a delightful look into what’s to come.