Levi Cobb & the Big Smoke

Levi Cobb & the Big Smoke

Once a month, we like to take a quick look into the Denton music scene and highlight three songs from a few local bands. It’s pretty much made us masters of Soundcloud and Bandcamp, but they haven’t given us any trophies or anything...yet. The crazy thing is that we've done enough of these now that we need to start adding in the year to the title. This month, we hear from the likes of a Denton mainstay in Def Rain, and two other new-to-us bands. Read on for more!

Any band with an apostrophe at the end of their name is okay in our book. Denton used to have a lot of shoegaze and then it all just kind of fizzled out. That couldn't have been the national shoegaze scene fizzling - My Bloody Valentine just released their first album in 20 years in 2013 - so we're happy to see the sound emerging in Denton again. Blessin's sound is lazy in a wonderful way. "Mono," the song embedded above, has an almost surf rock like vibe to it as it drones on for three minutes. Yo La Tengo fans may find themselves enjoying the innocuous noise rock guitar solo towards the end. 

Def Rain features Ashley Cromeens of Denton's late, great alt-rock band, Record Hop. Her music seems to have taken a big left turn in this new duo. This may be due in part to her partnership with Grant Ring. The two  and a laptop form main crux of Def Rain. And while this may be very stylistically different from what Cromeens has done before, Def Rain is minimalist electronic pop of the best kind. "Only Of," taken from the EP Pour Le Corps is centered around a looped synth arpeggio and builds muddled vocals and beats throughout, only to leave you in a thick, palpable haze of electronic wonderment by the end. We're interested to see where Def Rain goes next. 

Being a group of alcohol-loving Dentonites, it's hard for us not to fall for any song that features a well-picked banjo at the heart. "Heartsick Man" from Levi Cobb and the Big Smoke has just that plus some. This Denton folk rock band has been playing together since 2010 and recently put out a brand new full length entitled Troublemaker, and it's pretty danged good. You can listen to the whole thing here. "Heartsick Man," is the intro song from that album and does a great job of setting the tone. The male/female vocal harmonies are as lovingly sweet and sticky as strawberry taffy. Can't wait to catch these guys (and gal) live.