Two weeks ago, I published a Sunday Spotify Sixteen consisting of only Austin based acts. I also commented on the fact that I felt like Austin music had “outshined” local music thus far in 2016. The result? It was one of the least view and listened to playlists thus far.
Well, this week I decided to make a playlist consisting only of local acts. Truth is, there’s been more great local acts this year than I’ve realized. And this is by no means a comprehensive list of all the best local songs released in 2016, but rather a partial sampling. So enjoy this week’s playlist, as I’ve swung back to the purely local end of the pendulum.
- (monkeysphere), “Come Back to the Show”
You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this band to add their music to the Spotify catalog. There are few acts in Dallas that put on as good of a live show as (monkeysphere), as they proved last night at Checkered Past Winery for their EP release party. So far, the only song from Music for Awkward People to Dance To is “Come Back to the Show”. I’m hoping in the coming weeks that the entire EP will be up, but in the meantime, “Come Back to the Show” is a delicious bit of ska goodness, and a perfect way to start off this playlist.
- Relick, “I Wouldn’t Lie to You”
I’m a sucker for a melody with an interesting chord progression. In fact, for most pop songs, I can listen to a track and figure out most of the chord progression. It takes a really unique chord progression to stump The Ghost. “I Wouldn’t Lie to You” is such a song, and that’s one of the things I love about it. Well played, Relick. Well played.
- Hella Zealous, “Cool Enough”
Yes, the song lives up to the title.
- Daniel Markham, “Slayer Tapes & AM Radio”
I’m not going to say that “Slayer Tapes & AM Radio” is the best song so far this year (even though it’s damn awesome). I will say that it’d be hard to come up with a cooler song title though.
- Mean Motor Scooter, “Such a Seducer”
On my “Ten for Your Attention” post this Wednesday, I meant to share “Such a Seducer”, then ended up posting “Naked Brunch” by accident. Oh well, both are awesome songs, and now you’re getting to hear “Such a Seducer”. So all is good with the world.
- Ronnie Heart, “Smoovie”
It amazes me how much of indie pop is centered around what Top 40 stations were playing in the 1980’s. It’s not that I mind at all. Not in the least. In fact, the 6th grade version of me would’ve been waiting to tape this song on the radio. Yes, I’m old enough to have taped songs off the radio during that decade. Leave me alone.
- Midnight County, “By My Side”
The Ghost gets behind on listening to acts. Call it an occupational hazard. After months of hearing about Midnight County, I finally listened to the band. Good tunes, with “By My Side” being my favorite.
- Matthew Gray, “This Is What I’ve Learned About Losing”
This is a chilling yet painfully beautiful track from Matthew Gray. The minimal production and layering of instruments for some reason brings to mind Simon and Garfunkel. I have to give it up to Mr. Gray on the title track to his latest EP.
- That Dog Don’t Hunt, “Soho Hurry”
If I were to give out an award to the most overlooked band thus far in 2016, hands down it goes to That Dog Don’t Hunt. Part soul, part indie, part new wave, all fun. I hope you all listen carefully and spread the word. This music is too damn good to go overlooked.
- Hightower, “Phantom Pains”
On the band’s Facebook page, they describe themselves as “a sultry, dark, campy, Texi-Cali band peppered with the influences of Surf, Country and Rock.” I’ll give them the rock classification, and Lindsey Hightower’s vocals are undeniably sultry. The rest of the description, however, doesn’t feel right. First off, there’s an unmistakable blues influence on many of the tracks, and the tracks that don’t fit the blues description tend to fall in either the soul or jazz camp. But the most important thing to note is not the disagreement with classification. Rather, it’s the fact that their Echo Spring album is a diverse yet cohesive album that shows the extent of the talent possesed by both Ms. Hightower and the rest of her band.
- Skinny Cooks, “Doing It Wrong”
I’m so loving this more soulful version of Skinny Cooks. Not that I didn’t love earlier tracks live “Ms. Jones” and “Whatever You Say”, but this here? This is just soooo good.
- Bronco Simmons, “Younger Days”
This band has steadily been cool 90’s alternative influenced tracks over the last few months, and each one has been thoroughly enjoyable. Hope the band has another cool new track to debut soon.
- The Broadsiders, “Victim/Victor”
So, you feel like this playlist needs a heavy but high energy track with loads of punk attitude? Okay, that can be arranged.
- The Unlikely Candidates, “Howl”
Absolutely no relation to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club song of the same name, but still a really great song. I have to confess I’ve been sleeping on this band for way too long. This song is definitely waking me up though.
- Vanessa Peters, “All of These Years”
Question: how many ways are there for me to rave about how incredible of a songwriter Vanessa Peters is? I don’t want to become repetitive, so I’m open to suggestions for new ways of expressing what an amazing talent she is.
- Mercury Rocket, “Loving Kind”
I end today’s playlist on a sad note. Mercury Rocket bass player Krissy Arnold left this world late last week. Although I never had the privilege of knowing her, I send my heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, bandmates, and to all who were touched by the music she played.