Dallas’ The Dirty Shirts return with funky new single, “Heart Attack”

The Dirty Shirts, against a red backdrop, face the camera

The Dirty Shirts
Photo: Will Von Bolton

There’s a vivid sense of propulsion underpinning the Dirty Shirts’ latest single, “Heart Attack,” which makes total sense — this is not a band content to rest on its laurels.

The new track, co-produced by Jeff Saenz, is illustrative of the elastic sonic boundaries the Dallas band affords itself — disco-dusted, laced with gritty guitars and glowing with vocal harmonies. “Heart Attack” made its worldwide premiere last week on KXT’s The Local Show.

As front man Nick Santa Maria put it recently, collaboration was key to achieving the song’s distinctive sound.

“We’ve got some elements that we want to keep consistent,” Santa Maria said from Austin, where the band has booked a flurry of gigs during this year’s South by Southwest music festival. “We like the big, hooky choruses, big guitars, big drums — but within that, I feel like we can kind of go wherever we want.”

The quartet — Santa Maria, drummer Joshua Sloan, bassist Patrick Smith and vocalist DiDi McCaffrey — has finished work on the as-yet-untitled follow-up to last year’s In the Get Up from the Get Go. although Santa Maria demurs on any specific details (“We started working with management recently, in the last year, and they’ve been very diligent about reining me in,” he said. “I’m like a puppy, man — I get [expletive] excited.”).

Santa Maria said the subtle shifts in style heard on “Heart Attack” are an appetizer, of sorts, to the more adventurous artistic choices the band made in the studio.

“That’s one of the reasons why we chose to release this song first out of this new batch,” he said. “We’ve got some other stuff that I think we really did kind of push even further on. [‘Heart Attack’] felt like a good combination of where we’ve been and where we’re going.”

Along with the additional songs, The Dirty Shirts will also roll out, over the course of 2023 new music videos and more live performances anywhere and everywhere they can book them — including an upcoming gig with Javailin, Austin psych-rock band WEAVR and Fort Worth’s Averi Burk on March 31 at Dallas’ Double Wide.

The thread binding it all together is the band’s dedication to songs that satisfy both the head and the hips.

“I really just want people to play it really loud and enjoy it,” Santa Maria said. “Just find something in it to connect to … we like pairing slightly introspective lyrics with really fun music. So, you know, turn it up, play it loud, dance to it, put it on in your car.”

The Dirty Shirts, Averi Burk, WEAVR and Javailin at Double Wide, Dallas. 9:30 p.m. March 31. Tickets are $12.

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.