I’ve found myself spending a little bit of time in Oklahoma recently. So I thought it would be a great time to celebrate some great Oklahoma bands (or at least bands that started in Oklahoma).
Let’s start with an indie-rock band that started in Tulsa. Wilderado just keeps cranking out great music. Seems like they’ve been around for quite a while, but their self-titled 2021 album was the first time they released a full-length album. The album included their 2019 single “Sure Fire” and a couple of tunes, “Head Right” and “Take Some Time” that I keep in steady rotation. I've become a big fan of lead singer Max Rainer. If you’ve been lucky enough to catch the band in concert you’ve heard a great live band and experienced that moment when the band gathers around a single microphone, anacoustic, and sings “Rubble to Rubble.” If you don’t know Wilderado you got some catching up to do. If you haven’t seen them live don’t miss them next time they roll through town.
Husbands is a new discovery for me. The band got its start in Oklahoma City. Their song “Must Be a Cop” reminds me of some of the hot new sounds from Toronto’s Ducks Ltd and London’s The Avenues. Then in “Manhorse” they go totally Violent Femmes’ with a sparse tune that features a snare, bass, and raw vocals. But as you work through the Husband’s music there is that thing, that harmony thing they do which sticks in my head like an old Beach Boys’ tune or Harbour’s “Judy You Hung the Moon.” It’s a great mix of styles. In “Mexico” they go full brothers Wilson and it’s a lot of fun. Surf and pop-punk from Oklahoma. These guys are a really good listen.
The final Oklahoma band is Sports. This is an indie-rock’ish/R&B’ish band. The band touts themselves as a trio of wizards conjuring music spells for the ears. Honestly, this is really pleasing music. Over the prior few years, the R&B influenced was very evident. Their latest tunes “Damn I’m Tired,” a mildly psychedelic blending of vocal and sounds, and “Can’t Be What You Think,” an R&B inspired stroll gives a good sense of how hard it is to nail down the band’s evolving style. I really like the subtle changes the band has made with the two latest singles and hope they signal an upcoming album.