Savor summer with some local releases, courtesy of these area acts:
Arlington quintet Early Morning Creatures ( Michael Moran, Will Carmack, Louis Le Jeune, Todd Cotham and Daniel Deibert) can scarcely contain its exuberance within the six tracks that make up the Creatures' self-titled EP. A terrific blast of folk-tinged rock, anchored by Moran's full-throated vocals and propelled by the band's musical chemistry, Early Morning Creatures manages to sound like Texas while also standing apart from it (see: Shame on Me, a grinding tune that would set red-dirt country fans' heads bobbing, but doesn't slip into predictable cliché).
On first listen, Denton singer-songwriter Cory Patrick Coleman can be a little jarring. After all, he's making music nominally categorizable as folk (complete with the genre's attendant violin, pedal steel and acoustic-guitar accompaniment), but Coleman's arresting voice is a strangled falsetto, choked out and floating above the lovingly burnished sonics. Over the course of Bird Sounds' seven tracks, however, Coleman subverts expectations to pleasing effect: Porchlight is dappled with electronic effects, while You'll See fractures the notion of a traditional alt-country waltz. Succumb to its off-center charms, and Bird Sounds might just flutter away with your heart.
Dallas quartet Spook Easy drifts along on its debut full-length, Faux Show, doling out pleasant if unremarkable surf-tinged rock. Then, a little more than halfway through the album, the track Matchstick causes everything to snap into focus. Led by vocalist/keyboardist Stephanie Burns, Spook Easy, which also features guitarist/vocalist Logan Kelson, bassist Joe Tacke and drummer Adam Locklear, weds vibrant vocals to an insistent melody, and indeed, the back half of Faux Show is far stronger than the front. Still, this Eric Harvey ( Spoon)-produced LP, ideal for pool days or barbecues, also marks Spook Easy as a band worth keeping tabs on.
Fort Worth rapper-producer Dru B Shinin' unveiled a handful of unreleased tracks from his recent All American LP earlier this week. The compilation, Spilt Paint II: The All American Edition, is available for free download at drubshinin.bandcamp.com.... Dallas rock quintet the Backsliders called it quits after seven years this week. "We really appreciate all of the hard work from all of our past members and those of you who have supported us," wrote the band on its Facebook page.... 2826 Arnetic, an independently owned venue relocating from Deep Ellum to Race Street in Fort Worth, has pushed back its opening from this week to an undisclosed date. The first booking, a July 19 show featuring Fortunate Youth and a handful of local bands, has been moved to Rack Daddy's in North Richland Hills.
Preston Jones is the Star-Telegram pop music critic, 817-390-7713