The music the Gazette
receives falls mostly into three categories: local, locally connected and national. Metro music runs in the paper, while national releases generally are reviewed online. The middle category often falls through the cracks. Not today, however. W.A. Fite
lives in Dallas, but he’s signed to the Dallas/OKC record label Hand Drawn Records. His “Poisoning the Medicine Tree” is an album of gritty electronic pop with a modern-rock singer over it. He follows a less-traveled path through electronic music: This is not the subtle indie pop of The Postal Service, the sunshiny pop of Owl City, or dance-oriented electro. This is forceful, rock-oriented, electronic music that sort of sounds like the pseudo-electronic experiments of Bush (“Glycerine”), thanks to both the vocals and the song structures. “Beating Thomas Best” and “Jack” are immediate standouts, while the mellower “Carney’s Lake” kicks off the quieter, more experimental back half. “That Ain’t the Way” is a piano rumination, showing his diversity.
Tulsa modern rock band Burn Halo
’s latest, “Up from the Ashes,” is not bad, as far as modern rock goes. The strict constraints of the genre still apply, but the production tones down the shrieking treble that makes other releases in the genre so earsplitting. The resulting mix is heavy on low-end of everything: Even the snares sound like almost like toms. The acoustic intro to “Threw It All Away” results in a better-than-average power ballad. (To the naysayers: Yes, it’s still a power ballad.) The band has toured with Avenged Sevenfold, Buckcherry, Papa Roach and Halestorm. The album drops June 28.
Hailing from Okemah, Shawna Russell
’s hot-country sound would fit in neatly with now-Okie Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift, if Swift had a bit more muscular voice. Russell has a strong, mid-range one, and she uses it to the fullest on her self-titled, sophomore debut, which was recorded in OKC and Nashville. The album won’t convert any non-country fans, but Twister listeners will find much to love in her midtempo tunes.
While you’re here, grab these free MP3s:
1. “Hearts” — I Break Horses
. You know that dream where you’re flying above the ocean and you’re awestruck instead of terrified?
2. “Constellating” — James and Evander
. The first band I’ve heard that lives up to a Postal Service comparison, because it has its own spin.
3. “The First Time I Saw Jupiter” — Fall on Your Sword
. Exactly the type of grounded, arresting electronic music I would expect from a former member of LCD Soundsystem.
4. “World’s Entire” — Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground
. I’ve often wondered what “Pet Sounds” would sound like if Brian Wilson grew up now.
5. “Everything Must Spin” — Ryan Driver
. Including your head, when you hear this dizzying acoustic track.