These Dubliners made it into one of my top sets of SXSW, partly due to the circumstances surrounding my first seeing them and partly due to their intoxicating tunes like this one. The way this song builds gets me every time. A Kodaline show = a magical experience.
I had heard of Frank Turner prior to SXSW 2013, but I hadn’t given him a proper listen. I saw two of his sets this year and, especially the one with The Sleeping Souls, they could be described as one of the more energy-packed, empowering sets I’ve seen. Turner has an impressive ability to stir a crowd into fist-pumping madness. Giving his tunes a few listens, I can tell why. His recently released album, Tape Deck Heart, is packed full of gems.
Wildlife Control is one of those bands whose songs get into your brain without you even noticing. One day I just woke up with this song in my head. I actually had to track down where it had come from. I immediately put it in my “SXSW mix” folder.
Blaudzun came to Austin from The Netherlands and grabbed my attention with this catchy ditty. Singer Johannes Sigmond has one of those voices, so effortless and clear that it instantly grabs your attention. Pair the voice with smart lyrics and a catchy beat and you have Blaudzun. Their first album to be released in the US, Heavy Flowers, is one to look up.
The View is a Scottish rock band…of course they made my list! Their album, Cheeky For A Reason, was one of my Austin purchases that I made after the band got high marks from a friend. The album title, by the way, is perfect!
The way this song revs up to that first glorious “boom” of sound was instantly compelling and is worth an 11 on the volume meter. The more of Six60 I listen to, the more I realize that this band from New Zealand really had something special. Can’t wait for them to come back to The States!
There is something about this Australian singer-songwriter that kept me glued to my seat when I saw him perform at The Australian party at Maggie Mae’s (despite having other places to be). I’ve since devoured all of his music including the new EP “The Predictable Crisis of Modern Life” which kicks Carty’s folk-based music up a notch adding new sounds and textures while maintaining the solid songwriting and heart at the base of any good song.
My SXSW moment with Kassidy is one of my favorites (see top 10 sets). I’m looking forward to hearing their new “mini album” People Like Me which will hopefully make its appearance on American iTunes in the near future…there is just not enough music available from these guys!
Another band I was looking forward to seeing in Austin, but every time I tried, the line out the door was a bit too much of a deterrent. This Scottish electro-pop group sold out the Troubadour in June so fast that the added a second LA show at The Fonda (!). Rising stars for sure.
This Virginmarys was that one band I just didn’t quite get to see, despite multiple “almosts”. They were part of one of my favorite showcases from Wind-Up Records which also featured Civil Twilight, Young Guns, Jillette Johnson, and another fun new discover, Crobot. I was fortunate enough to see these British rockstars when they came through LA and they lived up to all the hype and went beyond to play one of the more rockin’ sets in my recent memory. New band love!
Going to Austin, Young Guns was one of the bands I was most excited to see. They did not disappoint. I had been introduced to them via this acoustic track, but they put on an amazingly high energy rock show. Still, I will always contend, my favorite rockers are the ones who can best pull off an acoustic take on their tracks…and seeing them play an acoustic mini-set for Record Store Day cemented this band’s talent and a place on my “watch” list.