Sarah Jaffe released a pair of EPs, This Is Better Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, with a party at Dallas’s Belmont Hotel in July. Following a bad breakup, Jaffe, known for her arresting bedroom pop, wrote this music with more introspection and rawness than anything on her previous albums. You can hear it especially in This Is Better Pt. 1, a collection of indie-pop songs about the breakup itself, as she processes what happened and reassures herself that those feelings will pass. This Is Better Pt. 2 is less straightforward, with two ambient soundscape tracks connecting one song about acceptance with another, hopeful one, “It Can Only Get Better.” This compressed double EP is an impressive showcase for the Denton musician’s talent and dynamic range. It’s the perfect moody listen for cooler fall weather.
—Arielle Avila, editorial coordinator
Desert People Co.
Growing up, I noticed a lack of available garb proudly proclaiming pride for my hometown of El Paso. It turns out I wasn’t the only person thinking this. Mark Martinez launched his Desert People clothing company to offer shirts and hoodies that project a fun vibe on desert life, including images like the “Dirt Surfer” and the “Cactus Club.” Behind these simple, retro-style designs is abundant love for Sun City. The company’s Instagram boasts photos of #desertpeople wearing the line and posing in various desert locales. All the looks are available via the Desert People website.
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—Danielle Ortiz, editorial intern
Treats of Mexico
I’ve developed an addiction to Pulparindos—a chewy, spiced, tamarind-based Mexican candy packaged in three-inch strips. Sometimes I go to the grocery store and stock up on several boxes of the mango-flavored variety, and for the following couple of weeks, I ration them to the best of my ability. They never seem to last as long as I’d like. When I’m in the mood for Pulparindos, plus a little something extra, I visit Treats of Mexico on Telephone Road in Houston’s East End. Tucked between an art gallery and a dry cleaner, it’s a one-stop shop for sweet (and savory) Mexican treats, including concha ice cream sandwiches, mangonadas, chicharrones, and elotes made in their kitchen. Plus, the family-owned store is always stocked with all sorts of candy, not just pulparindos.
—Sam Russek, editorial intern