The Best New Music in Dallas, August 2016: Devy Stonez, Jonas Martin & More
Jonas Martin's parting gift to Dallas, The Color Scheme, was one of the highlights of new music released in August.
Six Shooter is a recurring feature where we highlight six new releases by North Texas-based musicians.
Quick, thank your lucky stars because it's finally September. That means you can convince yourself that the weather's about to be tolerable now that August is over. (It's not, but still.) On the music front, that often means the best is yet to come, especially as productivity drops in the hot summer months in Dallas. Not so this year, though, as August saw some stellar new music get released from local artists. These were the best of the batch:
Devy Stonez - Rolling Stonez
is a short album by today’s standards with only eight songs, but Devy Stonez makes each one of them count. The Dallas rapper has an assertive, confident and, at times, aggressive voice that would be fitting for the norms of trap beats or any other contemporary style. Instead, Stonez opts to rap atop a collection of smooth, R&B beats that adds a depth to his music and makes it stand out from the crowd. “Geaux” and “Slow It Down” are Stonez at his best, but the whole album is worth a listen a few times over.
Jonas Martin - The Color Scheme
Jonas Martin, late of local rock band Goodnight Ned, recently moved to New York City, but in doing so he left behind a parting gift for his hometown: his sophomore solo album,The Color Scheme
. The songwriting weighs heavy as Martin works through personal grief on record, but the compositions aren’t bogged down in minor chords. Instead, Martin’s sonics bend genres, introduces a wide assortment of music effects and shows an ambitious creativity that continuously piques the listener’s interest.The album is available on Apple Music.
Mallory Merk and Herrick & Hooley - MM & HH
New York singer Mallory Merk and Dallas hip-hop and jazz fusion trio Herrick & Hooley are developing quite the chemistry together. Last year, the two acts teamed up for “Thursday Syrup” and, on H&H’s latest albumTexoma
, Merk can be heard on the song “Canoe.” As he does for H&H, Hunter Lewis meticulously produced this smooth, entrancing six-song EP that Merk effortlessly floats atop of. H&H singer Ian Olney is only featured on one track, but his feature is a fantastic one in the form of “If You Wanna.”
Pyrex Pirates - 3D2Y
In January, we tagged Pyrex Pirates as one of the top 5 rap acts to watch in 2016. Throughout the year they’ve had a steady release of tracks but this month’s release of3D2Y
really gives credibility to that earlier endorsement. The album is a tempered collection of 20 tracks that showcases the trio’s unique brand of hip-hop. At times, the punk aesthetic in their music can be overwhelming for newcomers, but the flow of the album not only introduces each member of the group but progressively builds to a climax of its heaviest material.
FXXXXY - Cartel Shawty EP
It wasn’t too long ago that Post Malone blew up overnight thanks to editorial love from Pigeons & Planes, a music blog within theComplex
infrastructure. This month P&P has showered FXXXXY with the same love as they debuted his song “20 TALIBAND,” then named him one of the best artists of the month in August and debuted hisCartel Shawty
EP yesterday. Here’s to hoping that tinder sparks a fire. He’s already received a cosign from Earl Sweatshirt, as well. The seven-track EP features a lo-fi, hazy aesthetic similar to the Weeknd’s early R&B leanings, matched with FXXXXY's whispered raps and singing.
Convextion - 2845
In 2006, Dallas producer Convextion released a self-titled techno album that is often regarded as one of the best releases in the genre to date. The U.K.’s FACT magazine named it one of the best albums of the decade. Ten years after the fact, Convextion quietly released a new album last week, and a double-LP at that, titled 2845. No word yet on whether it’s one of the best albums of this decade, but it’s certainly an intriguing listen.
Loudiene - Codeine and Crablegs
Xes “Wok” & “Troll”
Snow Tha Product - “Despierta”
Leon Bridges - "Ball of Confusion"
Rikki Blu - "Glory"
The Outfit TX - "Visions of Grandeur"
Cure For Paranoia - "We Matter"
Neon Indian - "Annie"