The Houston Press Singles Club is essentially our new way to introduce readers of our publication to the best music coming out of Houston today. In our second installment, we'll add some artists who have tickled our ears for some time. These songs are available to stream in the usual spaces, as well as here on Spotify, but we ask that also you purchase the physicals from the links provided if you're a fan, or from the bands themselves when they perform around town.
Starting off this week is football, etc. who have been successful pretty much everywhere they've performed. Touring Europe and Asia multiple times, as well as most of North America, the trio was originally more of an emo-core band until this year's Corner, which expands to a more indie-rock sound, and the result is utter beauty. After three initial singles, "Save," "Eleven" and "Foul," the album has already become one of my local favorites of 2017. While those tracks are great, It's "Advantage" that I've put on repeat about 200 times. There's something beautiful in the way the drums hit with precision while these mixture of melodic guitars and bass add to the song's overall sound. Add to that the endearing notes of Lindsay Minton's vocals, and you're left with a song that you should immediately fall in love with. The band is days away from touring Japan again, and I think you'll agree that they represent our city well. You can purchase Corner directly from Community Records or from the band here.
Houston rockers Moth Wings are still pretty much unknown, which in itself is sad to type. A two-piece led by the charismatic and ambitious Spencer Fort, the band has no problem with trying new things. While their Fi/M EP is pretty solid, today we'll discuss the three-song "mixtape," Dragonfruit that came out this year that I found about as interesting as it gets. The second song on the release, a chill track called "In Your Sleep," is a slow burner full of spacey sounds and chillwave vibes. Fort has no problem embracing the electro-pop side of his endeavors, and the song will stick in your head after one play. You can look forward to what these two do in the future, as they regularly perform in front of no less than 100 fans in town and spend quite a bit of time performing outside of Texas. Dragonfruit is not available to purchase, as it's streaming only, but you can grab music and merchandise from the band's Bandcamp page.
Last year Houston's Adam Bricks released one of the best albums I heard in those 12 months with Relations. It wasn't a shock, as he's always been a solid songwriter, but this record was a mix of what you want from every singer-songwriter album. Relations is so solid that it's difficult to pick one that stands out above the rest, but even still, I found myself marveling at the very last track, "Just Like Mine." The song's big-hearted arrangement features these big drums that you can't deny, while Bricks' own vocals are just as huge. Maybe it's the soft opening with just an acoustic and vocals, maybe it's the grand bridge with multiple instrumentation, or maybe it's just that Bricks is an incredibly strong songwriter; "Just Like Mine" is a reminder that some artists can create beauty in every corner. Relations is available to purchase from the artist through his Bandcamp page.
In writing about which shows are coming, I often stumble across bands with unfamiliar names. Even if you see thousands of live performances a year, you sometimes miss acts. So when I went to link to a group called Mourning Bliss, I found an album full of pop-crafted melodies and indie-rock twists. Their 2015 album, Nation of Ghosts, was so amazing that I wrote about it as soon as I could. Though it's only eight songs, there are gems all over it, most notably "Until the Sun Hits the Ground." The electronic textures coupled with indie guitar are mesmerizing, and made me a fan as soon as the track hit my ears. Later, I found out that singer Ian Kizzle had not only written all of the songs, but played all of the instruments on the record as well. You can purchase Nation of Ghosts directly from the band's Bandcamp page and at shows.
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Rock music can be a wonderful mistress that takes you on adventures you can't describe, just have to experience for yourself. When I first saw a three-piece called Only Beast, I was mesmerized by their incredible energy and drive that fueled their live sets. While they had a live album and a debut album, their latest, Again, is like getting repeatedly smashed in the face with tone, emotion, and snarl. The record is so mind-numbingly intense, it's like Captain Beefheart in that it's like nothing else you've heard before. If there's a single standout here, it has to be "Any Me," due to its pure immediacy. The guitar sounds like it's being played right in front of you while the drums sneak up behind you and the vocals call out like a ship crashing into the rocks. I can't imagine anyone not having their mind blown by how this song practically screams "Rock Music Isn't Dead!" Purchase Again at all the major Houston record stores and directly on Only Beast's Bandcamp page.
Note: This week's Singles Club starts at track No. 6. See this link for last week's.
Thanks for rolling with the Singles Club again. Keep checking back every two weeks to see who gets added to the playlist, and get more new local music worth getting down to.