Few places have such a diverse musical landscape as Houston. The city is brimming with country and bluegrass sounds, light pop, folk, the serious sounds of Southern rap and everything in between.
The first quarter of 2022 hosted some exciting releases. In March alone, Hayes Carll was enlisted by country crooner Ray Wylie Hubbard for a new ballad called ‘Fancy Boys’, Misha Penton explored celestial bodies on ‘Visible Darkness’ and Megan Thee Stallion added to her repertoire of pop music with Dua Lipa on their song “Sweetest Pie”.
Elsewhere, oncology nurse-turned-popstar Keshi has been released GABRIELgirl group RōZY is “Drunk on Love” and country singer Danielle Bradberry is rediscovering her identity on Between the two, the collection.
We’ve rounded up some of Houston’s best music this month:
Danielle Bradberry, Between the two, the collection
Danielle Bradberry ushers in a new era with her 10-track project, Between the two, the collection, released on March 4. Made up of songs from the past few years, the album is a mix of his country roots, as well as a fusion of R&B, soul and pop. Listen now.
Ray Wylie Hubbard with Hayes Carll, “Fancy Boys”
Although he hails from Oklahoma, Ray Wylie Hubbard is a highly revered artist in the Lone Star State. He teamed up with Hayes Carll to create a traditional country ballad called “Fancy Boys”, which also features James McMurtry and Dalton Domino. Released March 18. Listen here.
Maddie & Tae with Lori McKenna, “The Other Side”
Maddie Font, one half of the duo Maddie & Tae, has teamed up with Lori McKenna for a gospel-influenced track, “The Other Side.” The song, shared on March 11, is a reflection of a tumultuous 2020 and shows the peace they have found in being patient. Listen here.
Maren Morris, humble quest
Arlington native Maren Morris details her life journey in her new album, Humble Quest. The 11-track project takes you on an emotional rollercoaster ride with songs like “Circles Around This Town” and “Detour.” Released March 25 humble quest will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. Listen here.
JOHNNYSWIM with Tobe Nwigwe, “Desmond’s Song”
Johnnyswim, a husband-wife duo of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano-Ramirez, tapped Alief’s Tobe Nwigwe for a love ballad, “Desmond’s Song,” released March 16. The song tells the story of a rekindled romance. Listen here.
Lilly Aviana “Sunrise”
A singer Lilly Aviana released a quiet new single, “Sunrise”, at the end of the month. Hear her serenade you with her relaxing voice, as she allows the dawn to bring joy back into her life. Listen here.
Jew-Buh, Goldygang & 3vn “Guess We’re Done”
Breakups are always tough, and Jew-Buh puts his emotion into his pen for his new song “Guess We Done.” Released on March 25, the song takes you on a journey from the pain of heartbreak to overcoming pain and discovering your worth. Listen here.
Robert Glasper, midnight mixtape
Multi-instrumentalist Robert Glasper teamed up with Deezer earlier in March to release a 20-song mixtape of sultry late-night vibes worth listening to. The songs are a mix of some of his recent collaborations, as well as a few other indie R&B songs. Listen here.
Stereooccult, melodic transfer
Stereooccult emerged from the pandemic with its first effort, melodic transfer, released on March 12. In just eight songs, the album evokes the emotions of angst felt across our pandemic-stricken reality, yet still retains a hopeful nature for the future. Listen here.
Wheel Workers, ‘Harbour’
On March 22, indie rockers The Wheel Workers dropped the title track from their upcoming album, Harbor. Produced alongside Dan Workman, the single uses guitars and synthesizers to create a captivating and romantic melody. Listen here.
Jono Jono, In a toxic world
Rock and heavy metal fans have something new to feast on with Jono Jono’s In a toxic world PE. The project serves as an introduction to the roots of Jono Jono’s basic art — live guitar distortions and Jono using his voice as an instrument. Released in mid-February, the project hooks you to Jono’s rhythm and evokes feelings of rage. Listen here.
RōZY, “Drunk in Love”
Be mesmerized thinking of how easily you were hooked on your partner in RōZY’s Valentine’s Day release, “Drunk on Love.” Female-fronted group remember what it’s like to meet a new lover — butterflies, excitement and thrilling fervor. Listen here.
Sean Kiez, “Can’t Stop Tippin”
Influenced by the early sounds of Southern rap acts like Three 6 Mafia and Master P, Sean Kiez’s March 11 release “Can’t Stop Tippin'” is an amalgamation of his love for hip-hop and the 1989 film Harlem Knights. Using bass-heavy trap beats, Kiez’s flow is smooth as butter, reminiscent of the late Pimp C, rapping to keep him playful and stacking his cash. Listen here.
Nems, featuring Trae Tha Truth and Paul Wall, “Bing Bong Houston Remix”
The Brooklyn Nems rapper tapped Trae Tha Truth and Paul Wall for a Houston remix to his popular track “Bing Bong,” which appears on his mid-March effort, Bing Kong. While it may seem like these rap titans are past their prime, the song is proof that puns are still elite for our local rappers. Listen here.
Trae Tha Truth, life and pain
Trae Tha Truth embodies the soul of the trap in his new effort, Life and pain. Shared with fans on March 29, the project is complete with nine tracks and includes tracks like “I Got Me,” “Make Me Over,” and a dedication to the late Compton rapper “Nipsey.” Listen here.
Ja’ Torre featuring The SZNS, “Give Me The Light”
Feel a nostalgic euphoria as you listen to Ja’ Torre’s new single “Give Me the Light,” out March 29 and featuring fellow Houston native and singer-songwriter The SZNS. The song, while upbeat, will leave you in an enchanting trance as it melodically sings about coming out of the dark. Listen here.
KenTheMan, Hard on a 304
KenTheMan has been on a roll after releasing his cocky yet fun album, What is my name. She followed the stellar outing with Hard on a 304, which debuted on March 4 (3/04). Only two songs, Ken puts aside the pimp persona for a more seductive approach. Listen here.
Misha Penton, “Visible Darkness”
Singer and songwriter Misha Penton released a remixed version of her song “Visible Darkness” on March 4, where her eerie sound is a combination of opera, spoken word and chamber electronica. Listen here.
Fat Tony, “Neon Moon”
Fat Tony’s remix of Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon” and Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle” debuted in 2019. The popular mashup was so acclaimed that Diplo performed the track at the Stagecoach Festival. Maximizing the song’s new momentum, on March 17, Fat Tony released the full track on streaming platforms. Listen here.
Dua Lipa with Megan Thee Stallion “Sweetest Pie”
After successfully collaborating with BTS and Maroon 5, the H-Town hottie is back with another pop collab, “Sweetest Pie,” featuring Dua Lipa, out March 11. Although she’s known for rapping over trap beats, she’s entering a new direction, where Dua takes the lead in this Hansel & Gretel-inspired radio hit. Listen here.
Halston Dare, “Lonely In LA”
Halston Dare doubled between her home in Houston and Los Angeles for work. In February, she premiered a radio-ready single with her new song “Lonely in LA.” Being a Southern girl, she details her harsh experience in Los Angeles, fake friends and high rents. Listen here.
It may seem like a long way for a former oncology nurse to pursue music, but Keshi pulls it off. Taking a break from her day job at Texas Medical Center allowed her to pursue her musical dreams — he signed with Island Records in 2019 and has been growing ever since. He freed GABRIEL on March 25, 12 beautifully crafted titles where he bares his soul. Listen here.
Tauren Wells with Aaron Cole, “Fake It” (The Warehouse Mix)
Alongside Aaron Cole, Lakewood Church worship leader Tauren Wells shows his faith in a new song called “Fake It.” Wells shared his Warehouse Mix of the original song on March 25. The uptempo tune, somewhat reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” is a take on traditional gospel music, with a fun, pop influence. Wells sings that God’s love is so real you can never fake it. Listen here.