A sinuous slice of future funk from Fort Worth’s New Media Recordings, Ronnie Heart’s near-perfect debut EP, You(r) Mine, is all but guaranteed to be remembered at year’s end. Born Ronnie Gierhart, and having previously logged time as a guitarist for Neon Indian, Dallas-based singer-songwriter Heart breezily uses the past to create an irresistible present.
Whether it’s the masterful opener Fortune Teller or the sleek, suburban mall food court-glow of Smoovie, Heart easily makes gauzy 1980s pop and R&B feel utterly 21st century. He’s aided in his quest to make yesterday evoke tomorrow by a handful of collaborators: Leon Bridges’ right-hand sax man, Jeff Dazey, contributes some wicked wind while Austin Jenkins, Chris Watson, Stephanie Burns and Sealion’s Samantha Villavert all pitch in throughout.
Ultimately, however, You(r) Mine is Heart’s showcase, and he makes the most of his moment, confirming what those immersed in the local music scene have long known: Heart is a rising star, and one whose ascent has only just begun.
Denton-based singer-songwriter Roy Robertson has long been one of my favorite musicians in North Texas, someone whose criminally overlooked talents should be more widely known. Nevertheless, along with Ramon Muzquiz and Pablo Burrull, Robertson has formed the trio known as Pageantry. The group’s debut full-length, Influence, is a gorgeous patchwork of pop, folk, alt-rock and richly detailed lyrics assembled with help from producer Matt Pence.
Lead single Teenage Crime Wave unfurls like a dream, with Robertson’s vocals shimmering in the haze of organ, guitar and percussion. It’s a gorgeous, dense piece of work, and will hopefully raise the profile of this promising band. Pageantry will celebrate the release April 9 at Dan’s Silverleaf.
Kelly Clarkson, ‘Piece by Piece Remixed’
Generally speaking, remix albums are something to keep an artist in the public eye between projects. For her first remix album, Burleson-bred pop vocalist Kelly Clarkson is after something slightly different. She told Time magazine the remixes were commissioned, in part, as a toe in the EDM water. The 10-track release features the version of Piece by Piece Clarkson performed last month on American Idol, alongside strange reworkings (Heartbeat Song all but strips Clarkson out of the song) and more successful overhauls (Invincible). If nothing else, it’s all a fresh perspective on a proven pop superstar. Clarkson will appear on Idol’s two-part series finale Wednesday and Thursday.