It's the season of gratitude, and for those involved in the North Texas music scene, there's quite a lot to be thankful for this year.
Apart from a steady stream of active bands enjoying increased visibility at home and elsewhere, there has also been a steady flow of fantastic albums. Here are three new records worth your time and money.
'The Great Iridescent Glory'
In a city overrun with guitar groups and ambitions pried directly from the Texan tradition, it's startling -- and refreshing -- to hear what a group like Los Noviembres has wrought on its debut album, The Great Iridescent Glory. Vocalist Angie Cassada, guitarist Paul Boll, bassist Paul Unger and drummer Dennis Durick have crafted a cosmopolitan collection of pop -- Sunday in the City (Bom Bom) is a delirious keeper -- unafraid of straying into atmospheric jazz or full-on guitar rave-ups ( Odiame). It's unlike anything I've heard emanating from North Texas -- transporting, inventive and addictive. (soundcloud.com/losnoviembres)
To many music fans, Eric Harvey is probably best known as a member of Spoon. But the now Dallas-based musician is no slouch on his own -- apart from producing local acts like Spook Easy, Harvey also found time this year to reveal his solo debut, Lake Disappointment. These 10 songs are a world away from Britt Daniel's angular art-rock, and are infused with a humility and synth-tinged prairie sprawl that establishes some interesting tensions. Tracks like Year of the Rat and Poor Jude will leave listeners hoping Harvey takes another detour from his day job sooner rather than later. (ericharvey.com)
Ronnie Fauss, 'I Am the Man You Know I'm Not'
The latest local to make good beyond the state's borders, Dallas singer-songwriter Ronnie Fauss was signed earlier this year to Normaltown Records, an imprint of respected Americana label New West. What has changed about his approach, now that he has earned a little more visibility? Not one blessed thing. I Am the Man You Know I'm Not is full of the same rough-hewn country-rock that filled his handful of locally released EPs and likely attracted label attention in the first place. Working with producer Sigurdur Birkis, Fauss fashions one late-night, last-call gem after another, from I Don't See You to Good Enough. Fauss will play Dallas' Club Dada Dec. 15. (ronniefauss.com)
Preston Jones is the Star-Telegram pop music critic, 817-390-7713