Tuesday, December 20, 2011
North Texas’ top five albums of 2011
Plus an album you haven't heard of but should buy right away.
We believe that musical albums are like books: Each song is a chapter, and many of those chapters need to speak to each other -- to tell a story or stir some sort of emotion. A great album is intriguing from start to finish. Here are five such albums, plus two bonus discs that you should know about:
5. Strange Mercy by St. Vincent: Annie Clark has been a celebrated musician in the underground indie scene for quite some time, and the release of her third album has further cemented that appreciation. Clark seemingly knows what she wants and is willing to wait for it, explaining the two-year gap between records. The almost muffled style she creates is hypnotic. Standout tracks are “Surgeon” and “Cheerleader.”
4. Between the Two by The O’s: The DFW area has come to know and love these two witty musicians who put on as much of a show between songs as they do while playing. Their newest record continues the contagiously sunny mindset John Pedigo and Taylor Young display regularly. Multiple tracks speak of good times and good friends, bringing a brighter day to anyone listening. And the accompanying videos for tracks like “In Numbers We Survive” and “We’ll Go Walkin” add an extra flair to the strong album.
3. Black Waxy by Oil Boom: In its simplest form, Black Waxy is sexy.
Ryan Taylor Brian Whitten's voice drips with passion, and behind him, you hear buzzing guitar licks and Dugan Conners' heavy drum beats.
The album is like a night of dirty doings on the town -- like an alluring woman who is wrong in all the right ways and you just can’t help yourself. Black Waxy is our guilty pleasure, and it should be yours too.
2. This Is Where We Are by Seryn: The soft melodies and sweeping harmonies start quietly, curiously leading you in to a warm, safe place, but when the choruses soar to beautiful heights, that is when Seryn's album This Is Where We Are will have you hooked. We've been ensnarled in the band's acoustically pleasing music ever since. From the moment the first track begins to the last note on the final song, you will be left in a peaceful fog.
1. Burning Hotels by Burning Hotels: The Fort Worth duo re-created themselves while writing and recording the sophomore album, adding depth and altered instrumentation to the self-titled record. This re-invention took a year and a half to fully manifest, proving that Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty’s dedication was right where it needed to be. The result is a stunning display of thought-out lines and glittering melodies that continue to grab the listener throughout the short, eight-song record. This album is a must-have.
To the album you haven't heard of: Let it Shine by Emily Riddle: This sweet 19-year old will connect with you through her soft, ukulele-driven tunes. Riddle has already released two albums in her young age, and her sophomore album Let it Shine came out in October. It’s amazing how easy it is for Riddle to paint vibrant portraits with the calmest of tempos and almost whispered words. Surprisingly, most of the hearty tracks are cheerful in nature despite their melancholy delivery. With only a few years under her belt, it will be great to see what more Riddle has in store.
To the album with the best story: Classic Creeps by Fishboy: 2011 saw one of Denton’s most creative entities produce his best work to date. Classic Creeps combines the two great passions of Eric Michener, curator of Fishboy. The album is a collection of pop gems set to the intermingled story of 10 “Creeps” through a harrowing tale of kidnapping and time travel. And of course, since he is the creature of a delightful and true-to-life comic series, Michener made a full storyboard to go along with the album.
See more stories in:
- Concert preview: The Burning Hotels/Mon Julien/Ishi at Lola’s Saloon in Fort Worth on Saturday
- UPDATED: St. Vincent performs on Gossip Girl Monday night
- 35 Denton adds a ton of local bands to four-day festival
- Concert review: Burning Hotels, Mon Julien, Air Review, and Menkena at Granada Theater (January 14)
- Live music events in Dallas-Fort Worth, January 12-14