Dust off those earbuds: It’s time for Bandcamp Friday. If you’re unfamiliar with the event, it’s pretty straightforward: To help musicians amid the uncertainties of the ongoing pandemic, the streaming platform Bandcamp instituted “Bandcamp Friday,” a day where the company forgoes its revenue share in order to pass on to bands an average of 93 percent of money spent on music and merch.
As of Oct. 7, per Bandcamp, the initiative has generated more than $81 million from nearly 800,000 fans.
To help you prep, we’ve rounded up recent releases from five North Texas acts you might want to hear — and support. (You can also check out our prior “Bandcamp Friday” recommendations here, here, here, here, here and here.)
Ariel & the Culture, buena vista!
It’s no surprise Ariel & the Culture’s debut EP, buena vista!, is a slick, confident collection of R&B-smeared alt-pop. Jason Bobadilla, the mind behind these arresting songs, some of which (the still phenomenal “Tu y Yo,” “Dame Tu Amor”) have been previously released. Separate or together, it doesn’t matter: Ariel & the Culture’s buena vista! is simultaneously the sound of Dallas right this second, and the sound of the 214’s next big artist triumphantly leveling up.
Nick Bisceglia, Slow Gold
Why, a reasonable person might wonder, is KXT writing about a Vermont-based singer-songwriter in a round-up of North Texas artists? It’s as much about the fascinating fusion of lo-fi, angular folk music and poetry — Bisceglia’s lyrics for this eight-track release are all works by Emily Dickinson — as it is the discovery of a new label hailing from Fort Worth: People’s Coalition of Tandy. It’s a roster teeming with some left-field sounds, many of whom hail from outside the state’s borders.
Despite efforts to excavate any further information about who or what the Denton-based Luminam might be, it’s hard to muster up more than this: “Alan” is the name of a “21-year-old musical artist from Texas” whose “first-ever true album,” Ephemeral, is 10 absorbing tracks of electronic-dappled pop. Draped in shadows, tracks like “Maybe It’s Time” or “Broken Heart (Forever)” will have you agreeing with the Bandcamp summation from Luminam: “I think it was an interesting experiment and I’m happy with the results.”
Dale McFarland, World Abstract and Concrete
Dallas pianist Dale McFarland stirs together a little jazz, a little soul and plenty of style for these half-dozen instrumentals, nearly all of which have a distinctly international cast. From the languorous opener “Lamento Venezuela” through the percussive, joyful “Little Island Flower,” McFarland has crafted an EP tailormade for your next relaxing evening at home.
Ali Mozart, All Pink Starburst
Dallas rapper Ali Mozart roars out of the gate on “Frenemies,” the opening track of his new EP. The verbal dexterity on display is dazzling — triplets fall from his tongue at blinding speed — and Mozart keeps his foot firmly on the gas (and even makes some interesting sonic detours, as on the alt-rock-inclined “Crucifixion”) throughout the eight tracks here.
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.