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Lone Star Sounds: New music from the Polyphonic Spree and more

Posted 2:18pm on Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013

The local music scene keeps hurtling forward, with new music bubbling up to the surface on an almost-daily basis. Some releases understandably get lost in the shuffle, but the worthwhile efforts make an impression lasting well beyond initial release dates. Here are three recent releases from North Texas musicians worth your time and money.

The Polyphonic Spree, ‘Yes, It’s True’

A decade is a long time for any band to hold together, let alone one as sprawling as Tim DeLaughter’s “choral symphonic pop-rock” ensemble the Polyphonic Spree. Yet, here it is, a full 13 years after first forming, with dozens of members having come and gone, sounding downright eager on its fourth studio album, Yes, It’s True, in stores Tuesday. Perhaps part of the spark comes from DeLaughter’s having recharged his creative batteries with the dazzling Preteen Zenith project, as well as having dispensed with the militaristic psychedelics of 2007’s The Fragile Army. At South by Southwest this past March, the Spree, sporting new, neon-tinted garb, crammed onto Red 7’s patio stage and displayed an exuberance notable even for this bunch. That infectious kinetic energy is evident throughout True, from the chin-up anthem Hold Yourself Up through to the synth-laced Raise Your Head. If this LP is any indication, the Dallas-based Spree has another productive decade in it yet.

Online: thepolyphonicspree.com

Wire Nest, self-titled

Slowly, subtly, Wire Nest’s eponymous debut sneaks up on the listener. Fort Worth’s Frank Cervantez and John Nuckels, who’ve spent more than a decade creating together as part of “live dub” act Sub Oslo, have created something eminently engaging with this 10-song collection, billed as “experimental,” “electronic” and “ambient,” but which feels utterly accessible. Constructed to ebb and flow as one seemingly continuous piece of music, Wire Test is deftly assembled to give listeners a sensation not unlike floating. Opener It’s Fine skitters out of the speakers, as the appropriately spacey Moon Buggy bleeds into Dubtron Returns. On and on the music oscillates outward, stretching over almost an hour. As Sea of Sand fades out, it’s almost as if a long vacation has come to an end.

Online: wirenest.bandcamp.com

Jolie Holliday, ‘Somebody Who Can’

Dallas native Jolie Holliday evokes memories of the country music genre — strong women singing songs laced with faith and hard-won insight — that can be tough to find in 2013. For her third album, Holliday, whose warm voice feels instantly familiar and inviting, breezes between anthems and ballads with ease (any singer who can wring pathos out of a tune titled Waffle House deserves kudos). If there’s any criticism to level at Somebody Who Can, it’s admittedly slight: Holliday seems to err on the side of too much polish, when a little more grit would serve her well. Still, for those aching for the good ol’ days of fiddle, pedal steel and a vocalist capable of putting tears in your beer, Holliday has what you’re after.

Online: jolieholliday.com

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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