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Fort Worth indie-rockers Spring Palace are set to release their full-length debut later this season. Photo by Juan R. Govea

We haven’t even made it to Memorial Day, and the most hated organization in the entire state, the Energy Reliability Council of Texas, has already issued warnings about our archaic “freedom”-fueled electrical grid standing up to high demand from “unusually” hot days. In addition, a super-soaker of a spring has meant the only thing we hate more than ERCOT — mosquitoes — are about to enjoy their own Hot Girl Summer and descend upon us in numbers rivaling nepo babies at Coachella. And as the general election campaign season gets ready to kick off in earnest, it looks like we could be in for a particularly hellish summer.

However, bloodthirsty mosquitoes and campaign robo-texts aren’t the only things amassing in giant numbers. Musicians both near and far are about to unleash a swarm of new music that an industrial-sized bug zapper or an army of intimidating “poll watchers” couldn’t keep at bay. So, slather on the SPF, bathe yourself in OFF!, pop in those AirPods, and let these upcoming summer releases cool you off. This listicle is in no way comprehensive, just a mix of newsworthiness, our interests, and nice artists who’ve reached out to us.

 

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If your tastes lean to ’90s underground indie-rock like Pavement and Modest Mouse, you should be looking forward to the debut full-length from Spring Palace. The Fort Worth three-piece is currently tracking its upcoming Rodeo Fortune with Mark Randall and Nick Tittle at their Blackstone studio in the Fort.

Equally ’90s-esque, the indie-rocking Hotel Satellite are releasing the single “Nothing Much Happens (World’s Greatest Mess)” — recorded in Dallas at Modern Electric Sound Recorders with Joel Raif (Leon Bridges, Cameron Smith) — in late July.

Mandy Hand hinted at new songs from her dream-pop outfit Big Heaven coinciding with a couple upcoming gigs: Saturday at Growl Records (509 E Abram St, Arlington, 682-252-7639) and Fri, May 31, at The Cicada (1002 S Main St, Fort Worth, TheCicadaFW.com).

International troubadour Keegan McInroe will release Dusty Passports and Empty Beds at the end of this month. The release party for his seventh studio album is 8pm Fri, May 31, at Southside Preservation Hall (1519 Lipscomb St, Fort Worth, 817-926-2800).

Lisa Hardaway and her pop-rock group Darstar are working on two singles for summer, “Chubby Thighs” and “Ghost of Bleach,” plus a handful of new tracks that need to be committed to wax which she and her mates will release by “bread crumbing” them on streaming platforms.

One of Fort Worth’s most prolific artists, hip-hop producer Phil Ford, a.k.a. BLKrKRT (pronounced “Blacker Karat”), is piecemeal releasing an 11-part series of instrumentals infused with piano-based jazz, R&B, and soul. Ever an intellectualist and a student of historical civilizations of color, Book of Hermes is inspired by ancient Egyptian/Kemetic mythology and invokes The Emerald Tablets, a set of texts about history, geometry, and spirituality. Ford has been putting out one volume at a time every Thursday since Apr 4, with the next installment, Part 8, due this week.

For a dose of heavier sounds, hardcore punks Antirad have a self-titled EP set for the end of May. Frontman Brad Barker said they’re not trying to “reinvent the wheel” but instead lean into their West Coast roots, promising eight raw and raucous blitzkrieg tracks.

Old-school riot grrrls Ex-Regrets have been releasing singles every month since March with a full album slated for fall or later. Their next single, “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” comes out Friday, and they’ll be tearing shit up at Growl Records with another kickass fempowered band, Hen & The Cocks, plus Bullet Machine and Blanket of M on Fri, Jun 14.

For country-tinged singer-songwriters, we’ve been teasing the debut album from the electrifying Jessi England for a bit now and are hoping summer sees it through. Until then, there’s more than enough rustic tuneage to tide us over, including Hannah Owens, who has a new single en route, her first in four years. Summer Lane looks to make a return with an upcoming album as well, and next month, Colton Sanders sets off “Wildfire,” a new single.

The Troumatics plan to release a couple singles over the summer and then put out an album in the fall. “I Am a River,” produced by Todd Pipes (Deep Blue Something), is a tune about fake news and “how we are metaphorical rivers that have to stay true to ourselves,” said frontman Stephen Troum, “and keep on flowing.” The indie-rockers are working with producers Joe Tacke (Mean Motor Scooter, Cory Cross) and Peter Wierenga (Spring Palace, Sur Duda, Siberian Traps) on the other tracks.

Arlington indie-poppers Cherry Mantis are applying their jazzy, math-rockish style to existing songs. An album of covers, Cherry Covered hits the streets later this summer.

The hard-charging Caterpillars are about to pump out their fifth studio album. After the Flood is set for a tentative Aug 16 release.

And while we here at the humble Weekly naturally tend to be hyper-locally focused, we are still aware that there’s also great music elsewhere. Chiefly, we’re looking forward to the 75th (!!) studio album by — with apologies to Dr. Opal Lee — perhaps the greatest Texan to ever live. At the end of this month, 90-year-old Willie Nelson offers The Border. The title track is a cover of a Rodney Crowell tune, a haunting tale of a desert dweller existing amid the greed of cross-border corruption and violence. It has all the chilling, tragic beauty of a Cormac McCarthy novel sung in the depths of Willie’s register.

One of the biggest, best albums of the summer came out only a few days ago. Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft is sort of a snapshot of the dynamic, rangy singer now and a good look at how far she’s come since arriving fully formed on the international scene only a few years ago. The sonic mood is still shadowy and minimalist, though there are moments when the charismatic goth really stretches out, even dipping a little into the blues and jazz.

Fresh off their mind-bending psychedelic performance at Las Vegas’ Sphere, the world’s lynchpin jam band (and perennial music-snob punchline) Phish looks at a Jul 12 release for their next studio album. Evolve will likely be a much more enjoyable listen than the Imagine Dragons album coming out Jun 28. After a few decades of performing toddler-friendly lyrics over scribble-y, jazz-noodling solos for sunburnt wooks and the various other creatures that frequent the jam-band festival circuit, what form does Phish evolve to? Our money is on “Amfibian.”

Summer closes with Wild God, the first album in five years from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Cave says the Aug 30 release is “complicated” but “deeply and joyously infectious.” Which, of course, could also describe the entirety of the Bad Seeds catalogue.

In our summertime Books article, we turned to our writers for inspiration for summer reading. Or ignoring. Read our Weekly staff recommendations in the Take a Shelfie article here

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