Best Of Dallas

The 30 Best North Texas Albums of 2013: Part Two

There's no definitive way to say how many albums, EPs, mixtapes and other new music came from North Texans in 2013. Bandcamp keeps track of tags, and it has over 400 releases for "Dallas" since mid-April. So figure somewhere well into the thousands.

We listened to as many of those as we could find, and lots of them were really good! This was an especially strong year, with our national and international standard-bearers exploring new territory, and our up-and-comers proving we'll have plenty of excuses to spend another year in dark bars with stages. Our series on the best of those continues today with another ten releases:

See also: The 30 Best North Texas Albums of 2013: Part One

A.Dd+ -- DiveHiFlyLo: Every Man is King In an age where fans can cherry pick and pay only for their favorite songs throughout iTunes, A.Dd+ released this entire album as a free download, and it is an invigorating set of raucous beats and expressive melodies. It will tug at your emotions, with tales of the struggles of the everyman; you'll want to own every minute of this release. This mixtape was among the best collection of Southern hip hop-styled sounds contained within one album in 2013. But still, it retains an unmistakably kinetic quality that only A.Dd+ possesses, one that transcends regional hip hop sub-genres. With the Screw-based dramatic episode bumping through "Where You Been" and the groove-heavy and club-ready "Suitcases," every moment on this album makes for a tough challenge for other local artists to de-throne these kings of Dallas, and a warning to every rap group on the planet. Aaron Ortega

Buffalo Black -- S/T Buffalo Black is a curious case. Dallas rap's anti-hero is often overlooked for his more party-centric counterparts in the local rap scene, but it's not enough to stray him away from the often serious and political undertones of his records. On The Buffalo Black LP, he explores various themes of sexual frustration, social injustice, and civic disconnect. The album's production from Trust Beatz, N.O.M.A.D., Justin McMillin, Mustapha Mond, Mattron, Onetalk, and the rapper himself is some of the best Dallas rap saw all year. Smooth and understated beats perfectly compliment Black's sharp tongue and scathing delivery. Conceptually, the album is one of the most realized bodies of work we had the pleasure of hearing this year. Vanessa Quilantan

Fogg -- Fogg Demos Fogg, the best (and youngest) psych-metal outfit in North Texas, delivered one of the most impressive debuts of the year. Tape hiss glow and Sabbath-like tunings are the staples of the aptly named Fogg Demos. Smeared with shoegaze fuzz and stoner vibes, this five-track release plays out like a reverby mescaline vision pulled straight from every '70s era metal-head. The spindly guitar hooks and woozy timbres paint a dreamy aesthetic--a hazy, neon form that sounds like metal chords trapped in a never-ending film dissolve. Absurd, trippy, and just right, the Fogg Demos represent the biggest mind-fuck DFW birthed in 2013. Jonathan Patrick

Midlake - "Antiphon" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Midlake -- Antiphon Denton heroes Midlake lost lead singer Tim Smith, and as a result, the album they had been working on at the time. The group, now featuring Eric Pulido on the main mic, kept their name and made their most psychedelically pleasing record to date, Antiphon. Less flute and a more up-tempo feel has the collective still sounding very Midlake-like. Such triumph through possible disaster is encouraging, indeed, as theirs is a continually bright future. Kelly Dearmore

Power Trip -- Manifest Decimation Not only did Power Trip release its first full length effort this year, the band also got signed to the Southern Lord record label. After an exhausting tour through most of Europe and Russia, Power Trip paused briefly at home this week before heading out across America in 2014. The best punk/metal band in Dallas is definitely at a make it or break it moment. Darryl Smyers