SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 71
Not a bad one in the bunch. For what I think is the first time this year, all ten bands in this afternoon’s set strike in the ‘notable’ category. Highlights:
Leif Vollebekk (10) - Front to back, Vollebekk has delivered an adventurous, lyrical take on modern folk. The music and vocals are stunning throughout, just so meticulous and note-perfect.
Let’s Buy Happiness (8) – I was able to catch a Let’s Buy Happiness set at SXSW last year and the British dream-rock band left a hypnotic impression. The emotional strength comes through on the band’s strongest track yet, “Run”, a breathy, haunting song that falls right in the band’s sweet spot.
Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang (7) - From that history comes Duo De Twang, a collaboration with guitarist Bryan Kehoe that takes the Primus sound, and a full breadth of Claypool’s catalog, and filters it through a psychedelic bluegrass lens.
Lily & the Parlour Tricks (7) - The latest single from NYC rock band Lily & the Parlour Tricks is “Belle Gunness”, their densest, heaviest effort to date. The mix of folksy murder ballads and pounding, blues-infused licks is an interesting disposition.
Leopold and His Fiction (6) – Austin’s Leopold and His Fiction return to SXSW this year to deliver the goods through their swampy, grungy blues rock sound. There’s a soulful nature to Leopold and His Fiction, but delivered with Thor’s hammer instead of any R&B revue.
Leah Mason (5) – Mason is a young songwriter out of London, a laid-back, acoustic performer with a surprisingly soulful voice. There a couple tracks that are plugged-in ramblers too, so keep an eye out for this artist-of-potential.
Leftover Cuties (5) – Leftover Cuties have a Jazz Age throwback to their sound, an authentic take on music that isn’t too big of a stretch from the indie pop sounds of today. It’s upbeat through and through, making for what will surely be a swingin’ SXSW set.
Li’l Cap’n Travis (5) – For at least four years running, Li’l Cap’n Travis has represented Austin with a mix of balls-to-the-wall power pop and lighter, alt country fare. A lo fi, honest nature seems to overlay any genre the multi-punctuated artist takes on.
Lilly Hiatt (5) – Lilly Hiatt is a pleasant alt country artist, exhibiting a youthful presence on last year’s Let Down. Her lineage is strong indeed (pops is John Hiatt) and there’s plenty of potential from both a pop and alternative angle.
Lily Kershaw (5) – Lily Kershaw is a young, acoustic pop songwriter with a nice touch for beautiful melodies and presence. Her songs rarely most above a mid-tempo pace, but Kershaw should strike more on ramblers like “Bathed in Blue”.