It's been more than two years since Black Tie Dynasty, a surprisingly polarizing local band, called it quits, not long after releasing its sophomore effort, Down Like Anyone. In the intervening months, there have been detours (keyboardist Brian McCorquodale briefly joined up with Telegraph Canyon), fleeting reunions and, well, uncertainty about the band's status.
But now, it can be said, Black Tie Dynasty is, for the foreseeable future, well and truly defunct. Enter BTD's McCorquodale and Cory Watson, who together with fellow ex-BTD'er Blake McWhorter and Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith, form the new band Mon Julien.
"For the past eight months, Brian McCorquodale and myself have been writing and recording new material," Watson writes in an email. "We've crafted a new sound." (McCorquodale and Watson are the band's official core; McWhorter and Smith perform on the forthcoming album.)
And indeed, the unmastered track Watson passed along for me to sample, Roll the Dice, sounds utterly unlike anything Black Tie Dynasty ever released. Fueled by a moody, arresting swirl of guitars and Watson's haunting vocals, Dice conjures visions of vintage Radiohead, tinged with a bit of Slowdive and the Smiths. (An aside: Mon Julien and the new-look Burning Hotels will make for a helluva bill; somebody get on that.)
"It's been hard to keep these songs under wraps," says McCorquodale. "We're real proud and can't wait to share them with everyone."
Watson says Mon Julien will wrap up tracking and mixing its debut LP this month and plans to release the album in November on Dallas' Idol Records, with local CD release shows to follow.