Before the pandemic shut down North Texas nightlife in mid-March, it would’ve been a tough task to name a local band enjoying more forward momentum than Bastards of Soul. In the first several weeks of 2020, the group released its stellar debut LP, Spinnin’, which flew off the shelves of local record stores; released an impossibly stylish video; and performed a number of high-profile gigs, culminating with a sold-out, headlining album-release concert in early February.
Of course, that was only three months ago, yet it feels like so much longer. Just as every other band with a busy spring and summer docket, the Bastards have been busy reconfiguring their performance, rehearsal and recording schedule. The crew of accomplished Dallas music vets has also been been giving fans more stuff to groove to.
To follow up on the February video release for “The Waiting Time,” Bastards of Soul are providing a one-two punch of new material. Just a Little Bit, a documentary short, as well as a new seven-inch vinyl single for “If These Walls Could Talk,” are the latest gifts. Perhaps more intriguingly, the single features the previously unreleased “BBQ in Paris” as its B-side.
According to the band’s bass player, Danny Balis, he and his bandmates are simply focusing on steering their sound in the right direction. Sending new material out into the wild is just one part of making the best out of an ever-changing, unpredictable scenario.
“Basically, the only thing we can control is to write songs,” Balis says. “To continue to produce as much digital content as we can, to try and reach the people who developed an interest in our band during the short trajectory that started with us releasing our record in February, which hasn’t been all that long.”
Balis adds that each of the group’s members, Chadwick Murray, Chad Stockslager, Chris Holt and Matt Trimble, have been using the time in quarantine to write songs on their own and to “keep up their chops” in various ways, including solo livestream performances. The guys have been so productive that Balis figures there’s more than enough new Bastards of Soul material for a new album already, which he hopes to see released next summer.
As for the here and now, the mini-doc is an insightful look into why the band has become so beloved. Directed by Jeremy Word and Paul Levatino, the film comes in at just under 10 minutes and offers not only some insanely tight live performance clips, but a full, simmering take of “Just a Little Bit” performed in a packed-out Kessler Theater during the February release show.
Affirming interview clips with the individual members only further the notion these fellows are indeed onto something great with the group they’ve nurtured for over four years. Although it’s an instrumental track, the tighter-than-hell “BBQ in Paris” embodies the lock-step environment in which the band resides. Recorded at Niles City Sound in Fort Worth, the chiming guitar, swelling horns and undeniably entrancing rhythm make this track a worthy addition to the Bastards’ catalog.
Of course, Balis and the rest of the Bastards are ready to relive their live concert glory and play the new songs for fans as soon as possible. He feels comfortable the group will see a return of the good vibes they were enjoying pre-pandemic, but again, for Bastards of Soul, it’s not about what can’t be predicted, but about what they can produce.
“Everyone feels comfortable in that we’re not starting from scratch,” he says. “Who knows how the public will respond? We’re taking care of our own business and are writing some of the best stuff we’ve ever written.”
Watch Just a lIttle Bit below: