Best CD by a Local Artist (2008)

Free Gold, ­Indian Jewelry­

There's something inherently oceanic about Indian Jewelry's Free Gold, the densely layered second disc from the (mostly) Houston-based musical collective headed up by ex-Japanic/Swarm of Angels provocateur Tex Kerschen and wife Erika Thrasher. The rolling, tribal rhythms of several songs create an effect similar to being tossed to and fro on what old salts of yore called the "bounding main." Elsewhere the record evokes everyone from NYC art-rock royalty Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth to shoegaze marvels Lush and My Bloody Valentine to the down-and-dirty Butthole Surfers, but the reason it stands out among other local releases this year is that at its core, Free Gold is all Houston. It's swampy, provocative, sprawling, dirty, frustrating and seems to exist in a humid haze all its own — thus making it a dead-on reflection of its city of origin.


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