Bayou City

Houston Press Singles Club: Hearts of Animals, Hiram and MyDolls

We never run out of tunes to add to the club.
We never run out of tunes to add to the club. Image by David Garrick

The Houston Press Singles Club is back this week and it's filled with jams that you're sure to get down to for days. New music alongside bangers from Hearts of Animals, Hiram, Tame, the Aspiring Me, Guess Genes, and Mydolls. While we appreciate you subscribing to this playlist and jamming these tracks, we remind you that purchasing music from these artists through their webstores or at their shows is the best way to insure that the music never stops coming.

click to enlarge Hearts of Animals go deep on Human Size. - PHOTO BY JAMES MEDFORD
Hearts of Animals go deep on Human Size.
Photo by James Medford

If you're a band that does things differently, then you're sure to stand out. But if you're a band with endearing vocals, heavy riffs, and lyrics that go further than the typical fare, then you're probably Houston's Hearts of Animals. Over the years we've seen the band evolve but not as much as on their latest release Human Size. The album shows plenty of depth, but the catchiest and closest bridge between their present and their past is on the track "Lost in the Translation." Sounding closest to the early works of Juliana Hatfield, the riffs are heavier while those endearing vocals sit right in the pocket of the track that you're sure to bop your head to from start finish. You can purchase the band's music from most record stores around town, you can get a cassette version of Human Size from Miss Champagne Records, or buy merchandise from the band's Bandcamp page.

If you make electronic music, you need to either drop a ton of it or make it special to stand out. Luckily for Houston's Hiram, he's been doing both for a good while now. Originally going by another artist name, he decided to stay true and stick with his own name for his projects. Since then he's dropped more magical dance tunes than pretty much anyone else in town. Of course, with his latest single "For Anou" he proves real quick that all of that before was just warming up. This track features vocals from John Allen Stephens, but it's sexy, sultry, and you can still get your groove on to it. You can buy Hiram's music in digital storefronts.

click to enlarge TAME the Aspiring Me is an act you need to keep your eyes on. - PHOTO BY CHEEBA CRUZ
TAME the Aspiring Me is an act you need to keep your eyes on.
Photo by Cheeba Cruz

Hip hop is as synonymous with Houston as the Astros are, but with the Screw era being over with, you might think that rap has died in the Bayou City. You'd be wrong, especially when you look to Houston's Tame, the Aspiring Me. While he's been around for a minute, and his full length 98 Briargate & 11 Almeda is pretty brilliant, it's his 2017 E.P. You Might Like This that contains some gems. This is especially true on the track "One Knee, " where Tame mixes in what sound like video game sounds, classic R&B, and some of the spaciest hip hop you'll hear. The track is a mix of the past and future that it's hard not to find the brilliance behind it, while he spits rhymes with ease like no other. You can buy music from Tame, the Aspiring Me from all digital storefronts, or directly from his Bandcamp page.

The mind of Chase DeMaster never seems to slow down, like a kid with keys to the musical candy store, but with the musical chops to back up every door he opens. While DeMaster owns his own record label, and he's in multiple projects, one of those projects Guess Genes has always been this intriguing mistress that you rarely see. The project with Sergio Trevino from Buxton only makes sense to those who know them both, but that doesn't matter as the tunes they make together are simply fantastic. While most of their debut full length Guess Genes is worthy of your ears, it's the track "Tangerine Balloon" that you should find yourself falling in love with. Endearing and soft vocals, a doo wop beat, and intermittent electronics make the track one that's hard not to love. You can buy their music from all digital storefronts, or from the Very Jazzed Bandcamp page.

click to enlarge Houston's MyDolls have been making waves since the late seventies. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MYDOLLS
Houston's MyDolls have been making waves since the late seventies.
Photo courtesy of MyDolls

No matter what you may think about this city, punk rock is in its soul and in its soil. Back in the late '70s when this was still somewhat of a cow town full of honky tonk bands and cover acts, only a few bands were making music that wasn't part of the fold. While the members of Houston's MyDolls might not consider themselves legendary, being one of if not the first primarily female punk bands to come out of the South is a pretty big deal given our past. For 40 years the band has made some of the more intriguing music to come out of our city, though it may be their music on It's Too Hot For Revolution that breaks the mold of what you think you know about punk music. While the bulk of the album is eclectic and full of rhythm changes, it's the title track "It's Too Hot for Revolution" that should stick with you. Complete with varying vocals and a tribal rhythm, the song proves that those who helped pave the way for our city's music scene can still show us how it's done. You can purchase music from the MyDolls' Bandcamp page or directly from the band website, as well as from most record stores.

That's it for the club this week, just remember that this week's songs begin with track No. 81. You can subscribe to the playlist to get the songs as soon as they're added as well, every two weeks.

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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.