It's South By South West time again, or at least it will be time for the entire UK music media to decamp to a street in Austin, Texas come March 12th-16th. There's the usual enormous list of bands from around the world playing up now on their site, and while we investigate some of those new to us we thought we'd stick up links to taster mp3s which those bands we like have provided, along with a line or two from their issued biography, in case there's anything you feel you need to catch up on. Have fun!
Aberfeldy - Come On Claire
"Aberfeldy won over the critics with their melodically concise folk tinged 2004 debut LP “Young Forever”, followed by 2006’s poppier “Do Whatever Turns You On”."
Akron/Family - Phenomena
"Akron/Family is writing a 21st century non-denominational hymnal, free of any New Age stink or hippie laziness. What they did in San Francisco was tap into the great currents of the universe and share that energy and unfiltered beauty with us. Their constant desire to obliterate the line between audience/consumer and performer/musician shares something with the Dead, Phish and others who've introduced participatory elements into the mix. However, those bands rarely gave so freely or vigorously to those who stood before them."
Alabama 3 - Woke Up This Morning
"Rock Freebase has consistently earned his position as a top Mississippi delta blues guitarist and, coupled with Larry’s poisonous vocals, Devlin Love’s sweet soul singing and Harpo Strangelove’s harmonica, it is no wonder they have been hailed as the best live band in the UK."
Bearsuit - Steven Fucking Spielberg
"Stop-start boy-girl cutie-killer six-piece with everything from cinematic waltzes to catchy electro disco and hard punk screaming riot grrl noise. A mix of Belle and Sebastian, Huggy Bear, and Sonic Youth with electronic twists and turns, and screamy art punk."
Be Your Own Pet - Bicycle Bicycle You Are My Bicycle
(Lady and chaps supply no details)
British Sea Power - Waving Flags
"British Sea Power, of course, admire Black Francis. While recording by the forests of the Krivoklatsko Biosphere Reserve, they were lucky enough to see a Black Woodpecker. This album takes in all points between."
Emmy The Great - Easter Parade
"The recordings are imperfect and the production simple. But that was always the intention - the intimacy of the recording combined with the simplicity of the songs, produces something more powerful than any studio recording ever could."
HEALTH - Crimewave
"HEALTH was six months old the first time they played for real people. Before that, there was more talk than music, mostly about art, food, sex, animals, records, drugs, politics and sleeping."
The Indelicates - Julia, We Don't Live In The 60s
"Influences and sound comparisons include Black Box Recorder, The Auteurs, Bruce Springsteen, The Dresden Dolls, The Divine Comedy, The Jam, Art Brut, Kate Bush in a Weimar era nightclub, Queen fronted by two Morrisseys or, as Eddie Argos put it after their recent stint as main support for Art Brut's recent German tour: Luke Haines and the E Street Band"
I Was A Cub Scout - Pink Squares
(Evidently late with their homework)
Johnny Foreigner - Champagne Girls I Have Known
"Johnny Foreigner burst out of the second city (Birmingham UK) in a feedback hurricane of thrilling new-wave fight pop. The three-piece, formed little over 12 months ago, come armed with a blistering array of melodious, discordant rackets that leave an immediate, indelible gunshot on the brain."
Kitty Daisy & Lewis - Mean Son Of A Gun
"Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are a throughbred sensation, playing 40’s/50’s rockabilly and swing, country and western, Hawaiian and rock ‘n’ roll with a verve, skill and energy that connects them back to the far past and the super-shiny future. Through steely Marconi BBC mics, of course."
Land Of Talk - Speak To Me Bones
"Montreal-based musical innovator Elizabeth Powell has been banging out "Anti Folk Basement Rock" since the ripe old age of fourteen."
Jens Lekman - The Opposite Of Hallelujah
"Jens Lekman is a musician writing that rare kind of song that maintains a fine balance between bliss and sorrow. His songs are about life's heavy stuff, packaged with a bowtie and a smile."
Le Loup - We Are Gods! We Are Wolves!
"Created during a time of personal crisis, The Throne is a cataclysm, an escape, and a journey. Inspired largely by Dante's Inferno (also a journey conceived by a man in a time of crisis), here an emotional catacomb is traversed circle by circle."
Chris Mills - Chris Mills Is Living The Dream
"Chris Mills is a roving troubadour, wandering the countryside kicking ass and taking names. He is also a Leo and enjoys holding hands and going to the movies."
Noah And The Whale - 2 Bodies 1 Heart
"Ever since Charlie Fink pressed record and whispered quiet lyrics onto cassette in his teenage attic bedroom, there has only been one ambition. In the last 18 months this ambition has found a voice in almost constant composition, imagining and playing. ‘Noah and the Whale’s’ debut album represents a unified world view of some abstract and some concrete reasoning, a developing philosophy framed by self-referential imagery and symbolism. Written with a self contained vocabulary, themes and metaphors for Charlie’s introspective fixations recur and repeat, answering questions and posing new ones. Time is consistently presented as a process of erosion, love is portrayed as a heart, central, vital, core, and death is darkness, faceless and thankless. The unthinkable can be judged in solid form and somehow made more manageable. Ultimately it is a practical vision, an exercise in self-doubt and self-knowledge."
Ola Podrida - Cindy
"While many of the songs recall the hushed, folk-derived sounds of artists such as Nick Drake and Iron and Wine, he also mixed it up enough with the occasional slow-burning rocker, piano ballad, and pure pop rave-up to make it impossible to just pigeonhole him as another singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar."
Chuck Prophet - Freckle Song
"His jagged guitar lines, gritty baritone and stellar songwriting soon made him a cult figure in Europe, while stateside he won fans like Lucinda Williams, Stephen King, Ryan Adams, songwriting legend Dan Penn (a song they co-wrote, "I Need A Holiday" was covered by the mighty Solomon Burke) and Kim Richey with whom he co-wrote Cyndi Thompson's Top 40 hit "I'm Gone.""
Restlesslist - Butlin Breaks
"The band’s unique sound involves chat show theme tune muzak, with twisting horror fun fair structures sequencing into hand clapping sound track instrumentals. They are the sort of band that seem to have the perseverance to elevate such a practice of arsing about to artistic levels and create blurry yet crunchy dance-scopes that round up a world full of genres."
The Von Bondies - Pale Bride
"The Von Bondies formed in the suburbs of Detroit Michigan at a party house where no one wanted to be the opening act."
The Young Republic - Paper Ships
"The Young Republic walk the line between country soaked power pop and classical soaring strings. They layer their sounds, instruments and melodies to make harmony led songs of beauty."