On January 26, THE HOUSTON BROTHERS will unveil, THE ARCHER – chapter one of a musical diary, with supplementary releases being announced shortly. A team endeavor, The Archer was recorded at the band’s home studio with the aid of a few close friends, subsequently mixed alongside producer, Mitch Easter (REM, Wilco) and finally mastered by Dave Harris (Pattern is Movement, American Princes). The ensuing album breaks new territory — artistically and sonically — for the Houstons, while preserving all the urgency of the live shows with which they have become synonymous.
The duo – Charlotte-based brothers, Justin and Matt Faircloth – formed one of North Carolina’s most memorable acts in the early aughts, a two-piece that played like a much bigger band and didn’t rely on loops or backing tracks to do it. Instead, the Houston Brothers used their multi-instrumental skills to make lushly textured, minor-key indie pop: Justin playing keyboard melodies and synth accents with his right hand, riding a snare and high hat with his left, beating time on a kick-drum, and singing lead; Matt playing rhythm and solo guitar, pushing bass pedals with his feet, and singing harmonies.
The Archer bridges the gap between performer and audience, paying fine homage to our shared experiences and the roads we travel. The opening track, “Wasted Youth,” hints at the difficulties in growing up, with Justin asserting, “I want to do right one way / But there’s a thousand ways to go wrong.” From there we encounter love gained (“Boyfriend”) and love lost (“Chimney Rock”), eventually recognizing that maybe we don’t know everything and head back home for a respite (“Confederate Dunce”). By the closer (“Do What We Can”) we’re left reflecting on all we’ve done, how we’ve gotten there and what we will do with the future.
1. Wasted Youth
3. Chimney Rock
4. Confederate Dunce
5. All We Ever Wanted
6. Do What We Can