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Much 2 Much wraps up residency at Swan Dive with female-centric lineup

Photo credit: David Brendan Hall

Austin's indie-folk quartet Much 2 Much just wrapped up their November residency at Swan Dive last Thursday evening. The lineup was a female-centric smorgasbord of intricate harmonies, instrumental versatility and head-turning musical approaches. 

The first act of the evening was a duo set by two of the women of Ley Line, Emilie Basez and Maddy Froncek. The duo played soft and slow, but with raw power and a unique emotional intensity that kept the inhabitants of Swan Dive silent and attentive as ever. Basez and Froncek effortlessly exchanged duties on acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass and percussion, seamlessly shifting between songs without missing a beat. Their set included originals, some sung beautifully in Portuguese, and covers by artists such as Gillian Welch. 

Much 2 Much - fronted by Erin Thelen and Angie Holliday - took the stage next. With fluttering, ethereal harmonies and concise songwriting, Much 2 Much are masters of dynamics and catchy hooks. Thelen and Holliday are each proficient at guitar and keys, and both bring different methods to their instruments, so no single song sounds quite alike. Backed by a powerful rhythm section consisting of Tyler Irvine on drums and Alex Browne on bass, Much 2 Much plowed through their set with smiles and fervor to an uproarious crowd.

The last act of the evening was the trio of Allysa Grace Music. Grace's music is an intriguing blend of jazz, soul and prog-rock, with songs that often descend into what feel like free-form jams. Grace's stage presence is strong, and she addresses the crowd with an affable ease that belies the complexity of her music. In a town filled to the brim with guitar players, it's refreshing to see a band without guitar. Instead, Grace's keyboard is the centerpiece instrument, with bassist Ben Bradshaw often taking lead excursions on his five-string bass. 

You can catch Much 2 Much at The Lodge and Tavern in Wimberley on December 22nd. Listen to a live version of "Footsteps" below! - Ethan Ames

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