This past year has been a great one for local music. From indie troubadour Cameron Smith’s beautiful album Shine to veteran psych-rockers The Cush’s Riders in the Stardust Gold, their first album for Ben Harper’s Mad Bunny Records, and hip-hop guru Sagemode Wrex’s X-Men-inspired Professor Wrex and the debut of country crooner Cory Cross, tons of great homegrown tuneage of all genres gently (or roughly) rattled our ears in 2022. As the first rays of 2023 are starting to peek over the horizon, let’s take a look at just a bit of what’s in store for the coming year in local releases.
One of Fort Worth’s most beloved live acts, garage-punks Mean Motor Scooter have a new full-length called Day Dreamer in the works. Singer/guitarist Sammy Kidd has mastered bratty infectious tunes about boredom, disaffection, and alien abduction, and the new LP promises to deliver plenty of all of that. Around the same time, circa September, indie poppers Phantomelo are set to drop their own slate of new material, including an album.
Over the last two years, hardcore punks the Phorids have channeled their Rollins-era Black Flag-ian rage into a pair of wig-flipping short players. Their first full-length is expected sometime late in the winter, and their blitzkrieg riffage will no doubt help melt any potential winter weather.
Nü metal revivalists Killhouse are in the preproduction process of the final installment of their proposed trilogy of music videos. The last, “Nihilist,” will cap “Hide the Knives” and “Raised by Screams” and will likely continue the teeth-rattling riffs, guttural screams, and Rob Zombian aesthetic of the previous installments.
Recent Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards winners Royal Sons will hit the studio in February to begin work on the long-awaited follow-up to 2018’s Praise & Warships.
Fellow Weekly Awards nominees Jaybirds plan the release of their first single, “Sparks,” just around the time the sash-donning Baby New Year crawls over our calendars. A full-length album is set to follow later in the year.
The latest iteration of dream-pop outfit Big Heaven is orchestrating a remix of the song “Creature,” a track written by founding drummer Jesse Gage (War Party, Robot Therapy) and originally released five years ago. It’s easy to see the original, with its ’90s Northwestern pop-punk vibe, reimagined into a lush, danceable track. Look for it on Feb 24.
Singer-songwriter Eric Osbourne’s melancholy acoustic musings have been the perfect winter soundtrack for years. This past summer, he went into Niles City Sound studio (Leon Bridges, Quaker City Night Hawks, Vincent Neil Emerson) to cut some new tracks to keep you warm during these cold/“cold” months. For these sessions, Osbourne employed a full band to fill out his typically sparse arrangements, and with top area players like violinist Tamara Cauble Brown, drummer Eddie Dunlap, and fellow singer-songwriter Cameron Smith lending their talents to the sessions, the upcoming singles, due out in February, promise to put a new polish on Osbourne’s heart-tugging songcraft. (Full disclosure: Higgins plays in Osbourne’s band.)
The Southern-rock stylings of Stephen “Doc Roc” Troum and his band, the aptly named Troumatics (he is a real doctor, b-t-dubs), will cap 2022 with a new single. “Cross that Line” teases an upcoming LP due out in the spring. You can catch a peek of the new song at the Troumatics’ show with the aforementioned Jaybirds at the newly outfitted Magnolia Motor Lounge on Jan 7.
The swampy Spaghetti Western vibes of Broke String Burnett (got-damn, that’s such a cool name) hit the interwebs a few weeks ago with the single “Got It Bad.” If the haunting, Hank-ian ballad is any indication of the proposed full-length that the cowboy singer-songwriter has in store for February, it will be in regular rotation on road trips on lonely Texas roads all summer.
For more acoustic-centric music, albeit with a wholly different vibe, the Eastern-modal stylings of Daniel Katsük will see a second installment of his signature nag champa-scented folk for his discography project Commissions and Recommissions. Darrin Kobetich will also put out another solo album as well as the debut record from the jammy trio The Yucca Men that Kobetich helped form last year. Both artists offer music that is just as centering and meditative as a lotus position and all without the exasperating mosquito-in-the-ear irritant of a yoga instructor.