Who Will Be Dallas-Fort Worth's Next Leon Bridges?
Last week, two North Texans each released long-anticipated — and pretty widely acclaimed — albums. For Mineola native Kacey Musgraves, Pageant Material marked her fifth LP and her second major label release for Mercury Nashville. Meanwhile, Leon Bridges' Coming Home LP, as you likely know by now, marked his major label debut for Columbia.
And now that all the sales have been tallied, it's clear that both fared quite well on the charts. With 60,000 total units moved (a figure that includes downloads and streams as well as pure album sales), Musgraves's album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. With 42,000 units moved, Bridges' album came in at No. 5 on that same chart. Needless to say, Musgraves also finished No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, while Bridges finished No. 1 on its Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
With two of the top five albums in the country coming from North Texas-sprung artists, it's safe to say this region's currently killing it. There's no question about that, to be honest. The only real question is who will be the next big breakout star to hail from these parts?
Well, maybe it'll be Snarky Puppy keys man Shaun Martin. There's an argument to be made there, to be sure. Like Musgraves and Bridges, he's had some recent chart success of his own, as his just-released 7 Summers LP finished No. 1 on iTunes' Jazz Chart. You can check out that seven-years-in-the-making record below.
Or maybe it's AV the Great that's got next. The Denton-based rapper was recently featured on The Source's website thanks to a pair of new tracks he raps on that were produced by Timbaland protégé Velly and were premiered on Tim's Soundcloud page. We featured one of those last week in this column, and you can find the second one below.
Or could it be young Dallas production wizard Medasin, whose jazzy new collaborative Pink Polo EP with DMV rapper Masego earned the Billboard premiere treatment about a week back? Maybe, if the SoundCloud plays on “Girls That Dance” (over 500,000 plays at the time of this writing) are any indication. Hear that cut and the rest of the pleasing release below.
Then again, there's always the chance it'll be longtime favorite Picnictyme that makes it big next. If you recall, it was a co-sign from Gorilla vs Bear that really started Bridges' rocket skyward. Now, Picnic's earned that same tip of the cap from the noted taste-making site for his brand new single “Burning Up.” The song comes from Pic's collection of “Sirens” songs that are meant to tease his still-coming solo debut, Sea Monsters. Hear the awesome new song below.
There are other up-and-comers to be considered, too.
For instance, there's a couple new outfits that should be on your radar. Did you know that Cozy Hawks and Bad Beats member Brack Cantrell has a solo project? Well, he does, and it's pretty ineffable. He just released a full-length late last month, which you can (read: should) stream below.
Even newer is Siamese, a startup that boasts Nicole Marxen-Myers (Mount Righteous), Teddy Waggy (Moonbather), Paul Alonzo (Missile) and Paul Grass (Fox & the Bird). The outfit will perform at Texas Theatre this Friday along with director/performer Richard Elfman of Danny Elman's brother fame and a screening of Forbidden Zone. In the meantime, check out an early demo from the group below.
Meanwhile, in video news, Squanto made his directorial debut, helming the clip for The Longshots' “Enantiodromia.” That song, we should point out, is the B-side of the Mucho Mango seven-inch we recently featured in this column. Check it out below.
Another fun little clip released this week comes from In Memory of Man, which released a video for its 2014 track “Wanted/The Duel.” Check out the video below, then catch the band live in person when it performs at Three Links this Saturday, July 11.
Then there's the following new clip from Brandon Curtis' new Cosmicide project, which Noisey premiered earlier today. It's a promising sign of things to come from the now-New York-based outfit, to say the very least. Watch it below.
Another new video released earlier today was the new one from Nite's “We Were Strong” single. You can check that one out — you guessed it! — below.
And what's a video-filled week without a contribution from unstoppable Dallas music director Jeff Adair? This week, he's handling the visuals for Dallas rapper G.U.N.'s “Johnny Cage,” which is among the hypest rap tracks we've heard out of the region all year. Check it out.
Also discussed in this space in recent weeks is the Toadies' new acoustic album that's due out this fall. The band dropped by Ray Benson's Texas Music Scene program this week to perform a new cut, “In the Belly of a Whale,” and prove that the whole idea isn't really as wacky as it originally sounded. See what we mean below.
Also not as wacky as it sounds? Street Arabs co-frontman Matthew Powers starting a new self-described Rolling Stones-y new solo project he's calling Matthew J & His Wheels. Look for him to release the first couple of songs from that project in the next week or so. You can also check out his first-ever billed solo show on July 31 at AllGood Café.
As for his other outfit, Street Arabs is currently writing a new 12-inch to be recorded at Powers' Aqua Lab studios and produced by OBN IIIs mastermind Orville Neeley. Look for that one to be released via Classic Waxxx in the coming months.
In other news: Erykah Badu discussed her influential style with Vogue; two new local music-centric print publications, 817Watts and Pussy Poptimist, are each set to launch this week; and the Old 97's served as an answer on Jeopardy.
Kinda adds a whole new meaning to the phrase, “I've got a question for you,” huh?
Picnictyme cover photo by Jonathan Stafford. Got a tip for White Noise? Email us!