The Best New Music in Dallas, May 2015: The Outfit, TX, Leon Bridges and More
Six Shooter is a recurring feature where we highlight six new releases by North Texas-based musicians with some extra ammo to spare.
Welcome back folks, or maybe welcome back for the very first time. Anyway, last month gave us some truly stellar releases from some folks that get a ton of media coverage, some that get just a little and some that you've probably never heard of before in your natural born life. The six picks this month range from Delta blues to jazz to rap to garage rock, so there's a bunch of great stuff here. I'll go ahead and shut up and get to the music.
The Outfit, TX - "Ü" ft. Maxo Kream
The next Outfit, TX project to be really stellar. One new track, "Wild Turkey," which premiered in Complex back in April, is a terrific ode to the cheap Kentucky bourbon that also warranted a mention from David Foster Wallace and was apparently his drink of choice as well. "Ü" is even better than its predecessor. The track is hard-hitting, sauced up and oozing in Texas-friend funk, and of course a bit supernatural. H-town MC Maxo Kream takes the guest spot and is a great addition to the track, a wonderful guest indeed, taking his shoes off at the door and not refusing the food that's offered. The most pressing question though: Where does one find a Confederate flag with embers and flames sewn into it?
Herrick & Hooley - Herrick & Hooley's Famous Honey
It's a feat and a particular injustice that local media outlets have failed to mention this band before the bro-country aficionado rag, the Fader. Herrick & Hooley create what's best described as a smorgasbord of R&B, jazz and funk. The band's follow-up to 2014's Late Nights is a stellar collection of songs. Famous Honey finds this trio of kids, apparently still in high school, displaying a keen ability to wrestle with both tender and upbeat numbers. Standouts include "Skeletor vs He-Man," "Myah Myah" and "Good Morning."
Los Paganos Del Ritmo - Bop N´The Blues
I found Los Paganos Del Ritmo's Bop N' the Blues sitting fairly innocuously on Bandcamp. I'd expected Latin music with bright horns or with a beautiful acoustic guitar. However, when you press play, what you get is the bopping Delta blues and rockabilly in a completely genuine, raw and do-it-yourself fashion. Then you realize this is truly the rhythm of heathens. It was recorded in a kitchen in Buenos Aires on a single mic with ringleader Mack Stevens, who claims to have released 45 (!) records in his lifetime. The description for the album ends with a challenge, find a more authentic, satisfying group of songs than those presented here, and, well, I think you've got me there, Los Paganos.
Lord Byron - Digital Crucifixion
The cockiest rapper in the world has released his proper full-length follow up to Dark Arts V.2, which was released nearly three years ago. That's a lot of time for a mad scientist to sit in the lab, especially when said mad scientist has a chip on his shoulder. The album is pretty great, the product of many nights, hours and days, and what you have is a pretty magnificent project. The production, somewhat experimental, is a fascinating aspect of the album. It warps, twists and punches you in the chest. Consequently, Lord Byron is well aware of the fact that he could be overshadowed by his beat selection and comes extra hard with his verses. So push it along, trails have been blazed. No gong, all the praise.
Leon Bridges - "Better Man"
Rather than seeming like contrarian assholes, we prefer to look like schizophrenics unable to settle on one take. But such is the beast of thought. "Better Man" is one of the better
North Texas songs released in America this year. It's not at all flashy or overtly balladesque in an attempt to elicit something, as retro artists are wont to do. What's really going on is just Bridges writing the hell out of a song and rasping his way wonderfully through. The band plays with a retro feel and you can only tell it's modern because the snares and sax solo are too crisp. Such is the beast of modern technology. The music video is a cap on the whole retro theme: it's simple, yes, but it really isn't. There are literally a million ways this could have turned out corny and bad. Have you seen the "Bad Blood" video? Or 96 percent of the indie rock music videos? I think it's pretty important that Bridges' shit is pretty much all about the music because that's awesome and we will be spared obfuscation. His debut, Coming Home, comes out on the 23rd of this month. Go buy it and help make Bridges a million dollars.
Fungi Girls - "Snow Dogs" - "God Cops"
Fungi Girls, former prodigy children, are back and with a duo of particularly good songs. The Fort Worth band haven't released a full length since 2011, so it's great to see them back. Currently they're on tour promoting the release of a cassette with new songs (the LP will be released in the fall). Two songs from the release have been released, "Snow Dogs" and "God Cops," which are the the same exact thing as being struck by lightning while on peyote.
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