It is time, once again, for another “Bandcamp Friday.”
However, this particular installment feels a bit more fraught than before. That’s because the popular streaming platform was recently acquired by Songtradr, a Los Angeles-based music marketing company, from Epic Games, which had taken ownership of Bandcamp just 18 months prior.
Amid the acquisition, the employee union, Bandcamp United, is fighting for recognition amid reports not all Bandcamp employees will have jobs in the wake of Songtradr taking over.
While that unfolds, “Bandcamp Friday” is, for now, continuing on through the remainder of 2023. If you’re unfamiliar with the initative, it’s straightforward: To help musicians in the aftermath of the pandemic, Bandcamp selects a day where the company forgoes its revenue share.
This allows the platform to pass on to bands an average of 93 percent of money spent on music and merch. Per Bandcamp, the initiative has, thus far, generated more than $100 million from over a million fans. The next “Bandcamp Friday” is Oct. 6.
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, here, here, here and here.)
Brian Lambert, Wild
Denton singer-songwriter Brian Lambert returns with his latest studio effort, Wild, a collection which deftly splits the difference between earnest folk and late ‘80s/early ‘90s alt-rock — the shift from the album opening title track to the pulsing “Nobody Seems to Understand” is deeply pleasurable whiplash, drawing you deeper into his thoughtfully crafted songs.
Liquid Sound Company + Herd of Instinct, Cosmic Worlds
Psychedelia and prog rock collide in spectacular fashion on this wild, woolly mash-up which lives up to its billing as “a unique musical journey.” Liquid Sound Company (an Arlington-based quintet) and Herd of Instinct (an Arlington-based trio) unfurl all manner of trippy instrumental exploration across these nine tracks, pushing the boundaries of both genres to reach out and touch something new.
Keegan McInroe, Agnes
Fort Worth troubadour Keegan McInroe takes his time between studio albums — Agnes, his sixth such effort, is his first collection since 2017’s A Good Old Fashioned Protest — but the wait is inevitably worth it. Drawing inspiration from the wind-blasted, wide-open spaces of southwestern Texas, McInroe’s gritty vocals lay atop expressive backing, lamenting purity’s loss.
Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, If You Find Yourself Floating Away
A considerable amount of time passed between Denton collective Matthew and the Arrogant Sea’s last studio recording — 2012’s You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit — and this collection, which follows a steady stream of singles and EPs. The Matthew Gray-led indie rock outfit has lost none of its eccentric edge in the intervening years, still capable of wrapping luminous melodies around off-kilter lyrics.
c1tygrrl, ghosts in my room, ghouls in my soup EP
This intriguing quartet of songs flits by in less than 10 minutes, glitchy and gorgeous and draped in mystery. Scant information is readily available about the identity of the Dallas-based singer-songwriter and producer, which only makes ghosts in my room, ghouls in my soup that much more gripping. Whoever c1tygrrl is, he has crafted one of the most arresting North Texas efforts of the year.
Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@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.