Bayou City

Houston Press Singles Club: Tee Vee, Birthday Club, T2 The Ghetto Hippie, etc.

There's always plenty of music worth hearing in this club.
There's always plenty of music worth hearing in this club. Image by David Garrick

This week in the club, we'll add plenty of tracks to get you going in the new year. An electro-pop banger from Tee Vee, a bedroom pop chiller from Hearts of Animals, an indie rock jam from Birthday Club, a chill hip hop groove from T2 The Ghetto Hippie, and a rock rager from We Were Wolves will all make their way onto the list. While we appreciate you subscribing to this playlist, we ask that you follow the links to the artist's pages or go check them out to support them in person.

click to enlarge Tee Vee mixes electro-pop and dance beats to create a sound you're sure to love. - PHOTO BY KARO CANTU
Tee Vee mixes electro-pop and dance beats to create a sound you're sure to love.
Photo by Karo Cantu
Electronic pop isn't anything new in the music world, but when you couple it with bedroom pop and add hooks from the world of Japanese pop, what you get is pretty enchanting. That's essentially what Tee Vee did on her debut album Soft Spot. While lead singles aren't what typically make this list, the opening track "Angel Eyes" is so catchy and so sweet, that it was hard not to include it here. Mixed with singer Teresa Vincinanza's endearing vocals and these synth pop sounds that just keep your head bopping, Tee Vee quickly drops a beat that's catchy and keeps your attention from the opening to the end of the song. You can catch Tee Vee when they perform around town, you can stream Soft Spot in all of the usual places, or you can purchase it from the Tee Vee Bandcamp or from Miss Champagne Records.

We would hope that you'd know about Houston's Hearts of Animals by now. While they are set to drop a new album this year, their 2014 album Another Mutation was really hard not to fall in love with. The whole lo-fi aesthetic of the release made it hard not to immediately engage with, while the track "Sea Babies" really showcased the mix of singer Mlee Marie's vocals and her instrumentation choices that are simply magical. The song is one that you probably won't forget, and will stick with you hours after the first listen. It's so sweet, so catchy, and so kind that it's hard not to see why the band delights all who see them perform. You can stream Another Mutation in all of the outlets, you can purchase it from local record stores in Houston, or directly from Bandcamp.

click to enlarge If you've never heard Birthday Club, then you've been missing out. - PHOTO BY BRYAN CHAN
If you've never heard Birthday Club, then you've been missing out.
Photo by Bryan Chan
There are plenty of indie rock bands that sound like typical indie rock bands, but Houston's Birthday Club is an indie rock band that stands out. On their debut E.P. Lighten Up, they coupled nineties Brit rock with dream pop to craft a release full of songs that anyone can adore. While the bulk of their songs were worth checking out, the song "Bluebonnet Jubilee," seemed to really be the song that showcased all they could do. The catchy hooks, the stride that doesn't really let up, and the backing vocals that lie just underneath these jazzy choruses and a next level bridge that set them apart from so many other bands that call themselves indie. You can stream Lighten Up in all of the usual spaces, or purchase the album from outlets all around and from the band via their Bandcamp page.

Houston will always be known for hip hop and the days when DJ Screw ran this town with all of the other slab gods. However, nowadays, the up and coming rappers that call Houston home are showing that they can throw up their H's while still moving the hip hop needle forward. Houston's T2 The Ghetto Hippie definitely embodies the new breed. Sounding kind of like no one else, he's definitely been growing his sound for a good while. In 2017, he gave the world Double Cups & Taco Trucks and showed that he has a spot in the Houston rap game. While all of these tracks were bangers, it's the chill and relaxed pace of "Back In The Day," that shows his style best, and gives listeners a chance to see the rapper go hard when he needs to, or just vibe out when he wants to. T2 is definitely doing his own thing with his music, and that's what sets him apart without alienating him either. He's an artist you need to keep an eye on, you can stream his music in all of the usual places or can be purchased from him when he performs live.

click to enlarge We Were Wolves prove that rock isn't going away anytime soon. - PHOTO BY K.NDRICK
We Were Wolves prove that rock isn't going away anytime soon.
Photo by K.ndrick
There are plenty of people who want to tell you that rock n' roll is dead, but those people haven't been paying attention in recent years. There's more than enough bands playing straight rock and doing so while still changing the genre from note to note. That's what Houston's We Were Wolves has done from day one. After relocating from Beaumont to Houston, the band has seemed to never let up with new releases coming faster than many in genres that are deemed "popular" by the music industry. On their latest E.P. Empty Plans, the four piece embraces harder rock licks, solos, and plenty of driving sounds that are worth getting into your ears sooner than later. While all of these tracks are hard not to bang your head to, the song "Charred Pasts" definitely sticks on the first play. Opening with snappy and thundering drums, guitars that are layered and heavy, and vocals that seem to dance atop it all, We Were Wolves prove that driving guitar and rock structures aren't going anywhere soon while dropping a song you can sink your teeth into. You can stream Empty Plans on all platforms or purchase it directly from the band's Bandcamp page.

That's it for this version, though remember that this week's tracks begin with song number thirty six. You can also subscribe to the playlist and jam the tracks as soon as they're added.

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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.