The Grove: Pleasant or Unpleasant?

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I wanted to share two new tracks that were debuted yesterday.  Musically, the two tracks share little in common.  One song is from one of my favorite bands of the early 2000’s whose sound I’d describe as the halfway point between country and shoegaze.  The other is a new track by my favorite local rapper.  Yet the two acts are bonded by the name of one of Dallas’ most famous (or perhaps infamous) neighborhoods: Pleasant Grove.

The band Pleasant Grove gained a significant following through their dreamy country melodies that were accompanied by their sad and dreary lyrics.  The band hasn’t released an album since 2004’s The Art of Leaving, but that appears to be about to change.  Word is that they’ll be releasing a full length album called The Heart Contortionists this coming February.  The band shared “Lava”, one of the tracks from that album, on the Texas Monthly page.  For those not familiar with the band, “Lava” is very atypical of their sound, sounding less like atmospheric Americana and more like a rock anthem.  Still, this song has long been a fan favorite that many thought would never make it to record.  How good it is to be wrong in this case.

Ghosty Award winning rapper $kaduf lives in Pleasant Grove, and makes many references to his neighborhood in his songs.  His debut EP was titled Grove Side the Realest, and on New Year’s Day, he’ll release a new album entitled Unpleasant Grove.  The first single from that project is “What They Know”, a track that discusses people’s perceptions and misperceptions of Pleasant Grove.  On this track, $kaduf continues to deliver the straight-forward, honest lyrics that I’ve grown accustom to of his.  And $kaduf’s flow is only growing stronger with each release, just like his fan base is continually growing stronger. His performance at The Ghosty Awards won him new fans, and this track should only help matters for $kaduf.

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