Friday, December 13, 2013
Local ear candy: 5 new songs from Oscar Roque, Kelly Clarkson and more
For your hip-hop, country, holiday jingle listening pleasure.
“She Ain’t Hypnotized,” Oscar Roque
Early last month, 17-year-old Dallas rapper Oscar Roque threw a demo song up on Bandcamp called “She Ain’t Hypnotized” and asked followers for feedback. I’m betting he received mostly positive comments. It’s an intoxicating tune about a lady who loves her man for all the right reasons, and it’s as eerily effective as the bedroom-ready best from the likes of Drake and Future. I look forward to hearing more from Roque, who will release his mixtape In God I Trust later this month.
“Please Come Home for Christmas (Bells Will Be Ringing),” Kelly Clarkson
Burleson’s own Kelly Clarkson has a lot to celebrate this holiday season, including a new hubby, a babe on the way, and the release of her first ever Christmas album, Wrapped in Red. I don’t generally warm up to any old holiday record — I like my carols to be subtly sad (Vince Guaraldi) or so steeped in tradition that they’re beyond reproach (Nat King Cole). But one listen to Kelly’s new collection cements her place in a long line of vocally superior divas who can effortlessly elevate the schmaltziest of fare. The soulful chestnut “Please Come Home For Christmas” seems tailor-made for her range, enough to moisten the eyes of the hardest-hearted scrooge.
Kelly Clarkson - Please Come Home For Christmas
“World of Pleasure,” Radioactivity
Speaking of holiday gifts, the lo-fi-punk enthusiast in your life should plant a big fat one on your cheek if you wrap up the vinyl version of Radioactivity’s recently released self-titled debut to put under the tree. The band sprouted from the musical mind of Marked Men member Jeff Burke who, after moving back to his native Texas, was looking for a way to continue a songwriting project he’d started during a stint living in Japan. Burke enlisted fellow Marked Men member Mark Ryan and scene-veteran drummer Gregory Rutherford to round out the new band’s lineup. Among the album’s 13 tracks is “World of Pleasure,” whose exuberant melody provides a nice contrast with its angst-ridden message.
“Swaggin’ on ‘Em,” Fat Pimp
“I used to use my keys/now I crank my car with a button.” It’s important to celebrate the small victories in life, especially when you’re a respected local rapper hustling to break through. Just ask the writer of that particular couplet, Fat Pimp, a member of the D.C.C. collective who just put out the new promo single and video called “Swaggin’ on ‘Em.” F.P.’s enjoyed plenty of local radio play and statewide attention for his past mixtapes. “Swaggin’ On ‘Em” aims to raise awareness of his next promo release, Badd As I Wanna Be 3. In an interesting development for the rapper, he’ll be performing with a live backing band at a gig on December 22 at House of Blues’ Cambridge Room, 2200 N. Lamar St., Dallas. houseofblues.com/dallas
Fat Pimp - Swaggin On ‘Em | Shot By @HagoPeliculas
“Sixteen,” Troy Cartwright
Smartly written country songs are few and far between on mainstream radio these days, so it’s especially nice when a twangy artist from Dallas comes through with a piece whose words are as memorable as its melody. We get that and more from “Sixteen,” Troy Cartwright’s imagery-filled ode to his younger self. Not coincidentally, Cartwright won Poor David’s Pub’s 25th annual B.W. Stevenson Songwriter’s Competition earlier this year. That contest, which refreshingly values songcraft above performance, doesn’t get nearly the amount of attention from local musicians or fans as it should. But with material like “Sixteen” coming from its most recent winner — as well as the other tracks on Cartwright’s EP, Bull Run — we’re hoping things change for the better. Cartwright will take the stage December 19 at White Elephant Saloon, 106 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth. whiteelephantsaloon.com.