Check Out New Ones From Bobby Sessions, War Party, Stomach, Xuan, Cheyenne Lee, Bemyfiasco, Jon Danforth, Bryce Bangs, Born Snapped, Clay Perry, 🎸, Jayson Lyric, Ansley and Pass the 40.
Welcome to Songs of the Week, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By putting them all together here in one place, our hope is that you can spend less time searching for relevant new releases and more time giving each one of these jams the proper shine they so deserve. OK? OK.
Bobby Sessions — RVLTN: The Divided States Of AmeriKKKa (Chapter 1)
RIYL: Sparking change.
What else you should know: I haven’t felt this strongly about an album in a very long time. Bobby’s Def Jam debut EP — a concept album of sorts — brings the frankness of the barbershop to the streets, spitting harsh truth after harsh truth in hopes of starting a revolution. It’s brutal. It’s honest. It’s uncompromising. And it’s the kind of stark realness the world needs right now. We’re living in crazy fucking times, and the music on the radio isn’t reflective of what’s going on. Every track on this thing is thought-provoking, as Sessions takes on racism, police brutality and a number of other issues affecting the black community with unapologetic candor. Like his Def Jam label mates in Public Enemy before him, Sessions says the things other rappers think but are too afraid to say on tape. That’s an attribute that makes RVLTN an uncomfortable listen in spots — but only because every bar he spits is the truth. And the fact that we’ve made it this far without me bringing up that Killer Mike pops up on this project with one the dopest verses we’ve heard him do yet? Well, that’s just a testament to how amazing the rest of this release is.
War Party – “Heavy Cream”
RIYL: Laughing until you’re sore.
What else you should know: After spending the last year as Andy Pickett’s live backing band, playing cuts from his White Denim-produced sophomore LP, War Party found itself in a state of evolution. Playing with the neo-soulman has rubbed off on them a bit, helping them become, in their words, “more refined, more modern, poppier and unique — but without sacrificing any of the sharp edges afforded from [our] punk background.” For the band’s third full-length, think less doo-wop and more New Order. Check out the premiere of debut single “Heavy Cream” above in anticipation of the new album’s full release on August 10. A release show will go down August 31 at Three Links.
Stomach — “Written in Flesh”
RIYL: A different kind of pit.
What else you should know: Stomach is T.C. Oliver, Abdon Gonzalez and Sean McLellan, who cut their teeth in bands like Bashe, Baruch the Scribe, The Days and Flohawk. The band released its debut LP about a month ago, but we’re premiering the video above just now. The song begins with a big, long True Widow-esque burst of low and slow before dissolving into a sludgy, almost emo thing when the vocals hit. That is to say the drippy visuals courtesy of Denton artist Brandon Nichols fit it to a T. The band plays Backyard on Bell tomorrow (July 21), and you can stream the rest of their debut here.
Xuan – “We Were Just Talking”
RIYL: Having some fun.
What else you should know: Xuan’s Salim Nourallah-produced debut single is delightfully lighthearted and sugary. It is with sly touch of humor and a heavy dose of bouncy synths that she lets us in on a running inner dialogue while striking up an innocent conversation with a crush. It comes from her Have Some Fun LP, which is due out November 16 via Dallas’ own Palo Santo Records.
Cheyenne Lee — A Little Jazz.
RIYL: Fornicating to Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song.”
What else you should know: Much like the Corn Mo catalog, it’s hard to tell if this is intended as a comedy album or if it’s just the quirkiest thing on the planet. Either way, you’re bound to audibly guffaw at least once as The Rich Girls frontman does his falsetto lounge singer thing on these original tracks. Probably when he says the thing about the tuba blowing magic in her mommy place.
Bemyfiasco – “Taylor Swift”
RIYL: Never ever getting back together.
What else you should know: In a meta turn, Bemyfiasco uses Taylor Swift as a verb — in this case, it means “to write a song about a boy that’s wronged you” – and goes ahead and writes a song about a boy that’s wronged her. For what it’s worth, I think this silky smooth slow jam is loads better than any of those songs about T-Swift’s exes. But that’s just me.
Jon Danforth — Time and Vision
RIYL: Singing and/or songwriting.
What else you should know: The faintly twangy Oak Cliff singer-songwriter released this EP about a month ago, but we’re fairly sure a lot of folks haven’t heard it yet, as Danforth’s music page on Facebook only has 75 likes as of this writing. But it’s all quite well-done. He’s a great singer with an ear for melody, and just enough production to elevate beyond some of the sleepier acoustic songwriter fare. So let’s all go give it a like.
Bryce Bangs — s/t
RIYL: Eating crow.
What else you should know: Guess we can stop talking about how it was weird for Bangs to be headlining Granada now. Judging from these photos from last weekend’s album release show, it looks like it was pretty damn full up in there! In retrospect, it’s not hard to see why, as he mixes the rootsy southern blues rock of Granada-fave Jonathan Tyler with that anthemic pop sound the kids love.
Born Snapped — s/t
RIYL: Loud noises.
What else you should know: There are several brands of heavy on these dudes’ new self-titled release, from late-‘80s indie style a la The Minutemen to smatterings of metal, hardcore, noise rock and — dare I say it? — even pseudo-grunge. There’s a lot of familiar faces in this Denton outfit, including Alex Atchley (Blank-Men, Bad Times) doing the screamin’, Cade Bundrick (Mimisiku) pounding the drums, John Gillespie (Dear Human, Bad Design) guitaring and Rhys Johnson (Whep) slappin’ da bass. They recorded with Britt Robisheaux, who is always good at making these heavier albums sound so immediate. Oh, and Carl Saff mastered it, but that’s a whole other story.
Clay Perry — IKIKN
RIYL: Going to Colorado to get your medicine.
What else you should know: This is not the new rap project of old Spooky Folk guitarist Jesse Clay Perry. This is not the rap project of resurrected 1930s caver Clay Perry, who coined the term “spelunker,” either. It is a solid rap project from an Arlington twentysomething also named Clay Perry.
🎸 – “I’m In Love.”
RIYL: Getting a do-over.
What else you should know: Here we have a heavily-autotuned vocal interpolation of Trick Daddy’s 2001 hit “I’m a Thug.” The semi-problematic word “thug” is replaced by “love” in this case. Shout it from the rooftops!
Jayson Lyric — Brick x Brick 3
What else you should know: This is the third installment of Lyric’s Brick x Brick mixtape series, following previous releases from 2015 and 2016. It’s quite strong, largely because Lyric’s not a mumble rapper, something he proclaims on one of the tape’s early tracks. He’s got a clean and confident delivery to go with his clever references and interesting beats. Check out that cool keys loop in “Trap Gospel,” for example.
Ansley – “Lucky Smoke”
What else you should know: The Panic Volcanic singer’s day goes from bad to worse in the above clip, the debut video for her first-ever solo record. That is, until she smokes that titular upside-down cigarette. It’s an inspirational Mentos commercial of a video that matches the song’s subject matter quite nicely, and then gets delivered with those trademark powerhouse vocals that have made her a Fort Worth favorite. She’ll celebrate the full album’s release tomorrow night (July 21) at Main At South Side.
Pass The 40 – “Tuff”
RIYL: Boots and/or cats.
What else you should know: I recently read one of those “in defense of” articles where a respected music critic defended Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” by saying that we all just hate it because, most of the time, we are hearing it out of context. As in, it was made for the club but it somehow got popular enough that it got radio play and we’d all hear it in our cars and such. If you heard it while you were out dancing and not just through your puny laptop speakers in your cubicle, you’d probably maybe enjoy it! That’s the long way of saying that to get the most enjoyment out of this dance tune, you should probably check Pass The 40 out at Frequency Burst tomorrow night at The Bomb Factory.