Reviewing SXSW Coverage
South by Southwest just wrapped, and that means I am on blog reading and Spotify OVERLOAD.
Unlike my good friend Donkey Jaw, crowds make me so anxious that I will probably never attend SXSW, which is a damn shame, because I miss out on seeing some of the best new artists right before they break. Thankfully, we live during the time of the Internet and it’s so easy to be an armchair visitor to Austin.
Many of the most-talked about artists at SXSW this year–Mitski, Natalie Prass, Torres–have already been covered on the blog, so I had to dig a little harder to find new music.
The best part about this video is the pet sheep and chicken. I want to live on a farm and double expose everything.
How effing adorable is this video? I really like this whole record, which sounds like Neko Case fronting a girl group.
Winter is THE least Googleable band name. Samira Winter has put out some great solo records full of Portugese folk songs but her band is fantastic dream pop.
OK, this video is a little strange, but I am always looking for more dark electronic music.
This Philly band might be one of my favorite new discoveries since Radiator Hospital. They’re putting out a full-length soon and a little polish might make them sound like The Shivvers. Holy Shit. BUY THEIR EP.
If you read my American Idol posts, you know white boy soul is not my favorite; however, Anderson fuses his with country and there are lots of HORNS, too.
For a band with such a weird name and a sound that screams Melissa, I am shocked I have not listened to Swedish punk band Makthaverskan before. They played a bunch of shows at SXSW, as you do, and blew everyone away.
A lot of people I know posted about Ibeyi too, a band that fuses cultures to create a very unique and beautiful sound.
Not only is this song a great retro soul-burner but the black and white tones of the video are gorgeous. So happy to have found this.
I think everyone’s getting a little bored of the psych wave from a few years ago–probably even Wand, who write some of the catchiest psych-tinged rock songs I’ve ever heard. People like my husband, who did not like the slick turn the Crocodiles made on their last few records, would really like this.
Sparse, lovely, and creepy. I will definitely listen to this often, adding it to my Grouper-Weyes Blood work rotation.
Josh Berwanger Band
I don’t understand why this isn’t ridiculously popular. Why aren’t more people into power pop? What is wrong with America? [This video has a lot of boobs and is maybe NSFW.]
Everyone on the All Songs Considered SXSW preview show was fighting to play this song, which usually isn’t a good sign for me (their taste is a bit more mainstream than mine; one of their picks sounded exactly like fun.), but I love female pop singers and this song has stuck with me in the days since I listened to that podcast.
Other crap I’m listening to
Jessica Lea Mayfield & Seth Avett
Ever since my friend Christina told me the Avetts were libertarians, I have honestly been avoiding their music, because I am weird like that. But the record that Jessica Lea Mayfield released last year was fantastic (I wish I listened to it enough to add it to my Top 15), and my love for Elliott Smith runs deep, so I reached for this as soon as it came out. For a Smith fan like myself, I was a bit disappointed in the obvious song choices (“Between the Bars” and “Angeles” instead of “Division Day” and “No Name No. 1”?) and the lack of arrangement changes–“Angeles” was just slowed down. But sometimes, it’s ok to completely honor the original, and the way Jessica’s voice drags on “The Ballad of Big Nothing,” hits just the right place for me. Rare rocker “Roman Candle” sounds fantastic with the call-and-response chorus at the end. I haven’t listened to Smith since he died (too many emotions) but this has been a way for me to enjoy his songs without all the sadness hanging over them.
Father John Misty
I Love You, Honeybear hasn’t hit me in the same way Fear Fun did, but “The Night Sean Tillman Came to Our Apartment” will absolutely be one of my favorite songs of the year. Tillman has a one-night stand with a girl he totally hates, one who is pretentious and self-obsessed because people have been telling her for years that she’s smarter than her peers and she can sing like Sarah Vaughn (Misty’s retort to that is “I hate that soulful affectation white girls put on/why don’t you move to the Delta?”). It’s brilliant and snarky.
I read a bunch of those Pitchfork guest list things the other day, which makes you realize musicians are just people who like questionable shit just like the rest of us. But Jessica Pratt mentioned downloading two Hollies records, Evolution and Butterfly, and lauded them as being psych pop masterpieces. Gun to head, the only Hollies song I could name is “Bus Stop,” even though I looooovveeeee CSNY & Graham Nash’s solo records. If you like Odessey and Oracle and are looking for something similar, both these records are great next steps.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted on twitter that Colleen Green’s “TV” should be the SLLS theme song. I Want to Grow Up is such a natural progression from Sock it To Me–same great melodies and almost melancholy, nostalgic lyrics, but recorded in a studio.