It’s a testament to the vibrancy of the North Texas music scene that, in compiling this list of our favorite local albums thus far in 2022, it could’ve easily been a list numbering more than 50 releases. Put another way: For fans of all genres, to be alive and listening to music in North Texas right now is an embarrassment of riches.
Here, presented in alphabetical order, are 10 albums (and EPs) from North Texas musicians we can’t get enough of. Spin your favorites again, or use these records as an entry point to all the incredible talent calling North Texas home. (You can also read about our favorite singles thus far in 2022 here.)
Bastards of Soul, Corners
A valedictory moment for one of the area’s most dynamic bands became tinged with tragedy when front man Chadwick Murray died unexpectedly in 2021. The posthumously released Corners is rich with an urgency often found in early 1970s soul, occasionally dipping into explicit social consciousness and commentary (as on “American Scheme” or the title track).
Caroline Sears, Day of the Week
Dallas singer-songwriter Caroline Sears was an unknown quantity to me when I pressed play on their debut EP. By the time its five songs concluded, I was desperate to know more — their dusky voice and delicate compositions (“Honey” and “What a Shame” are stand-outs) are quite a hypnotic combination.
Court Hoang, Get Right
The Dallas-born and Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter’s sophomore album is an extraordinary piece of work, one built around the turmoil and toll of modern life, and shot through with an unyielding sense of hope. Anchored by Hoang’s extraordinary, octave-leaping voice, Get Right revels in awe-inspiring grandeur and visceral emotion.
Take a potent Houston trio (Khruangbin) and an electric Fort Worth vocalist (Leon Bridges), and you’ve got a potent alchemy: Texas Moon, the musicians’ second joint release, is a moodier, stormier work than its predecessor, Texas Sun, but no less enthralling. Funky, soulful and satisfying.
Lorelei K, Swimming Pool Eternity
Born Dahlia Knowles, the Dallas-based avant-pop artist known as Lorelei K unfurls her darkest, dreamiest set yet. With the full weight of a band behind her — guitarist Mills Chaiken, bassist Rex Davis, drummer Dean Adams and synth player/backing vocalist/producer Michael Briggs — Lorelei K’s gossamer vocals hit harder than ever. Tracks like “Saint Groupie” sting sweetly.
MATTIE, Jupiter’s Purse
Dallas-based vocalist MATTIE makes an arresting solo debut on their debut EP. Working with fellow Dallas native Black Taffy as producer, these five gorgeous tracks — billed as “experimental soul” — stretch and spill and swirl around MATTIE’s haunting vocals. Jupiter’s Purse sounds like nothing else emanating from North Texas.
Motorcade, See You in the Nothing
The sense that Motorcade knows precisely what it wants to achieve, and knows precisely how to achieve it is evident throughout the 11 tracks on Nothing, spilling from the ominous beauty of the opening track “Shift” through to break-out single “Slip,” which aches with reverence for vintage 1980s New Wave and Gothic-tinged pop.
Panoramic Duo, Press Start
Just try making it through “Drown,” the first track of Panoramic Duo’s latest LP, without immediately wanting to hear it again. The Fort Worth-based duo — Jake Rodriguez and Fonze Wilson — traffics in sleek harmonies and gleaming electro-pop melodies evoking the 1980s even as it transcends them.
Skinny Cooks, Ghost Kitchen
My KXT colleague Nilufer Arsala nailed it last year when she wrote “Brianne Sargent and Nigel Newton are each musical powerhouses.” The pair have crafted an ambitious new album which unfurls like a funky, psychedelic fever dream, spilling from the gripping spoken word “Darkness in the Lot” to the sprawling, eight minute-plus “Spare Planet,” which evokes both George Clinton and Prince while copying neither.
Wish Kit, Hot Gold
There’s an engaging energy to Denton quintet Wish Kit’s Hot Gold belying its origins: “Songs mostly written while we stuck inside of our house,” the EP’s Bandcamp page reads. With Riley Cottrell, Connor Kokora and Fisher Mays equally splitting guitar and vocal duties, and Josh Wright and Brock Tacker backing them up on bass and drums, respectively, tracks like “Almonds” and “Talk” disarm with alt-country flourishes.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.