The Colourist; Photo: Courtney Clark Edmands

Ah first day in Austin – sunshine, tacos, tuneage – a glorious trifecta for those of us with winter on the bones. Coming straight from the polar vortex that’s plagued the top half of the country, I couldn’t wait to dive in, shake it up. I pick up a trio from the California coast, heading towards the madness of 6th street. I was up for anything to get my mind off  having just missed Connan Mockasin’s set at Fader Fort due to flight delay. They were set tracks to Cedar Street, an outdoor venue a skip out of the way of the downtown crowd, 208 West 4th.

The Orange County based group, The Colourist, were up next on a small stage. I walk in to a pumped up crowd excited by ocean-sprayed Cali-pop, clashing around like it’s opening day at the beach. Sparkling through a small set of tunes from  “Put the Fire Out,” likely one of the top pop nuggets off their upcoming self-titled (March 25), the wave they hit on a to-be-titled jam about sticking close to one’s problems, kind of made me feel like a weather hypocrite, but for the sake of spring-forward SXSW, it was perfect:

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The interchanging vocal leads between drummer and vocalist, Mya Tuttle (who’s falsetto has that outerwordly quality, soothing yet poignant) and guitarist Adam Castilla, kept it fun and poppy, a clattering of rhythms, while keeping harmony honed. Austin may not have any beaches, but what’s that silly saying about life being a beach? ‘Cause The Colourist just turned this little blue town big red Texas into something pretty chill and sandy.