DariusTX is the creative alter ego of Dallas-born singer-songwriter and composer Darius Holbert, who seizes this side project as an opportunity to explore his musical appetites. (Holbert, who splits his time between Texas, New York and Los Angeles, does boast an impressive resume, having collaborated with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Britney Spears and Diane Warren, among others.)
The colorfully titled DariusTX V. The Angels of Goliad conjures dusty visions of rough-hewn frontier towns before a single note emanates from the speakers.
In press materials, Holbert cites affection for the “Southern gospel and blues” tradition, which is evident early and often on the record, his fifth under the DariusTX banner.
Sprawling at 17 tracks and 71 minutes, Goliad is redolent with humid, sinister atmosphere: Dark Blues alludes to anti-venom and the hereafter, while West TX Moon is a gentle, beautiful hymn with a grim undercurrent. By turns sweeping and intimate, Goliad is a striking collection of deeply felt songs, the full excavation of a talented musician’s passion.
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Lou Charle$, ‘In Transit’
The past 12 months have been extraordinarily active for North Texas hip-hop acts, and while most of the heat has been focused on artists to the east, don’t sleep on Panther City. There has been and continues to be a steady stream of worthwhile releases flowing out of the 817 — the latest of these being Lou Charle$’ new EP, In Transit (produced, fittingly, at Dallas’ CC Studios by J. Rhodes), which makes a considerable impact in the space of just six tracks. Charle$’ laid-back, inviting style can be deceptive — he favors a gentle, R&B-tinged approach, although he gets plenty wound up on the propulsive RunTelDat — and he deftly weaves in commentary on modern strife (namechecking Ferguson during Mama Say) without upsetting his engaging vibe.
The Foxymorons, ‘Fake Yoga’
The Foxymorons — Jerry James and David Dewese — first formed in Mesquite way back in 1994. These days, it’s just James who calls North Texas home (he’s in Fort Worth; Dewese is in San Diego). Despite the duo’s shifting geography, the Foxymorons has remained active over its two-decade existence, offering up an album every few years. The latest, Fake Yoga, is the pair’s first in five years (following 2010’s Bible Stories) and fifth studio record overall. Compact at 32 minutes, James and Dewese conjure plenty of psychedelic flourishes — The People rides a reversed cymbal over disembodied vocals and great, groaning swaths of electric guitar — leaving listeners bathed in these tunes’ trippy afterglow.