Internationally known as ‘The Live Music Capital of the World,’ Austin’s music culture has led it to become one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. As nearly two dozen high-rises pop up throughout the city amidst economic downfall, how does the working musician get along? This lyrical documentary provides a telescopic view into the lives of Austin’s vibrant young musicians as they grapple with questions of artistic integrity, commercialism, experimentation, and the future of their beloved city. Directed by Nathan Christ and photographed by Robert Garza, Echotone is a cultural portrait of the modern American city examined through the lyrics and lens of its creative class.
There is rising star soul revivalist Black Joe Lewis selling out concert halls by night and delivering fish by day. There's Cari Palazzolo of synth pop sensation Belaire, poised for commercial success, but conflicted over the thought of her music turning into a commodity. Then there is experimental troubadour Bill Baird, whose band Sound Team enjoyed a major label deal with Capitol Records and were subsequently dropped after one album. Interweaving the tales of these young artists to form a mosaic illustrating the universal struggle many contemporary fringe cultures are experiencing, Echotone is a modern parable on integrity set against the back drop of a global economic, political, and cultural paradigm shift.