T H E D I R T Y S H I R T S
Pop, alternative, and glam rock updated with a vibrant spirit of celebration: A salvo of hook heavy singles, stylized videos, and ambitious cross-country touring introduces The Dirty Shirts, an exuberant new band from Dallas, Texas.
Debuting in 2021 but born of the pandemic, The Dirty Shirts, fronted by lead singer and songwriter Nick Santa Maria, hit the ground running with shows as soon as vaccines would allow and released their debut album, In The Get Up From The Get Go, in 2022. National radio airplay for singles “Detonator” and “Please Me” (feat. Remy Reilly) served as an engaging introduction to an indelible musical signature as the band played for expanding audiences nationwide, including a national showcase at Cleveland’s Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, New York City’s storied Rockwood Music Hall, along with a relentless schedule of dates in their home state.
“Gin & Roses,” the new single and a ‘spiritual’ sequel, according to Santa Maria, to their incendiary 2020 release "Gin & Tonic," showcases the breadth of the band's range, with soaring vocals melodies and chiming synths set against an undeniably dancey alternative pop background. With timeless Bowie-and-Bolan 70s influences, recast in the present tense for fans of Gorillaz, Foals, and The Weeknd, The Dirty Shirts are a formidable, hard-hitting live experience that seamlessly translates their recorded work to an unforgettable show, with Nick joined by a cast of Dallas’ best musicians.
Resplendent with black leather cool and sequined swagger, Santa Maria characterizes charisma and empathy behind dark glasses. The fashion-forward sensibility is a shimmering thread in The Dirty Shirts presentation, an update of glam-rock infused with a contemporary sonic sheen that mirrors the music, described by KXT Radio as “...sweaty hedonism in the smoky haze of last call.”
Nick Santa Maria was touring steadily as a sideman for country artists when the pandemic pulled the plug. Unexpectedly off the road, he began envisioning a band to encompass his love of all things rock. “Throwing influences at the wall – Oasis, The Rolling Stones, Bowie, The Strokes – and developing the style from there.” Narratives are essential; Nick’s thoughtful and complex wordplay reflects his literacy and love of language. “Most of my lyrics are autobiographical, not directly, but in some raw emotional form,” he says.
Collaborating with the accomplished Dallas creative community of artists, curators, and tastemakers is vital to the totality of The Dirty Shirts’ evolving aesthetic. From the bedazzling hues illustrated in “Shake” – The Animated Video” (created with an all-female production team and led by Santa Maria’s wife and creative partner Claire Cassidy) to their urban psychedelic trip “Detonator” filmed on the streets of New York by Dallas content creator Rico DeLeon and edited by Dallas visual artist Will Von Bolton, the band’s mantra is “collaboration is key.” “People who are not only making the music but are immersed in the music,” Nick says of his hometown contemporaries. “There is something special about Dallas, the overarching artistic scene, but especially the music.”
While Nick is proud of the band’s debut -- his first ever experience behind the board, co-producing with three-time Grammy award winner Tre Nagella -- he avows that the new songs feel more cohesive and complete. “I’ve grown as a person and a songwriter. I believe that the greatest end results come from collaboration.”
Co-producing new songs “HEART ATTACK” and “Gin & Roses” with Modern Electric Sound Recorders owner Jeff Saenz, The Dirty Shirts are more than ready to rock, with many more releases planned through 2024. “My favorite thing about playing live and making records is the connection between us and the audience,” says Nick. “It might sound cliché, but it’s a family thing. We are new, still figuring it out, and we want our audience to join us on this journey. We live in crazy times. I want our listeners to know that whatever else is going on, they have us.”
Written by Dan Kimpel