Michael Fracasso is the sort of longtime, working-class Austin musician that people have in mind when they think about the city and its evolution. (See also this month’s Texas Monthly cover story by Mike Hall.) Fracasso came to Austin in 1990 fresh out of the NYC folk scene and quickly found a home. He landed a “best new artist” award from a local publication and recorded a duet with Lucinda Williams on his first album. In the 26 years that followed, Fracasso didn’t become wildly famous, but he also didn’t lose his knack for writing lush, lovely melodies that made the city take notice—and with “Open,” the first single from his forthcoming album Here Come The Savages, Fracasso showcases those impressive gifts in one of the sadder (but pretty) songs that you can spend a Monday enjoying.
“It was sort of an instantaneous song—I wrote it in a very short time,” Fracasso says of his creative process on the track, which he wrote in anticipation of a major life-changing event. “I wrote the song before I got divorced, and before we even talked about it, but that was what was on my mind—it’s sort of a sense of letting go of things and being okay with it,” he explains. “I write all of my songs in the future—I project myself into the future, and this record was all that.” The rest of Here Come The Savages—which is out April 8, and which Fracasso financed by raising more than $10,000 on Kickstarter—all follows a similar break-up theme. “Even the covers we chose were designed around the same theme,” he says of an album that features his own renditions of songs like the Beach Boys’ “Caroline No” and the Kinks’ “Better Things.” Break-ups can be brutal, but break-up songs—when they’re as pretty as “Open”—make things feel a little better, and Fracasso definitely knows how to deliver on that front.