The Best New Music In Dallas: Midsummer Edition

The Outfitx, TX are getting to be familiar faces this year — and Mel appreciates it
The Outfitx, TX are getting to be familiar faces this year — and Mel appreciates it
Karlo X. Ramos

Six Shooter is a recurring feature where we highlight six new releases by North Texas based musicians with some extra ammo to spare.

Last week, we took a look back at the year to date in Dallas music. We picked out the best North Texas concerts and raised a glass to our favorite local albums. Leon Bridges, whose debut Coming Home has already sold 38,000 copies and went to the top of Billboard's R&B charts, also topped our list of local albums. But with all that excitement behind us, we want to make sure we don't miss any of the great new music that's had us excited this summer. Here's what's had us most excited so far in June and July.

Radioactivity - Silent Kill
Good things are happening in Dallas. Leon Bridges, as we said, is getting lots of national attention. So, too, is our rap scene — a fact that's still pretty new to local rap connoisseurs. But there have always been a few scrappy punk bands in Denton and Dallas catching the eyes of angel-headed hipsters. For instance, Radioactivity, whose new album Silent Kill was premiered on Noisey. It's a loud, aggressive, no bullshit record. Some of the moments here are really catchy and brilliant — maybe even enough to turn a mosh pit into a cool, modern-day dance pit.

Film Noir - Pink Polo EP
This project made it onto our albums of the year (so far) list, and it did so for the simple fact it is amazing. It features Medasin, a teenage producer from North Texas, and Masango, a singer from Virginia. Wow, do they make a hell of a team. These folks are nearly on to a new wave, being absolutely unafraid to explore uncharted waters in music. They call this genre "traphouse jazz," but I wouldn’t call it that. You dance and you feel this music on a soulful level, not just a purely visceral one. There are moments with thundering bass that would typically be associated with EDM or bounce, but with a sweet sax interlude thrown in. This stuff is most like "future bounce jazz." 

Quentin Moore - Dallas Medley
Quentin Moore, an R&B singer with as smooth and sultry a voice as they come, made a superb medley of Dallas R&B and soul songs. It features the likes of Erykah Badu, Leon Bridges, RC & the Gritz and Johnny Stimson; he even snuck in a song by himself in there. Moore’s rundown of R&B from Dallas is excellent and a crash course for anyone interested in the rhythm and blues from the Triple D. 

The Outfit, TX - "Big Daddy"
The Outfit, TX have been included in each and every one of these columns, and for a damn good reason. Every song they’ve released this year has been better than the next. “Big Daddy” is yet another ode to taking another guy’s significant other and having sex with her. The twist here is slight, but comical: The Outfit say they don't have to be the papa, just the "big daddy." We’ve been down this road a million times before, but charisma can make anything feel (almost) new. 

88 Killa - "MPH"
Jeremy Biggers continues to direct the most interesting videos in Dallas. This one for "MPH" is simple, which probably has a little bit to do with the sling on 88 Killa’s arm. Biggers uses a minimalistic stage with arm candy, a chinchilla and the rapper in question being as cool as can be. The song, produced by X the Misfit, is a nice mixture of dark and throwback with bass that’s deep and warped, plus snares that recall the year ‘88 itself. The hook is all about ambition— a million dollars for every mile per hour on the dashboard. Taxes will suck, but life would be luxurious. 

Blessin' and Dripping Wet Double EP
Dallas Distortion Music put out a bunch of cassette tapes for the summer. I would say the best — er, let’s act like we’re running for president here — my favorite is the Dripping Wet and Blessin' double EP. It's a two-for-one of two of Dallas' most promising indie bands. Well, it would be promising if Blessin' hadn't played their final show (for now, anyway) last night at Sons of Hermann Hall. So long to the band. The run was good. And who knows: It may be goodbye, or it may just be "'til we meet again."  

Buffalo Black - "1984"

Few pieces of literature are as frightening as George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, 1984. On his song of the same name, Buffalo Black borrows from the book's bleak and hopeless goalposts in the novel — slogans like WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH and other bits of propaganda sprawled along walls by Big Brother. The production here is stark enough to put you straight into a mindstate to question the powers that be and stay woke. Systemic oppression here is the Room 101 and Buffalo Black is well aware. The jig is up. Way, way, way up. 

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