Riding high on the buzz from their highly acclaimed new record Ever Since I Lost My Mind, Charleston, SC based, Americana-infused indie project SUSTO, the brainchild of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Justin Osborne, are set to return to Nashville to headline The Basement East tonight, April 12. They’ll be joined by fast rising Virginia indie duo Illiterate Light and local transplanted indie pop duo Frances Cone, and with a stacked lineup like that, we’d recommend grabbing your tickets right here while they last, then read on for more about the show!
Centered around the creative vision of frontman, songwriter, and sole constant member Justin Osborne, Charleston, SC Americana laced indie rock outfit SUSTO came into existence at a time Osborne expected to abandon music entirely. Burnt out from years of playing and independently operating in bands throughout high school and college, Justin had decided to step away from the grind and pursue a different path, going so far as to play a farewell show with his old band before moving to Havana, Cuba for a study abroad opportunity. It was in Cuba, however, that Osborne met a community of students and artists who encouraged him to return his focus to music once more, dusting off the SUSTO name he’d pegged as a potential placeholder for songs he couldn’t quite let go of (a Latin American term for a condition that can roughly be described as an intense, spiritual, ongoing panic attack), and, just a few months later, returning stateside to record an eponymous debut LP. Reenergized and fully committed to making music his full-time focus, Justin recruited a revolving band of players and collaborators, helping flesh out SUSTO’s rootsy yet poppy, folky yet indie stylings, which soon caught the ear of fans and critics, and earned the group spots on the road with acts like Band of Horses, Shovels & Rope, and The Head & The Heart. 2017’s sophomore effort, & I’m Fine Today, helped to further cement SUSTO’s sound and to eliminate any doubt that music is the path Justin Osborne was born to pursue, and recent years have seen the group become a festival fixture, make their TV debut, and continue to tour regularly. With this year’s latest, Ever Since I Lost My Mind, helmed by Grammy winning producer Ian Fitchuck, Osborne feels more comfortable than ever embracing his role and SUSTO’s sole primary creative core (a position he had to settle into after prior years playing in bands), and crafted the project’s strongest, most personal and earnest, and best representative effort to date, making SUSTO’s Nashville return perfect both for longtime fans and newcomers alike. Don’t miss out!
Longtime friends and collaborators Jake Cochran and Jeff Gorman formed their indie rock project Illiterate Light after spending years playing and performing alongside each other in various projects and endeavors, including eclectic ventures like running an organic farm in the Shenandoah Valley, touring the mid-Atlantic by bicycle, and living in small communities while pursuing modes of alternative education. Hailing from Harrisonburg, VA, though they’ve immersed themselves in the scenes of both Richmond, VA and here in Nashville as well, the duo formally came together in the summer of 2015, cutting their teeth at local breweries and other venues in regional areas like Washington, DC, and Charlottesville. Since the release of their debut EP Langue in 2015, the pair have sought to transcend the typical limitations of making rock music as a duo, with Gorman expanding on his melodic guitar work and earnest, personal lyrical style by playing synth bass with his feet, and Cochran adding lush and harmonic vocals on top of his anchoring drum work. The result is an expensive, pop accessible, genre and era spanning sound that has really come into its own across subsequent singles and EPs, most recently this year’s Sweet Beast, as the duo work to craft their debut full-length with producer Vance Powell. A stellar live outfit with Nashville ties, Illiterate Light are an excellent and essential addition to this lineup.
Indie pop project Frances Cone initially began as a solo vehicle for classically trained singer, songwriter, and pianist Christina Cone, who grew up in Charleston in a musical family, and initially adopted the moniker (named after two generations of musical family members) upon moving to Brooklyn, releasing her debut full-length, Come Back, in 2013, setting the template for the group’s lush, soulful, genre-bending, and atmospheric pop sound. The addition of bassist and vocalist Andrew Doherty, however, who became both Cone’s musical partner and life partner, helped usher in a seocnd era for the project, who achieved their widest recongization yet after releasing 2016 single “Arizona.” The pair spent some time traveling and slowly working on a new full-length, eventually opting to settle full-time in Nashville, ahead of this year’s long-awaited sophomore LP Late Riser. Renewed for their dreamy, poppy, lovely, melodic, and inventive sound, Frances Cone are a gem in the indie landscape and a transplanted act Nashville is incredibly lucky to count as part of our local scene. 2019’s sure to be a big year now that the band are back on broader critical radar, and with a live show that’s just as thoughtful and honed as their records, you’ll absolutely want to make a point to arrive early!
SUSTO, Illiterate Light, and Frances Cone will perform tonight, April 12 at The Basement East. The show is 18+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.