“Pay attention,” Jencey Keeton whispers at the top of French 75’s debut EP, Echoes.
It’s an arresting — and appropriate — way to begin a new project: French 75 finds the Dallas-based Keeton, previously aligned with Ryan Hamilton in Smile Smile, now collaborating with her husband, Cole Keeton, on five tracks that create and sustain a very specific down-tempo mood (what the pair describes as an “electro-pop concept”).
The gauzy songs, recorded by the Keetons and mixed/mastered by Tom Polce (who drummed and mixed Smile Smile’s swan song Marry a Stranger), evoke, oddly enough, fellow North Texans Fight Bite (which counts Ejecta member Leanne Macomber among its ranks) — this is music, like the langourous Get Out Tonight or the aching Blue Skies, to become lost inside of. Evaporating like a dream at its conclusion, Echoes nevertheless leaves a strong impression, making French 75 a delicious addition to the ranks of promising North Texas bands.
Dave (The Mohicans), ‘Assists.’
It’s been a minute since the Mohicans’ 2011 debut, Uncas, but for Dave Morgan, the Dallas-based half of the duo ( Devan Bernard Calvin hails from Fort Worth originally), he’s kept busy in the interim, collaborating with a host of area performers like Love, JT and Brother Misfit. They’re just two of the artists found on this 10-track compilation — the unifying element being Morgan’s elastic delivery — which, in keeping with the basketball metaphor opening the LP, is like watching a talented athlete dish out one terrific pass after another, allowing the collaborator an easy slam dunk. From the laid-back groove of Selfish through to Modril Angelou’s aptly titled Boogie, Assists. is a vivid reminder of the value of being a team player.
Moonbather, ‘Out of the Start’ EP
Dallas duo Moonbather ( Caleb Campbell and Teddy Waggy) get positively astral on their debut EP, Out of the Start. The four-song collection doesn’t have much time to make its mark — 13 minutes from start to finish — but thanks to anxious, gorgeous songs like Through Thick & Thin and Stars From Planes, Moonbather offers a sustained burst of beauty, relying on electric guitars as an elegant, organic counterpoint to electronic percussion, manipulated distortion and synthesizers. The pair wraps up its EP release tour Saturday in Austin.