Spring is in the air and roadside bluebonnets aren't the only things popping up in North Texas right now. New music from artists both new and established, along with a major label debut, highlight the best new music from artists around these parts.
Brave Little Howl, "Tupelo"
Comforting but dramatic and profound, this local group offers a full panorama of roots sounds and rib-sticking American rock. The group's album Our Lives Aren't Movies is due on May 4.
Secrecies, "Hole in My Heart"
This sexy-sounding new synth-pop duo has its first single out now. Featuring the utterly sublime vocals of Shawn Magill (formerly of chamber-rock outfit Home by Hovercraft), "Hole in My Heart" carries with it a danceable sheen reminiscent of Sylvan Esso or some of Blondie's more disco-leaning material.
Bobby Sessions, "Like Me"
Few will argue that Bobby Sessions is one of, if not the, best rappers to come out of Dallas in recent years. More hip-hop fans across the country will hear why, now that he's signed to legendary label Def Jam.
The fiery, breathless "Like Me" features unrelenting, aggressive musicality similar to that of Kanye West's Yeezus era. Be sure to check out Robert Wilonsky's fine article on what he calls "one of this year's best songs."
Becky Middleton, "Tell Me"
Whether it's Leon Bridges or Nathaniel Rateliff, it's easy to slap the "retro" label on soul singers these days. But in her new video for her latest single "Tell Me," Becky Middleton from offers a rich soulfulness blended with crisp production that's timeless, which is the stylistic opposite of vintage.
Red Shahan, "Revolution"
Fort Worth's Red Shahan escapes many of the negative, narrow preconceptions that come with the "Texas country" term. His new record Culberson County is a varied offering that's tough to categorize and is anything but simply country. On "Revolution," Shahan deftly traverses the intersection of rock, soul and country, not unlike award show titan Chris Stapleton.
Daniel Markham, "Silver"
Over the past five years, Denton's Daniel Markham has released more stellar rock records than most artists have any business of releasing in such a short time. Power-pop melodies and insightfully cutting lyrics are killer -- a combo that Markham has long excelled in. His new record Hyperspeed is out on May 25 and features plenty of hand-clappy jams such as "Silver."