Born in Fargo, ND and raised in Minnesota, Austin Plaine’s music is seeded in storytelling. On his debut self-titled album, you can hear why the 23 year old’s plaintive lyrics and calming rasp have earned early praise. Plaine’s folksy music, at times both unsettling and comforting, has been hailed as “the soundtrack for nostalgia-drunk road trips.” And his voice: “Like worn flannel and faded jeans.” His influences are varied: the storytelling of Dylan, of course (Plaine explains, “Coming from Minnesota, it’s hard not to be influenced by him.... “Boots of Spanish Leather” is one of the first songs I really felt a connection with”). You’ll be reminded of the breadth and genius of Conor Oberst. Listen closely, and you’ll hear bits of his other childhood heroes: Kurt Cobain, Springsteen, Ryan Adams. Plaine’s journey from an unknown to a rising talent started innocuously. “Being a musician full-time was the last thing I thought I would do,” he remembers. “I mean, at one point, I was studying for my LSATs to be a lawyer. But as I was writing more songs, I realized I could see myself doing this.” He was invited down to Nashville to record a few tunes. No pressure, no expectations. Just him and producer Jordan Schmidt (Quietdrive, Motion City Soundtrack), out to try a few songs. Somebody caught on early. MasterCard starting featuring his track “Your Love” in a national commercial. Song appearances on the CW shows Hart of Dixie and NBC’s The Biggest Loser followed. “It’s about that time I was like, hey, maybe this is something I should pursue.” Lyrically, Plaine teeters on the autobiographical, with his personal life mixing seamlessly with his knack for colorful storytelling.
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