The Best Songs in Dallas, 2010: Sundress Unleashes A Hypnotic Plague at No. 20.

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[Over the next few weeks, we'll be presenting our favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today we take an in-depth look at song No. 20 on the list -- and, please, feel free to click after the jump to grab the song as a free download. Also after the jump, check out songs No. 50-21 in the Top 50 list that will update as it grows...]

Until, well, this week, really, the last few months have seen Denton upstart Sundress taking a bit of a hiatus after having initially exploded onto the scene at the tail end of 2009 and very beginning of 2010.

The time off was much-merited, though; this was a band, that, from the start, was clearly working out some kinks. After debuting in 2009 as This Old House, the band briefly changed its name to ODYSSEY around the time of NX35 2010, only to change its name to Sundress pretty much immediately thereafter. Other changes followed rather quickly -- first to the band's roster, and then, albeit somewhat slightly, to its sound. Those changes, to a degree, appear to have rendered much of the band's sound on its debut EP, the spring-released Fever, somewhat obsolete in retrospect.

But that doesn't mean the release is one that should be ignored.

Bonus mp3:

Sundress -- "Locust"

Quite the opposite, actually: The band may have turned in its sometimes jammy offerings for more heavier fare of late, but Fever showcased this outfit, currently a five-piece, as a band more than capable at crafting an alluring soundscape -- something especially prevalent in "Locust," which we fell in love with at first listen. Yep, just one listen to this track and it's easy to see why we've come to expect a bright future from this promising young collective.

For starters, there's the deliberate pace of the band's songwriting -- a lack of urgency that might be cause for concern in the hands of lesser players, but, in their hands, only seems to enhance one's appreciation of the group's songwriting dynamics. And pretty much everything about those dynamics impress here, too -- from the confidently simple, but hypnotic, riff "Locust" is built around to secondary guitar tones and jazzy drumming that complement it.

Then there's frontman Ryan McAdams vocal work, which, like the reverberated guitar that adds to this song's ethereal aesthetic, washes over the consciousness of its audience in tandem with the music, rather than as a competing element. He and his bandmates may be new to the scene, but their quite evident talents seem to be outright demanding the attention of area music fans for years to come.

Or, as "Locust" proves, that Sundress' work is already well worth praising.

The Top 50 Local Songs of 2010 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
50. Dear Human - "Waiting"
49. Nervous Curtains - "All Yesterday's Parties"
48. Spector 45 - "Try Try Try"
47. Smile Smile - "Beg You To Stay"
46. Robert Gomez - "A Natural State"
45. Florene - "Parc Bitch"
44. Mount Righteous - "Eat Your Wife and Kiss The Barbecue"
43. The Strange Boys - "Be Brave"
42. Soft Environmental Collapse - "A Horse & Buggy Complex"
41. Deepspace5 - "Killing With Kindness"
40. Sextape -- "Lubricated Intimacy"
39. Museum Creatures - "Song ABC"
38. Ocelot - "Beating Hears"
37. Sir Silky - "The Squeeze (The Answer)"
36. Bone - "Homegurl"
35. Ishi - "Come Closer"
34. Hoyotoho - "Born Black"
33. Dorrough - "Get Big"
32. Katie Carroll - "Paper Girl"
31. Final Club - "Ruded"
30. Treal Lee & Prince Rick - "Throwed Off (Fuck Errbody)"
29. South San Gabriel - "All Night Long"
28. The Rocket Summer - "Walls"
27. Darktown Strutters - "Lucifer Rising"
26. School of Seven Bells - "Windstorm"
24. The Burning Hotels - "Austin's Birthday"
23. Doug Burr - "At The Public Dance"
22. The Flowers of God 

feat. Sarah Jaffe
feat. Sarah Jaffe

21. Dondria -- "You're The One"

Sundress -- "Locust"

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