The 10 Best Dallas-Fort Worth Albums of 2016, So Far

Sam Lao's SPCTRM marked a welcome return for the rapper, two and a half years after her last EP.EXPAND
Sam Lao's SPCTRM marked a welcome return for the rapper, two and a half years after her last EP.
Kathy Tran

Everyone knows that 2015 was a big year for North Texas albums, thanks in no small part to the international attention that Leon Bridges' Coming Home garnered. But there was much more to it than just Bridges, of course, and the proof lies in the stellar output of new music to come DFW during the first six months of 2016. This year's output may be even deeper than last year's, so which are the best local albums, EPs and mixtapes to be released so far? 

10. Prosthesis by Mind Spiders

Mind Spiders' fourth LP in five years continues down the trail frontman Mark Ryan started after the dissolution of the Marked Men. Prosthesis clocks in under a half-hour with eight songs that develop the band's blend of surf rock, garage punk and sci-fi dystopian movie soundtracks. Songs like "No Filter" and the title track could easily inspire you to watch Blade Runner or Scanners yet another time. Much more synthetic with programmed drum beats and layers of keyboards, the core sound of the band remains intact. Prosthesis proves how Mind Spiders remains one of the more thought-provoking rock bands around these days. Eric Grubbs

9. Disintegrator by Daniel Markham

Disintegrator is yet another release from the ever-prolific Daniel Markham (who even has a metal-singing alter-ego to help get all those ideas out), but make no mistake about it: It’s not just another record. When added to the offerings from his collaboration with Claire Morales and that black metal alter-ego, Larry Legion, Disintegrator is Markham’s fifth release in the past three years and it's easily the finest of them all. The driving power-pop spirit of 2014’s excellent Pretty Bitchin’ remains alive here with an addictive dash of Creation Records-style fuzz and dreaminess. More than most, Markham doesn’t seem to ever have to worry about choosing quantity over quality.  Kelly Dearmore

8. Fjord by Jacob Metcalf

Fjord, Jacob Metcalf's debut album, wasn't the work of a moment, and it shows. A collection of beautifully brittle melodies, the former Fox and the Bird member had spent as long as a decade working some of these songs into just the right, glistening state. But it paid off: Like the wash of horns that come through midway on "Ein Berliner" or the waltz-step that kicks in on the title track's choruses, every note on Fjord feels perfect, every thought well-considered, and it made for an almost breathtaking work. Jeff Gage

7. August 26 by Post Malone

Post Malone’s August 26 mixtape is more than just the teaser for his upcoming full-length; it's his declaration as an artist. Its 10 tracks feature a who’s-who roster of hip-hop artists including 2 Chainz, Jeremih, Lil Yachty, Larry June and ILoveMakonnen. Malone proves he can effortlessly deliver catchy hooks and shows off a heightened sense of self-awareness through his lyrics. More importantly he ventures outside the norm and experiments on tracks like “Hollywood Dreams/Comedown” and “Oh God.” Malone's still developing his sound, but more importantly August 26 reignited anticipation for his debut album, which is the real point of a mixtape. Mikel Galicia

6. Cosmos by Cygnus

Cosmos is the fifth long player from electro maestro Cygnus. For this release, Cygnus steps out creatively a bit for more soundtrack-like pastures. It's less a collection of floor-friendly DJ tracks and more like incidental music to an anime about cyborgs; if robots had easy listening music, it might sound a lot like this. Bellowing pads and arpeggiated leads take center stage in the music over the understated 808s. The focus on cybernetic melodies over stomping beats makes Cosmos Cygnus’ most accessible release yet. Wanz Dover

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