I’m not going to SXSW (le sad…) but I do want to listen to the best and the brightest of the festival. Usually it isn’t until after the Austin Madness that we can see clearly who makes the cut, but Time Magazine submitted their list of the 9 Must-Sees. I wanted to listen. Maybe you do too. Here’s a playlist:
Which other bands are must-sees at SXSW?
Tell me and I’ll make a playlist of your recommendations.
More love for one of my favorite labels, Hidden Pony. Last week I showed you The Danks. This week I bring you one of my personal favorites from the label, the 7-piece indie pop band from Regina, Rah Rah. Their sophomore album Breaking Hearts, which had its U.S. debut last November, is sensational and does everything from tug on the heartstrings to propel feet and fling arms for joy.
This 7″ single Little Poems is out on June 7th as a taste of their third full-length Poet’s Dead coming later this fall (although neither of the tracks on this 7″ will be available on the later release). The notes of Neil Young on the title track are strong with twang-tinged molasses rock n’ roll and the sleepy male vocals of Marshall Burns, complimented preciously by the sweet and honest alto of Erin Passmore. If you haven’t heard her solo music on the Downtown EP, I highly recommend it.
And guys, just to let you in on the fun, I’ve heard demos of the upcoming LP and promise that you’re in for a treat.
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros just released a new track “That’s What’s Up” from their upcoming record Here, out May 29th on Community Music. Catch them in SoCal on May 4th at the Greek or on the 5th at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
My feelings on Best Coast are generally mediocre at best, but this song caught me off guard–in an amazing way. This is the title track on their upcoming album The Only Place on Mexican Summer out on May 15th and I’m definitely excited to see where this record takes them. Perhaps a little less noisy, a little more poppy, and perfect for a West Coast summer!
The minimal and downbeat electronic undulating mixed with lo-fi guitar and a Karen-O like female vocalist on this track “Wait” from London’s quickly ascending star Airhead (aka Rob McAndrews) is magical. It only takes a few seconds to find yourself completely enraptured. It’s stunning. Breathtaking. Awe-inspiring, rocking you involuntarily like a puppet to its beats.
If you hear the James Blake connection, it’s no accident. They went to school together and have always written and performed together. “He’s one of my closest friends and an incredible musician to work alongside,” says McAndrews.
Wait/South Congress was released as a ten-inch single on 3/19, their first release on R&S Records. Their debut album will follow later this year and I’m anxiously waiting.
Upbeat indie pop from London, Laurel Collective is groovy, noisy, and uber-cool. They signed with an offshoot of Domino Records, Double Six, in their infancy. A sensational introduction to the band with “They Hate Me,” I’m dying to see what these guys come up with on their upcoming debut via Tape Club/Believe.
Aside from working on their own music, they also do their part to foster the indie scene. Apparently they host a now-famous secret festival in a remotely-located forest (called In the Woods), which has featured the likes of Micachu and the Shapes, The Invisible, Pete and the Pirates, and Anna Calvi on the bill. They also hosted a regular night called ‘Hindenburg Mile-High Club’ for a short time in London.
Seems like I should have heard of these guys by now. Have you?
Yes, I now that I’m late on this. But I’m sharing anyway. This sextet indie-folk band from Garðabær, Iceland is extremely talented. As are most bands that are able to make it onto the international scene out of the oblivion that is the icy north. Love it!