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“Little Boy’s Cards” by Austin Avenue

Austin Avenue’s debut album, Little Boy’s Cards, is a refreshing breath of fresh air in the world of modern country and folk music. While the genre has been marred by corporate pandering and radio-friendly pop formulas, this record eschews those trends and opts instead for honest storytelling and soulful instrumentation.

At a time when country music has become synonymous with big trucks, beer, and cliched lyrics, Austin Avenue harkens back to a time when the genre was about something deeper than cheap thrills and catchy hooks. With Little Boy’s Cards, the duo has crafted a collection of songs that explores the complexities of the human experience, from the joys of first love to the pain of loss and the search for meaning in a world that can often feel senseless.

The album’s standout tracks include “Too Soon,” a haunting ballad that captures the raw emotions of grief, and “Quintessential Woman,” a celebration of feminine strength and resilience. But it’s the album’s closer, “Underestimate Me,” that truly encapsulates the spirit of Austin Avenue’s music. With its driving rhythm and defiant lyrics, the song is an anthem for anyone who’s ever been underestimated or written off. It’s a bold statement from a band that’s not afraid to take risks and stand up for what they believe in.

What sets Austin Avenue apart from their contemporaries is their commitment to authenticity. They’re not interested in playing it safe or catering to the lowest common denominator. Instead, they’re focused on creating music that speaks to the heart and soul of their audience. And in a world where so much of what passes for country music is nothing more than corporate product, that commitment to artistic integrity is a breath of fresh air.

Of course, that’s not to say that Austin Avenue is completely divorced from the modern country and folk scene. They’re clearly influenced by the likes of Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson, both of whom have helped to usher in a new era of authenticity in country music. But Austin Avenue takes those influences and makes them their own, creating something that feels both familiar and fresh at the same time.

Ultimately, what sets Little Boy’s Cards apart is its emotional resonance. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of country music or a casual listener, there’s something on this album that will speak to you. It’s a reminder that country and folk music can still be about something more than just partying and pickup trucks. It can be about the highs and lows of the human experience, and the search for meaning in a world that can often feel chaotic and confusing.

In a time when so much of the music industry is focused on chasing TikTok trends and catering to the lowest common denominator, it’s heartening to see a band like Austin Avenue staying true to their roots and creating music that’s both timeless and relevant. Little Boy’s Cards is a triumph, and a testament to the enduring power of country and folk music.

Mindy McCall



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