Tulsa Native Releases CD

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Tulsa Native Erin Austin

By Emily Hopkins

 

OK Sweetheart

“Home”

(OK SWEETHEART, LLC)

5 out of 5 stars

 

If Zooey Deschanel and Regina Spektor somehow had a long lost half-sister, Erin Austin would be her.

The Tulsa native is the voice behind OK Sweetheart, a band that combines the sunniness of 60’s pop with a healthy dose of jazzy, Billie Holiday-esque soul.

The group’s debut album, “Home,” is a sweet sensation from start to finish. The overall sound is charismatically simple but never comes close to becoming boring. Austin’s flawless, somewhat smoky voice carries the record with ease, dominating over the music in the best of ways.

Fresh, upbeat songs command the first half of the album. “Home” starts off with a bang with “You Let Me Down,” easily one of the best of the 12 tracks. The gentle guitar and popping drums mix with Austin’s “oh oh ohs” in perfect harmony. Though she’s talking about a less-than-reliable lover, the sound is so cheery that she might as well be singing of a disappointing sandwich.

Austin kicks up the cheeky charm on “Can’t Stop This,” a violin-laden tune of begrudging task of getting older. “I’m 25, how long can I hold off/see I think I’m fine but did my boobs start sagging?” she croons, realizing she can’t live forever.

The eighth track, “Leaving,” ushers in a markedly different tone. Heartbreak seems to take over, like a cloud floating out to pour on the sunny day. The last five songs are clearly toned-down, both in terms of the music and the pace. Austin’s voice becomes hauntingly somber, singing of lost love and saying untimely good-byes.

“Home” is one of those remarkable debuts that sticks with you. It may be the strangely relatable lyrics, it may be the uncomplicated sound or it may be Austin’s effortlessly cool vocals. But whatever the x-factor may be, one thing is sure: this is a record you’re going to have on repeat for many weeks to come.

OK Sweethearts will be performing on June 21 at The Opolis in Norman.

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