While the primary focus of The Ghost is definitely music from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area, there’s been a surge of great music coming from the Austin area that’s too big to ignore. Many of the acts have earned repeated mentions on the blog, while others have newly come to my attention. All are acts that show why ATX is one of the strongest musical hubs in America. In fact, I’ll say that this year, I feel like the Austin talent is so far outshining DFW talent. Maybe that’ll light a fire under the collective local music scene’s derriere.
In any case, enjoy these sixteen songs, and expect a DFW heavy list next week.
- Mobley, “Victoria”
Alas, no one took the time to even TRY to win tickets to tonight’s show with Mobley at The Grotto. But don’t feel bad; one day we’ll look back on that and laugh at it. Actually, I have a hunch that he’s about to hit it super big, my readers will be kicking themselves for not trying to win tickets, and I’ll be laughing at all of y’all. But hey, it’s all good.
- Reddening West, “All You Need”
It would not be fair for The Ghost to say that the whole reason for my recent love affair with Austin music is because of Reddening West. It also wouldn’t be fair for me to minimize the role this band has played into spotlighting the talent in Austin. It’s not often that The Ghost has love at first listen with music, but that’s the exact right description of my reaction to their songs from the Where We Started EP. There is an intense, almost primal beauty in this music. Just listen, and you should get it.
- Pema, “My Intentions Are Good”
Here’s my latest discovery courtesy of the OVRLD web site. It’s a shame that there’s no Dallas equivalent where local music is the center of the blog and that posts regularly. Even at The Ghost’s best, this blog has never managed the same level of quality output as OVRLD. But, I digress. Thanks to the site for turning me on to this cool track with its St. Vincent-meets-the-1980’s vibe.
- Calliope Musicals, “Vegas”
Yet another great track from their great Times Owes You Nothing album.
- The Cover Letter, “Pretty Girls”
Quite possibly the best performance I’ve seen thus far in 2016 is courtesy of this band. If you haven’t made it out to a show of theirs yet, change that immediately. They’ll be performing on the 13th of this month at Shipping & Receiving, and word on the street is they’ll even be doing an extra special GOBL show over this summer. Want to know more? Sorry, you’ll have to wait…
- Sarah Jarosz, “House of Mercy”
It used to be that I used to think of Sarah Jarosz as “that other artist that would come up on Google when I was searching for Sarah Jaffe”. Now, she’s an artist that I’m listening to on a VERY regular basis, and I don’t foresee that changing any time in the near future.
- Cherubs, “Fists in the Air (Tim Harrington Remix)”
I wouldn’t have thought that this song would remix well. Props to Tim Harrington for doing a cool remix of this killer rock track.
- We Have Castles, “Olivia”
Gorgeous, breathy vocals. Dreamy, hypnotic melodies. Digging this. A lot.
- Poi Dog Pondering, “Living With the Dreaming Body”
Let’s go old school Austin. I mean, really old school. I remember hearing this song regularly on 94.5 KDGE back in the day, never knowing the song title, always thinking of it as the “cold oatmeal” song. Still love this tune.
- Emily Wolfe, “Atta Blues”
Some songs are easy to classify and put into a nice, neat box. This is not one of those songs. Emily Wolfe sets up a stark contrast between her breathy yet soulful vocals and the song’s bluesy, thundery melody. There’s a definite ferocity in this song that forces you to pay attention to Ms. Wolfe.
- BettySoo, “100 Different Ways of Being Alone”
This is one of those songs where the sound of the melody is the emotional opposite of the lyrical content. Ms. Soo knows how to write a mean set of lyrics, and hope she’ll be releasing new tracks in the very near future.
- Iris Noir, “Stare”
There’s something about Iris Noir that feels like what would happen if True Widow and Black Tie Dynasty got caught up in a head on collision. Sure, I could have used less violent imagery to conjure up the perfect description, but in doing so, it would render the description imperfect. There’s a definite jarring quality to Iris Noir’s melodies that forces the listener to pay attention to what I’d call the band’s “darkest wave” sound.
- The Bishops, “Blood Ring”
This Austin trio manages to update the 1990’s R&B/Hip-Hop vibe that ruled the radio waves during that decade and injected it with a truly modern and quirky indie vibe, along with a certain amount of world music vibe. If Top 40 radio would start playing music like this, maybe Top 40 radio wouldn’t get such a bad rap.
- The Mystery Achievement, “Can’t Quit Now”
While I can’t be certain that the band’s name is a nod of the hat to The Pretenders, I do hear a certain amount of a Chrissie Hynde aesthetic in this track. That, of course, is a compliment.
- Soul Track Mind, “Can’t Stop Us Now”
You know, in case you needed a feel good jam.
- Blue Healer, “Only the Rain”
Here’s a gorgeous way to wrap up this playlist.