The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2010: The Orbans' Music Rings True at No. 6

[Over these last few days of 2010, 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. 6 on the list -- and, please, feel free to click after the jump to watch its accompanying music video. Also after the jump, check out songs Nos. 50-7 in the Top 50 list that will update as it grows...]

It's tough to say what an orban is. The Orbans, we know, are a quintet from Fort Worth that's earned praise from National Public Radio, Paste, Magnet, and even Ben Harper.

But an orban? Who knows.

And maybe that's fitting. The Orbans, after all, are pretty tough to define themselves. By infusing pop, country, alt-country and rock into their broad instrumentation, they're a band that's fairly difficult to define. Even the band would agree -- although its members are pretty sure about what they aren't. And that would be? Anything country-related, they say.

Which, indeed, is the band denying the easiest classification thrown their way -- not unlike the Old 97's before them.

Not bad company to keep. And, actually, intentional or not, there's a lot of Old 97's in The Orbans' sound.

Which is to say that The Orbans are a band that just writes songs and worries about them being good rather than how they fit into their catalog.

And, boy, do they write good songs. The Orbans' June-released debut, When We Were Wild, is as strong a front-to-back album as was released by any act in the region in 2010. And none are better than "Like a Liar."

Showcasing frontman Peter Black's compelling vocals and near-perfect pop-rock songwriting, "Like A Liar," which finds the rest of the band smartly playing within themselves and inside the lines, is, by far actually, the best pop-rock song to come from the region this year -- and maybe even the past five.

Credit Black's impossibly memorable refrain for that much. After just one listen, his deliberately delivered accusation, "You're a liar," unrelentingly snags its claws in your mind -- and threatens to maybe never release its grasp.

But who would want it to?

And that's the point. Classify them as pop, rock, country, alt-country or, well, however you wish. Whichever you decide upon, it doesn't change this unavoidable truth: The Orbans' songs are undeniably good.

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"
Nervous Curtains - "All Yesterday's Parties"
Spector 45 - "Try Try Try"
Smile Smile - "Beg You To Stay"
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"
Soft Environmental Collapse - "A Horse & Buggy Complex"
41. Deepspace5 - "Killing With Kindness"
Sextape -- "Lubricated Intimacy"
Museum Creatures - "Song ABC"
38. Ocelot - "Beating Hears"
37. Sir Silky - "The Squeeze (The Answer)"
Bone - "Homegurl"
35. Ishi - "Come Closer"
34. Hoyotoho - "Born Black"
33. Dorrough - "Get Big"
Katie Carroll - "Paper Girl"
31. Final Club - "Ruded"
30. Treal Lee & Prince Rick - "Throwed Off (Fuck Errbody)"
South San Gabriel - "All Night Long"
The Rocket Summer - "Walls"
Darktown Strutters - "Lucifer Rising"
School of Seven Bells - "Windstorm"
24. The Burning Hotels - "Austin's Birthday"
Doug Burr - "At The Public Dance"
22. The Flowers of God 

feat. Sarah Jaffe

feat. Sarah Jaffe

feat. Sarah Jaffe

feat. Sarah Jaffe

21. Dondria -- "You're The One"
20. Sundress - "Locust"
19. Blixaboy - "Lion Eyes (featuring Emil Rapstine)"
18. A.Dd+ feat. Brown of Sore Losers - "Likeamug"
17. The Secret Handshake - "Every Single Time"
16. Lalagray - "The Hard Part"
15. Sore Losers - "Free Loaders"
14. Leg Sweeper - "Sexy Weekend"
13. Midlake - "Rulers, Ruling All Things"
12. Ryan Thomas Becker - "So Speak"
11. Analog Rebellion - "You've Been Had (Machine)"
10. Mind Spiders -- "Worlds Destroyed"
9. Kimberly -- "Sociopath"
8. Old 97's -- "The Magician"
7. The Beaten Sea -- "Doctor's Not Gonna Cure Our Ills"
6. The Orbans -- "Like a Liar"
5. ????????
4. ????????
3. ????????
2. ????????
1. ????????

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman