Forthcoming album ‘Idol Frontier’ to be released Friday, Feb. 8 with a show at Cheer Up Charlie’s, accompanied by Will Courtney and the Wild Bunch, Chief White Lightning and The Ghost Wolves
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – Jan. 23, 2019) – Today, Austin-based, Cosmic Americana band Altamesa premieres their single “Idol Frontier” from their upcoming record of the same name with Glide Magazine. The premiere can be found here. The album “Idol Frontier” is set to release this Feb. 8 with a performance at Cheer Up Charlie’s (900 Red River St., Austin, Texas 78701). Altamesa will be joined by Will Courtney and the Wild Bunch, Chief White Lightning and The Ghost Wolves for this show. Doors are at 8 p.m. and Altamesa will play at 11 p.m. Tickets for the evening will be on sale at the door for $5 each. Altamesa is the combined effort of frontman Evan Charles and co-producer/guitar player Sean Faires of The Happen-Ins. The band will also have an in-store at Waterloo Records on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.For more information about Altamesa, please see, or see the band’s Spotify, Instagram or Facebook. A promo video about the band is available here.
“’Idol Frontier’ was my attempt to write a highly panoramic song, full of warm and saturated color, from the point of view of a person living on the existential precipice, the line between a former life forever lost and what feels and looks like an endless emptiness ahead,” said Evan Charles. “I don’t know why I got interested in painting this sort of picture, except perhaps that these are the stories where desperation births heroes, where tragedy finds its final bloom. More than any of that, I just wanted to merge the words with the melody to form a seamless piece in which a listener can wander around, a place where your imagination can roam with the imagery. Never hurts to throw a few mean guitar licks over the top either.”
Evan Charles released debut LP “The Long Ride Home” under the name Altamesa in 2016 as a solo project to local critical acclaim. However, it wasn’t until finding a musical kinship with The Happen-Ins’ Sean Faires that the project settled into a group and really started to pick up steam. Their collective efforts evoke a unique mix of desolate desert mysticism and contemporary pop and rock sensibilities. Charles and Faires took to the studio in 2017, resulting in the band’s full-length record “Idol Frontier” a rich, sonic and narrative landscape of nearly cinematic proportions.
“‘Idol Frontier’ had a much more thematic bent than what I had done before,” said Charles. “These songs attempt to explore the mindset of someone who has, to expand on a euphemism, had the rug pulled out from under them, and found that the ground on which they’ve stood for so long was nothing more than a dream of their own invention.”
The duo spent the rest of the year exploring options with regards to releasing the record, and in 2018, decided to put out the album in a series of singles: the first volume, “The New West,” gained regional radio airplay and was featured as one of Austin Chronicle music writer Kevin Curtin’s “Top 10 Local Singles of 2018.” A leaked copy of the record resulted in their invitation to play Luck Reunion during SXSW 2018, an exclusive event featuring Willie Nelson, Kurt Vile, Nathaniel Rateliffe and many others held annually at Willie Nelson’s Luck Ranch in Spicewood, Texas.
“It’s been inspiring to collaborate with Evan on this project and come together to chase a vision,” said Sean Faires. “Taking on the challenge of creating the thematic landscape of ‘Idol Frontier’ really pushed us to hunt down the right pieces and elements that best served the narrative of each song. It allowed for a lot of unbound creative approaches and I think the proof is in the moods and tones of every tune on the album. Even if you miss the lyrics I feel like the intent and nature of the songs are evident within the arrangements.”
“Idol Frontier” was recorded in 2016 at the Skeleton Farm Studio in Leander, owned by Aaron Behrens from Ghostland Observatory and The Midnight Stroll, and was mastered at Terra Nova Studios in 2017. The record was co-produced by Sean Faires and Jonas Wilson and features Evan Charles (vocals, guitars), Sean Faires (guitars, backing vocals), Billy Potts of The Black and White Years and Nic Armstrong and the Thieves (drums), Chris Ritchie of Shivery Shakes (bass), Bill Stevenson of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (bass), Z Lynch of Jonathan Tyler, The Tender Things (bass and backing vocals), Jonas Wilson of The Midnight Stroll (keys/synths, percussion), Ricky Ray Jackson of Steve Earle and the Dukes and Phosphorescent (pedal steel) and Kullen Fuchs of Charley Crockett (trumpet).
“It’s interesting to us, after the past year of working on this thing to see how a project like this will play out,” said Faires. “We did everything we could to avoid thinking about selling the product until we were certain it was right. We wanted to make good art about something specific, something like our heroes made, something that really speaks to a mood or a place in time. I mean, we grew up digging on dudes like Townes and Guy Clark who saw no real monetary success, but also Petty, a guy who saw massive success and still managed to create that authentic connection with people. The not knowing if something like this project will matter today is invigorating.”
  1. The New West
  2. Idol Frontier
  3. Crooked Path
  4. Shadow On Your Heart
  5. Genuine Affection
  6. Strong Enough to Stand Alone
  7. Caught Up On Time
  8. Minor Vice
  9. Troubadour’s Pay (Shadow at Dusk)
  10. Junkyard Chevy
Feb. 6, 2019 – Waterloo Records in-store (5 p.m.)
Feb. 8, 2019 – Cheer Up Charlie’s album release show
Feb. 16, 2019 – Magnolia Motor Lounge
April 19, 2019 – Magnolia Motor Lounge
The word Altamesa technically is not a word. Not in English. Not even in Spanish. Loosely interpreted, it could translate to signify a “higher plateau,” an elevated, rarefied vantage point from which to view the surrounding landscape and environment. It was with this interpretation in mind that songwriter Evan Charles lent the Altamesa moniker to a new musical venture in early 2016. The word was intended by Charles to evoke the sprawling desert plains and desolate panoramas of the American West, the setting in which the project found its first inspirational bloom. It was there, in the shadow of the Davis Mountains, that Charles and fellow songwriter Sean Faires first began their long-standing fascination with the wealth of the desert’s silent lore, the beauty and dread of those western badlands and the people that inhabit them. Altamesa has gone on to play Luck Reunion, Splice Records’ River Revival Fest and Viva Big Bend. Their debut record earned four stars in the Austin Chronicle and the band was listed on Austin Chronicle’s 2016 list of Top Ten Locals You Missed. For more information on Altamesa, please see
For media RSVPs to the official album release show on Feb. 8, 2019 or for general press inquiries, please contact the team at Juice Consulting:
Heather Wagner Reed
713 208 3891
Tyler Ostby
210 854 9119