The best songs from North Texas artists in 2024 (So far)

The year 2024 is surely to be thought of as being one of the most prolific years for music in recent memory – and we’re only (or, already?!) halfway through it.

From the Texas leading lights of Beyoncé to Kacey Musgraves – both of whom have already received critical acclaim for albums released this year – this year has quickly become a momentous one in music, and that includes the sounds from right here in our backyard. 

So, as we turn into the most sweltering slice of the year, we’re looking back on the homegrown music we couldn’t get enough of, from the KXT Local Show to our dedicated local music coverage. In no particular order, here are some of our staff’s picks for favorite songs that have come out of North Texas so far this year.

Alec Spicer, KXT Producer

“Mercedesbenz” – David Forsyth

North Texas singer-songwriter David Forsyth dropped a six-song EP titled How ‘Bout That in February, with its opening track, “Mercedesbenz.” The song warmly sets the tone for Forsyth’s stir of alternative-folk that unfolds throughout the project – it’s gorgeous, working-class storytelling on a bed of Americana and wedged with moments that nod to heartland rock. There’s something comforting about his honest songwriting on this track, particularly during the piano riffs that trail the chorus as he sings, “I sit and I stare at the wall, and I twirl my hair/I fight with things that aren’t really there/And I tell ‘em they don’t fight fair.”

“Liars, Cops, and Thieves” – FIT

For a while, every time I caught a show from raucous Dallas indie-rock band FIT, “Liars, Cops and Thieves” stood out to me as a superior thrasher among their setlist, but I had no way of hearing it beyond the walls of venues like Double Wide and Ruins. Finally, in March, they officially released it on streaming services, which of course meant it hit The Local Show soon thereafter. Now, you and I can run it up whenever we want. Don’t mistake this as a decree to skip seeing them live, though – they rip.

“Still Trying” – Graham Malice ft. Lexayy

Earlier this year, “Still Trying” by Dallas’ Graham Malice and Lexayy was included in my list of five cuts released by Black artists in February worth checking out. Now, the replay button has cemented this as one of the best of the year so far. Malice is known for playing well with others on collaborations, but the kinetic R&B energy he and Lexayy radiate on this one lands just as smoothly in a summer playlist as it did six months ago.

“Arizona” – Runaway Sky

It’s no secret that in the past few years, the cliched ideas of what country music should sound like are unravelling. The debut single from Runaway Sky, the new duo made up of Simone Nicole and Taylor LaCourse, reflects that progressive growth of country music, leaving a perfect snapshot for the modernized, genre-reconstructing sound of Fort Worth right now. “Arizona” pairs well with the likes of fellow North Texan Maren Morris, as well as the vastly underrated and defunct country duo, The Wreckers.

“Number One Set and Sound” – Silver Skylarks

Silver Skylarks came out swinging this year with their debut release, The Number One Set and Sound. The project from Danny Balis and Jeff “Skin” Wade – longtime pillars of the Dallas music scene – flexes a brawny wingspan of funk, R&B, soul and hip-hop. The album’s title track features legendary rapper Large Professor and is a perfect jumpoff for the rest of the record. And not only is this a 2024 favorite of mine and KXT host Jackson Wisdorf, it’s also a favorite of our KXT listeners, who gave it stacks of 10s at our May Public Music Meeting.

Kaitlyn Matthews, KXT Social Media Manager

“Maybe It’s Time” – Liv.e

The Dallas born, L.A.-based singer’s latest release, PAST FUTUR.e, is a stark difference from her lauded 2023 alt-R&B, neo-soul album Girl In The Half Pearl. “Maybe It’s Time” is a song that feels like a collection of reflective, echoing (and oftentimes jarring) anecdotes over synthwave lo-fi loops. Liv.e is at her best when she dives head-first into experimenting with her sound, and this song proves it.  

“Guayaba” – Alex O’aiza

When I heard this song on the The Local Show for the first time, I immediately added it to my playlist: when you know, you know. “Guayaba” (guava) is everything you want in a quintessential summer song: playful, light and sweet. Indie-pop artist Alex O’aiza names Prince, Whitney Houston and British pop-rock band The 1975 as influences, and that spectrum of sounds is evident in this Spanish-language song full of ‘80s-inspired nostalgia.

“off my mind” – DAMOYEE

The Dallas multi-hyphenate artist has released not one, but two albums so far this year. The synth-filled PURPLEXED VOLUME 1 and PURPLEXED VOLUME 2 tie a thread between electro-pop and R&B. There are so many excellent songs to choose from between the back-to-back releases, but “off my mind” stands apart as a floaty, dream-pop groove reminiscent of a ‘70s dancefloor vibe.

“Malos Modales” – Ceci Ceci

The latest single from the Dallas via Nicaraguan-Ecuadorian singer-songwriter Ceci Ceci is an infectious blend of indie-pop with Latin flair. The song title translates to “bad manners,” but the song itself is sultry with Spanish-rock guitar chords paired well with dance-y synth.  

“Temptations (Remix)” – Kaash Paige

Dallas singer Kaash Paige recently switched up her sound by breaking from her more traditional R&B sensibilities and trading it for an electronic-infused influence on her album called Catch Me while I Care – her first independent record since parting ways with Def Jam Records. Though it’s a surprising turn, it’s also a welcome one, because I can’t help but dance to this upbeat, energetic track.

Preston Jones, KXT Contributor

“Yama Yama” – Silver Skylarks

The Number One Set and Sound, the debut LP from Silver Skylarks (the tireless duo of Danny Balis and Jeff “Skin” Wade), approximates a crate-digger’s delight in unearthing lost-to-time moods and sounds. Nowhere are the retro vibes more immaculate than on the deliriously funky, faintly psychedelic “Yama Yama,” which derives considerable mojo from a killer Robert Ellis guitar cameo.

“(I’m Gonna Get Over This) Some Day” – T Bone Burnett feat. Rosanne Cash

The Fort Worth-reared Burnett isn’t as attentive to his solo career as he was a few decades ago, but when he does focus on his own music, the Grammy-winning producer and songwriter often delivers in mesmerizing fashion. For The Other Side, his first solo LP in nearly 20 years, Burnett enlisted a handful of A-list collaborators, including Rosanne Cash, whose flinty harmonies enrich this shuffling, lightly bruised folk gem.

“Optimistic (Time is Running Out)” – Gollay

Fort Worth-based Rachel Gollay is a force of songwriting nature, and one of the state’s most impressive musical talents. On her third studio album, The Edge of April, she (along with her trusted collaborators) continue to refine and expand her sonic palette, as evidenced by the ambitious, sweeping tone of this emotive and kinetic track, the album’s opener.

“If You’re Gonna Leave” – Angel White

Singer-songwriter Angel White is the real deal. A Cleburne native and fifth-generation Texan, White honors the state’s tradition of fine-grained songcraft even as he pushes the boundaries of what’s possible within country music’s confines. There’s no better example of how he’s staking his own claim than this irresistible single from his debut EP, Ghost of the West: Volume I, full of heartache and featuring a gorgeous vocal contribution from the Wind and the Wave’s Patty Lynn.

“Sweetest Fruit” – St. Vincent

Narrowing down to just one great track from St. Vincent’s latest long-player is an exercise in futility. Dallas-raised singer-songwriter (and, for the first time, producer) Annie Clark made some of the most harrowing, beautiful music of her career on her seventh studio album, All Born Screaming. This woozy, galloping tune ranks among her most pleasurable to date. Nearly two decades in, no one else — try as they might — is making music quite like Clark.

Are you a North Texas musician? We’d love to hear from you! Submit your music for consideration here: