Bayou City

Houston Press Singles Club: Stephanie Rice, Moth Wings, Warlung, etc.

The songs go on for days here in the Singles Club.
The songs go on for days here in the Singles Club. Image by David Garrick

The Houston Press Singles Club is back this week with a whole set of songs we think you're sure to love. This week we'll add a soulful tune from Stephanie Rice, a psych pop gem from Mantra Love, we'll add our first band for a second time with Moth Wings, a folky jam from Sam Turner & the Cactus Cats, and a psych metal track from Warlung. While we appreciate you subscribing to this playlist, we ask that you visit these artists in their artist shops and buy merch from them whenever and wherever you can.

click to enlarge Stephanie Rice is much more than meets the eye, and her music is gut wrenching. - PHOTO BY CINDY PRUITT
Stephanie Rice is much more than meets the eye, and her music is gut wrenching.
Photo by Cindy Pruitt

Stephanie Rice kind of blew up as a contestant on The Voice, her sound that she has crafted is new while sounding familiar, and her infectious drive and spirit are like no one else you'll meet. However, if you took all of that aside and just focused on her music, the soulful undertones and the gut wrenching heartache that her vocals emit, you're left with an artist who's definitely on the rise. On her single "Let Me Go," she takes all that you loved about her work with Colonial Blue, and adds a bit of pop hook to make the track an undeniable torch song that you'll place on repeat. You can purchase merchandise from Rice via her website, or from digital outlets like iTunes.

If you're going to stay relevant in the psych rock world, your best bet is to mix things up. That's what Houston's Mantra Love did last year when they dropped the pop infused banger "Strawberry Milk." With psych undertones alongside electro-pop notations, they crafted a track that only makes you long for more and more. The song is so solid that it only makes you hope that whatever they do next will be just as catchy. While they are in the midst of recording a new release, you can purchase their music from their shows or directly from Bandcamp.

click to enlarge Moth Wings grow by leaps and bounds on their latest, Open Swim. - PHOTO BY JONATHAN MAZALTOV
Moth Wings grow by leaps and bounds on their latest, Open Swim.
Photo by Jonathan Mazaltov

Let's say that you're starting a band, and you want to have an alt rock edge, without sounding like a poseur in the process. If that's your plan, you should look no further than Houston duo Moth Wings. The first band to make a second appearance in the singles club, Moth Wings do what every band should strive to do, they evolve. Last time we hosted them for a track from their mixtape Dragonfruit because it was such a different sound while also being catchy. This time, behind their new E.P. Open Swim, we find them giving us early Foo Fighters vibes without sounding like a cover band with the song "Movie Night."  It's as if these two get the whole alternative rock world while not being old enough to have appreciated it when it actually occurred.  If there were one band to keep on eye on for the future, these two are definitely that band. You can purchase Moth Wings music from every online retailer, as well as at Deep End Records and directly from the band here.

The whole folk rock thing is typically filled with bands from Brooklyn that don't understand where folk originated from. But, if you listen to one note from Houston's Sam Turner & the Cactus Cats, you should realize that they not only get what folk is about, they're ready to redefine the genre. On their debut release Wanna Be Your Man they add their footnotes to the genre in more ways than one. Their lead track, "Wanna Be Your Man" is filled with pop hooks and a catchy nature that's almost hard not to like at first listen. Add to that some shaky and different vocals, and you have a song that's endearing and worth spinning on repeat. You can purchase the band's music at all local record shops or directly from Roofus & Friends Records.

click to enlarge Warlung gives you so much to like with their blend of metal and psych. - PHOTO BY KEVIN ADOOR
Warlung gives you so much to like with their blend of metal and psych.
Photo by Kevin Adoor

If you listen to metal, you should realize that the best metal coming out right now is coming out of the South. Houston's Warlung are a great example of what's coming from down here. The four piece mixes metal and psych with doom undertones to create a sound that hits on all of the things you want from metal. Unapologetic, riff heavy, with plenty of snarl and trippy notations, the song "Mind Melter" off of their debut Sleepwalker is a song that I wanted to listen to for days. You can purchase Warlung's music from them at shows when they play or directly from their Bandcamp page.

That's it for this week, though it should be more than enough to tide you over. Don't forget to subscribe to the playlist below to get the tracks as soon as they're added. The songs this week start with song number 61.

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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.