One of the unfortunate side effects of a hectic festival season is that local musicians' albums can get lost in the shuffle.
But with South by Southwest and 35 Denton safely behind us, we can return our attention to the unceasing torrent of new recordings from area acts.
Here are four new releases from across North Texas for your ears to enjoy.
Siberian Traps, 'Blackfoot'
This Fort Worth quintet -- Parker Donaldson, Seth Reeves, Luke Iverson, Reid Magette and Pete Wierenga -- aims high with its debut full-length, scraping the stars even as it remains firmly grounded in the rock/folk/country idiom so prevalent in these parts. Although many tunes, particularly Sihasapa, evoke early-period My Morning Jacket, there's a grungier, more urgent feel to Blackfoot, which was produced by Seiji Inouye and recorded last year in Nashville. This is what wide-open spaces sound like, circa now.
Home by Hovercraft, 'Are We Chameleons?'
The level of ambition fueling Home by Hovercraft's debut album is as daunting as it is dazzling -- this Dallas-based collective swings for the fences from the opening moments of this 11-song effort, which has its roots in the theater. Led by husband-wife team Seth and Shawn Magill, and rounded out by Abbey Magill, Max Hartman and Johnny Sequenzia, Home by Hovercraft wears its heightened pop-rock lightly, never tipping over into cloying cuteness. Are We Chameleons? sets a bold, high bar for this go-for-broke group to clear on subsequent records, but one senses the band welcomes the challenge.
Left Arm Tan, 'Alticana'
Fort Worth foursome Left Arm Tan (Troy Austin, Daniel Hines, Tim Manders and Jeff Scroggins) bills its sound as "Americana," which comes as close as anything to succinctly describing the mix of styles percolating beneath the surface of these 13 tracks. The follow-up to 2011's Thurm, Alticana was produced by the tireless Salim Nourallah, and sports his tell-tale professional gloss. Purists may pine for a little more grit, but it's hard to stay mad at these glittering country-rock compositions, which swing from propulsive rockers ( Fading Away) to atmospheric ballads ( Black Dress).
True Fallacy, 'Making All the Noise Go Away'
Dallas duo True Fallacy -- Ben Gorena and Ryan Main -- are enormous fans of mid-to-late-'90s electronica, as evidenced by this, the pair's sophomore effort. Sinister, hard-hitting electronic rock that can't shake comparisons to Nine Inch Nails and KMFDM, True Fallacy's facility with sculpting ominous soundscapes is undermined by a fidelity to its inspirations. Given the skill on display here, it's disappointing the two musicians can't move past faithful evocations of others to push the boundaries and create something more unique.