For the past couple of weeks, we've been building a playlist of Houston acts that we feels represent this city so well while also releasing some of the strongest music to come out today. The Houston Press Singles Club is all about music discovery, but we encourage you to find these artists' music through their web stores and at their shows, and support them however you can. This week we have some stellar jams for you that you're sure to love.
Houston is a big place to come from, but if you've worked as hard as Waterparks, then you've certainly made it more well known over the years. The three piece drops pop punk songs that are filled with hooks, their live shows are energetic from start to finish, and last year's Double Dare proved they were worthy of getting signed to Equal Vision Records and getting represented by the Madden Brothers. Next year, they're dropping Entertainment and while we usually don't use lead singles for this playlist, I found the song "Blonde" to be so intoxicating that it had to be included. Filled with pop hooks, catchy vocals, and plenty of head bopping melody, Waterparks prove they aren't going anywhere but up from here on out. You can purchase music from the band here, or catch their tour back home in Houston in early December.
Hip hop always gets called a boys' club, but if you follow the genre closely you should realize that there's plenty of female MC's that can rock a mike like no one else. That's how you should look at Houston's Genesis Blu, like no one else. She has such a strong and uplifting stage presence that her shows almost feel like a party thrown by a motivational speaker. While she dropped her latest release this year with Bluming Season, it was her stand alone single featuring Shonnie Murrell, "Local Love" that stood out the most. Full of this old school hip hop beat and her signature mic dropping rhymes, Blu quickly proved that she could rule our city's rap scene and beyond. You can purchase music from Blu directly at her web store and when she performs around town.
For a while it felt like the psych rock genre was littered with bands that didn't know what psych rock was. It got so bad that I wondered if anyone knew about how solid the few psych rock bands Houston has are. I would hope that you'd have heard of Flower Graves, and I know you've heard of their former more garage rock side Mikey & the Drags. Flower Graves takes what you liked about the Drags and adds plenty of trippy psych experience as well as more pedal laced guitars while keeping the catchy sounds all in tact. On their latest single "Savage," they take you back to the sixties while making you feel like you're having the best acid trip you could have. The song proves that while there were plenty of bands who didn't get what psych rock is all about, Flower Graves seem to define it with each spacey melody they play. You can purchase the band's new seven inch single at most Houston record shops, from the band when they perform around town, or directly from Wallflower Records.
Seven minute rock songs might not be at the top of what you look for nowadays. In fact, so many bands just write three minute bangers and that's about it. For the past five years I've championed the indie rock sounds of Houston's A Sundae Drive, and their latest album Versailles proves I wasn't off base. Easily one of the best albums to come out of Houston in 2017, the track "Fly South" was one of my favorites from the first listen. Echoing the likes of Rather Ripped era Sonic Youth mixed with these Dinosaur Jr. sounding melodies, the song proves that the epic build up and the length of the song don't matter when the music is this solid. You can grab Versailles from all of the record outlets throughout Texas, you can grab a vinyl when the band performs, or you can purchase it directly from the band's Bandcamp page.
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The best bands are those who are easy to work with, who work as hard to push everyone else as they do themselves, and who write music that could stand alone in any decade. Though he's not a seasoned veteran just yet, Houston's Clay Melton certainly plays like one. His latest album Burn The Ships has so many solid songs that picking one might be difficult, though I found his track "Wind & Wave" featuring Kam Franklin to be as delightful and solid as you'd hope for. Full of soulful tones and guitar swells that sound like they could have come from any session player, Melton proves that he's just a step or two away from being the next big thing. You can purchase copies of Melton's music at all of the Houston record stores, from him when he performs, or directly from his web store.
This week's playlist additions start with track sixteen.
You can come back every two weeks to read about who we've added and why they're worth checking out. If you subscribe to the playlist, you'll have them at your fingertips as soon as we add them as well.