On the heels of NPR’s tiny desk contest, Bob Boilen (NPR) and Rita Houston (WFUV) invited Phil Pickens and his band the Astronauts to play the legendary Hit Factory in the heart of NYC. NPR Music recalls his sound as “big-hearted” and “rootsy”.
There’s a push-pull in everything Phil Pickens says and doesn’t say, in what he sings and doesn’t sing. “The words I do not say speak louder than I want them to,” he sings in “Fool’s Gold.” Born and raised in Georgia, his crooked smile and royal blue eyes perfectly embody the double edge of kindness and menace in southern hospitality. Pickens has a bracing, expressive voice and a style that blends folk sensibilities and contemporary indie rock