Tallest Man Records

A songwriter/guitarist who’s glanced off the Texas Americana scene with a tangent or two (touring with the Trishas, recording with Shinyribs), left to her own devices Brandy Zdan is wildly adept at kicking apart the boxes the genre sometimes expects its female artists to fit into. She’s a full-tilt, modern-leaning rocker at this stage in her career, matching up muscular guitar and keyboard riffs with a voice that’s sometimes multitracked or reverbed to sound as gigantic as the sounds surrounding it (“Get to You,” “I Want Your Trouble”), and sometimes stripped to it’s nuanced, disarming basics to show some vulnerability (“Navigator”). Secretear is catchy, dynamic and soulful right out of the gate, and if you aren’t won over by the time the longing “Be the One” wraps things up, well … perhaps music just isn’t your thing. — MIKE ETHAN MESSICK