nelo CD release
Austin newcomers nelo's press kit helpfully points that the sextet's names rhymes with "hello." A much better homophone would be "mellow," because their self-titled debut is about as chill as an October afternoon in Wisconsin without any long underwear on. Saturated in acoustic guitars, breezy horns and silky come-ons, nelo seems destined to draw the adoration of comely young coeds and the scorn of so-called "serious" music fans in equal measure.
nelo dates back to songwriter/lyricist Matt Ragland and singer Reid Umstattd's summer-camp experiences at Camp Longhorn, which shows in several songs' strummy kum-ba-yah campfire choruses. The rhythm and horn sections, meanwhile, obviously didn't miss too many jazz classes at Denton's University of North Texas – they devise several suprisingly salient Stax-like licks. Overall, though, the music is too slight and the songs too cliched - in "Another Day" Ragland's lyrics aspire to "spread some sunshine around" - for the album to make much of an impact beyond the carefree circle of Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews and G. Love fans, who will no doubt bask in its sunny-day vibe to their hearts' content. - Chris Gray
7 p.m. Friday, May 9, at Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.