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Paleschic: “I like the term ‘subtle rock,’ but it’s also got an old feel, an old vibe.” Photo by Jon Phillips.

Jake Paleschic finished recording his new album a few months ago but sat on it, waiting to release it at the right time. Now that the Fort Worth singer-songwriter is heading out on a six-city U.S. tour opening for Fort Worth wunderkind and recent Columbia Records signee Leon Bridges, now is a prime time for Again, At Last.

“I’m excited,” Paleschic said. “I’m very grateful.”

The twentysomething Paleschic, who specializes in an odd hybrid of traditional C&W and groove-oriented rock, and Bridges, whose music harks back precisely to ’50s-era soul-cat crooning, have been friends for a long time and, for a shorter time, roommates on the Near Southside, where Paleschic works as a barista at Avoca Coffee.

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“I know a lot of people have been going to his shows lately, and every show” –– from Chicago to Detroit, parts of Canada, and Nashville –– “is sold out,” Paleschic said. “It’s kind of nerve-wracking, but I’m excited to share some of the songs I’ve been beating like a dead horse with people who haven’t heard them before. That’s going to breathe new life into them. I don’t know if it will attract any more attention.”

Paleschic added that the tour will allow him to fine-tune selections for his next record. “It’ll tell me which songs I want to include and which I don’t and how I want to arrange them and whatnot,” he said.

Paleschic has a good reason for wanting to jump back into the studio. Again, At Last is the sound of four incredibly well-rehearsed musicians with only four days to get every note just so. “That can be kind of stressful,” Paleschic said. “I’m interested to see how to capture that creative spark as soon as [the songs] are written, when they’re fresh. I’d like to capture that in the studio, if possible, instead of overthinking it.”

Nothing about Again, At Last, however, sounds overthought. Recorded in Austin at Ramble Creek Recording Studio with owner/producer Britton Beisenherz (Telegraph Canyon, Doug Burr, Collin Herring), the eight tracks represent a kind of sound that could be described as uniquely Fort Worthian. Old-timey C&W flourishes and twang intermingle with psychedelic guitar crunch and even some extended solos.

One of the best tracks is “Black Hole.” Steadied by a thumping beat, the song pivots on a call and response between the simple, short vocal melody and the rhythm. It’s got Jackson Browne written all over it. And it’s just as honey-gold and as warm as anything that SoCal giant ever did.

Another great tune is one of Paleschic’s oldest. “Easy Living,” the “I belieeeve” song, has a boot-scootin’ feel. The similarly tempoed “Long May I Sleep” also skips and hops, but this next-to-last track is way darker, way moodier, and way more Lyle Lovett-esque circa Joshua Judges Ruth. Even the twinkle on the electric guitars is black.

“Dark, spiritual rock” is how Paleschic describes his music. “But, yeah, it’s subtle,” he said. “I like the term ‘subtle rock,’ but it’s also got an old feel, an old vibe. That’s what I wanted. I wanted to make {a} lost {album from} the ’70s. That’s where all those long guitar solos are coming from.”

And most of them are coming from Tyler Brown, the virtuoso with whom Paleschic recently parted ways. “We’re still great friends,” Paleschic said. “It’s just a creative decision I made. I’m looking for different things. I’m very happy for the time we played together.”

The band that Paleschic and Brown –– and bassist Austin Kroll and drummer Peter Wierenga –– played in together, Patriot, is no more. “Jake Paleschic” or the “Jake Paleschic Band” (either way is fine with him) will be the name by which the trio of Paleschic, Kroll, and Wierenga will be known. The change, Paleschic said, is mostly technical. “It makes booking a lot easier,” he said. “It’s always been my songs. … It was uncomfortable for me to accept the lack of a band name at first, but they all talked me into it. It just makes sense.”

Again, At Last was recorded about this time last year. Paleschic arrived at Ramble Creek on the good word from Denton singer-songwriter Doug Burr, who, like Paleschic (and Bridges), finds sonic inspiration in the recent past and has a Christian worldview. Paleschic, who said he “loved” working with Beisenherz, will release Again, At Last officially with a performance on Saturday, April 18, at The Live Oak Music Hall and Lounge opening for Nashville’s Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line. Dreamy Life Records, the joint effort between two Fort Worth DIY institutions, Dreamy Soundz Records and Lo-Life Recordings, will release the album on vinyl this summer.

To be technically correct, Paleschic wasn’t exactly sitting on Again, At Last all that time. He was shopping it around to labels. He didn’t get “any bites,” he said, and as soon as he was done knocking on doors, Bridges’ team came a-callin’. Doesn’t the Bible say something about life working in mysterious ways?

 

[box_info]Jake Paleschic
Sat w/Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line at The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, 1311 Lipscomb St, FW.
817-926-0986.[/box_info]

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