New Music From Luke Wade, The Angelus, Power Trip, Spike Chester, Medasin, The Funky Knuckles and More.
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.
Christopher Blake – “Bad” (feat. Armani White).
RIYL: Her, because she is bad.
What else you should know: Produced by San Diego-based Caden Jester, and featuring a guest verse from Philly-based rapper Armani White, Dallas vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Christopher Blake tells a tale of a tumultuous relationship in this R&B-flavored pop song — one that grows more and more toxic with every guitar solo.
Luke Wade — Only Ghosts.
RIYL: Turning heads.
What else you should know: After competing on Season 7 of The Voice, Team Pharrell competitor Luke Wade has finally released his post-television run LP. The goal, he told Yahoo Music, was to go from being “a voice” to becoming a true artist – and to start climbing back towards that level of notoriety that comes from appearing on TV a couple times a week. “When you get off this show, you have the notoriety of an A-list artist — but you’re not one,” he told Yahoo! “And immediately once you’re off, you have your eye on the easiest, fastest way to get back to where you were, because you get addicted to the spotlight, and you think, ‘God, I have to get back there! I have to do something bigger and better than The Voice!’ The hardest — and most important — thing is to just get rid of that, and get back to the place where you’re focused on what you’re doing. Like, ‘How am I going to make great songs?’”
The Angelus — There Will Be No Peace.
RIYL: Songs that never end.
What else you should know: The Southern Gothic trio from Denton’s third album is as brooding and droney as ever, and that’s intentional. The songs are meant to bleed into one another on an infinite loop of sorts. Vocalist and guitarist Emil Rapstine told Noisey: “The album is a song-cycle, a gapless album, with each song starting on the note where the previous song ends, allowing for the songs to transition into one another seamlessly to form a cohesive whole. The first and last song also share a common theme musically and lyrically bringing the album full-circle.”
Power Trip “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe).”
RIYL: When thrash meets sludge.
What else you should know: About a month out from the release of their sophomore album Nightmare Logic, which is due out February 24, Power Trip continues chugging away at the crossroads of thrash and hardcore with its second single from the new disc. They’re currently on tour, but they’ll be back in town post-release, for a performance at March’s So What?! Fest.
Spike Chester — Stay Safe EP.
RIYL: Merry melodies.
What else you should know: Spike the sweater-wearing bulldog and Chester the terrier are an animated duo from the Looney Tunes universe. Spike Chester is a promising Dallas rapper that’s going to make a mill off his week-old EP. He’s got bars, he’s got beats, he’s got skits. It’s smooth as hell.
Conor Wallace — P.S.
What else you should know: Even though this EP’s title actually stands for “Please Sleep,” Wallace’s new release plays like a quickly assembled epilogue to one of our favorite LPs of 2016. The addition of violin this time around gives some extra layers and textures, and helps play into the idea that this is supposed to be a batch of tunes you can chill to.
Medasin – “Territory.”
RIYL: Mindless bangers.
What else you should know: Medasin is the best producer in town. He just is. He’s versatile, too: From the pioneering of trap-jazz he was into a couple years back and his beat packs to his hip-hop backing tracks and this more EDM-oriented “mindless banger,” he’s always showing off the best sounds. No matter the genre he’s dabbling in at the moment, he always does it solid. This time around is no different.
Nicotine’s Famous Honey – An Open Letter.
RIYL: Joining forces.
What else you should know: Brooklyn-via-Houston R&B singer Nicotine linked up with Ian Olney and Hunter Lewis of Herrick & Hooley to form this fun little project named after HH’s debut album. This debut batch of tunes is laidback, but it’s sure got plenty of soul.
The Funky Knuckles.
RIYL: Making it up as you go.
What else you should know: This is the closing track from the jazz-fusion collective’s most recent record, which was released on Ground Up Records. Though that label was founded by Snarky Puppy’s Michael League and those acts share a trumpeter in Evan Weiss, who also tours with The Polyphonic Spree, these guys’ overall sound is more akin to the improv-heavy R&B of fellow locals The Gritz.
Kraus — End Tomorrow.
RIYL: Blowing your laptop speakers.
What else you should know: The Dallas-raised Will Kraus put out his debut record, a chaotic bunch of noise rock, via New York-based Terrible Records back in September of last year. But Pitchfork just featured him in its Rising series, which is what put him on our radar. There’s a lot to digest here, which, counter intuitive though it may seem, is good for zoning out to and decluttering one’s overactive brain. As Kraus to Pitchfork: “That’s totally what my album is designed for: When you’re thinking too much or you’re in a stressful situation, to just forcibly batter it out.”
Plain Jane Francis & 88 Killa – “for the women with booking info” (feat. Sudie).
What else you should know: Are we witnessing the birth of a new duo here? For what seems like forever, it was rare to get a Plain Jane release without some input from Tony Q, who has since moved to Hawaii. So it’s fair to say he plays well with others. No offense to Tony, but Killa’s a much saltier foil for The Plain One — and already one of the better rappers in town in his own right. So the reference to 88 Jane in his verse is a pretty scintillating tease.
Drawer Devils – “Screaming Rummy.”
RIYL: Hailing satin.
What else you should know: This cover from The Beguiled’s 1993 album Blue Dirge is our first taste of new Fort Worth punk trio Drawer Devils. It’s a garage-y take that strips away some of the surf influence of the original and puts just enough polish on it to make the effort worth the while. A promising first impression to be sure. Read more about the band’s upcoming debut LP here.
Kim Nall & the Fringe — Lay Your Vision Down.
RIYL: Western girls.
What else you should know: We got to premiere a track from Nall’s debut LP last week, but here’s the thing now in its full glory. It’s a slow burner, but she’s got a killer voice, and we always enjoy when people put the emphasis on the largely forgotten “W” in C&W.