DAM AWARDS 2018: Song of the Year

AV the Great x GasHouse Smitty - "Bunkin"

A high-energy track from the get-go, AV the Great x GasHouse Smitty’s “Bunkin” is a perfect house party hit, and has been featured on Dallas’ hip-hop station K104FM. The music video has nearly 66,000 views and was shot by HalfpintFilmz. Featuring the titular lyric, “Ain’t nobody ever gave us nothin’/So we bunkin’,” under piano and flute riffs, rappers AV the Great and GasHouse Smitty trade verses about partying hard in adversity.

Lorelei K - "Be The Doll"

An ethereal piano leads into explosive vocals and production in Lorelei K’s 2017 track “Be The Doll.” The techno-inspired ballad straddles the uncanny valley between sincere and sinister as Lorelei implores a third-party to adore her: “I wanna be the doll this time/who keeps you up in the middle of the night.” Fast drum-and-bass rhythms contrast slow, creeping strings; Lorelei K has deftly produced a track that exemplifies impulsive yearning.

Pearl Earl - "Meet Your Maker"

Bono recently claimed that rock n’ roll “has gotten very girly.” Well, if “girly” rock n’ roll is wrong, we don’t want to be right. Straight out of an indie coming-of-age film’s exposition (or credits, as it was used in the ode-to-Denton short film I Stand Alone), Pearl Earl’s “Meet Your Maker” is a psych-rock feast for the ears. The band is notorious in Denton for its all-woman composition and an all-around amazing roster of musicians, but this song stands apart for its groovy instrumentation, catchy progressions, and politically-charged words. The quartet of Pearl Earlians deliver their self-described genre of “rainbow fuzz power” while reciting lyrics that should resonate if the 2017 news left you asking, “How could they even vote for a man/who paid a million for his tan?”

Nakamara - "Dopamine"

There are so many layers of brilliant sound-production and musicianship that make up Nakamara’s 2017 single Dopamine that it might as well be a Napoleon cake. The track begins with an angular 5/7 time, and the frontman Samuel Decker’s voice explodes with the words “I know not what I say or do/Trapped inside my 2D view,” and immediately the listener gets a sense of what the song is all about - mental illness and its ramifications on the mind. Trumpet and trombone licks fade in and out of the chorus in a dream-like fashion, and a myriad of cowbells syncopate and ring their way through the chorus and bridge. The song is a jumble of sounds that mimics a cluttered mind, and Dopamine is a textbook example of modern programmatic music.

MNKR - "She's Fine"

Like a fine spice cabinet, there’s a dash of everything in MNKR’s single “She’s Fine”: Beach Boys-esque backing vocals, a little pop punk flavor, and plenty of unrequited love. The trio thrash through 3 minutes and 41 seconds of unadulterated garage rock over lyrics that are simple, succinct and heartbreaking: “I know you don't want to be mine at all/It's my fault.” The singer seems so resigned to his lovelessness that it reflects in the composition of the song itself; the chord progressions repeat often, as if the singer is stuck in a cycle, resigned to the fact that his beloved has rejected him.  MNKR’s energy certainly pours over in this track, evident even through a set of headphones or speakers.  

Header image courtesy of Nakamara
Header image layout designed by Holden Foster

Click above to vote for the 2018 DAM Awards!

Click above to vote for the 2018 DAM Awards!