It’s Bandcamp Friday! Listen up to these North Texas artists

Bo Armstrong, holding an acoustic guitar and sitting on a staircase, looks down

Bo Armstrong. Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

It’s time once again 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 Nov. 4, per Bandcamp, the initiative has generated more than $84 million from nearly 800,000 fans. The next “Bandcamp Friday” is Dec. 2.

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, here and here.)

Bo Armstrong, If your tired heart is aching …

You can take the musician out of Texas, but good luck taking the Texas out of the musician. Case in point: Dallas-born and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Bo Armstrong’s new album, If your tired heart is aching …, is a sharp, sensitive collection of songs vividly highlighting his Lone Star roots, not least of which is the gently shuffling, poignant “Why, Dallas?”

The Paper Bears, Adventures in Lo-Fi

Dallas musician Owen Swift’s style is as abrasive as it is engaging. The stately, shambolic crash of opener “Dividian Prayer” is followed by the bonkers banjo jamboree “Stampede,” and if you aren’t hooked by the end of those two, there’s not much hope for the remaining 16 tracks. The gonzo energy of Adventures in Lo-Fi — Eva Horn contributes vocals as well — is infectious.

Stem Afternoon, Bandit from Beyond

This Fort Worth instrumental collective, which counts among its ranks singer-songwriter Clint Niosi (who also handled recording, mixing and mastering duties here), splices multiple disparate genres — psychedelia, trip-hop and dub — into an arresting whole. The evocative, mysterious mood is established from the opening track, “Twango Tango,” and ably sustained through to the brief closer, “Fly Gumbo.”

La Glissiere, Autobanos

A punchy, New Wave-tinged blast of noise rock hailing from Denton, this Christian Breit-led outfit rips through its debut with poise and plenty of feedback. Over eight tracks, Autobanos all but shoves the listener onto the dance floor — “Social Maverick” evokes prime Joy Division without collapsing into outright re-creation — and rewards repeated spins.

G.W. Childs IV, Tarrant County

All it took for me to slam the play button on Fort Worth musician G.W. Childs IV’s Tarrant County EP was this description: “The Eagles meets the Weeknd, meets Earth, Wind and Fire.” The songs — two of the five tracks here are the title song, in both its single and full versions — comprising County somehow live up to such a left field description. Jamming country flourishes like frantic banjo inside pulsing techno-pop feels less like a novelty than the accidental discovery of a fascinating fusion. Call it country and synth-ern?

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.