In the waning days of 2013, the local music scene continues its active ways, releasing new material at a feverish pace.
The past 12 months have been extraordinarily productive ones for area musicians, and next week, I’ll unveil my picks for the top 10 local albums of the year (narrowing down that list has been a brutal task this year in particular, with so much quality to choose from).
But before closing up shop for 2013, here are three more new releases worth your time and attention.
Swindle Boys, ‘Motion’
On their latest EP, Swindle Boys have dispensed with the country-rock impulses found on last year’s One and Three and embraced an anthemic, New Wave sensibility. Brothers Joey and Matthew Swindle have expanded the band to include Josh Smith and Chance Cochran, so the sonic makeover for the Fort Worth foursome makes sense. Swindle Boys, who teamed with producer Alex Gerst for the five-track collection, swing for the fences from the opener, No Other Love, a surging, glittering stunner. The bigger, bolder style suits Swindle Boys, who sound ready to devour stadiums around the world. Swindle Boys celebrate Motion’s release, along with We’rewolves and Brandon Callies Band, on Friday at Three Links in Deep Ellum.
Shadows of Jets, self-titled
From a local super group of sorts — its members have collaborated with a small galaxy of North Texas talent — Shadows of Jets’ debut LP is a throwback record, one favoring hazy vocals, shimmering guitars and a romantic streak in its lyrics harking back to the glory years of shoegazer rock. The band ( Taylor Tatsch and Graham Smith on record, joined by Kenny Hollingsworth and Mike Ratliff live) makes a confident first showing on these 10 tracks, alternating between gorgeous, widescreen compositions ( Blinds) and infectious tracks that would, in a just world, lodge themselves in heavy rotation ( San Antonio). Shadows of Jets perform, along with Erik Chandler and Jetta in the Ghost Tree, on Saturday at Lola’s Saloon.
Admittedly, the North Texas tie to this haunting record is tenuous — former Dentonite Leanne Macomber, late of Neon Indian, Fight Bite and Christian! Teenage Runaway, among others, has lived in New York for the past few years — but one trip through Dominae, and it’s impossible not to feel a strong urge to tell everyone you know to pick up the record. Macomber’s gossamer, reverb-laden vocals float in and around Joel Ford’s synth-pop soundscapes, which deftly evoke the halcyon days of late-’80’s pop. From beautiful opener Mistress through to the triumphant finale, Tempest, Dominae is a compact beauty that rewards repeat listens.