New Music From Pageantry, Ariel Hartley & Teddy Georgia Waggy, The Unlikely Candidates, Northern National, Greg Schroeder, Matt Tedder, Lars Warn, Cheridan, Parquet Courts and Bun B, Chris Welch & the Cicada Killers, New Fumes, Will Johnson, Elliott Smith, Saint Clair, Crit Morris and Rob Viktum.
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.
Pageantry – “Olympia” and “Easier.”
What else you should know: Talk about bittersweet. Normally, when we get new stuff from Pageantry, it’s a good day. But this is new Pageantry is the last new Pageantry ever, says the band. “We’re not going to be playing or recording anymore, unfortunately,” frontman Roy Robertson tells us. Bummer! With these last two songs from the band, Pageantry now rides off John Elway-style into the sunset, on top and on its own terms.
Ariel Hartley & Teddy Georgia Waggy – “Time is a Circle.”
RIYL: The philosophy that Death created time to grow the things that it would kill.
What else you should know: This isn’t the first time “King Earl” and “Sir Ted” have collaborated. Last year, the Pearl Earl and Siamese members covered Fat White Family’s “Touch the Leather.” While the main projects from each of these singers is set to release a new album this spring — and to embark on subsequent tours in support thereof — they tell the Observer the may try and find time to record a full-length together at some point.
The Unlikely Candidates – Bed of Liars.
RIYL: Putting a ring on it.
What else you should know: Did you hear TUC left Atlantic? After signing to the label at 2014’s SXSW, the Fort Worth alt-rockers recorded an album that was shelved before the two entities wound up parting ways. Now they break their silence and run from the violence (see: track 3) with a new EP released today via national label Another Century. On it is “Ringer,” one of our top 100 local tracks of 2016, and second single “Your Love Could Start a War,” both of which are being played quite a bit on radio nationally, and the latter of which has already racked up over 2 million plays on Spotify. That makes sense, as this new direction finds the band successfully becoming everything Panic! at the Disco tries so hard to be. Which is to say there’s a huge audience out there for this.
Northern National – “Thumbs.”
RIYL: Getting the digits.
What else you should know: Another radio-ready act with a big year ahead, Northern National spins their wheels a bit ahead of their next big tour with this cover of Girl Meets World actress Sabrina Carpenter’s single.
Greg Schroeder – “Dear New York.”
RIYL: Large red pieces of fruit.
What else you should know: Schroeder and filmmaker Josh Jordan have been doing pre-production on a feature film called This World Won’t Break for a couple years now. Per Jordan, they’re finally ready to begin filming – just as soon as one of their actors, Matthew Posey, recovers from a recent attack. In the meantime, here’s a video the pair shot in New York a couple years back for a song that was only recently recorded in a studio. That recording came courtesy of Christopher Carmichael at his new REX*TONE studio.
Matt Tedder – “We’ll Be Alright.”
RIYL: Shifting gears.
What else you should know: Far removed from the hard-driving blues rock of the young Tedder’s still-pretty-new debut EP, this new single recorded with forward-thinking producer Jason Burt taps the brakes a bit, allowing him to get a little dark and trippy and show off a bit of range.
Lars Warn — “Corrosion.”
RIYL: Strange things and funky games.
What else you should know: It may seem like there’s been an increased awareness for synthwave post-Stranger Things success — and there is — but Lars Warn isn’t a trend-hopper. He’s been doing this type of thing for several years. If folks are just now starting to pay attention, well, that’s their problem.
Cheridan – “Love With You.”
RIYL: Bathing in the purple rain.
What else you should know: There was nothing wrong with Cheridan’s vibey, low-key pop before — or with last year’s decent enough Hawaii by Night. But since linking up with seasoned producer Ish D, she’s definitely reaching new heights. The pair’s first single is an undeniable upgrade over her prior output – something she copped to over at The Dentonite.
Parquet Courts and Bun B – “Captive of the Sun” (Remix).
RIYL: Th-th-th-th-the remix.
What else you should know: Last year, when these boys played Colbert, they were joined by surprise guest Bun B, who rapped over the second verse of “Captive of the Sun.” Now, there’s a studio version of the tune, out today via Rough Trade, as the A-side of a 12-inch. The B-side is a “chopped not slopped” version.
Chris Welch & the Cicada Killers – “Faded and Frayed.”
RIYL: The mother of reinvention.
What else you should know: Like Nathaniel Rateliff, Sturgill Simpson, Bonnie Bishop and, to a lesser extent, Chris Stapleton, longtime Denton countryman Chris Welch (Pinebox Serenade, Old Warhorse) brought a horn section and a B-3 in for his latest trick, a more R&B=flavored Americana record. With the re-branding effort comes a new name and new backing band – and a new record that just came out a couple weeks ago.
Will Johnson – “Predator.”
RIYL: Going for it.
What else you should know: Johnson’s new solo record, Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm, is due out March 24 via Undertow. It’s his fifth solo effort, and first since shuttering Centro-matic in 2014. Like the rocking “Every Single Day of Late”, this densely layered country tune strays a bit from the usual subdued material found on his prior solo releases. Says Johnson in a press release: “When Centro-matic was still intact, my solo records were usually really subdued. I would take them in a completely different direction than the cascade of guitars and feedback that we were really into. Now that Centro-matic is not in existence anymore, there are going to be moments where I just want to turn everything up and kind of go for it.”
New Fumes – “Shadazz.”
RIYL: Happy accidents.
What else you should know: This song was posted to the ol’ social medias with the text “I was sitting down to write some beats and ended up covering a Suicide song.” This tune comes from the ‘80s electronic art punk duo’s “unjustly less celebrated second LP”, Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev. It certainly does them justice.
Elliott Smith – “Pictures of Me” (Live).
RIYL: Finding needles in the hay.
What else you should know: This March, Kill Rock Stars is putting out a commemorative 20th anniversary edition of Dallas-raised Elliott Smith’s Either/Or LP. The expanded edition features all-new remixes/remasters from original tapes, and even some live recordings, including this never-before-released live take.
Saint Clair — To The Moon.
RIYL: Rapping like Ralph Kramden.
What else you should know: If the members of The Outfit ran their own record label, Saint Clair would be one of their first signees: “Few rappers, in Dallas or otherwise, have a repertoire and aesthetic as developed as Saint Clair,” they say. His new project is a bit of a builder, but by the time he lets loose with some over-the-top aggression on the sixth track, “IMA DOG,” you’ll be convinced, too.
Crit Morris – “Go Places.”
RIYL: Teanna Trump more than any other Trumps.
What else you should know: The news is fake but this track is real. I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it. I don’t think he did anything wrong. If anything, he did something right. I was given that information. I don’t know. Russia is fake news. So much of the news is fake, but this track is real. Crit Morris has the highest quality that you’ll ever find.
Rob Viktum – “Shoot the Messenger.”
RIYL: A classic man.
What else you should know: In one week, Dallas rap producer Rob Viktum will release his Shoot the Messenger album, a feature-based record produced entirely by Viktum, and featuring contributions from emcees Lil Fame of M.O.P., Conway, Ras Kass, Awar, Skrewtape, Brother Ali, Blueprint, Joell Ortiz, El Gant, Copywrite and Krum among others. Yesterday, he released a video treatment for the title track, which is a breath of backwards-looking fresh air for those who’ve had their fill of trap of late.