By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Last time Denton's Sundress released a disc, they were a band in flux. Having recently undergone a name change and a lineup shuffle, the band was just beginning to get acclimated with its members and its sound.
So, in many ways, this sentiment from frontman Ryan McAdams is no surprise: "We're not going to consider the last EP as an official release," he says.
Now, almost a year later, Sundress are in a far better place. They're more established, both in terms of their place in the Denton music community and their sound, and they plan to release their "real debut EP" later this year.
"This is what we're going with, and it sums up how we've changed," McAdams says. "The This Old House days are pretty much gone. It's different people and different music."
Since picking up drummer Brack Cantrell five months ago, Sundress' now-solid lineup provides for much more stability and cohesion—something McAdams says was missing back when the band was called This Old House, and then briefly Oddyssey, before they settled on the Sundress moniker.
The music, McAdams says, while still possessing a "laid-back, poppy feel," has become "a lot more aggressive, much darker and more psychedelic."
It's the sound the band was initially going for, he says: "It's just taken a while for things to fall into place."
The rowdier, more distorted and more uptempo music could be a reason for the rise in the band's popularity among its North Texas audience of late, as Sundress have steadily been booking more shows as headliners and on bills for essentially every major festival in Texas.
"Our last show at Hailey's in February got to capacity," McAdams says, proudly. "I feel like people are receiving it well."
That was just the start. In March, after kicking off the 35 Conferette on the main stage, the band headed to South By Southwest where it played its fair share of shows. In June, they'll play the Free Press Summer Fest in Houston. After this spate of shows, though, McAdams says the band probably won't play too many in the summer.
"We're going to wait for fall to try and hit the road to do a tour that coincides with the release," he says.
Recording on the still nameless EP was wrapped up in early May at the Echo Lab, and it's now in its mastering stages. Above all, though, McAdams says the band is ready to embark on some pretty substantial touring—for as much time as they can possibly pull off.
"Everybody's ready to go," he says. "We don't have kids, we don't have wives. I'd go on tour for the next year if I could."