New Music Monday Picks For August 21

KXT’s New Music Monday picks for August 21 feature a Kiwi crooner, Afrobeat and a Dallas artist on the rise:

There’s something slightly mythical about the Gulf Coast when it comes to being a fertile ground for singer-songwriters. George Jones, The Big Bopper, Janis Joplin, Rodney Crowell, Robert Ellis and Hayes Carll are only a few fine examples, and now you can add the name Justin Philip Brooks to the list. As fortuitous fate would have it, he moved north to Dallas and recorded his first full-length album, featuring this standout track, “Cold Shoulder, Black Heart.”

Halloween is only a little over two months away, and already we’ve got a winning contender for our fabled All Hallow’s Eve playlist. Melbourne-based Kiwi artist Marlon Williams is striking out again with “Vampire Again,” a new stand-alone single he describes as “my own demented tale of New Age self-affirmation.” Works for us. He actually did write the song last Halloween, after a Nosferatu special screening (in costume, natch), and the end result? A wry and wickedly fun turn, laced with Williams’s low croon and a video shot by UK photographer and cinematographer Steve Gullick (“The Nirvana Diary”). Catch Williams at the House of Blues this Friday, opening for City & Colour.

Rising star Morgan Saint has the mellifluously moody, synthy vibe down pat. Debut EP 17 Hero coming soon…

Dallas’ new psych-pop ambassadors first came to our attention with this year’s singles “Niberian Sun” and “Higher Than The Beatles!” Their new follow-up, “Summer Girls” is a sparkly, lysergic celebration of sound, and Thursday night at City Tavern, the celebration rolls on, full steam ahead.

Fact: Randy Newman is one of the greatest living American satirists and songwriters, an absolute treasure we should be thanking our lucky stars for each and every day, maybe even on an hourly basis. Sometimes we need a reminder, though. Fans of the Tony Shalhoub series Monk might recognize “It’s A Jungle Out There” as the theme song, but it’s been re-repurposed for 2017 via Dark Matter, Newman’s first album of new material in nine long years.

And finally, what the world needs now is love, love, love – and this new Antibalas track called “Gold Rush.” In the post-eclipse afterglow, luxuriate in this super-woke and groove-heavy Afrobeat gem from their September 15 Daptone release, Where The Gods Are In Peace, and mark your calendar for Saturday, September 23, when they grace the stage at Trees.