And just like that, it’s a brand new year. With the arrival of 2023 comes a fresh set of months and brand new opportunities for local musicians to either see long-held ambitions come to fruition, or to seize new opportunities, cultivated over long periods of time.
Rather than single out deserving artists to keep an eye on for the next dozen months, we were interested in hearing from North Texas musicians about not only what they have on deck, but also what they’re looking forward to outside of their own creative endeavors. Are you a local musician and you want us to know what you’ve got going on? Drop us a line!
Tiffiny Costello (aka housekeys)
What’s upcoming in 2023: “I recorded new songs in Iceland last year at Sundlaugin Studios … where Sigur Ros recorded, so I’m working on mixing and finessing those for a late 2023/early 2024 release,” Costello said via email. “I have a show [on Jan. 28] at Dallas Contemporary with Dallas Ambient Music Nights (D.A.M.N.) [which] will be my first show since moving back to Texas and I will be playing some of the new songs I recorded in Iceland. I’ll also be playing at South by Southwest.”
What I’m excited about: “I am really excited about The Postal Service and 20-year tour for Death Cab [for Cutie]’s Transatlanticism, even though no DFW dates are currently on their schedule. Regardless, I’ll likely go see them somewhere, because both of their albums were extremely formative for me.”
Nick Santa Maria of The Dirty Shirts
What’s upcoming in 2023: “We’ve actually been in the studio with Jeff Saenz at Modern Electric, working on our next record for the past few weeks, so that’s definitely what we’re most excited about for 2023,” Santa Maria said via email. “We’re about halfway through the recording process for the second record right now, and it’s going better than we ever could’ve hoped for. We’ll release a new single and have a couple really fun shows in March, and will have a few shows down in Austin for SXSW.”
What I’m excited about: “There are just so many Dallas artists that I’m stoked to hear new music from this year. [I’m] really excited about what FIT has coming up, as well as Averi Burk, Cure for Paranoia, Primo Danger, and of course, Remy Reilly (who we definitely want to do another song with again, too). There’s too many to list, but I think it’ll be an exciting year for Dallas music. And outside of home, I just perpetually want more Gorillaz, Billie Eilish and the Strokes.”
Jeff Ryan, drummer and State Fair Records distribution/artist development
What’s upcoming in 2023: “One project in particular that I’m involved in is with my friend Paul Chandler and Jerome Brock, in that we’re experimenting with traditional, Texas-based instrumentation and kind of cross-pollinating that with musicians and bands that are based in Mali,” Ryan said via email. “Right now, we’re currently working on trying that with the Malian band Songhoy Blues and Kim Herriage has already tracked some amazing pedal steel … What’s cool about this is that it’s way out of our comfort zone … this is uncharted territory, and we’re excited to see where it will go.”
What I’m excited about: “Two artists releasing albums on State Fair Records that I’m very excited about this year are Nathan ‘Mongol’ Wells and John Dufilho. [Nathan’s] debut solo record takes some unexpected twists and turns that shows a more heartfelt and introspective side to him that I think will surprise some folks. … [John’s] debut solo album under the moniker John Buffalo is definitely unlike any album he has released before, ever! … Without giving away too much about it, I will say this: I don’t really remember hearing that many guitars on it at all. … Going to be a good year!”
What’s upcoming in 2023: “This year, I’m focusing primarily on producing my next single, which features Jackie Venson on guitar,” Hoang said via email. “I’m also starting production on my next full-length album, which is a concept album that reimagines classical Greek and Roman myths. Each song focuses on a myth and will feature a music video that recontextualizes the main theme in a modern setting … I’m very, very excited to produce the album and work with filmmakers to bring the stories to life for a contemporary audience.”
What I’m excited about: “As for other artists, I’m very excited to see what my own producer, Joseph Fisher-Schramm, puts out. He’s working on so many things: An original video game; multiple musical projects including a rock band, jazz fusion band and J-pop band; and I’ll be producing and directing a podcast of his prose and poetry for him as well.”
Jason Bobadilla (aka Ariel & the Culture)
What’s upcoming in 2023: “Last year, I threw my event, Latin Prom Night, in several cities across the country,” Bobadilla said via email. “It sold out in Dallas and made me want to push even harder for my city. This year, I’ll be throwing Latin Prom Night again, but with a twist — inviting tons of special guests and taking it up a notch. It will be a night to remember for the city and I can’t wait for everyone to be a part of it.”
What I’m excited about: “Texas is the next big thing. I’m looking forward to tons of artists from the state taking a step further this year, specifically women in music. [I’m] looking forward to Central Texas acts like Andria Rose, the Tiaras and Ceci Ceci in Dallas. This is going to be their year. [I’m] also looking forward to seeing Arctic Monkeys this year.”
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.