SXSW/Forecastle 2014 Crossover Artists – OEB’s Top Picks
Operation Every Band’s festival tour continues with next weekend’s Forecastle Festival, Louisville’s recent entry into the multi-day live music world.Held July 18-20, Forecastle features big-time headliners (Festie regulars Outkast, Jack White and a deserved top-spot for Beck), but the real excitement lies in Forecastle’s small-print artists.As I have with Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo, I’ll be sharing a series of recommendations focused on the bottom-half of the Forecastle lineup over the next week.
Let’s start with artists that were highlighted in this year’s SXSW coverage (Operation Every Band’s musical nucleus) and are also taking the stage at Forecastle next weekend.Here’s a reason to get in the gates early, for sure.
Pairs Well With…Lord Huron, My Morning Jacket, Dawes
Australian folk rock band Boy & Bear followed up their 2011 debut this summer with Harlequin Dream, a mature record that lives off of road-worn tightness.These guys are really good at what they do, catchy rock songs with an eye towards the past, this is more The Band than it is The Mumfords.It’s with a pacing energy that Boy & Bear succeed bass, falling into driving grooves instead of trying to explode into some might chorus.It’s a great choice and shows how far Boy & Bear have come since first catching our ears at SXSW over three years ago.Honestly, this record deserves a full listen as the Aussie’s have already figured out – Harlequin Dream debuted over there at number one.200 bands in, OEB delivers it’s 2nd “10” and it is well deserved, truly a perfect record for the sound Boy & Bear were looking to achieve.
Today brings one of our stronger sets of the SXSW season and features our second “10” along with a well-rounded group of OEB recommendations. Highlights:
Boy & Bear (10) - Australian folk rock band Boy & Bear followed up their 2011 debut this summer with Harlequin Dream, a mature record that lives off of road-worn tightness.
Tom Brosseau (9) - “Cradle Your Device” is the first single from the upcoming Grass Punks and it truly holds up to the best of Brosseau’s songwriting – that hummed melody is absolutely brilliant.
Coldair (9) - Polish singer-songwriter Coldair released his 3rd LP Whose Blood a couple months back, drawing his sound to even more patient explorations of space.To live so beautifully in the quiet is a challenge that Coldair has stepped up to with a mature ear.
Cello Fury (7) – It’s a mixed bag and I can see how the draw of drums and ‘power’ with a classical setting would be other’s highlight, but there are moments throughout Cello Fury’s second LP Symphony of Shadows that are awe-inspiring, three cello dancing interweaving melodies with such an emotional touch.
Communist Daughter (7) - It’s nice that their sound could go towards epic noise or quiet undertones at a moment’s notice, a dynamic that surely translates directly to stage.
Brass Bed (6) – A SXSW regular in recent years, Louisiana indie rock band Brass Bed has come through with their strongest effort this year in The Secret Will Keep You, a pop-fueled record that opens up Brass Bed’s jangly accessibility nicely.
Brick + Mortar (6) – New Jersey’s Brick + Mortar have achieved a nice mix of electronic pop and driving modern rock on their most recent EP Bangs.Note the slight hip hop influence that creeps into this intriguing duo’s sound.
Curuit Des Yeux (6) – The second band in a row with heavy classical influences, Circuit Des Yeux pulls much of their sound from the avant garde corners of the genre, moving towards a dissonant sound that is equally intriguing and hypnotizing.