Posts Tagged ‘sxsw music’
With four weeks to go until SXSW kicks off, it’s time to settle in and explore the music, with help from our good friends over at Operation Every Band. So, over to Kevin!
Welcome back to another year of cream-of-the-crop picks from Operation Every Band, sharing our favorites with our friends at SXSW Baby! (ooh, snap! – Ewan). This year’s batch is as good as any, avoiding too many top-draw names to focus on the best of what’s next for the independent and mainstream realms.
Grammys’ highlights Sam Smith and Hozier were relative unknowns gigging around Austin last March, taking only a few months to go from ‘new faces’ to ‘mega-stardom.’ Who will play that role this year? Check out the artists that have the OEB Team buzzing and get on-board by clicking through the site, the spreadsheet and our lovable Donation Packages for anyone looking for a immersive guide to who to see, when to see them and where to go see them next.
This week, Circa Waves, Emmy the Great, Fyfe, Mick Jenkins, and Huntar.
Once more, it’s time to ask the question of who you might want to see at SXSW. It’s a lot easier with the internet and lots of samples, but there are still far too many bands for the overage attendee to plough through. Which is where ‘friend of the parish’ Operation Every Band comes in.
Kevin McStravick and his team have been highlighting some of his favourites every week, but after the reaction to our MP3 Samplers from previous years we all knew going in that we’d be putting together another eighty acts you really must listen to at this year’s South by Southwest music.
DOWNLOAD the SXSW Baby! “Best of SXSW 2014″ sampler
Mega.co.nz link (314 Mb)
A little bit about the process. Through Kevin’s listening via OEB we get our initial “long list” of acts to listen to. Into that mix the SXSW Baby! team threw in the music we’ve been discovering along the way. We also asked a number of our friends in the music industry to suggest a few names as well.
From then it was a matter of listening to them all again, debating favourites, comparing a few songs that were incredibly similar in head-to-head decisions, and once we had a provisional list, any new song that demanded to be included had to bump an existing song out of the playlist.
After all that, we’re left with 80 tracks (all of which are freely available to listen to online folks, we’ve just got them in one place), and a big jigsaw to get a great running order. As previous years, I wanted to create some great moments when listening to the songs, to have the music flow into each other, to have sequences that would allow you to both dip in and out of the sampler, or stick it on a five hour playlist (which should just about reach from the TSA screening at your local airport to the reception desk of your hotel – or twice through if you’re flying from Europe).
If the eighty tracks feels too much for you, then you can break it down to eight ten-track playlists.
- Welcome to SXSW (Tracks 1-10)
- The Second Bite Sounds Just As Nice (Tracks 11-20)
- Chill Out And Kick Back (Tracks 21-30)
- The Music Of America (Tracks 31-40)
- Foot On The Amplifier (Tracks 41-50)
- The Wonderful World of Music (Tracks 51-60)
- Turn On The Electrics (Tracks 61-70)
- We Hope It Never Ends (Tracks 71-80)
If you’re not sure, here’s the deal. Listen to the first ten tracks. I’m confident that not only will this give you a great hit of SXSW Music, but you’ll want to listen to the rest of the sampler.
Oh and our 2014 performers in full?
Adam Arcuragi, Ages and Agesm Air Traffic Controller, American Authors, The Apache Relay, Band of Skulls, Barcelona, Basia Bulat, The Belle Brigade, Black Books, Blacklist Royals, Boy & Bear, Bring Me The Horizon, Caroline Rose, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cello Fury, Charli XCX, The Crookes, David Ramirez, The Devil Makes Three, East Cameron Folkcore, Elle King, Ezra Furman, Gabby Young and Other Animals, Good for Grapes, The Griswolds, Heymoonshaker, Hollis Brown, Honeyblood, Hozier, Hunter Hunted, James Bay, Jeetta, Judith Hill, July Talk, Kashmere Stage Band, Katie Herzig, Kill it Kid, Kongos, Kyle Andrews, Leif Vollebeck, Lincoln Durham, Lions in the Street, Little Daylight, London Grammar, The Lonely Wild, Los Lonely Boys, Magic Man, Mandolin Orange, Matrimony, Mia Dyson, Mighty Oaks, MisterWivers, Moon Taxi, Neulore, Nonono, Only Real, Pockets, Poolside, Quiet Company, Saintseneca, San Fermin, Shelby Earl, Skream, Sleeping At Your Door, Social Studies, Streets of Laredo, The Strypes, Talib Kweli, Timber Timbre, Tinariwen, Tom Easton, Typhoon, The Unlikley Candidates, Vnace Joy, Wardell, The Whigs, Wild Party, and The Wilderness of Manitoba.
“The biggest problem in the 21st century is not piracy but obscurity”, Cory Doctorow.
– @Ewan and the @SXSWbaby team
Five Questions… will be a new series of posts here on SXSW Baby! where we reach out to the bands, performers, singers, and the stars of tomorrow, who are all playing SXSW Music Showcases this year. The same five questions to everyone, but the answers.. that’s up to them.
First up are Neulore, mixing a ‘Mumford and Sons’ sound with a nice bit of arena-friendly stomping…
1. Welcome to SXSW Baby. Tell us a bit about Neulore
We are from Nashville, TN. Been playing together for about 4 years. We have a new record coming out this year on Chopshop Records/Island Records. That’s a good start for now.. ..
2. Why have you decided to showcase to SXSW this year?
Why wouldn’t we!? We are super excited to come to SXSW. It’s our first time!
3. Who are your musical influences and heroes?
It’s all across the map. Coldplay, Radiohead, Ryan Adams, and Spoon to name a few.
4. If our readers could listen to just one of your tracks, which track would it be and why?
Shadow of a Man. It’s passionate yet still an honest story. Two things we focus on.
5. Who else do you think we should be listening to at SXSW Music 2014?
Oh man, there are so many great artists. But I heard Shakey Graves is playing. What a talented dude.
Follow Neulore at www.neulore.com, or find Neulore’s showcase details online at SXSW.
Operation Every Band is currently ahead of schedule, so the completion date looks to be March 1st, which should allow some extra time for some extra SXSW goodies, and let us concentrating on hooking up our donators with the OEB SXSW 2013 Gift Box (with our personal schedule grids).
It’ll be an extremely heavy schedule on the site until then, so stay tuned for an avalanche of new artist recommendations. With over half the expected 2000 bands reviewed, there have been some more trends that have worked their way to the forefront. One of which this year is that I expect to see more artists trying to meld organic and electronic instrumentation into a single, coherent sound. From Flunk to Connor Youngblood to Indians, there’s something new at work here that should open up all sorts of musical opportunities.
In fact, it has gotten to a point that new pop music is expected to be complex and even challenging, best displayed by acts like Gotye and fun. breaking out last year. Rarely are the great artists of 2013 throwing back to the past, rather they are trying to build their own niche to exist in the future.
And now, our recommendations this week cover the musical spectrum, from the dark, electronic grooves of Ms Mr to stunning beauty of Luke Sital-Singh.
The Austin team have released the third batch of showcases for SXSW Music this year, taking the total of announced bands up to 1300, from an expected count of around 2100-2200. I expect there are a lot of bands planning travel and accommodation right now (and some frantic calls to US Embassies around the world to sort out a suitable visa).
This week has been a short reprieve on the listening front over at Operation Every Band as the team just finished off with the bands from the second batch of announced showcases. I’m hoping SXSW Music will launch the third and largest band list in the near future, but until then I’m taking a chance to listen back and reflect on some trends in the rock, folk and pop categories.
The folk-rock genre continues to be one of the strongest and most well-represented groupings at SXSW, with many acts taking on the quiet and rambunctious corners of the field. In terms of pop music, artists have generally gotten more dark and experimental with their sound. Even Charlotte Church, an artist who once lived in the widest range of appeal, is now exploring introverted, grey ballads. The futuristic take on R&B that Frank Ocean has so well captured is also an important tenet of 2013, infiltrating the sound of so many young, experimental artists. The last observation is the growing number of bands fronted by female artists, best represented by recent BBC darlings Haim.
These early trends are normally not only an indication of what we’ll be hearing at SXSW, but also the music community in 2013 in general. I’ll be sure to keep a close ear as the project continues – we still don’t at least half the artists who will be showcasing down in Austin.