South By Southwest is a yearly festival that introduces the world to new ideas and entertainment. It is held in Austin, Texas and holds panels on technology, music and film. A lot of musicians play at SXSW in hopes of showcasing their talents in front of the music industry elite. The music section of the festival started last night and runs through Friday. Bands can get a lot of buzz after putting on an entertaining show. For the next three days, I will introduce (or re-introduce) you to ’45 Bands That You’ll Know After SXSW.’ Here’s the first 15 bands that you’ll hear more about in the near future.
Band – Typhoon
Song – ‘The Honest Truth’
Sounds Like: The Decemberists, The Rural Alberta Advantage, & Seryn
Typhoon started in 2005 and released three albums on Gorilla Boy Records. The bands went on hiatus in 2008, but reformed in 2010 and have since released two albums. They are currently writing their third album on Tender Loving Empire Records. I think you guys will enjoy the video for ‘The Honest Truth,’ it’s pretty funny.
Band – ANR (Awesome New Republic)
Song – ‘It’s A Big Problem’
Sounds Like: STRFKR, Bloc Party, & M83
ANR originated in Miami, Florida and it’s a two-piece band that started in 2003. Their latest album, ‘Stay Kids’, garnered critical praise from ‘Stereogum’ and other mainstream critics. They made some headlines when their record label openly marketed a release for BitTorrent users.
Band – Motopony
Song – ‘Wait For Me’
Sounds Like: Iron and Wine, Bon Iver, & Fleet Foxes
This four-piece band is lead by singer/songwriter, Daniel Blue. In their self-titled debut, Blue’s songwriting is noticeably deep and their combination of synthesizer and mellow guitar rifts, is very hard to do. This band sounds a lot like the bands that are breaking out in indie music and will get some notice down at SXSW.
Band – Alabama Shakes
Song – ‘Hold On’
Sounds Like: Janis Joplin, The Raconteurs, &Kings Of Leon
At first listen, I thought that the Alabama Shakes had s singer that resembled a mixture of Janis Joplin and early Robert Plant. I listened to more of their material and it only cemented what I thought at first listen. Brittany Howard has amazing vocals and the front-runner of being the breakout star of this year’s festival. They have already received acclaim from their performance at last year’s CMJ Festival and NPR named them one of the bands to watch.
Band – Capital Cities
Song – ‘Safe And Sound’
Sounds Like: MGMT, STRFKR, & Teeth
This electro-pop band hails from Los Angeles, CA. They recordings are high-quality, yet has a vintage sounds. They use a vintage Juno-106 keyboard, which could be why it has such a nice feel of new & old. They have only released an EP so far, but with the success of that in the U.S. and even in places like Peru, an LP will be in their immediate future.
Band – Bad Rabbits
Song – ‘Neverland’
Sounds Like: Chromeo, Morris Day & the Time, & Foxy Shazam
Bad Rabbits members’ are comprised of first-generation Americans from India, Argentina, Ghana, & Isreal. A lot of styles go into their music, but there are a lot of funk that jumps out at you. Their style will receive attention from hipsters, old dance-funk fans, and indie music aficionados.
Band – Folk Uke
Song – ‘Shit Makes The Flowers Grow’
Sounds Like: Garfunkel & Oates, The Barnkickers, & Benny Wiwi
It is hard to think of bands that really sound like Folk Uke. I don’t think they make songs that are meant to be overtly comedic like Garfunkel & Oates. Their songs are edgy and harmonic, wrapped in snark. I enjoy their stuff and think that a lot of you will too.
Band – Blondfire
Song – ‘Where The Kids Are’
Sounds Like: Ganglians, Foster The People, Rabbit!
The brother/sister duo were the first unsigned band to reach #1 on the iTunes Alternative chart. Their upcoming album ‘Win The Game’ was self-produced. I respect the DIY-driven succes and they should have a great festival.
Band – Callaghan
Song – ‘Best Year’
Sounds Like: Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer, & Joanna Newsom
Independent singer-songwriter Callaghan moved from London to America in summer 2010. Her debut album, Life in Full Colour, produced by Shawn Mullins, is set to released. Her song,’Best Year,’ celebrates her first year in the USA and taking a chance to follow your dreams.
Band – Bloody Beach
Song – ‘Quembo Que’
Sounds Like: Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferndinand, Kaiser Chiefs
The music of Bloody Beach is a conglomerate of musical styles from around the world. Everyone from Turkish DJs to Scandinavian indie kids has been blown away by their live performances. Danceable songs fronted by a great front man, which have the power to turn any audience into a smiling, dancing crowd. This is one of the reasons why the crowd at SXSW will love them.
Band – Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room
Song – ‘Denver and Me’
Sounds Like: Nikola Sarcevic, City & The Color, Greg Graffin
If Dan Andriano sounds familiar, he’s the bassist and co-singer for Alkaline Trio. This side-project is stripped-down and has more of a folk music influence. If you’re a fan of Alkaline Trio, you’ll love it. His debut album, ‘Hurricane Season,’ was released in late 2011 on Asian Man Records.
Band – A Great Big Pile Of Leaves
Song – ‘We Don’t Need Our Heads’
Sounds Like: Look Mexico, Weatherbox, & The Appleseed Cast
This Brooklyn-based band have released a nice set of EP’s and a full-length album ‘Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex.’ They have a nice following and are due to release a new EP on Motion City Soundtrack’s record label, The Boombox Generation. They are expected to release another full-length album in 2012.
Band – Doctor P
Song – ‘Big Boss’
Sounds Like: Slum Dogz, Flux Pavillion, & instrumental Skrillex
Doctor P is the stage name of the English Dubstep record producer, Shaun Brockhurst. He hasn’t broken out in the U.S. yet, but with Dubstep catching on over here, he’s due to make waves. If you like ‘Big Boss’ and are a fan of old-school Nintendo, you’ll love this Dubstep remix of the ‘Tetris theme song.
Band – David Ramirez
Song – ‘Shoeboxes’
Sounds Like: Cory Branan, Lucero, & Ben Nichols
Ramirez describes himself as “a wandering man, got no money in the bank, got no wife at home watching children. He has been writing and performing for over 10 years and describes his genre as “Folk-brewed Pop.” His songwriting is honest, unfiltered and true, which strikes a chord with crowds that stumbled upon his show.
Band – Hope Atlantic
Song – ‘Lost At Sea’
Sounds Like: Augustana, The Fray, & The Rocket Summer
Hope Atlantic are small town boys taking a grassroots approach to modern pop rock. They have supported bands such as Tokyo Police Club and Coheed & Cambria in their hometown and named ‘Hometown Heroes’ by Alternative Press. They conquered Winnipeg, now it is time that they conquer Austin, Texas.