Stepping away from the traditional idea of a full studio album, Sever is instead releasing a set of seven-inch vinyls over the course of the next year. Each of the six records consists of two songs recorded with a guest artist, the first being Austin’s own Wood & Wire. “I know vinyl is hip,” Sever says. “Everyone is pushing online streaming, but it’s a beautiful thing to know that people are still listening to records. It’s what I grew up on.” The staggered vinyl releases allow the Austin-based singer to play new music more often on tour, despite not having created a full album.
Sever has pulled from Austin for this project in more ways than one. The second release, set for Jan. 22, will feature local artist Little Brave — both as a musician and as a visual artist. “Each of these records is an art piece” Sever says. “I get a different local artist to do the artwork for each. If someone doesn’t own a record player, they can still enjoy the release for the art.” The first release showcases the art of Grace Park, lead vocalist of transcendental folk ensemble the Deer, and the third will feature Dana Falconberry’s vocals and visual art. The seven-inch format is just one way Sever is changing things up. The songs with Wood & Wire are the first he’s recorded with a bluegrass band, and Little Brave’s electro-pop influence comes through in their collaborations. As for the remaining releases, Sever hasn’t decided what precisely he’ll do. “This all started because I had two songs,” he explains. “I’ve got a timeline I have to stick to, but I’m just letting it happen.” Digital copies of the music — for those without a record player —will be available on the singer’s BandCamp site. — ANNE MARIE BEYELER
Originally published in Winter 2016, No. 65