Mon Julien, “Darkest Hour” (listen) – I mentioned the new local supergroup of sorts in a fall preview a couple of months ago. It’s fronted by Black Tie Dynasty’s Cory Watson and Brian McCorquodale, with production help from Mark Pirro (Tripping Daisy, the Spree) and McKenzie Smith (Midlake). Pirro and Smith also play on Mon Julien’s self-titled album coming out in January. Watson’s in fine voice on “Darkest Hour,” a likely first single from the new record. Lovers of Black Tie’s moodier mid-tempo tunes (as well as the Killers’) should embrace it with open arms. Thanks to the band for letting us share the track early.
Exit 380, “Soul Burning Train” (listen) – Exit 380 is going on 12 years in the North Texas music scene, but the ‘90s alt-rock train has slowed down a bit since the band’s early days in Denton. In recent years, lead singer Dustin Blocker and crew have tried out different styles to keep themselves and their fans from getting bored. They told the story of a depression-era couple on 2008’s concept album ‘The Life & Death of Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Stone,’ and went for a half-country, half-rock approach on 2010’s ‘Cities Townies EP.’ Audiences responded well to the slower acoustic material; it’s what dominates the ‘Townies’ LP coming out Dec. 9. Check out the first single “Soul Burning Train,” on which Blocker’s lingering vocals are answered by bluesy acoustic guitar lines and a gentle banjo rhythm.
Moving Atlas, “Crawl Out in the Cold” (listen) – Don’t get me wrong; there are still lots of local bands dealing in the post-grunge trade. Moving Atlas is a prime example; I’ve seen its players captivate the Trees crowd a time or two. In fact, the Deep Ellum venue will host the band’s Dec. 16 release show for the new EP ‘Machina.’ The first single “Crawl Out in the Cold” comes with a heavy coat of radio polish, but frontman Dunagin Gaines’ intensity still manages to bleed through. Something for your Daughtrier moments, provided you have those.
True Widow, “Jackyl (Violitionist session performance)” (listen/watch) – The acclaimed Dallas dirge-rock trio is the latest local act to play a few tunes and chat about its craft for the Violitionist cameras, offering well constructed goodies from its most recent album. You know, the one with the Fiona Apple-esque title, ‘As High as the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth.’ Bassist Nicole Estill turns in a breathy, tone-perfect vocal on the hypnotic-n-woozy “Jackyl.” A well-timed dose of living-room gloom, as we enter the colder months.
Inzo Fresh, “LHK in Paris (‘Watch the Throne’ remix)” (listen) – A remix doesn’t always have to transform its source hit into something unrecognizable in order to succeed. One of my favorite “party rockers” in the area is Inzo Fresh, a member of the Latin House Krew who blends with the best of ‘em. His booty-dance take on a suddenly ubiquitous ‘Watch the Throne’ single shuffles beats around and slows down a few key lines, but it stays somewhat faithful to the vision of Kanye and Jay-Z. In other words, it retains its “cray” factor. On his Soundcloud page, Inzo freshens up a few more current hits, from “Without You” and “We Found Love” to Dallas singer Larry G(EE)’s “Yo Mama” (which was featured here last week). And for those in need of a solid workout soundtrack, go ‘head and download the guy’s “Can the DJ Get Somez” mix here.
BONUS: A self-serving note, with honorable intentions: I’m no professional DJ, but I do like to put together li’l compilations every month for friends and family. The November edition is heavily Dylan-inspired. Listen here, and enjoy. Or not. I love you either way.