If you are one of those who believe the music scene is only hot in Los Angeles, New York or Austin, I would advise you to walk down the street and into one of DFW’s plethora of venues and check out the ridiculously high level of musical talent housed in the Metroplex. From Folk to Pop, and Singer-songwriter to Alternative, Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth have a spectrum of genres to appease your ear buds. In no particular order, we present to you some of the Best Local Bands.
To sum Smile Smile up in a sentence: The duo dated, broke up and now co-dependently sing wickedly catchy songs about said break up in the band that still exists, though their relationship does not. Their albums Blue Roses and Truth On Tape from Kirtland Records detail heartache and learning to deal with the truth of a relationship gone awry. “You can’t escape/ when the truth is put on tape,” sing Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme on the title track from their sophomore album. The listener begins to feel like a third-party accidentally listening in on a phone call between the two musicians. You won’t be able to escape the catchy folk-pop melodies.
Where to find them: The Libertine Bar – Dallas
Upon listening to Calhoun in your car, you’ll find yourself driving past your exit, gas pedal pressing onward, fingers tapping the steering wheel, completely engulfed in their charming back porch, sun-setting sound. “My mind’s in the clear/ so keep with me here/ our secrets and crimes,” sings Tim Locke on song “Lionness” from 2011 album Heavy Sugar. Calhoun blends genres to create a part folk, part pop sound that is seeped in sugary Texas maple tree sap, unable to escape their country roots.
Where to find them: Lola’s Saloon – Fort Worth
If you haven’t seen the Orbans live, hurry up and do it because they’re quickly gaining the nation’s attention. A likeable brood of 20-something guys, the Orbans sing about love, lies and the times of their life. Dizzy, desirous lyrics swing through their debut album, When We Were Wild. “Darlin’ my dreams/ they trouble me/ Wear me right through my soul” vocalist and guitarist Peter Black sings on “Darlin My Dreams.” Currently working on a new album to be released late 2011, the Fort Worth-based band is a prime frequency for anyone’s musical radar.
Where to find them: 8.0 – Fort Worth
Let’s pretend you had the world’s most horrible day at work – 12 hours straight, the coffee maker is broken, your boss caught you napping and your Facebook news feed is extra juicy, only you can’t read it on account of the many hours of number-crunching your calculator needs to see by the end of the day. John Pedigo and Taylor Young of the O’s have the uncanny ability to not only make you forget about your worst day ever, but they’ll make you laugh. Not just a chuckle; a laugh that feels like you did sit-ups for a minute straight. (See, they’re also covering your gym membership.) “I’m just tryin’ to have a good time/ I’m just tryin’ to see the stars,” sings Taylor Young on summer anthem “Tryin to Have a Good Time” from 2011 album Between the Two. This song never ceases to bring audience members to their feet and evokes feelings of giddiness and images of tire swings and weekend trips to the lake. Playing seven instruments between the two of them, one wonders how they manage to keep their focus between the banjo-harmonica-lowebro and guitar-kick drum-tambourine, but they pull it off like an ouchless band-aid.
Where to find them: Club Dada – Deep Ellum
With new bands seemingly cropping up at all times, it can be difficult to distinguish themselves, much less create a unique sound that stands tall above the rest, forcing other bands to tilt their heads upward in admiration and respect. Denton-based band Seryn achieves this with the same vibrancy that resides in Nathan Allen’s bright red beard and Chelsea Bohrer’s twisted blonde dreads. Some songs can’t be explained, they can only be experienced. Try on “We Will All Be Changed” from debut album This Is Where We Are.
Where to find them: Dan’s Silverleaf – Denton
Laura Stillo is a local and national music enthusiast, and the Creative Social Media Producer at www.youplusdallas.com