One Track Mind is a minicolumn in which writers dive deep into a track from a new or forthcoming Texas album.

Dallas’s music scene boasts an uncommon breadth of subcultures and microcommunities, a stylistic dynamism often represented by the artists who emerge from the city. Add to this list Liv.e (pronounced “liv”), a singer and producer who relentlessly swerves among genres, meshing psychedelic soul with synth-funk and traditional R&B with jazz-inflected hip-hop. 

On her debut album, 2020’s Couldn’t Wait to Tell You, each song was flecked with the unexpected: a sample suggesting a squeaking chair, a cymbal warped through a thin phaser. Somehow, Liv.e’s second album, Girl in the Half Pearl, gets even weirder. Most songs blend electronic effects with live instrumentation, as when a Rhodes piano or an electric bass is punctuated by distorted percussion. Midalbum standout “Wild Animals” is striking precisely because it avoids all that complication. With her airy voice backed by pianist John Carroll Kirby (a regular collaborator with Houston’s Solange Knowles), Liv.e takes the measure of men who want women “on a leash.” A turntable occasionally scratches, but the song revolves around her, instead of the other way around.

This article originally appeared in the March 2023 issue of  Texas Monthly. Subscribe today.