Houston is known for a lot of things. Some of their most well-known exports are energy (it’s an energy town after all) and science (of “Houston, we have a problem” fame). But by far their biggest export is Beyoncé. The Houston-native superstar is only the forefront of a spectacular and diverse music scene coming out of Houston. And I’m not just talking about Solange (who is fantastic in her own right by the way) or the other two members of Destiny’s Child.
So here’s what we’re going to do. Let’s take some artists that are from Houston and figure out how “Beyoncé” they are. Obviously, Beyoncé is 100% Beyoncé (maybe even 110%). You and I are 0% Beyoncé (and even that feels like too much). Honestly, it’s an honor to be even 1% Beyoncé and if you reach that, you’re doing well as a musician.
Let’s start with a few indie rock bands:
New York City Queens
Despite the name, this is, in fact, a Houston band. Their sound is an interesting mix of different rock genres that lands somewhere in the range of vintage experimental indie rock. There are also some standout grittier guitar riffs that are an unexpected twist on an otherwise joyful sound.
However, their name is one huge homage to a city they’re not from, both the name of the city and one of its boroughs. That’s a major deduction.
This band is 15% Beyoncé.
Looking for some late 90s-style alt punk? You’ve come to the right place here. Even in their more acoustic-y sounding songs there’s a lot of gravel and longing in their voices. And considering Beyoncé’s career got started out of the late 90s, we’ve got a nice parallel timeline here in sound.
That said, I’m pretty sure there is about 0 crossover between people who would have liked American Fangs’ style music in the 90s and people who would have liked Destiny’s Child.
This band is 35% Beyoncé.
The first thing you notice about this band’s sound is lead singer Zahira Gutierrez’s bright vocals. That combined with a driving, slightly hard for indie rock beat makes for a distinctive sound.
Gutierrez’s vocals are built for indie rock, but it’s the band that’s providing the variety. In a pre-Lemonade world, this band would probably be 40% Beyoncé. But we’re not in that world, and this world is better.
This band is 30% Beyoncé.
The Wheel Workers
This indie rock band has a lot of complicated instrumental layers. It’s wacky, experimental, and there’s totally a theremin involved.
I’ve got to say, I would be curious to see what Beyoncé would do with a theremin, but she hasn’t really gone there yet. Until she does, the Wheel Workers will always have that.
This band is 55% Beyoncé.
All these bands are great in their own way. But as you might have guessed, it’s hard to be Beyoncé. We also know, even if you definitely could be Beyoncé, sometimes it’s better to pick a different route, so we’re pretty thankful there’s only one Queen Bey.
Anyways, well done to all these bands! You gave it your best shot. You’re still not Beyoncé, but you’re all pretty great. Stay tuned for our next installment where we’ll put some rappers on the Beyoncé Scale.