Dallas music

Paige Hill: “Go West”

Last May we took a gander at a real Good Woman, Austin-born-and-raised and now Dallas-based singer-songwriter Paige Hill, who shared her debut EP of the same name last year. Pious yet uninhibited, motherly without hovering, and faithful to her state but enticed by adventure, Hill embodies those personal complications often overlooked in the Americana-country-folk-rock realm.

She’s the type of artist who soaks up inspiration wherever she goes and from whoever she meets, so it’s no huge surprise that she’s settled on People & Places as the title for her upcoming first full-length. Chronicling ten tender years over the course of nearly as many tunes, People & Places is set to showcase a seasoned sense of wisdom that can only come from a modern Texas woman.

So as we move towards People & Places – out later this Spring – we join Paige Hill on the journey she took from her native Austin out to the California coast way back when. Aptly “Go West”, this lead single makes us want to get up and move, plain and simple. While its instrumental arrangement is pretty tight, Paige’s soulful, reverberating vocals round out the song’s sense of space like a cross-country snow globe. And with an expert sense of dynamics that tracks Hill’s heeding of westward advice, “Go West” will encourage you to take the leap and make the changes you’ve been meaning to do from its first full-band downbeat through its final, optimistic chord.

Beekeeper Spaceman: “Locusts and Honey”

We’re so over the moon from yesterday’s Lunar Gold premiere that we’re not ready to descend quite yet. So before touching down to the terrestrial for the weekend, let’s heed a far out beacon from Dallas duo Beekeeper Spaceman.

The skeleton crew consists of guitarist-singer-songwriter Greg Brownderville and producer/multi-instrumentalist Spencer Kenney, who named themselves after their multi-media narrative Fire Bones‘ second chapter. Thanks to a consistently mellow pairing of indie rocket science and soundtrack-apt cinematic flourishes, Beekeeper Spaceman’s not only made contact with Leon Bridges, Black Pumas, Shakey Graves, and Erykah Badu…they’ve supported all of the above. Beginning in late June, Beekeeper Spaceman began harvesting their honeycombs and sharing the gooey, acoustic-driven gold on streaming, one single per month, all amassing towards a bustling hive and hyperdrive of an eponymous debut album.

Well now that we’re one week into September, we almost dropped a distress signal, yet Beekeeper Spaceman’s kept the pace up with yet another sample, one that really sinks the stinger in. A sticky, sickly sweet middle ground somewhere between a plague and a blessing, a sweeping swarm and a viscous spoonful, and whatever the listening equivalent of a spectacle is, “Locusts and Honey” starts off with an innocuous flutter before blasting out harmony-and-reverb-lacquered soft rock pheromones. Just goes to show that while Houston is our city most closely associated with space exploration, we’ve seen more than enough representation of aural astronauts across Texas to make the interlacing of space aesthetics and sonic constellations an official state trait.

Diane and The Gentle Men: “Walk With Me” (feat. Alejandro Escovedo)

Although his prevalence on our playlists isn’t exactly what it used to be, longtime KUTX listeners know that historically our airwaves were all about Alejandro Escovedo. Aside from his ongoing bromance with KUTX host Jody Denberg, this San Antonio native has continued to represent a Central Texas sound across Austin, Dallas, and beyond, leaving an idiosyncratic imprint on pretty much anything he touches. And that of course includes his many collaborations, the latest of which teams Escovedo up with another accomplished sonic confederate, NYC native Diane Gentile.

Picking up where Lucinda Williams, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones left off, Diane and The Gentle Men made their merry retro-informed studio debut with a pair of singles in 2016, an EP in 2019, and their debut LP The White Sea shortly after COVID swallowed everything. Well, coming up in about a month and a half, Diane and The Gentle Men make their triumphant return with a help of a few friends on The Bad and the Beautiful.

True to the ensemble-esque title, The Bad and the Beautiful sees Diane and The Gentle Men joining forces with the likes of James Maddock, Jesse Malin, and as you’ve probably already guessed, Al Escovedo. At ten tracks, The Bad and the Beautiful boasts ample space for Gentile to tinker around with the three-act structure and arrange these near and dear stories in a way that’s meaningful, both as individual “scenes” and in its entirety, sating her Shakespearean tastes. Sonically, Diane and The Gentle Men gave us a sneak peak ahead of The Bad and the Beautiful‘s release on September 15th with the album opener “Walk With Me” – a harmony-hinged heartland-rock-meets-mercurial-Americana-punk duet with Escovedo – though we’ve learned there’ll also be explorations into folk-rock and maybe even disco as well. We guarantee you Escovedo’s not taking a trot in this Texas heat, so instead shine some streams for Al, Diane, and The Gentle Men with the synergistic stroll that is “Walk With Me”.

Dante Bowe: “Wind Me Up” (feat. Anthony B)

Happy Juneteenth! Although Juneteenth has been recognized as a U.S. federal holiday for three years now, of course its roots lie here in Texas. So in the rich century-and-a-half tradition of spiritualism, resilience, and commemoration, today we’re celebrating Juneteenth with a North Texas gospel inspiration. Hailing from small town North Carolina and now based out of the Big D, Dante Bowe‘s been blowing up pretty quickly over the past decade; beginning with his self-released 2017 debut Son of a Father and continuing with 2021’s Circles, Bowe’s empowered, contemporary approach to gospel has scored his original tunes tons of streams across the globe. On top of a win for his contributions to Maverick City Music’s Old Church Basement, the past two years at the Grammys have also seen Dante Bowe earn an impressive number of self-earned nominations. Closely coinciding with the recent launch of his own label, TRUE Music, this summer Dante Bowe bestows us with a passionate, self-titled full-length. This eponymous entry finds Bowe bringing his deep gospel roots and persevering voice into the worlds of hip-hop, and reggae with the help of some top-tier collaborators including Jekalyn Carr and Vic Mensa. Just last Saturday, Dante Bowe took part in Hartsville, South Carolina’s Juneteenth Celebration, marking a pretty sturdy midpoint between Dante Bowe‘s drop date on July 21st and the release of its latest single at the top of June. Thanks to Jamaican Rastafari reggae revolutionary Anthony B, “Wind Me Up” circumnavigates the constraints of Christian music with a beach-party-ready bop. “Wind Me Up” lets loose with tack-sharp timbale rolls, steamy rhythm guitar, dancehall-proven drum and bass, and just the best of both worlds when it comes to vocals.

Paige Hill: “Sticks and Stones”

As much as us at KUTX sing the praises of native Austinites, we’d never dream of detracting from their adjoining contemporaries who are essentially a stone’s throw outside our city limits. Take for example Austin born-and-raised singer Paige Hill, who’s currently headquartered in Dallas. As part of her steady ascent to statewide stardom, Paige partakes in a regular routine of entertaining her fellow Dallasites, characterized by all kinds of Central Texas ridges – Americana, country, blues, and soul.

Weekends off are largely a thing of the past for Paige; when Hill’s not crushing it with her outfit The Kitchen Section, she’s supporting Evan Boyer & The Remedy or contributing her pipes for more pious purposes at her neighborhood church. In keeping up with her fervently feminine counterparts, Paige Hill’s lyrical prominence lies in relating personal experiences of heartache, infatuation, brood pride, and comeback character arcs. And thankfully, alongside her willingness to offer up services as a vocal accompanist or co-writer for hire, Hill’s original works inspire listeners to dance through the damage, laugh through the tears, or cry out frustration when stuck in a rut.

That gendered sense of strength surrounds Paige Hill’s upcoming debut EP Good Woman, a five-song summit that embodies some of the most resilient female characteristics. This handful of tracks tackles ’70s-style country and classic soul on top of contemporary rock and blues for an Americana-anchored odyssey of well-intentioned, bricks-bouncing-off-bones toughness. So before Good Woman arrives, take a page out of Hill’s book by overlooking life’s more paltry remarks with the the one tune on the record not entirely penned by Paige herself. A collaboration between co-writer Guillermo Murillo and horn arranger Preston Lewis, the optimistic soul of “Sticks and Stones” (complete with sax and trumpet stabs, adroit organ and keyboard work, plus Paige’s powerhouse vocals atop it all) soars far above expectations for a newcomer like Paige within a succinct three-minute runtime.

Chancy: “Angels, Darlings”

I suspect that when many people of my generation hear the word “Chancy” out loud, they probably think of that egg loving Pokémon rather than the adjective. And while that demographic tends to have strong feelings about the “original 151”, collectors of indie-pop-rock ought to add Chancy to their musical Pokédex. This Dallas quintet only became Chancy after they found out their first band name “Lovely” was taken several times over. And whatever risk-taking they’ve done since 2019 has clearly paid off, considering they’ve played five festivals in the past two years alone.

This morning Chancy unleashed their latest single and music video, “Angels, Darlings”. It’s a daring addition to Chancy’s rapidly expanding discography, whose upbeat disco drums drive while the rest of the group explores pure pop, subtle psychedelia, and incandescent harmonies that’ll carry you all the way to Monday.

Barton Stanley David: “How We Live In Love”

“You can take the boy out of Texas but you can’t take Texas out of the boy”; it’s an old adage consistently weighted in truth. Fifth generation Texan Barton Stanley David is a prime piece of evidence, considering he moved back to Dallas in 2019 following a decade in New York City. After that, it didn’t take long for David to cross paths with producer Jeff Saenz, who’d already worked with Leon Bridges and Paul Cauthen and established a reputation through Modern Electric Sound Recorders. They got cracking on David’s new record Crest in 2021, but hit a huge valley six months in with Saenz lost both arms to a downed power line outside his family’s home. With the help of Grammy Winner Dave Schiffman (who’s lent his talents to Audioslave, Tom Petty, Adele, and The Killers), The Eagles’ violinist-engineer Scarlett Deering, Jeff Buckley/Nirvana mastering engineer Howie Weinberg and others, Crest was finally completed. The result is a ’90s-style seven-song alt-rock-meets-chamber-pop masterpiece of Americana, tethered together by David’s one-of-a-kind voice. Crest is out tomorrow, and we’ve been given an extra push over the edge today courtesy of the record’s final single that features White Denim drummer Matt Young and was inspired by pandemic-era domestic violence and the role technology plays in connecting communities, “How We Live In Love”.

Luna Luna: “Feel it Now”

As we all know, musical trends come and go in cycles, and with the 50th anniversary of disco’s mid-late-’70s heyday approaching, guess what’s back in fashion? That’s not to say that anyone participating in the revival is doing it for a cash grab; just look at Dallas Latinx four-piece Luna Luna, whose retro-friendly style takes the best bits of indie, psych, and bedroom pop, puts a vintage finish on them, and sends the end product flying onto the dance floor.

Luna Luna just released their debut LP Flower Moon last Friday, blossoming with disco-adjacent grooves that give Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush and Poolside’s Pacific Standard Time a run for their money. Luna Luna’s set to roll into town at the Parish on December 12th as part of their upcoming tour but don’t let Flower Moon wane between now and then; instead keep the weekend party vibes going with the group’s brand new video for one of the records very finest, “Feel it Now“!

Cryptolog: “Do Me a Favor”

Shedding any connotations caught in the volatile world of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and the like, Dallas four-piece Cryptolog has recaptured the cool in “crypto”. Since 2014, the quartet’s concocted a curious but catchy take on indie rock, crafting their sonic character across 2015’s Somewhere Else and 2017’s Picture Day.

This year Cryptolog’s set to let loose on their debut full-length, which is pretty much certain to exceed our expectations given the record’s latest lighthearted single (and music video), the subtle-but-powerful “Do Me A Favor (Blind Love)”!