Best Of Dallas

10 North Texas Albums You Should Be Excited About This Fall

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Bethan - Time Gone By

Bethan's recording output has been sporadic over their four years as a band, but taking a look at its members is like reading through a local all-star lineup. Whether the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is irrelevant; either way, these guys (and gals) are pretty damn good. Singer Jessi Hall's distinctive vocals, gentle yet shaded with untold wisdom, floats over the avant-pop music provided by husband Daniel and bandmates Jesse Hopkins and Kevin and Becki Howard. The debut single from Time Gone By, teasingly named "Low Expectations," is an understated affair but a perfect encapsulation of what's to come: lush strings, spare drums and a winding guitar line that all weave between heady classical themes and playful pop whimsy. Jeff Gage

Black Dotz - Black Dotz

With Wanz Dover at the helm you can always count on two things: an endlessly renewable source of musical influences, and a love for rhythm-heavy composition. (The guy can make white-noise sound almost funky.) Moving away from his electronic/dance projects for the moment, Dover has positioned himself to re-focus on his rock act the Black Dotz, and with this shift has come a new sound and a new line-up, complete with two guitars and two drummers. The Dotz have slowly moved away from punk and soul toward Afrobeat and Krautrock flourishes, in particular the heady grooves of Can. Following sessions at The Echo Lab studio, The Black Dotz plan to release two records in the coming months. With a fresh approach and engineering duties left in the hands of experienced soundman Matt Barnhart (Pinkish Black, Shellac, Mission of Burma), the Black Dotz upcoming LPs are something to look forward to indeed. Jonathan Patrick

Bludded Head - Reign in Bludd

Bludded Head doesn't fuck around. Just look at the output of the band, effectively the brainchild of frontman Nevada Hill: They've released two EPs in the past, including a self-titled one earlier this year, and now they have a third coming this fall. What's more, "EP" is a bit of misnomer because Bludded Head's songs all tend to hover around the 10-minute mark. Throw in the Slayer reference in the title of the soon-to-be-released Reign in Bludd, which got previewed recently with the amazingly named "Shitsucker Blues," and things get real pretty fast. But even putting all of that aside, Bludded Head's music is lacerating stuff, all hair-raising screams and eviscerating guitar squall carefully calculated to give you nightmares. Odds are nothing else in North Texas this fall will be as punishing, nor as satisfying, as this. JG

Dead Flowers - His Blues 

A year after their last album For You, post-modern rock band Dead Flowers are still covered in classic-rock grit and playing around in the Woodstock mud. Their songs, meanwhile, are playing almost daily on local radio. In an even trade, the Dallas band discards past bits of Americana and country flair for a more aggressive punk influence on their sophomore release, His Blues. The new album, written by lead singer Corey Howe, was tracked live, analog-recorded, engineered and mixed in 10 days by local record label Idol Records. The first single, "I'm Leaving," will be released next week. On October 18th Club Dada will host their CD release party. Shortly after, purists rejoice: it will be sold along with a vinyl record. Eva Raggio

Danny Diamonds - Danny Diamonds

Danny Rush is nothing if not massively proficient. The long time Denton artist has put out music at a steady clip since debuting his first project way back in the mid-2000s. Since then Rush started a new group, Danny Rush & the Designated Drivers, which received multiple Dallas Observer Music Award nominations before eventually meeting its demise in late 2013. Rush is back with an all-new project, Danny Diamonds, and a new self-titled record that was produced by by Alex Bhore of This Will Destroy You. Preview materials for the album have been floating around online for about a month, including several short promo videos that show Rush participating in various forms of chaotic activities, and a video that premiered over on CentralTrack that was shot by local filmmaker extraordinaire (and former Observer staffer/sometimes contributor) Daniel Rodrigue. If the previews are anything to go off of the album, which is being released September 12 at J&J's in Denton, will be a poppier output from one of the areas best song writers, and we can't wait for it. Jaime-Paul Falcon

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