Our Most Anticipated Local Albums For The Rest of 2015.
Today officially closes the books on the first half of 2015 — and what a year it's already been for the North Texas music scene. I mean, one of our own just cemented his place in the national conversation already: Fort Worth's Leon Bridges landed at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 following the strong performance of his Coming Home LP in its first week of sales.
Of course, Leon's was but one of many, rather stellar area albums that have already been released thus far in 2015. And with other area heavy-hitters like DSR and Midlake's Banquet side project working on new material, it's safe to say some pretty noteworthy stuff is still on the way.
With that in mind, we've put together here a list of the album releases we're most looking forward to hearing throughout the rest of the year — ones that should be on your radar, too.
Vincent Neil Emerson.
East Texas Blues.
Quickly becoming one of the most oft-booked artists in Fort Worth, the young Vincent Neil Emerson's schedule will likely only become more crowded once his debut full-length comes out next week and the rest of the Metroplex starts catching on, too. From what we've heard so far, the ever-genteel Emerson filters the songwriting of Townes Van Zandt and vocals of Ryan Bingham into a charming honky tonk package. Or as he sings on the album's second track, “7 come 11, I will speak. 7 come 11, you will see.”
You From Before.
After making this same list back in 2013, these guys make the cut once again because, well, we're still waiting on that same album to drop two years later. Telegraph hasn't put out a proper full-length since 2009's The Tide and the Current, but teaser singles like 2013's “Wheel to the Garden,” which ended up in heavy rotation on KXT, and the more recent “Why Let It Go,” have only ratcheted the anticipation up a few notches. This time, though, it looks like we'll finally find some relief.
Your Dog, Champ.
Best's 21 years fronting Denton bar-rock favorite Slobberbone have seen the guy playing his share of solo acoustic shows, although he's only now putting out his first solo record. That's not to say the record finds him completely alone, though; rather, this one will feature a slew of familiar faces — Scott Danbom, Claude Bernard, Petra Kelly, Ralph White, Grady Don Sandlin, Andy Rogers, Drew Phelps and Burton Lee — lending their talents to one of the area's most underrated songwriters. You can stream a couple tracks here ahead of next month's release.
Jonathan Tyler struggled for years to turn in an acceptable follow-up to 2010's Pardon Me, but nothing that his old label Atlantic ever bit on. During an interview on The Ticket back in April, Tyler admitted he'd workshopped dozens and dozens of tracks for the album before ultimately cutting ties with the label. Best we can tell, his upcoming solo disc features some of his most self-assured material to date — and a song co-written by Ray Wylie Hubbard to boot.
These Machines Are Winning.
What makes TMAW so interesting is the fact that the musicians are only one aspect to this group. This team of animators, illustrators and filmmakers have spent three years prepping a multi-faceted film/graphic novel/music project that should be pretty undeniable. Any one of these aspects is worthy of plenty of anticipation in its own right.
A few things we've learned to be true: 1.) Dallas' premiere margarita punks are probably the best band in town, and 2) every record the band's put out has been an improvement over the last. For its upcoming disc, Sealion holed up with Fort Worth's Jordan Richardson (Son of Stan), who has a pretty instantly recognizable sound of his own. Talking to the band, they say it's the most high-quality, studio intensive recordings they've worked on yet. Sounds promising, we'd say.
A Parrot Buys a Hotel.
Even after dropping the Satans of Soft Rock moniker, there's no denying a Tony Ferraro track when you hear one. Even if this album's first single didn't show a level of restraint and intricacy that surpasses his usually thoughtful output, there's still plenty of reason to look forward to this one. The guy's simply one of the most consistent things Denton's got to offer. Has been for years, really.
Brave Young Lion.
Bleeding Knees EP.
Over the past couple of years, McKenzie Smith and Co. have built something pretty special with their Redwood Studios, churning out one awesome disc after another (see: Robert Gomez, Kaela Sinclair, The Birds of Night, Sarah Jaffe, Dark Rooms.) Look for BYL to add another tick to that box. Without even realizing it, many of you have been long familiar with the EP's first single, “Girls.” A version of that song, albeit with different lyrics, has served as the Tuesday opening for Norm Hitzges' show on The Ticket for a couple years now.
It's been four years since Denton ex-pat Alan Palomo dropped his last full-length, but everyone from Spin to Pitchfork seems to agree that the aggressively funky Ace of Base-like grooves of surprise single “Annie” fits well in line with his past work, without rehashing his old stuff in the process. It's at once both retro-sounding and forward-thinking.
Released earlier this week, Radioactivity's sophomore record, unfortunately, fell between the gap between our Best Albums of 2015 (So Far) list and this list of things still to come. Alas, it's not the only batch of tunes these guys are putting out this year. Three-fourths of the band also splits time as Grave City, another band that falls in step with its members' numerous other current projects — and one that's also got a record due out on Dirtnap later this year.
After amassing a pretty sizable following around these parts, the washed-out distorto-pop outfit formerly known as Blackstone Rangers is now calling itself Pale DÄ«an. Could it be that this upcoming full-length just so outpaced the band's previous output that the band figured it warranted a full-on name change? We're not sure. All's we're saying is changing a band name is ballsy move for any band with some amount of name-recognition. That's why we're betting the band's got something pretty special up its sleeve.
Quaker City Night Hawks.
Fort Worth's Quaker City Night Hawks' most recent LP and EP finally managed to match the band's long-recognized onstage intensity. Now, for its third full-length outing, the band tapped lauded local producer Beau Bedford and the vintage gear available at Dallas' Modern Electric Sound Recorders to helm things. It's an interesting move on its own, even outside of the fact that Jordan Richardson was brought on board to mix the thing. This one could go either way, really, but there's no doubt it's going to be ridiculously interesting.
Since releasing one of our favorite EPs from across the region of last year, this quirky and chaotic Fort Worth space-punk outfit has developed into a fully-realized band, rounding out its lineup with live drumming and buzzing synths. The four-piece is hands down one of the tightest acts in town, and the live versions of some of its unreleased tracks the band posted back in May proves The Blank-Men are just getting warmed up.
The Outfit, TX.
There's a reason why a publication like Noisey turns to a guy like The Outfit's Mel Kyle when it's looking for a long-form missive on the Dallas hip-hop scene. After touring with and subsequently impressing the Run the Jewels dudes, The Outfit is one of the few Dallas hip-hop crews people actually are “paying attention to” outside of the market. And for good reason, too. The trio of cuts from The Outfit's upcoming disc that have already premiered on national sites like the aforementioned Noisey are quite strong.
Another holdover from a previous year's list, The Misteries' debut LP is one we're still very much looking forward to. The Texas Gentlemen offshoot was responsible for the best local song of 2014, after all. If the band can put together a batch of tracks anywhere near that badass, it'll have an album of the year contender on its hands.
To be honest, we're not actually sure that Post is going to drop any official releases by the year's end. But, with this guy, you never know. If he does release something tangible, though, you know it'll be pretty damn infectious. The guy's already set the Internet ablaze with just a couple of tracks on a SoundCloud page, and he sold out Trees with a repertoire that's only, like, five tracks deep.