16 of the Best Local Releases of 2012 1/2
If you stare at this cover long enough, you can see forever
As we wind down the month of June and find ourselves square in the middle of 2012, there's that old familiar nudge to gather, quantify, qualify and categorize the local music we've enjoyed so far this year. Here are some of of favorites.
It's been a long, strange trip for Fort Worth duo Pinkish Black, culminating in May's self-titled debut LP on North Texas label Handmade Birds. The result is a heavy dose of doom theatrics, carried out by keyboardist Daron Beck's spectral verse, and drummer Jon Teague's rhythmic focus. - Audra Schroeder
"Kings & Queens (Throw It Up)"
Denton's Joseph SoMo has been on fire lately, dropping a barrage of YouTube covers that have amassed more than 1.2 million views. In April, he released his "Kings & Queens" single, produced by Cody Tarpley, in lieu of his forthcoming debut mixtape. "Kings & Queens" is an uptempo celebration of the night, sure to strike a chord with even the most monochromatic of critics. - Austin Staubus
Eyes Wings and Many Other Things
Dallas' vinyl and tape label Pour le Corps has been releasing a steady stream of experimental, electronic and psych from regional and national acts, lovingly accented with fantastic album design. Guitar/synth duo Colin Arnold and Sean French, aka Eyes, Wings and Many Other Things, turn in something meditative with Napalm Beach, an album which contemplates sound and design rather than ramping up to the overdone loud-quiet-loud formula. - Audra Schroeder
Brown and Blue
Daniel Folmer's second album under the name Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers picks up where his first left off, chronicling his self-imposed exile to a dude ranch in Central Texas and subsequent return, and rolling through honky-tonk-ready originals like "Pray N Pray," "MACHINE (MONOPOLOWA)" and "New Last Name." Any Folmer release is worth your attention and this one is no different. - Andy Odom
This Denton four-piece recorded its debut album live, and it certainly sounds like they do in a venue like Bryan Street Tavern or Rubber Gloves. The band happily wears its post-hardcore influences on its sleeve -- Fugazi, Jawbox and Cursive to name a few -- and has an incredibly compelling song featuring a finger-tapping guitar line ("The Whale"). It will restore your faith in the legacy of Dischord Records. - Eric Grubbs
In a scene seemingly lacking in good ol' power pop, Cozy Hawks are a breath of fresh air. They bring to the stage an aggressive, Teenage Fanclub-infused sound, and their EP No Blues captures the vibe perfectly. Recorded with Justin Collins (who's worked with just about every other band in Denton as a musician or producer), the album is urgent and punchy. It's only available on their Bandcamp page at the moment, but that also means its only $5. Well worth the investment. - Andy Odom
This Dallas synth/drum trio created an elegant, dark labyrinth via their second album. In a feature story I did earlier this year, I said Fake Infinity was "almost metal in concept, but Krautrock in its execution," and I stand by my statement. - Audra Schroeder