SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 58
Tonight I’ve got a really dense set of music, topped by artists in indie pop (a “10” for a new discovery), familiar revivalist soul and one of the most interesting bands to come out of a post punk base I’ve heard. Highlights:
Eliza and the Bear (10) - Eliza and the Bear’s sound is huge, a party-in-a-box loaded with melodies, percussion and joyful vocal harmonies. The denseness of these songs is really remarkable given the introductory nature of one-by-one singles you tend to hear from a new band.
Eli “Paperboy” Reed (9) - 2013 single “WooHoo” has it’s fair share of Motown horns and big band percussion, but there’s a intervening EDM sound that takes hold of the song, a blend of the past and the future from a mature, road-developed artist.
DCTV (8) - DCTV, a trio that includes Guylaine Vivarat (Useless Keys, Tennis System) and James Greer (Guided By Vocies), is a fairly straightforward indie rock at its heart, heavy on riffed out breakdowns and roadhouse guitar solos.
Dreamend (6) – Experimental folk rock band Dreamend returns to SXSW with their diverse, orchestral sound. There’s a ton of details in their latest record, And the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave, so it’ll be interesting to see how this electro-folk sound translates to stage.
Driver Friendly (6) – Driver Friendly is a new modern rock band from Austin, representing big-sound power pop with an indie rock edge. Their limited catalog is resiliently upbeat, aiming for the top right out of the gate.
Dugas (6) – The duo of Sarah and Christian Dugas aren’t just a couple of acoustic troubadours. In fact, their sound is more based in R&B and soul than the normal coffee shop fare. Look out for Sarah’s killer voice too, a nice highlight.
Dum Dum Girls (6) – Dum Dum Girls have a new record coming out next week, led by the drone rock track “Lost Boys & Girls Club”. It’s nice to see the pop elements of Dum Dum Girls pulled back a little here, a good sign that Too True may see a new direction for the maturing rock-pop band.
Electric Eye (6) – Norway’s Electric Eye fall somewhere between post rock and psychedelic pop, an intriguing mix that pulls their songs into section-by-section suites. Largely instrumental, Electric Eye’s music really drives, jamming psych riffs over pounding drums and bass.
Echosmith (5) – At times, Echosmith’s music can border on the cheesier sides of upbeat indie pop-rock, but there are others that are really nice and forthright (“Tell Her You Love Her”, “Talking Dreams”). It should be an energetic set, pulling in shades of Paramore at times.
Elijah Ford & The Bloom (5) – 2012’s Ashes EP is still the sole release from alt country band Elijah Ford & The Bloom, but new music has been hinted at for early 2014. The Bloom’s loose, rock-focused take on the genre is what makes the Ford and the band stand out within a familiar SXSW sound.