New Music From Jesus Chris + The Beetles, Vegan Shark, Danny Diamonds, Rania Khoury, Devy Stonez, Junk Food, Devan Bernard, G.U.N., Slimy Member and Dear Rachel.
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.
Jesus Chris + The Beetles — Trickle Down.
What else you should know: Whereas most ‘90s kids used the “go back to the jerk store” tell-off at some point to goad their enemies, JC+TB takes the opposite approach, welcoming their adversaries to the jerk store on the eighth track of its sophomore record. Last year, the Denton noise outfit took us by surprise by releasing one of the better albums of 2016. Its follow-up has much of the same tongue-in-cheek humor — much of it self-deprecating — alongside bursts of controlled chaos and noise with just enough hooky elements to help make sense of the bedlam immediately from the first listen. That is to say, even while spreading their wings a bit, JC+TB still boasts all the same qualities that made us fall in love with them in the first place.
Vegan Shark – “Sins of a Son.”
RIYL: Feeling old.
What else you should know: Nothing makes you feel older/more dad-like than watching kids whose dads you played in bands with start bands of their own. The feeling’s multiplied when they start playing the same stages, sharing the same bills and getting mentions in the same publications your bands are. That’s what I feel like when I watch this teen outfit, two members whose dads I’ve played with, and who’ll be playing one of Three Links’ anniversary shows this weekend. At the same time, I don’t think nepotism has anything to do with the attention they’ve been receiving. They’re just a real solid rock band, whose usual sets are a bit more angular than the pop-punk offered up on this new single.
Danny Diamonds — Fruitvale Fire.
RIYL: Miniscule communications devices.
What else you should know: Knowing when not to play is just as important, or hell, maybe more important, than knowing when and what to play. From my experience, Denton musicians show more restraint when playing together than just about anybody outside of Nashville. Like his second Danny Diamonds record, frontman Daniel Folmer recorded his third LP under that name at Oakland’s Tiny Telephone with John Vanderslice. Also like that record, it combines the easy going pop rock of the first Danny Diamonds record with the twangier output of his Danny Rush & the Designated Drivers catalog.
Rania Khoury – “Break Me Down.”
RIYL: Getting serious.
What else you should know: It’s been a minute, but Rania Khoury is back with a sophomore record, due out April 22. One of our favorite local producers, Jason Burt, had a hand in it, which isn’t surprising to hear. Dude’s had his hand on the pulse lately, working with lots of different folks in lots of different genres, making them all sound great. But Khoury doesn’t require much outside help to sound great. Her strong vocals do that with aplomb. The songwriting and arrangements also find Khoury moving beyond the quirkiness of her last record – which I have to admit is one of the things that drew me to it in the first place – to a place of assured, soulful pop.
Devy Stonez – “Whole Thang.”
RIYL: More than just a piece.
What else you should know: Since releasing his last project in the fall, Devy has racked up nearly half-a-million streams across various outlets, with the nearly 240,000 times “Slow It Down” has been played on Spotify accounting for much of that. Today, he dropped a new single, “Whole Thang,” which he calls a hybrid of underground grunge rap and trap.
Junk Food – “Tennies.”
RIYL: Looping, swooping and/or pulling.
What else you should know: Who knew you could make such a killer dance song about the simple act of putting one’s shoes on?! I guess you do have to have shoes on first before you can dance. I mean, you don’t have to, but I assume when you’re hearing this song on full blast it’s probably in some type of club type environment, and you know how them public bathrooms is…
Devan Bernard – “Supernova.”
RIYL: Calling it a comeback.
What else you should know: Back in 2015, we posted a solo track (the first?) from this onetime member of The Mohicans, ahead of a solo album that we’re still waiting for. But, as of last month, there’s now a second new single to listen to. And it’s not like he’s been totally radio silent; he did recently team up with his old Mohicans partner David Morgan on another new single.
G.U.N. & OG Maco — 2 Face EP.
RIYL: Long distance relationships.
What else you should know: Here’s something to bump on your spring break vacay, kiddos. For four tracks, Dallas’ G.U.N. teams up with Atlanta boy (and member of XXL‘s 2015 Freshman Class) OG Maco, one song of which was produced by area superproducer Cardo (Kendrick Lamar, Drake, 2 Chainz). Quite the company G.U.N. is keeping these days.
Slimy Member — Ugly Music for Ugly People.
RIYL: Not being too sexy for your shirt.
What else you should know: This LP from the Dallas punks doesn’t come out until April, but you can go ahead and stream it in full above. Like the breakneck distorto-guitar riffing you hear? You can pre-order a copy via UK label Drunken Sailor, and it’ll ship April 7.
Dear Rachel — But Really, Only You.
RIYL: Refusing to write yourself off yet.
What else you should know: Pretty great timing on this Dallas pop-rock outfit’s part, deciding to hold its debut album release show at Curtain Club tonight, because these Jimmy Eat World acolytes are the perfect primer to get one hyped about the Greenville Avenue parade tomorrow morning. And, y’know, if they would have made the show tomorrow night, they wouldn’t get to catch a set by their heroes on the big stage.