By Maci Woody
Local Music Journalist
1. Rusty Dusty – Can’t Stay Here
Rusty Dusty graced us with their bluesy indie rock by headlining at KTSW’s second Harvest Fest, and I have been absolutely in love with this song ever since. I adore the ethereal, dreamlike aura it provokes. It’s somber, but determined. The effects placed on the guitar make the song feel far away and deliberately disconnected, which suits the lyrics of the song perfectly. As the chorus and the title would suggest, the speaker can’t stay here. With the way that Rusty Dusty has crafted the sound of the song, it feels like the music is literally going with him. The harmony between sound and feel is impeccable. It’s a special kind of creativity that I rarely see and truly admire in musicians.
2. Bogan Villa – Tea for Three
I always work in some classic psychedelic blues rock somewhere, and for the November local music playlist, here it is. You may remember them from KTSW’s last MR Fest (I certainly do). I picked this song specifically because I love the movement in it. If this song was a lady, she would be leaning against a wall and scouting the room. As soon as the music starts, she would begin sashaying or prowling forward with cool determination towards her target until the chorus comes and she either breaks into a brisk run or enthusiastic dance. The mood and pace of “Tea for Three” are fantastically dynamic, which makes it an obvious choice for my playlist.
3. Fire in the Pines – Heart of the Machine
Alright, who’s not a sucker for a good, slow, heartfelt, folksy ballad? This song is almost 5 years old and still sticks out enough for me to be put on my November playlist after all this time. So, what sticks out so much about this song? Well for starters, how unbelievably well all of the instruments fit together to portray the same mood despite doing completely different things. The rapid yet somehow gentle picking of the mandolin coupled with the slow, soulful soloing of the saxophone should clash, right? They don’t. They meld together perfectly with each other and the other instruments, even through the mood changes, the song follows as it progresses.
4. Muff – Hand Grenades
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, female fronted indie punk bands are the future. I am absolutely infatuated with the combo of fast-paced, energetically-charged instruments and soothing yet mischievous female vocals. If you’re trying to picture what that must sound like, Muff should be one of the first bands to pop in your head. Even their slower more relaxed songs like “North” still have this contrasting quality. It was a close call, but ultimately I decided on “Hand Grenades” for this playlist. I just adore the beautiful complementary vocals through the choruses, the playful guitar riffs, and the dynamic nature of the drums. If you missed Muff at KTSW’s Woman Crush Wednesday, fear not!
5. DC4Prez – SKIP SCHOOL
You know who has a fantastic underground hip-hop/rap scene? San Marcos. You know who really stands out in it? DC4Prez. This particular beat happens to be my personal favorite because of it’s ultra clean melody, assertive yet smooth vocals, and carefree classic lo-fi hip hop sonancy. There is something so incredibly special about hip-hop and rap artists who can take a genre known for its forcefulness and make a track that keeps that same intensity and flawlessly blends it with a graceful, melodious elegance.
Check out more DC4Prez here.
Featured image by DeMornay Harper.