The thick of summer is meant for days spent lounging in chlorinated bodies of water, allowing hours to slip past, almost unnoticed.
Finding music that fits such circumstances can be challenging, especially if you’re looking for fresh sounds. Fortunately, North Texas musicians have you covered, with no shortage of new, worthwhile records to spin. Here are three recent releases well worth your time and money.
Did Will Johnson really need something else to do? Apart from a burgeoning side gig as an artist ( he’s painting a series of baseball-inspired canvases) and membership in a half-dozen active and inactive bands (the Denton-based Centro-matic, South San Gabriel, Monsters of Folk and Undertow Orchestra, to name a few), the now Austin-based Johnson felt compelled to get a new group together, teaming up with David Bazan and Matt and Bubba Kadane. The result is Overseas, a group splitting the difference between the Kadane brothers’ penchant for drowsy, epic rock and Johnson’s affinity for jangled, ebullient folk. At 31 minutes, Overseas is over almost before it gets going, but before fading out from the speakers, the record makes enough of an impression that, hopefully, Johnson and his bandmates will be able to squeeze in a follow-up ... y’know, whenever Johnson has a minute to spare.
Jim Colegrove & the New Rough Riders of a Dirty Age, ‘3 Quarter Dime’
Fort Worth singer-songwriter Jim Colegrove’s musical pedigree stretches back decades, deep into Cowtown’s storied past. (Colegrove has jammed with everyone from James Hinkle and the late Stephen Bruton to Allen Ginsberg.) He wears that artistic legacy lightly, continuing to record under his own name and with Lost Country. His latest LP, 3 Quarter Dime, is a full-tilt dose of fretboard fireworks, goosed with a healthy helping of ’50s nostalgia and a hint of surf rock. The 13-track collection of instrumentals roars out of the gate with Chinese Launch — just try to keep your feet from tapping — and doesn’t let up until the appropiately titled closer, Wormburner. Throw this Dime on and watch the sparks fly.
Viktoria, ‘Human Race’
Fort Worth singer-songwriter Viktoria Jones shares a label with local rap dynamos Mount Olympus, and while her breezy pop stylings occasionally crib from hip-hop (Jones recently guested on a Wrex Washington track), she creates a sound all her own on this debut EP. Working with producer Paul Gordon and often relying on nothing more than piano and her evocative alto, Jones weaves intimate tales set against high-stakes backdrops ( Death in Las Vegas). It’s a polished, assured first showing unafraid of a little quirk. Jones is working on her full-length debut, reportedly due out later this year.