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The Light Upstairs / Bio

Emily and Christian began playing together as The Light Upstairs in 2010. Since the release of their sophomore album “The Hour of the Pearl” in 2012, they have enjoyed a great run in and around their hometown of Austin, TX. They gleefully opened for Grammy-award winner Eric Johnson at a benefit concert in Bastrop, TX and shared the stage with the critically acclaimed “Y La Bamba” of Portland, OR when the dynamic, Latin-inspired septet came to Austin to play at the legendary Cactus Café.

The warm, wonderful staff at the Cactus Café have since become strong TLU supporters. The club welcomed the band back several times in 2012 and named TLU the Lonestar Beer Artist in Residence for October of that year. Humbled and honored by this recognition, Emily and Christian reveled in their weekly residency gigs at the iconic Austin venue (and the free Lonestar Beers).

The band also earned accolades from local radio station KUT, which played several tracks from “The Hour of the Pearl” and became another source of encouraging support for the duo. The NPR affiliate selected the band’s single “Taxi” as the “Song of the Day”, and the station also invited TLU to perform live in Studio 1A, where the band performed their songs “July”, “Taxi” and “The Sun My Heart”. In response to seeing and hearing the band live for the first time, longtime KUT deejay John Aielli described the band as sounding, “like stained glass in a quiet church.”

Following the success of that album, the band began writing and arranging songs for their follow-up effort, “Breathing Out & In”. Recorded at EAR Studio with veteran Austin musician and producer James Stevens (Moonlight Towers), the nine-song album shows the band building on their foundation of acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies to explore a fuller sound and a wider range of musical styles. The crisp rhythmic structures provided by Kevin Lance (drums) and Jimmy McFeeley (bass) run from classic country to “Rumours”-era Fleetwood Mac, while the brief flashes of Wurlitzer from Gavin Tabone would make Jimmy Cliff smile.

The album is available to stream from the “Music” page, and will be available for purchase in fall 2014. The band is thrilled and thankful to be releasing the album with a show at the Cactus Café in September.
Earlier in 2012, Emily and Christian began recording with Erik Wofford (engineer for Explosions In the Sky, Grupo Fantasma and more) at Cacophony Records. The product is The Hour of the Pearl, a collection of atmospheric anthems for the lonely heart, melancholic and inspiring.

General Info

Band Members
Emily Burns & Christian Glakas
Artist Name
The Light Upstairs
Home Page
Americana / Acoustic

Contact Info

Austin, TX