The year's end is fast approaching, and with it, the consideration of what best represented the sounds of North Texas in 2012. (And on that note, if you're a local musician and would like me to consider your album for my year-end list, please send it to 808 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth, TX 76102.)
Here are a few more noteworthy area releases, worth a spin and some of your hard-earned coin. You can hear samples of each at dfw.com/music.
Derek Larson, 'Blood on Blood'
Larson's voice is full of appealing creases and grit -- and he deftly blends country, rock, folk and blues into shadowy, sharply rendered songs on his sophomore album, Blood on Blood. Despite the Burleson singer-songwriter's weary sound and brooding material, Blood on Blood never collapses under the weight of its own despair ("Put the gun to my head, baby, and let loose," he moans in Doomtown), as Larson is backed by an ace foursome known as the Leavers: guitarist/vocalist Dusty Deaton, bassist Aaron Meador, percussionist Nick Diomedes and fiddler Brooke Wallace Deaton. Dreary and dazzling, this Blood leaves an indelible mark. (dereklarsonmusic.com)
Shiny Around the Edges, 'The Night Is a Disco'
More than once during this Denton trio's third full-length album, the listener feels as if minds have been cracked open and spilled onto the floor, leaving a jumble of thoughts, images and feelings to be sifted through. The avant-garde nature of The Night Is a Disco can make for challenging listening -- field recordings, bracing guitar lines, tender piano and fractured electronic textures reside in close proximity. But once you dial into what husband and wife Michael and Jennifer Seman and Michael Forbes are doing, Disco becomes a description-defying, wonderfully left-of-center ride. (shinyaroundtheedges.com)
Josh Weathers Band, 'Big Night in the City'
Live, Weathers bubbles over, fairly exploding off the stage with the force of his songs and the incredible band behind him. So it's a little surprising his latest LP is more of a low, steady boil. But Weathers is compelling at any temperature, even if these nine tracks rarely rise to the levels of a Weathers concert. (Weathers says he may still record a live album at some point.) Apart from restraint, Big Night in the City also finds him pivoting in a new direction: Nashville. Country is more prevalent here than anywhere else in Weathers' catalog, and the shift suits him well. For as polished and compelling as City is, it remains, like all other Weathers recordings, an appetizer to his searing live performances' sumptuous main course. (joshweathersband.com)
Preston Jones is the Star-Telegram pop music critic, 817-390-7713