I do realize that many of y’all will not get to pay the normal level of attention to these ten tracks. That’s what being without power or internet in the midst of the coldest Dallas weather in The Ghost’s lifetime will do. Fortunately, these ten songs will not suffer from hypothermia if you don’t listen to them today. So keep yourself warm, but if you are able to listen, these songs might just warm your spirits a bit.
Let me begin with a song that I wanted to bring to you prior to its release on January 27th, but you know, life happens and all. Market Zero is a new project featuring Justin Casey (Uneasy Pilgrim, The Delzells) along with his former UP bandmate, Joey Owens. Due to the pandemic, none of the recordings have taken place in person between these two long-time collaborators. Their debut single “Lemonade” takes on a 60’s garage-surf style than any of their previous recordings. The hooks help the track go down like a nice cold glass of lemonade on a summer’s day.
While I was supposed to debut the Market Zero single prior to its release, time is permitting me to share this new Berkley single prior to its release this Friday. “Fiesta Day” finds Berkley reflecting on the end of a friendship set against the backdrop of Fiesta Day, a celebration of Latinx culture that would take place in his hometown of Pueblo, Colorado. This mid-tempo slice of indie electronic pop knows how to tug at the emotional heartstrings without ever venturing into the terrain of sappiness or maudlinism.
The Ghost had been wondering lately what had become of Trauma Ray. The band’s first EP was one of the strongest debut releases in local memory. Their take on shoegaze was near perfection, with equal parts beauty and brutality. With no advanced warning, the band dropped their new EP this Sunday on Bandcamp. Their newer tracks rely less on the dreamier end of the shoegaze spectrum, and are even heavier than earlier tracks. Their new EP’s closing track “Deadpan” is a dizzying, intense track about the damaging effects of secrets (“Will your truth come out to play/Ever see the light of day”). While Trauma Ray’s sound has evolved and changed somewhat, the emotional intensity remains the same: full blast.
Somehow Sudie dropped a single last week, and it almost went unnoticed by me. Had it not been for its inclusion on the #WCW radio show last week, I might have totally missed out on the song. Thank to the show’s host, Amber LaFrance, for sharing this R&B tinged electronic jam, and for bringing one great hour’s worth of female based local and Texas artists to the airwaves every Wednesday at 11AM CST on Deep Ellum Radio. Well, every Wednesday except this Wednesday, because of Snowmaggedon and rolling blackouts.
Speaking of Deep Ellum Radio, it’s been a long, long time since Bam Bam of Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs recorded an episode of his sleaze rock show, In the Gutter, for the station. He’s stayed quite busy with other life endeavors, including being a part of The No-Where Jets. The band, comprised of other members of Scary Cherry and The Bang Bangs and Rotting Corpse, is a high octane power pop project. Their first song “TassO”, named after a character in a Philip K Dick novelette, may not explore new musical terrain, but it’s still a hell of a fun journey. And isn’t fun what power pop is all about?
I didn’t know Sarah Martin-Nuss during her days in Dallas, but she told me that she would read my blog, and it’s much appreciated to hear that. She’s now residing in Corpus Christi, half of the electronica duo Dancing in Tongues. Their sound is part synth-pop, part electronic indie, and fully intriguing. The duo’s first song, “I Know You’re There”, may be minimalistic lyrically, but Sarah’s vocals and delivery make the song’s simplicity its strength.
I confess that I didn’t realize the talents of Chris Welch until his solo career. I knew of Pinebox Serenade back in the day, but didn’t spend much time listening to them. My bad. I’m getting a second chance to get into the band as they’ll be releasing their new EP, Haphazardly, this March. The band has already elected to share the EP’s first track, “Finger of God”, prior to its release. I’m sure all the band’s old fans are geeking out over this, and I suspect they’ll make plenty of new converts along the way.
On Zebra Troop’s Bandcamp page, the artist chose the musical tags of alternative, rock, soul, funk, jazz, and pop. That group of labelings may seem random, but upon listening to Camoflauge, these disparate genres start to fit together like pieces of a sonic jigsaw puzzle. My favorite is the album opener “Nothings Just by Chance”, a quirkly, slightly jazzy, and extremely catchy track.
What could be better than a new Texicana song? How about a new song with guest vocals by Trees Marie. It’s a tall order to cover a song that’s best known for the version done by Janis Joplin, but Trees Marie manages to get in touch with her bluesier side and makes this a solid cover, released just in time for all the broken hearted folks on Valentine’s Day.
Whereas Texicana’s release explores the sadder side of love, Ellen Once Again‘s new track, “Loving You”, is every bit as joyous as you would expect. Her positivity is so infectious even a Valentine’s Day Scrooge like The Ghost cannot help but let out a smile listening to this song.
And those are my Ten for Your Attention This Tuesday. Remember, if you’ve got a song that you feel deserves the attention of myself and the GOBL readers, Talk to the Ghost and tell me about it. Until next Tuesday, stay warm and safe!