The Ghost has thoroughly enjoyed his summer break. I’ve gotten to blog (relatively) more, seen more shows, and wrapped up this weekend with two phenomenal shows celebrating 11 years of Ghostness. But alas, all good things come to an end, and so I will be returning to my day job. I did a bit of cool things over the summer, but one thing I didn’t do is leave the Dallas area. Not even so much as one road trip to Austin, Houston, or any other Texas city.
Since my summer was void of any road trips within Texas, I’m bringing the sounds of Texas to me. All sixteen tracks in this week’s playlist are from this fine state, but none are from the metroplex area. Creating this playlist has helped me delve deeper into the acts that are emerging from the other parts of this state. It also helps give me a few extra ideas for songs to feature during The Ghost’s Road Trip segment of my show on Deep Ellum Radio. So enjoy these sounds from the rest of the state of Texas!
- Michael Witt, “Late Rose”
If you didn’t get to listen to my radio show Wednesday night, you’re not the only one. The servers at Live365 were experiencing issues, which meant none of the Live365 stations were airing appropriately. It seems the station froze in the middle of Mr. Witt’s track, which means you likely missed my plug for his show at Opening Bell Coffee which will happen tonight. So there, now you know.
- Carry Illinois, “Pushing Sound”
There’s just something in the music of Austin’s Carry Illinois that’s super easy to like. I would describe it as something similar to the musical equivalent of comfort food. Even if it’s a new song that I’m less familiar with, there’s a simple beauty to the band’s melodies that are most definitely endearing.
- Cadillac Muzik, “Lac Gospel”
I seem to be late to the game discovering this San Antonio group. There’s a lot of fun in their tracks. “Lac Gospel” is my personal favorite, which wears its OutKast influence proudly on its sleeve. The flow of the track notably mimics that of “B.O.B.”, and Cadillac Muzik does it quite nicely. The only complaint is that I didn’t discover this solid summer jam until a mere few days ago.
- Onetwothreescream, “The First Cold War”
While this project of Austin native Jana Pochop is described as folk-pop, this particular track focuses all its energy on the first half of that phrase. It’s a hauntingly gorgeous track that provides a nice change of musical pace in their EP, Lit. An EP that you need in your collection. Trust me on this.
- Sleepspent, “Something”
Shoegaze has generally stayed on the outskirts of popular music. If there’s a current band that could edge it into the mainstream, El Paso’s Sleepspent might be the ones to pull it off. While the band maintains that dreamy quality synonymous with shoegaze, the percussion and melody have stronger pop hooks than are typical within the genre.
- Casanova Flip, “The Most Ska Song”
I’m not certain it’s the MOST ska song, but San Antonio’s Casanova Flip did manage to write a song that falls squarely in the world of ska. The rest of the band’s album, Feelin’ Sick, fluctuates between ska and punk. But since the only thing happening in local ska seems to be Boss Riot (who just dropped their album), it provides a nice taste of ska in this playlist.
- Reddening West, “Even If”
You may recall that The Ghost kinda liked Austin band Reddening West back in 2016. Actually, I was thoroughly enthralled by the band’s lush, dreamy sounds. Their track “All You Need” ranked at #4 on that year end countdown. In fact, no other truly non-local act has charted higher on my year end list. Well, Reddening West is about to release a full length album, and “Even If” is the first single. It’s to date the band’s most commercial sounding track, but even this captures some of that dreamy quality that made The Ghost fall in love with Reddening West.
- As the City Sleeps, “The Night’s Embrace”
The Ghost’s musical knowledge of El Paso pretty much consists of At the Drive-In, Sleepspent (refer to track #5), and As the City Sleeps. While I’d welcome more suggestions for El Paso bands, it’s certainly a decent starting point, right?
- Midcentury, “Worlds Apart”
Yesterday was my first time to hear this track by Austin’s Midcentury. Perhaps it’s too early then to say it’s my new favorite song. Then again, maybe not.
- Riders Against the Storm, “Same (Once in a Lifetime Remix)”
Because Talking Heads samples are a good thing.
- CAPYAC, “Gold Rush”
The Ghost couldn’t recall whether Austin or Houston was home to CAPYAC. According to their Facebook Page, their current location is “the moon.” Yeah, sure, whatever. The easy comparison for local music fans is Ishi, which CAPYAC have played with on more than one occasion. Just like Ishi, their music is full of feel good vibes and easy to dance to.
- The Belle Sounds, “Setting of the Summer Sun”
The brooding, melancholic indie pop of The Belle Sounds’ “Like a Villain” has been featured on more than one GOBL Radio show and playlist. The rest of the tracks from the band’s The Sea Within are equally captivating, such as this track, the album’s closer.
- Sweet Spirit, “Los Lonely Girls”
Sweet Spirit has made a following for themselves through their live shows and fun tracks. “Los Lonely Girls” will only further their appeal.
- Beth // James, “Lion Eyes”
Congratulations are in order for this Austin based duo. This track managed to be included in Spike Lee’s latest joint, BlacKkKlansman.
- The Suffers, “Mammas”
When you say “soul bands from Houston”, I’d lay money that The Suffers are the first group to come to mind. I’m sure there are other soul bands from the town, but I’d be surprised if there are any better than The Suffers.
- The Cover Letter, “Lies”
If you need a good show this weekend, you might wanna check out Austin’s The Cover Letter, who will be performing at Double-Wide along with locals Henry the Archer and Zach Balch. The Cover Letter remain my favorite non-local live act, thanks to their strong musical skills and incredible energy onstage.