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Lone Star Sounds: New music from Blue, the Misfit and more

Posted 12:00am on Thursday, May. 15, 2014

Few local debuts — in any genre — were met with as much anticipation as Blue, the Misfit’s Child in the Wild.

A member of the boundary-pushing Brain Gang collective, the man born Brandon Blue is accustomed to being at or near the forefront of what’s next in DFW hip-hop, and with the release of this stunning debut LP, he cements his position as one of the area’s true innovators (and not just because he partnered with Red Bull to offer Wild for free download).

Child in the Wild is an incredible piece of work, showcasing Blue, the Misfit’s eclectic style, weaving in some impressive guests — Fort Worth is well represented by the World Famous Tony Williams and Snow Tha Product (whose cameo on the Under Pressure-sampling Love is dazzling), with Sam Lao, both halves of A.Dd+ and X the Misfit also turning in solid spots — and delivering one of the year’s great tracks with the kinetic, moody All Systems Go. Much like A.Dd+’s masterful 2013 epic DiveHiFlyLo, Child in the Wild is a vivid demarcation line for North Texas hip-hop.

Online: bluethemisfit.com

Vincent Neil Emerson, self-titled

Less than a minute is all it takes for Fort Worth troubadour Vincent Neil Emerson to make a powerful impression, singing of “smelling heartache on [his] breath” in Lady Luck, the first of four tracks found on his new eponymous EP, recorded with Robby and Jennifer Rux of Dreamy Soundz Luke McGlathery.

Emerson’s voice is backed by nothing more than acoustic guitar, but throughout this 13-minute showcase, the 21-year-old repeatedly demonstrates a flair for evoking life’s extremes — love, death — in economical, emotional language. ( Easy to Die even packs a heartrending twist into its three and a half minutes: “A life can be so long/So don’t you close them eyes,” Emerson pleads.) It’s a striking collection, and one which suggests a star being born.

Online: facebook.com/vincentneilemerson

[Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the producer's name. Luke McGlathery produced Vincent Neil Emerson. We regret the error.]

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

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