There must be something in the air right now (besides the pollen and mold, ugh), because musical releases are flying out of the Alamo City at a rapid rate.
From conscious hip-hop to left-field post-post rock and doom-metal, it's been a prolific time for local artists, so we thought we'd share five that made a big impression. Some dropped at the end of 2018, but we're going to show them love just the same.
Every one of these albums and EPs is filled with the kind of musicianship and songwriting that deserve attention.
Third Root - Trill Pedagogy: Winter Flex
Barely a week after the release of Mexican Stepgrandfather's album Resistir
, politically conscious hip-hop act Third Root has released Trill Pedagogy: Winter Flex
, the third in a sequence of four EPs released over a year. The series will wrap with Trill Pedagogy: Spring Semester,
and all four EPs will be combined into a full-length LP for fans who want to own the whole collection on vinyl. Lyrically, the trio stay true to form on the five tracks, taking aim at Trump and the polarizing nature of the MAGA campaign as well as the racist origins of the national anthem. It's also cool hearing Easy-Lee in rare form, showcasing some of his quick-spittin', double-time flow and executing rapid-fire raps on the closing track "Winter Groove."
Listen to "Winter Groove" below:
Cherry Cola Club
Bandcamp, Cherry Cola Club
- Creatures of Dreams
Blending moody, post-punk vocals with elements of shoegaze, blues-heavy rock ’n’ roll and lofi-dream pop, it could seem like San Antonio’s Cherry Cola Club is having an identity crisis. Especially with the random synth notes punctuating the tracks. But, ya know, somehow the hodge-podgery of it all works
, making their EP Creatures of Dreams
a real delight to listen to.
Listen "Blossom" below:
- Writing Letters I’ll Never Send
After making a buzz in San Antonio's hip-hop scene over the last couple of years, Samurai Sai continues to grab our attention with his ability to make rap look easy. At first listen, it might be tempting to pass off Sai as just another Soundcloud trapper, but with a long look into his actual lyricism, listeners will discover his ability to tell stories and lyrically process his life experiences over glitched hi-hats and 808s. On his latest release, Writing Leters I'll Never Send
, the artist teams up with local singers and rappers, including heavyweight Kree23 plus Carolina and Niza da Buddah
, to name a few.
Listen to "Void" featuring Kree23 below:
- Blood of the Raven
With all the amazing music pouring out of San Antonio, sometimes we don’t catch every single release. Sure, we’re kicking ourselves for missing this particular album, but we’re still stoked we get to talk about how dope Burn Ritual’s Blood of the Raven
is. One part doom metal, one part stoner rock, all parts heavy AF, Blood of the Raven
washes listeners in psychedelic waves of THC and incense, most likely made by the hands of satanists. The sound is undeniably thick, but it won't be unapproachable to strict stoner rock listeners. Spark one up and play this shit loud.
Derick Penrod - Resolutions
Released a few weeks ago, Derick Penrod’s Resolutions
is easily one of the best ambient/experimental releases to come of San Antonio in years. It feels weird calling this record post-rock, even though it sort fits the bill, minus the copious tremolo picking many post-rock acts include in their songs. And while the songs on Resolutions
have a droning quality, the tracks are layered with soft tones and textures, accompanied by bright streams of high, drawn-out notes. On “Part Three,” Penrod slaps the listener across the brain with jarring chord progressions that echo in a panning pattern, which makes for a trance inducing, psychedelic experience. Overall, this record is unlike anything we’ve heard come out of San Antonio in a particularly long time, and we’re stoked to hear more from this young artist.
Listen to Part Three below: