The temperature outside, sadly, shows no signs of dipping. But neither does the local music scene -- new bands are forming at a steady clip, booking shows and releasing music via Bandcamp, iTunes and even something called a CD (ask your parents). The fresh, exciting sounds point to the diversity flowing through North Texas and onto its stages.
Here are five gotta-hear acts hailing from 'round here that are on the verge of making a very, very big noise.
The Breakfast Machine
Arlington quintet the Breakfast Machine's shimmering psych-pop hits you right between the eyes. Floating along on Meghann Moore's utterly arresting voice, cloaked in reverb and tucked behind gleaming guitar lines, the songs on the band's debut LP, A Pitch to the Wind, sneak up on you and refuse to let go. (You can stream and/or download the record at breakfastmachine.bandcamp.com.) Along with guitarist Ryan Sobczak, bassist Brandon Reynolds, drummer Zack Mayo and guitarist Chris Mansfield, The Breakfast Machine makes a strong case for not overlooking the sounds emanating from the city between Dallas and Fort Worth. Catch the Machine in action Aug. 19 at the Grotto.
It's been a good five months since I heard Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy (aka Arrias Walls and Dionte Rembert, respectively) set an Austin warehouse (metaphorically) on fire. This Dallas duo's brief performance was one of my unquestioned South by Southwest highlights, and the rappers haven't been idle in the interim. Although more than a year has passed since the pair's must-hear Picnictyme-produced LP, When Pigs Fly, was released, along with an odds-and-ends follow-up, Loosies, the rappers have kept busy writing songs for a forthcoming release and, last month, a brief stint opening up West Coast dates for Talib Kweli. They will be at Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas on Aug. 10, but until then, check 'em out at addplus.bandcamp.com.
Fort Worth-based brothers Joey and Matthew Swindle have one of those ready-made back stories the music press devours with a spoon. Raised in an Arkansas household of six children, where the only music they were exposed to was contemporary Christian, the Swindles have retained that sense of expansive spirituality, while embracing a country-rock sound tailor-made for enormous arenas. The pair's debut LP, One and Three, was released in March, and packs a big punch -- songs like For Tonight explode out of the speakers, conjuring visions of racing toward an endless horizon. (You can stream and/or download the album at swindleboys.bandcamp.com.) Let Swindle Boys expand your mind Saturday at City Tavern in Dallas.
What I wrote about this talented Dallas trio two months ago, reviewing its stellar debut EP, Into the Sea, is even more true now: I can't stop listening to tracks like Mutiny at Toho Bay or Hollyglen. Ruth Smith, Derek Kutzer and recent addition Dan Bornhorst wrote and recorded these tunes, which stoke anticipation that, for Blackstone Rangers, the best is yet to come. Hear the tunes at blackstonerangers.bandcamp.com and see the band perform live Sunday at the Double Wide in Dallas.
Year of the Bear
A trio made up of former Lift to Experience bassist Josh Browning and husband-wife team Robby and Jennifer Rux (on drums and guitars, respectively), Year of the Bear applies a grungy, psychedelic gloss to its straight-ahead garage rock. Formed last year, the group has released its debut recording, a seven-inch single featuring two addictive cuts, Super 8 and That Violent Light. (Hear the band at yearofthebear1111.bandcamp.com.) Year of the Bear will perform Aug. 9 at Magnolia Motor Lounge, as part of Fou's farewell show.