At the midway point of 2022, it’s time to take a moment — preferably somewhere indoors with the A/C cranked; it’s pretty sweaty outside — and reflect back on the musical bounty the first six months of the year provided us.
North Texas music is as vibrant and vital as ever, slowly emerging from the momentum-strangling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and turning out all manner of bangers, whether it’s artful pop, Latin-tinged rap or soulful R&B.
Here are five tracks from North Texas musicians we cannot stop spinning. Soon, we’ll also have a round-up of our favorite albums thus far in 2022.
Allison Ponthier, “Autopilot”
Since escaping the suburbs of Dallas (Allen, to be exact), flame-haired singer-songwriter Allison Ponthier has wasted little time making a big impression. Her eclectic sound swings between glittering pop, grandiose rock and raw country, as evidenced by her gorgeous single, “Autopilot,” taken from her latest EP Shaking Hands with Elvis.
Ariel & the Culture, “Tu y Yo”
I’m almost afraid to look at my Spotify stats for this exquisite track from Jason Bobadilla, who performs as Ariel & the Culture. “Tu y Yo,” which dropped in January, was a sleek slice of summer in the waning winter months, and it only sounds better and more irresistible as the sun lingers high in the sky and the mercury soars above 100 degrees.
A steady string of singles over the last 12 months have marked Rafa (aka Rafael Garcia) as one of the brightest lights in the North Texas scene. His February single, “Veras,” gives off Drake vibes, but the Spanish-language slow burn is fueled by Rafa’s laid-back vocals and the syrupy, punchy production.
Tears, “Cry No More”
Alex Alicea, who performs as Tears, first turned our heads last year, on the strength of bilingual hip-hop singles like “Bye” and “Bad Boy,” so it was no surprise her recent EP, Stitches, knocked us out. “Cry No More,” a supple, smoldering kiss-off to an ex, makes liberation feel like an opulent night out.
Jacks Haupt, “Time”
The Oak Cliff-based singer-songwriter Jacks Haupt has kept busy the last few months, including making a trip to Sundance in January, as part of her role in the documentary Mija, which will premiere on Disney Plus later this year. She also dropped the brief but potent track “Time,” which continues her singular fusion of trip-hop rhythms and pop melodies.
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.