A member of the prolific, ambitious hip-hop collective Brain Gang, Dallas-based rapper Bobby Sessions lives up to his seven-track collection's title -- Passion -- working himself into a lather about life and relationships ("Peer pressure pressed her to the cliff/Let her leap," he fumes early on). Sessions, who doesn't shy away from repping his hometown (the self-explanatory Dallas, TX), is at his best when he's at his wit's end, bound up by his emotions and channeling his feelings into vignettes that grab you by the throat. "While others develop fake personas to cope with their fear of exposing themselves, I've endured some dark times in the past two years in attempt to find me," Sessions writes on his Bandcamp page. Listening to intense tracks like James Harper, you will willingly follow him into the abyss. (bobbysessions.bandcamp.com)
Dru B Shinin' & A-Roy, 'The Truth Tape'
One of SMG Sound's most appealing characteristics is the label roster's willingness to collaborate in-house. On almost any SMG release you hear, it's assured one or more labelmates will turn up a few times over the course of a record. So the arrival of The Truth Tape, which pairs Dru B Shinin' (aka Andrew McCollough) and A-Roy (aka Alan Royal), isn't exactly a surprise -- and neither is the album's smooth, easy greatness. Rapping over bold beats provided by EyeJay the Boy, Dru's wiry, witty rhymes mesh well with A-Roy's huskier, harder presentation. Although Truth Tape comes out swinging -- Raised No Fool is an early highlight -- the LP comes into sharp focus down the back stretch, with Lyrics in the Sky and Eyes of the Wild helping bring the record to a strong close. (spheremusicgroup.bandcamp.com)
The South by Southwest confirmations continue to roll in for North Texas, which seems poised to have its strongest showing at the annual festival in years. Area acts that will be making the trek to Austin include Dorrough, Jessie Frye, the Longshots, Madras, the Orbans, Quaker City Night Hawks, Skeleton Coast, Conner Youngblood and Yung Nation. The music portion of SXSW gets under way March 12.... According to various reports, Dallas' True Widow recently signed with Relapse Records, and will release the follow-up to 2011's As High As the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth later this year.... These Machines Are Winning, which counts singer-songwriter Dylan Silvers among its ranks, will unveil its debut LP Defender 1 on Feb. 12, and will celebrate the release Feb. 9 at Dallas' Double Wide.
Preston Jones, 817-390-7713