Best Of Dallas

The 10 Best Dallas-Fort Worth Songs of 2016, So Far

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5. "Animal Rites" by John Congleton


The opening bow on John Congleton's first post-Paper Chase LP sounds like a cross between his past and present. With air-raid keyboards, a sinister piano line and distorted drum beats, "Animal Rites" is plenty familiar, but it's full of new sounds, as well. Way more upbeat than what Congleton has been known for, the tune shows what he has learned as a producer in the past five years and how he has grown as a songwriter. Still loving to stick with macabre metaphors about life and society, "Animal Rites" features one of the most memorable lines in recent memory: "If you want to see a dead body, take off your clothes." Eric Grubbs

4. "Gold Link" by Sam Lao

"Come on over here and get to know me," Sam Lao implores on the chorus to "Gold Link," and in many ways that's the story of everything this multitalented rapper and singer is about in 2016. Two and a half years after releasing her debut EP, West Panetgo, Lao delivered SPCTRM, the much-anticipated followup, and did it all on her own terms. Smart, slinky and sassy, "Gold Link" is an irresistibly smooth track, every bar dripping with Lao's self-assuredness. She knows exactly what she wants, and songs like this is how to make it happen. Jeff Gage

3. "Sign Off" by the Dividends

"Sign Off oozes with effortlessness. This is Sarah Jaffe in top form as a vocalist, with too-cool, moody lyrics and a chorus with an attitude that seems to look down on you, annoyed, and say, “I can sign off on that.” The production from S1, the other half of Dividends, is cinematic, like Will Hunting doing math: This is easy for him and he wants you to know it. “Sign Off” has so much potential as a single that it's hard to believe Dividends would play a single show and move on after releasing it, but that's exactly what they plan to do after performing last week at Trees. Still, don’t be surprised if you hear "Sign Off" in a commercial.  JH

2. "Go Flex" by Post Malone

Post Malone’s second official single, “Go Flex,” is primed to soundtrack the most memorable of your summer nights. Similar to “White Iverson,” the breakout, viral hit that launched the Grapevine native into stardom in 2015, "Go Flex" features his signature reverberated vocals laced with an infectious hook that begs to be played on repeat. The song also features smooth guitar strumming played by the Malone himself, which isn’t anything new for him but marks the first time he’s featured it in his recorded music. If his performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! was any indicator, there will be plenty more where that came from as the release of Malone's debut full-length approaches. MG
1. "My Church" by Maren Morris

For the second year in a row, someone from west of Dallas is talking the world by storm. Last year it was Fort Worth's Leon Bridges, and this year it's Arlington's Maren Morris. Like Bridges' Coming Home, Morris thrives on an appreciation for what made the classics, well, classic — and "My Church" is her way of spreading the good word. Hank Williams and Johnny Cash get their nods, but Morris doesn't need the boys to make her point; having cut her teeth as a Nashville songwriter, she knows all about the lure of the sacred and profane, and the saving grace in cranking up that FM radio on the open road. JG
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Dallas Observer Music Staff