Texas has a unique music scene. Americana and the blues are heavy influences. This is very evident amongst most of the state’s local songwriting groups. Then there is commercial country music. That genre holds sway over much of the rural parts of the state. That leaves Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Denton as the centers for new indie music. Austin has a vibrant indie-rock and growing indie hip-hop scene. Houston has a strong history of indie R&B and hip-hop. Dallas has a rich blues history and from that indie-rock and some cross-over jazz artists have emerged. Denton may be the state’s most eclectic music scene. Below are the four Texas indie-artist I think you should be listening to.
So, there is a thing called Gulf Coast Soul, who knew? But one thing is clear is that The Suffers know how to bring it. This Houston-based band is high-powered soul. Put it on and pump it up. The arrangements are both smooth and a bit funky. You’ll love the horns and Kam Franklin’s vocals are a little scratch and a little soul.
The Wind and the Wave
The Austin-based duo was a mainstay for my pandemic listening. Lead vocalist Patricia Lynn has a way of bending and accentuating words that just stick with the listener. These songs get in your head and stay there (“it's the damnedest thing”). Don’t just go listen to their top-played songs (the band smartly released a covers album early on). Dig in, the music is so good.
Kelsey Wilson, the co-founder of Austin’s superb indie-pop/folk band Wild Child, has a new project. The super soulful band Sir Woman. Sir Woman has an intentional throw-back sound with an edgy modern feminine attitude. The music is fun and Wilson can simply sing anything.
Born and raised in Texas, Katy Kirby moved to Nashville for college and the start of her music career. Her 2021 debut album, “Cool Dry Place,” is an incredibly elegant work. This is gently delivered music that centers on Kirby’s playful falsetto. Catchy indie-pop might not be a fair description. But you’ll love all the creative ways Kirby uses her voice as an instrument to blend in with a song’s production.