Hear New Songs From Claire Morales and Wesley Jensen, Mothership, Pleasure Crisis, Nikki Lane, Corner Suns, Old 97’s, Ty Richards, Joe Gorgeous, Lil Ronny MothaF, Dondria, Broke Society, Shear Pleasure, The Warden, Cody Jinks and Closure.
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.
Claire Morales + Wesley Jensen – “Golden Years.”
RIYL: Bowie’s coke years.
What else you should know: We’ve shared a number of collabos and covers from Claire Morales in the past couple of years, but this Bowie cover with Wesley Jensen is maybe the strongest top to bottom of the bunch. It’s no wonder these two were recently announced as official showcasing acts at this year’s SXSW. Oh, and “Just a reminder,” says Morales, “that Station to Station is perfect and will always make your day better.” — Cory Graves
Nikki Lane – “Jackpot.”
RIYL: Lucking out.
What else you should know: Lane isn’t quite a local, but the second single from her upcoming Highway Queen LP is a track that, from a Dallas music writer perspective, I’ve been dying to hear. The song, Lane has gone on record as saying, is about her beau (and her record’s co-producer), Dallas rocker Jonathan Tyler. The inspiration, she once told Rolling Stone comes from the “777” tattoos she and Tyler gave each other shortly after they started dating. Anyway, the album comes out February 17 via New West. — CG
Corner Suns – “The Speed of Sound.”
RIYL: Whatever the opposite of Black Sabbath is?
What else you should know: Corner Suns, one of the many new John Dufilho projects he’s currently juggling, just released its debut album digitally last week. “My original idea for this record was for it to be really heavy,” says Dufilho in a press release. “I wanted to make something that sounded like Black Sabbath, but I realized that I had no idea how to write songs like that.” No matter. For my money, this is the best of Dufilho’s many bands. The band, which also features Brandon Carr, will play an album release in-store at Good Records this Sunday. Rounding out the live band will be familiar faces Jeff Ryan, Andy Lester, Rich Martin “and special guests.” — CG
RIYL: Actual Black Sabbath.
What else you should know: Unlike Corner Suns, Dallas trio Mothership has no trouble churning out heavy riffs. The dudes are currently on a packed string of North American dates in support of their band’s upcoming third album, High Strangeness, which drops March 17 via Ripple Music. Your next chance to catch the boys in town comes February 18 when they headline Three Links. — CG
Old 97’s – “All Who Wander.”
What else you should know: Rhett Miller has always been big on literary references. He dropped a note to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave way back on 1994’s “St. Ignatius.” The title and chorus here, meanwhile, come from the poem “All That is Gold Does Not Glitter,” which appears in the Lord of the Rings books. Hey, Zeppelin alludes to the same poem in “Stairway to Heaven,” too! But it’s nice to see that, for an album that’s supposed to feel like a throwback (the upcoming Graveyard Whistling was recorded in the same West Texas studio as the band’s 1997 breakthrough LP Too Far to Care), Miller’s relying on some of his old tricks. — CG
Ty Richards – “Uncle Ben.”
RIYL: San Francisco treats.
What else you should know: This song about Spiderman’s adoptive father is the third single from Richards’ forthcoming debut LP. The disc’s first single, you might recall, was our second favorite track of 2016. Needless to say, we’re pretty stoked about its February 3 release. In the meantime, Richards gives a little background on the song via his Bandcamp: “When I wrote this, I was listening to Pops Staples’ ‘Don’t Lose This’ a lot. Spencer Tweedy’s drumming on that album pushes the envelope while still remaining classic and timeless. I bought one of those old Green Bullet harmonica microphones at a pawn shop and I was really itching to make a blues song. I sang into the green mic and this is what came out. I like that this song sounds so familiar, like it has existed before in the 1930s. But at the same time it’s getting to a new uncharted territory. The song covers all of these genres but still has a catchy pop sensibility to it. But most of all, it fits my ultimate criteria for this record which is to make music that could be in a scene of a bank robbery.” — CG
Joe Gorgeous – “The Matter.”
RIYL: Going splitsies.
What else you should know: Joe Gorgeous (aka Joey Gorman of The Longshots) is back with a split cassette with Los Angeles-based musician Hoveriii, out on Mock Records. The song above is a cover of a tune penned by Hooveriii’s Bert Hoover. In fact, you can hear Hooveriii’s side of the tape here. — CG
Lil Ronny MothaF — The MothaF’N Legacy Mixtape.
RIYL: The B word.
What else you should know: Ronny’s a great rapper. These beats are great, too. But he refers to women as bitches in every track on this mixtape, which is something we’re just kind of over. It’s 2017, we’ve got enough people in the spotlight/positions of power disrespecting women — our supreme leader in the Oval Office, included. It’s time to start being better/more creative than this. — CG
Dondria – “Options.”
RIYL: Having your pick.
What else you should know: A fitting foil to the mixtape above, the Sachse-sprung R&B-queen-in-the-making Dondria premiered this video via BET a couple days ago. The title — “Options” — is also the name of a lipstick she’s putting out under a new cosmetics line, and her upcoming EP will also have corresponding beauty products for each track. But she’s more than just makeup and glitz – she’s not one to be fucked with. As she sings in the song above: “While you out here acting up, I say I got a few niggas that’ll step right up. / Oh, and don’t be fooled—he’s not the only one with a little black book.” — CG
Broke Society – “Nasty Woman.”
RIYL: Your pussy remaining ungrabbed.
What else you should know: This is the first track from new project Broke Society. It samples the speech Ashley Judd read at the Women’s March, which was written by a 19-year-old from Tennessee named Nina Donovan. — CG
Closure – “Two/ Ten.”
RIYL: The alternative to the alternative.
What else you should know: The Canadian alt-rock band Closure broke up in 2006, leaving the name vacant for this Dallas/Los Angeles-based alt rock band to scoop up. The debut single, the one embedded above, debuted via Alternative Press’ Spotify channel, and they’ll play in town at So What?! Fest this March. — CG
Shear Pleasure .
RIYL: Pure joy.
What else you should know: This is the debut single from this new Denton-based project. Actually, the project is just Jenni Smyth, who plays all the instruments on this herself. That’s the whole reason she started the lo-fi indie project, says the hardcore vet, because doing everything herself has long been a goal of hers.
Cody Jinks – “Wish You Were Here.”
RIYL: Shining on, you crazy diamond.
What else you should know: Jinks is one of the fastest-rising local country stars. I mean, hell, he’s sort of surpassing that local country star tag. His last album was on a bunch of national 2016 year-end lists, and he performed on Conan last night, for chrissakes. He’s striking while the iron’s still hot, and says he’s got another album ready to go late this year. And, just this week, he put out this Pink Floyd cover. — CG
The Warden – “Downtown.”
RIYL: Last call at the Lakewood Landing.
What else you should know: Dallas twang scene vet Ward Richmond’s always been a bit of a goofball, dating back to his days in Slick 57 and Boys Named Sue. His current project, The Warden, is similarly lighthearted and I can’t help but get a bit of a Buster Poindexter vibe from this latest release, the lead single off of the project’s forthcoming sophomore LP, which is of course called L-I-V-I-N. Like last year’s “Our Town”, this single’s chock full of references to drinking and partying around Dallas, which is where it really earns its charms. Well, one of the ways, anyhow. There’s also the quality of players on the track — a list that includes Becky Middleton, John Pedigo, Robbie Saunders, Rocky Garza, Bruce Alford, Chad Stockslager and, hey, our own Cory Graves checking in on horns, too! Also helping the cause? That Richmond quit drinking, as he told AXS this week, which helps his vocals come off more crisply here than they did on the last record. Adds an honest-to-goodness nostalgia factor to the whole deal, too. — PF
Pleasure Crisis – “Deadline.”
RIYL: Borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered ‘80s.
What else you should know: These demos from Pleasure Crisis, one of Dallas’ few female-fronted synthwave acts, are pretty killer. Like any good material from the genre it brings to mind the better days of VHS and illicits dancing. Can’t ask for much more than that. Expect a new album this year, and you can catch them live at Trees on February 3, opening for Austra. — CG