Altamesa is a Cosmic Americana and Rock and Roll outfit from Austin, Texas. Originally founded in 2016 by Evan Charles as a solo project and solidified as a group with the addition of The Happen-Ins frontman Sean Faires, Altamesa evokes the sounds and narratives of the lonesome desert and pairs them with contemporary pop and rock sensibilities. The group’s first two records, The Long Ride Home (2016) and Idol Frontier (2019) both earned four star reviews from their hometown press in the Austin Chronicle, lauding Charles as “an impressionistic writer whose pen drips with chilling abstractions.”
On February 8th, 2019, Altamesa released their second full-length album Idol Frontier. The album earned 4 stars from Austin Chronicle music critic Doug Freeman, and was the subject of a full-length feature by Austin Chronicle writer Kevin Curtin that deemed the album a “Sophomore Stunner”. Austin American- Statesman writer Peter Blackstock noted the band’s truly unique sound by commenting that the album “attests to two things: 1) Altamesa is one of the better roots/country-Americana outfits in town, if you can classify them as that; and 2) Much to their credit, they don’t really sound like anybody else.”
Throughout 2018, Altamesa released a six-volume series of singles under the umbrella title “From the Idol Frontier”, a series which, as a whole, would go on to earn a spot on Austin American-Statesman music writer Peter Blackstock’s Top Ten EPs of 2018, and whose first release, “The New West”, ranked as the fifth entry on Austin Chronicle writer Kevin Curtin’s 2018’s Hot Local Singles in Your Area. The series was conceived as a marriage of music, visual art, and narrative free verse poetry: along with each single, songwriter Evan Charles wrote a fictional narrative element featuring an unnamed protagonist referred to as “The Drifter” to accompany and add further context to each song’s lyrical content, and guitarist Sean Faires painted unique watercolor pieces to lend a visual element to each chapter in the story. By the time all six singles were released, any fan diligent enough to follow the band throughout the year would have been rewarded with a six-chapter narrative arc, each accompanied by its own highly distinctive watercolor painting.
In March of 2018, Altamesa was invited to perform at Luck Reunion, held at Willie Nelson’s ranch in Luck, Texas, and in August, was invited to perform at the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Fest.