The good people at Austin Town Hall have not only had an impeccable run of years of wonderful music recommendations on their website http://austintownhall.com. They are also in their fifth year of running their own record label, which has released 25 records so far (with a clear focus on local artists) – and not one of them is bad. The latest addition to their catalogue is particularly captivating: Austin songwriter David Israel’s second album The Year That Felt Like Two is a sometimes upbeat, sometimes melancholy collection of ten songs, ranging from the surreal to progress in science to reflections on the current state of American existence, media, and technology. Little is known about Mr Israel, except that he works as a preschool teacher in Austin, TX. His witty songwriting suggests that he may at some point in life have listened to Jonathan Richman a lot. When we use the term „songwriter“ for him, we certainly do not want you to imagine a protest singer with an acoustic guitar. The songs on the album were recorded with a full and in fact very present band and even the occasional glimpse of P!O!P!. The most striking feature here though is that intense baritone of Israel’s that lends itself equally easily to irony and pathos, adding depth and warmth at both ends of the spectrum.
The Year That Felt Like Two was released in July 2018 on ATH Records: