Cross Record Credit: Jackson Montgomery Schwartz

Emily Cross started Cross Record in Chicago as a solo experimental-pop project and morphed it into a full band shortly before moving to Austin. But soon after Cross Record put out their debut full-length, 2016’s Wabi Sabi (Ba Da Bing), front woman Cross decided to give the group a rest. She became a death doula, providing holistic support for people in the last moments of life, and formed the folk-leaning band Loma with Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg and her husband, Dan Duszynski (also her chief collaborator in Cross Record). While Loma recorded their 2018 self-titled debut for Sub Pop, Cross and Duszynski got divorced and Cross relaunched Cross Record as her own creative outlet. On Cross Record’s new self-titled album (also on Ba Da Bing), Cross and a handful of collaborators create beguiling intimacy through simple piano melodies, somber clarinet lines, and trembling electronics. The songs feel sacred and private, even when Cross steers her ambient style toward the symphonic on “Y/O Dragon,” with its boiling bass synth, chatty percussion, and busy, bell-like synth melody. Cross recently told Bandcamp that making this album reminded her of what it felt like when she first began making music: “Really pure, and exploratory in a really nice, comfortable way.” By tapping into that energy, Cross has delivered something enchanting.   v