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spreadsheet

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 160
 
Today’s grouping includes a couple of big names as the top recommendations, with a few notables tagging along in the middle.  Highlights:
 
Broken Bells (9) - James Mercer and Danger Mouse’s Broken Bells has established itself as more than a side-project with this year’s After the Disco, a solid combination of rock-structured songwriting and indie pop production.  Mercer is an artist who makes it look easy, crafting personal, world-heavy lyrics that match Danger Mouse’s smart, rounded-off production.
Captial Cities (7) – We’ll go beyond megahit “Safe and Sound” for coverage of indie pop band Capital Cities, an act that pays off more with a little big of digging.  Fantasy melodies and electronic inflections inform Capital Cities’ music, ultra-bright synth action with a foot in each of the last three decades.
The Ballroom Thieves (6) – The Ballroom Thieves have roots-folk leanings, but their songs take more from blues-rock than coffeehouse ballads.  The Boston outfit is very percussive, using all of their instruments to drive points forward on songs like “Armada” and “Droves” – stomp your feet at will.
Bunji Garlin (6) – Bunji Garlin has a surprisingly light touch considering his dancehall-pop genre.  Reggae rhythms and structures are turned into upbeat, electronic anthems, cleanly produced for the ultimate party vibe.
The Bixby Knolls (5) – The Bixby Knolls are a mix of modern rock and indie pop.  Moody guitar tones and distorted electronic melodies are the highlight on the LA band’s latest EP Tomorrow Never Comes.

Brenmar (5) – Hip hop DJ Brenmar’s latest is High End Times Vol. 1, a collaborative record that blends Southern traditions with NYC punch.  It’s a pretty commercial effort, but doesn’t hesitate to go hard both in production and the guests’ rhymes.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 160

 

Today’s grouping includes a couple of big names as the top recommendations, with a few notables tagging along in the middle.  Highlights:

 

Broken Bells (9) - James Mercer and Danger Mouse’s Broken Bells has established itself as more than a side-project with this year’s After the Disco, a solid combination of rock-structured songwriting and indie pop production.  Mercer is an artist who makes it look easy, crafting personal, world-heavy lyrics that match Danger Mouse’s smart, rounded-off production.

Captial Cities (7) – We’ll go beyond megahit “Safe and Sound” for coverage of indie pop band Capital Cities, an act that pays off more with a little big of digging.  Fantasy melodies and electronic inflections inform Capital Cities’ music, ultra-bright synth action with a foot in each of the last three decades.

The Ballroom Thieves (6) – The Ballroom Thieves have roots-folk leanings, but their songs take more from blues-rock than coffeehouse ballads.  The Boston outfit is very percussive, using all of their instruments to drive points forward on songs like “Armada” and “Droves” – stomp your feet at will.

Bunji Garlin (6) – Bunji Garlin has a surprisingly light touch considering his dancehall-pop genre.  Reggae rhythms and structures are turned into upbeat, electronic anthems, cleanly produced for the ultimate party vibe.

The Bixby Knolls (5) – The Bixby Knolls are a mix of modern rock and indie pop.  Moody guitar tones and distorted electronic melodies are the highlight on the LA band’s latest EP Tomorrow Never Comes.

Brenmar (5) – Hip hop DJ Brenmar’s latest is High End Times Vol. 1, a collaborative record that blends Southern traditions with NYC punch.  It’s a pretty commercial effort, but doesn’t hesitate to go hard both in production and the guests’ rhymes.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 159
 
Alt country, hip hop and disco house all find a place in the top of today’s diverse mix of last-minute SXSW 2014 adds.  Highlights:
 
7 Days of Funk (8) - The combo of Dam-Funk and Snoop Dogg yielded a jazzy hip hop record in 2013, highlighted by hints of 70s funk and soul.  Dam-Funk drops smattering of inventive electro-tones into the mix, but 7 Days of Funk ultimately acts as a new Snoop record.  
Amtrac (8) - OEB deep disco house favorite Amtrac made another run through SXSW this year with AM Only, opening a prime showcase of reliable, forward-thinking artists.  His latest is a pair of trance-pop singles in “Undefeated” and “Primal”, proving there is strength in EDM without needing to rely on a dubby drop.
Ali Holder (7) - Most of these songs lay within tall grass, peeking out instead of overpowering either in a pop or a traditional sense.  Holder is further on the scale towards Americana than indie, but the emotionalism embodied in her songs grounds this away from pop country territory for sure. 
Alejandro Escovedo (6) – Austin rock veteran Alejandro Escovedo is spending the year with new outfit The Fauntleroys, teaming up with Ivan Julian, Nicholas Tremulis and Linda Pitmon.  Their EP I’m in Love With Everything is expected loose, high-talent friends who could write a good rock song in their sleep.
Aaron Lee Tasjan (5) – Pleasant and natural, Aaron Lee Tasjan’s debut EP Crooked River Burning is a fine listen.  Acoustic picking and Tasjan’s tender voice are front and center in throughout the songwriter’s record.

Alex Gow (5) – Alex Gow is half of Oh Mercy and is a left-field SXSW addition as I couldn’t locate any solo tunes from Gow on the web.  Oh Mercy is a plaintive folk rock duo with an open disposition, so I imagine Gow’s solo set would follow suit.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 159

 

Alt country, hip hop and disco house all find a place in the top of today’s diverse mix of last-minute SXSW 2014 adds.  Highlights:

 

7 Days of Funk (8) - The combo of Dam-Funk and Snoop Dogg yielded a jazzy hip hop record in 2013, highlighted by hints of 70s funk and soul.  Dam-Funk drops smattering of inventive electro-tones into the mix, but 7 Days of Funk ultimately acts as a new Snoop record. 

Amtrac (8) - OEB deep disco house favorite Amtrac made another run through SXSW this year with AM Only, opening a prime showcase of reliable, forward-thinking artists.  His latest is a pair of trance-pop singles in “Undefeated” and “Primal”, proving there is strength in EDM without needing to rely on a dubby drop.

Ali Holder (7) - Most of these songs lay within tall grass, peeking out instead of overpowering either in a pop or a traditional sense.  Holder is further on the scale towards Americana than indie, but the emotionalism embodied in her songs grounds this away from pop country territory for sure.

Alejandro Escovedo (6) – Austin rock veteran Alejandro Escovedo is spending the year with new outfit The Fauntleroys, teaming up with Ivan Julian, Nicholas Tremulis and Linda Pitmon.  Their EP I’m in Love With Everything is expected loose, high-talent friends who could write a good rock song in their sleep.

Aaron Lee Tasjan (5) – Pleasant and natural, Aaron Lee Tasjan’s debut EP Crooked River Burning is a fine listen.  Acoustic picking and Tasjan’s tender voice are front and center in throughout the songwriter’s record.

Alex Gow (5) – Alex Gow is half of Oh Mercy and is a left-field SXSW addition as I couldn’t locate any solo tunes from Gow on the web.  Oh Mercy is a plaintive folk rock duo with an open disposition, so I imagine Gow’s solo set would follow suit.

Wayne Kramer (6) – The latest from the MC5 frontman is a dense, prog/jazz-rock adventure alongside the Lexington Arts Ensemble.  The heaviness of the guitar (though don’t sleep on the meditative solo on “13th Hour) counterpoints free horn solos throughout the fiercely eclectic record – an impressive feat for the storied artist.
X (6) – Influential punk rock band X has continued to make the festival rounds almost thirty-five years after their hallmark debut Los Angeles, including a stop at SXSW this year for an eclectic lineup alongside Tyler the Creator, Les Claypool and +++ (Crosses).  It’s been over twenty years since X’s last release, so the nostalgia will be strong anytime the reunited band hits the stage.

Young Magic (6) – Young Magic continues to improve on their sound with their latest dream pop effort Breathing Statues.  It’s a spacious and mannered record that bubbles electronic and vocal harmonies in a conjoining manner.

Wayne Kramer (6) – The latest from the MC5 frontman is a dense, prog/jazz-rock adventure alongside the Lexington Arts Ensemble.  The heaviness of the guitar (though don’t sleep on the meditative solo on “13th Hour) counterpoints free horn solos throughout the fiercely eclectic record – an impressive feat for the storied artist.

X (6) – Influential punk rock band X has continued to make the festival rounds almost thirty-five years after their hallmark debut Los Angeles, including a stop at SXSW this year for an eclectic lineup alongside Tyler the Creator, Les Claypool and +++ (Crosses).  It’s been over twenty years since X’s last release, so the nostalgia will be strong anytime the reunited band hits the stage.

Young Magic (6) – Young Magic continues to improve on their sound with their latest dream pop effort Breathing Statues.  It’s a spacious and mannered record that bubbles electronic and vocal harmonies in a conjoining manner.




 

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 157
 
An album-of-the-year candidate and a pair of R&B-infused beatmakers top this hypnotic and striking Friday night Post-SXSW set.  Highlights:
 
St. Vincent (10) - Industrial stamps and flowing electronic rock intermingle in African dances and mini-feedback freak-outs throughout St. Vincent.  Front to back, St. Vincent is coherent, inventive and forthright – a major accomplishment for a talent who isn’t scared the blow the roofs off, albeit in a controlled, future-class way.
STwo (8) - His music is easy on the ears, minimizing body-shaking intentions for massaged melodies and understated rhythmic anchors.  Latest track “Aura”, released just this week, is perhaps STwo’s most spacious yet.
Sweater Beats (7) - Sweater Beats’ music is often accompanied by sexy, mysterious vocals as complete tracks, but the intricacies of his intricate production is what makes these tunes so warm.  Whether going for punch or patience, Sweater Beats puts his own spin on the open genre.
Teen Flirt (6) – Teen Flirt’s latest EP Welcome Home is a down-tempo mini-gem, a melding of R&B rhythms and snappy dance beats.  Check out “Her Fake Name Is Sofia” for a multi-faceted glance into Teen Flirt’s music in under three minutes.
Tacocat (5) – Seattle’s Tacocat play with a mix of rock, punk and power pop on their pleasantly diverse full-length NVM.  The band definitely has a West Coast beach vibe, summery but dressed in black.
Toadies (5) – Growing up in the Northeast, Toadies didn’t twist my radar back in the 90s with their hallmark post-grunge record Rubberneck beyond “Possum Kingdom”, but I’m the exception apparently with the reception the band still warrants around Texas twenty years later.  The band has been touring the record in full this year including SXSW – a chance to relive your teenage breakups all over again.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 157

 

An album-of-the-year candidate and a pair of R&B-infused beatmakers top this hypnotic and striking Friday night Post-SXSW set.  Highlights:

 

St. Vincent (10) - Industrial stamps and flowing electronic rock intermingle in African dances and mini-feedback freak-outs throughout St. Vincent.  Front to back, St. Vincent is coherent, inventive and forthright – a major accomplishment for a talent who isn’t scared the blow the roofs off, albeit in a controlled, future-class way.

STwo (8) - His music is easy on the ears, minimizing body-shaking intentions for massaged melodies and understated rhythmic anchors.  Latest track “Aura”, released just this week, is perhaps STwo’s most spacious yet.

Sweater Beats (7) - Sweater Beats’ music is often accompanied by sexy, mysterious vocals as complete tracks, but the intricacies of his intricate production is what makes these tunes so warm.  Whether going for punch or patience, Sweater Beats puts his own spin on the open genre.

Teen Flirt (6) – Teen Flirt’s latest EP Welcome Home is a down-tempo mini-gem, a melding of R&B rhythms and snappy dance beats.  Check out “Her Fake Name Is Sofia” for a multi-faceted glance into Teen Flirt’s music in under three minutes.

Tacocat (5) – Seattle’s Tacocat play with a mix of rock, punk and power pop on their pleasantly diverse full-length NVM.  The band definitely has a West Coast beach vibe, summery but dressed in black.

Toadies (5) – Growing up in the Northeast, Toadies didn’t twist my radar back in the 90s with their hallmark post-grunge record Rubberneck beyond “Possum Kingdom”, but I’m the exception apparently with the reception the band still warrants around Texas twenty years later.  The band has been touring the record in full this year including SXSW – a chance to relive your teenage breakups all over again.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 156
 
We keep it rolling.  Highlights:
 
Shlohmo (8) - This is not necessarily dance music - rather beats and melodies play right for the head.  Haunted bass rumbles and unexpected rhythms are also tenets Shlohmo’s sound, one that transforms with his latest work with R&B artist Jeremih.
Soundgarden (8) - The production is definitely of the time, but Cornell and gang’s dark and moody songwriting is current as ever.  In an age where guitar music is taking a backseat, the power of Soundgarden’s music resonates.
Sophie (7) - In what might be the most sinister track to grab an OEB spotlight, Sophie’s “Lemonade” is two minutes of spoken madness amid twisting and unpredictable beats.  The trick is that its also one of the catchiest.  
SicksentZ (5) – Brooklyn producer SicksentZ hides in dark corners of the hip hop sonicsphere, mingling spaced out backbeats with shaded synth melodies.  Even recent psyched-out banger “Rachet” finds a way to expand in depth with a simple Danny Brown sample.
Slowtrain (5) – A barroom blues band from Austin, Slowtrain stands out a bit for some inventive songwriting, taking pop forms from the 60s and 70s and melding them on top of an expected, alt country landscape.  Check out “Not the Only One” for one of the best results, a detour well worth the trip.

Sober (5) – DJ Sober has been clearing a path for himself in Dallas hip hop and dance scenes the past few years on is taste reputation and performance technique.  Sober took on SXSW solo this year, but he also full-time gigged with A.Dd+ and is half of the production duo Booty Fade, staying busy morning to night.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 156

 

We keep it rolling.  Highlights:

 

Shlohmo (8) - This is not necessarily dance music - rather beats and melodies play right for the head.  Haunted bass rumbles and unexpected rhythms are also tenets Shlohmo’s sound, one that transforms with his latest work with R&B artist Jeremih.

Soundgarden (8) - The production is definitely of the time, but Cornell and gang’s dark and moody songwriting is current as ever.  In an age where guitar music is taking a backseat, the power of Soundgarden’s music resonates.

Sophie (7) - In what might be the most sinister track to grab an OEB spotlight, Sophie’s “Lemonade” is two minutes of spoken madness amid twisting and unpredictable beats.  The trick is that its also one of the catchiest. 

SicksentZ (5) – Brooklyn producer SicksentZ hides in dark corners of the hip hop sonicsphere, mingling spaced out backbeats with shaded synth melodies.  Even recent psyched-out banger “Rachet” finds a way to expand in depth with a simple Danny Brown sample.

Slowtrain (5) – A barroom blues band from Austin, Slowtrain stands out a bit for some inventive songwriting, taking pop forms from the 60s and 70s and melding them on top of an expected, alt country landscape.  Check out “Not the Only One” for one of the best results, a detour well worth the trip.

Sober (5) – DJ Sober has been clearing a path for himself in Dallas hip hop and dance scenes the past few years on is taste reputation and performance technique.  Sober took on SXSW solo this year, but he also full-time gigged with A.Dd+ and is half of the production duo Booty Fade, staying busy morning to night.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 155
 
We’re stepping off the festival circuit for a couple of weeks and it’s an ample opportunity to close out our SXSW artist recommendations.  This evening, a pair 
of Australian electronic acts happens to take a couple of the top slots.  Highlights: 
 
Seekae (8) - Dubstep remnants and ethereal tones channeled through Seekae’s inventive prism become unnatural yet warm.  Technically, the building blocks of Seekae’s music are EDM, but the human sadness that comes through the often-disjointed rhythms opens up multiple layers unknown.
Rufus Du Sol (7) - Musically, the Australian group is both spacey and edgy, sharp and soulful.  While these sounds are electronically constructed, Tyrone Lindqvist’s vocals are airy and pure.
Rosco Bandana (7) - Folk rock road warriors Rosco Bandana continue to support their 2012 debut Time to Begin this year, a rambunctious, rootsy introduction that begs to be heard live.  The Mississippi band’s swampy blues tint is what stands them out from the crowded pack, either through acoustic picking or amplified heroics.
SETH (6) – Brooklyn’s SETH is in the style of dreamy, electronic R&B, but the duo’s production is highly experimental with a deep dubstep slant.  When it works, it works really well, so SETH could break beyond these early singles.

Saint Pepsi (5) – Electro-soul experimenter Saint Pepsi meshes old school, 70s funk with warped, liquid production.  While Saint Pepsi’s music falls squarely in a pop category, there’s enough distortion through his songwriting to appeal to a close ear as well.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 155

 

We’re stepping off the festival circuit for a couple of weeks and it’s an ample opportunity to close out our SXSW artist recommendations.  This evening, a pair

of Australian electronic acts happens to take a couple of the top slots.  Highlights:

 

Seekae (8) - Dubstep remnants and ethereal tones channeled through Seekae’s inventive prism become unnatural yet warm.  Technically, the building blocks of Seekae’s music are EDM, but the human sadness that comes through the often-disjointed rhythms opens up multiple layers unknown.

Rufus Du Sol (7) - Musically, the Australian group is both spacey and edgy, sharp and soulful.  While these sounds are electronically constructed, Tyrone Lindqvist’s vocals are airy and pure.

Rosco Bandana (7) - Folk rock road warriors Rosco Bandana continue to support their 2012 debut Time to Begin this year, a rambunctious, rootsy introduction that begs to be heard live.  The Mississippi band’s swampy blues tint is what stands them out from the crowded pack, either through acoustic picking or amplified heroics.

SETH (6) – Brooklyn’s SETH is in the style of dreamy, electronic R&B, but the duo’s production is highly experimental with a deep dubstep slant.  When it works, it works really well, so SETH could break beyond these early singles.

Saint Pepsi (5) – Electro-soul experimenter Saint Pepsi meshes old school, 70s funk with warped, liquid production.  While Saint Pepsi’s music falls squarely in a pop category, there’s enough distortion through his songwriting to appeal to a close ear as well.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 154
At the top of this set is producer extraordinaire Adrian Younge and emerging rapper/singer Anderson .Paak. The pair shows two of the many sides of the diverse L.A. music scene. Highlights:
Adrian Younge (10) – Adrian Younge is an exciting hip hop and soul producer with a cinematic style. His songs are great sweeping tracks that pay homage equally to a diverse mix of artists including Ennio Morricone and RZA. 
Anderson .Paak (9) – Anderson .Paak is a producer, singer, and rapper out of L.A. He has a relaxed style that makes all the complicated vocal and musical twists in his tracks look like child’s play. He’s become a more engaging artist with each release and the upcoming full-length album, MALIBU, looks like it should be a fantastic record.
Alpoko Don aka Dondada (6) – Alpoko Don aka Dondada is a rapper with a magnetic personality that received a lot of positive attention from videos of the rapper sitting on his porch free styling while he tapped out a beat with a pen. Dondada has continued to release popular videos and recorded an album featuring the tracks that brought him attention. He’s currently working on a proper studio full length Album, “Straight From The Heart.”
B.o.B. (6) – B.o.B is a well known producer and rapper out of Atlanta. He mixes both pop and hip hop elements on his catchy radio-friendly tracks.
Blake Carrington (6) – Rapper Blake Carrington raps over soulful beats with a laid-back casual flow. His songs are perfect windows down summer hip hop.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 154

At the top of this set is producer extraordinaire Adrian Younge and emerging rapper/singer Anderson .Paak. The pair shows two of the many sides of the diverse L.A. music scene. Highlights:

Adrian Younge (10) – Adrian Younge is an exciting hip hop and soul producer with a cinematic style. His songs are great sweeping tracks that pay homage equally to a diverse mix of artists including Ennio Morricone and RZA.

Anderson .Paak (9) – Anderson .Paak is a producer, singer, and rapper out of L.A. He has a relaxed style that makes all the complicated vocal and musical twists in his tracks look like child’s play. He’s become a more engaging artist with each release and the upcoming full-length album, MALIBU, looks like it should be a fantastic record.

Alpoko Don aka Dondada (6) – Alpoko Don aka Dondada is a rapper with a magnetic personality that received a lot of positive attention from videos of the rapper sitting on his porch free styling while he tapped out a beat with a pen. Dondada has continued to release popular videos and recorded an album featuring the tracks that brought him attention. He’s currently working on a proper studio full length Album, “Straight From The Heart.”

B.o.B. (6) – B.o.B is a well known producer and rapper out of Atlanta. He mixes both pop and hip hop elements on his catchy radio-friendly tracks.

Blake Carrington (6) – Rapper Blake Carrington raps over soulful beats with a laid-back casual flow. His songs are perfect windows down summer hip hop.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 153
 
Here’s a little break in our Lollapalooza action this evening for some primo post-SXSW recommendations from the spreadsheet that won’t give up.  Highlights:
 
Real Estate (9) - Atlas acts as a dreamy pop album recorded by a rock band, an understated yet weighty achievement.  The pace is slow and meaningful, picking up to a bounce at most.
The Range (7) - Each part of The Range’s music is spotlighted before another layer is added, allowing the ear to hear every texture, so precisely placed.  Avoiding pop, 4/4 forms, The Range takes his cues more from the heart than as a pure technician.
Roosevelt (7) - Disco beats and synth pulses drive Roosevelt’s 2013 EP Elliot, but the artist’s hushed, yearning vocal takes the four-track effort into unique waters.  Extroverted and introverted melodies play right up against one another and the mix is surprisingly natural.
Rodney Crowell (6) - Texas country veteran Rodney Crowell has looped together Southern pop shine and rootsy songwriting into 2014’s accessible, rambling Tarpaper Sky.  There are a few moments that are relatively sparse (“God I’m Missing You”, “Famous Last Words of a Fool in Love”) and hit the gut as hard as Crowell’s classic catalog.
Roky Erikson and the Hounds of Baskerville (6) – Roky Erikson is another Texas legend, but of a whole different sort.  His 70s and 80s psychedelic rock work holds up in 2014 as Erikson takes his gothic, grungy tones on the road with his five-piece, the Hounds of Baskerville.
Real Magic (5) – Dramatic synth tones drive Real Magic’s debut record Deep Breathing.  Heavy and thick, Deep Breathing takes an 80s new wave sound and twists it into something new.
The Reverend Kathy Russell (5) – Austin mainstay and innovative DJ The Reverend Kathy Russell deals in jungle break-beats and hip hop swerves, good times all around.

Ricoshei (5) – I could only dig up a one-minute preview of an original Ricoshei track, but the dark and stormy electronic pop song “Perfect Like You” had enough emotional heft to it wonder if the LA duo has more up their sleeves than down-tempo House mixes.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 153

 

Here’s a little break in our Lollapalooza action this evening for some primo post-SXSW recommendations from the spreadsheet that won’t give up.  Highlights:

 

Real Estate (9) - Atlas acts as a dreamy pop album recorded by a rock band, an understated yet weighty achievement.  The pace is slow and meaningful, picking up to a bounce at most.

The Range (7) - Each part of The Range’s music is spotlighted before another layer is added, allowing the ear to hear every texture, so precisely placed.  Avoiding pop, 4/4 forms, The Range takes his cues more from the heart than as a pure technician.

Roosevelt (7) - Disco beats and synth pulses drive Roosevelt’s 2013 EP Elliot, but the artist’s hushed, yearning vocal takes the four-track effort into unique waters.  Extroverted and introverted melodies play right up against one another and the mix is surprisingly natural.

Rodney Crowell (6) - Texas country veteran Rodney Crowell has looped together Southern pop shine and rootsy songwriting into 2014’s accessible, rambling Tarpaper Sky.  There are a few moments that are relatively sparse (“God I’m Missing You”, “Famous Last Words of a Fool in Love”) and hit the gut as hard as Crowell’s classic catalog.

Roky Erikson and the Hounds of Baskerville (6) – Roky Erikson is another Texas legend, but of a whole different sort.  His 70s and 80s psychedelic rock work holds up in 2014 as Erikson takes his gothic, grungy tones on the road with his five-piece, the Hounds of Baskerville.

Real Magic (5) – Dramatic synth tones drive Real Magic’s debut record Deep Breathing.  Heavy and thick, Deep Breathing takes an 80s new wave sound and twists it into something new.

The Reverend Kathy Russell (5) – Austin mainstay and innovative DJ The Reverend Kathy Russell deals in jungle break-beats and hip hop swerves, good times all around.

Ricoshei (5) – I could only dig up a one-minute preview of an original Ricoshei track, but the dark and stormy electronic pop song “Perfect Like You” had enough emotional heft to it wonder if the LA duo has more up their sleeves than down-tempo House mixes.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 152
 
I wrapped up my bottom-half Newport Folk recommendations this afternoon, so what better time for a Post-SXSW breather before Lollapalooza takes over OEB’s coverage for a week.  Highlights:
 
Polica (9) - Two drummers, a bassist and electronic atmospherics make up the palette of Polica’s foundation, a deep, sexy and salient territory.  This is what psychedelia sounds like in 2014 and we are all better for it.
The Pollies (7) - Where The Pollies break away from their Chicago brethren is the Southern grit that infuses the record, whiskey-soaked vocals holding the notes for a half-second longer than expected, almost unwilling loosen their grip.  Most of these songs come from a rootsy, Americana place, led by acoustic guitar and a healthy share of kick drum.
Parquet Courts (6) – The rambunctious punk rock grooves of Parquet Courts are loosely dismembered on the band’s latest, 2014’s Sunbathing Animal.  The twists of feedback give Parquet Courts a classic, analog sound, vaguely experimental and oddly catchy.
Polytype (6) – Electronic pop artist Polytype lives within a mysterious air, best displayed on single “Cyclone”.  The circular nature of the title applies to the winds of harmony that builds in this patient R&B track.

Peking Duk (5) – Australian producer Peking Duk deals in builds and drops, but there is an increased level of detail in his big-tent dance music.  In another way, deep, technical minutia isn’t need for sing-a-longs and big beats.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 152

 

I wrapped up my bottom-half Newport Folk recommendations this afternoon, so what better time for a Post-SXSW breather before Lollapalooza takes over OEB’s coverage for a week.  Highlights:

 

Polica (9) - Two drummers, a bassist and electronic atmospherics make up the palette of Polica’s foundation, a deep, sexy and salient territory.  This is what psychedelia sounds like in 2014 and we are all better for it.

The Pollies (7) - Where The Pollies break away from their Chicago brethren is the Southern grit that infuses the record, whiskey-soaked vocals holding the notes for a half-second longer than expected, almost unwilling loosen their grip.  Most of these songs come from a rootsy, Americana place, led by acoustic guitar and a healthy share of kick drum.

Parquet Courts (6) – The rambunctious punk rock grooves of Parquet Courts are loosely dismembered on the band’s latest, 2014’s Sunbathing Animal.  The twists of feedback give Parquet Courts a classic, analog sound, vaguely experimental and oddly catchy.

Polytype (6) – Electronic pop artist Polytype lives within a mysterious air, best displayed on single “Cyclone”.  The circular nature of the title applies to the winds of harmony that builds in this patient R&B track.

Peking Duk (5) – Australian producer Peking Duk deals in builds and drops, but there is an increased level of detail in his big-tent dance music.  In another way, deep, technical minutia isn’t need for sing-a-longs and big beats.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 151
 
I’m sneaking one in this Sunday evening to spotlight a pair of electronic-based artists who find warmth in a many times cold genre.  Highlights:
 
Obey City (8) - Funk-fueled rhythms are spliced and diced, falling off the beat unexpectedly.  That anticipation pulls like a rubber band, tensely laying an undercurrent of mystery and grace.
Panama (8) - Mid-tempo dance beats are complimented by droned-down synths on tracks like “How We Feel” and “It’s Not Over”, shading the light within Panama’s music.  EDM elements are sampled at will through Panama’s pop filter – this band is accessible to both an indie and club crowd.
OWSLA All Stars (6) – This one is a little hard to rate, but reports called out some OEB favorites like Hundred Waters and What So Not showcased at OWSLA’s SXSW event.  Skrillex’s label is on a hot run in 2014 and hopefully the collaborative nature of the OWSLA All Stars leads to some mixed multi-artist studio tracks.

Paper Diamond (5) – Beat maker and EDM collaborator Paper Diamond’s long EP Paragon is fairly minimal for a dance record, letting disco synths and thick bass lines carry the artist’s poppin’ take on House/R&B.  Down-tempo trance plays a big part in the record as well, especially succeeding when the beat dissipates.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 151

 

I’m sneaking one in this Sunday evening to spotlight a pair of electronic-based artists who find warmth in a many times cold genre.  Highlights:

 

Obey City (8) - Funk-fueled rhythms are spliced and diced, falling off the beat unexpectedly.  That anticipation pulls like a rubber band, tensely laying an undercurrent of mystery and grace.

Panama (8) - Mid-tempo dance beats are complimented by droned-down synths on tracks like “How We Feel” and “It’s Not Over”, shading the light within Panama’s music.  EDM elements are sampled at will through Panama’s pop filter – this band is accessible to both an indie and club crowd.

OWSLA All Stars (6) – This one is a little hard to rate, but reports called out some OEB favorites like Hundred Waters and What So Not showcased at OWSLA’s SXSW event.  Skrillex’s label is on a hot run in 2014 and hopefully the collaborative nature of the OWSLA All Stars leads to some mixed multi-artist studio tracks.

Paper Diamond (5) – Beat maker and EDM collaborator Paper Diamond’s long EP Paragon is fairly minimal for a dance record, letting disco synths and thick bass lines carry the artist’s poppin’ take on House/R&B.  Down-tempo trance plays a big part in the record as well, especially succeeding when the beat dissipates.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 150
 
One-fifty!  This evening’s set is extra packed with four bands shaking our radars.  Mexico, New York, California and Georgia are represented with a mix of rock, pop and World styles.  Highlights:
 
MS MR (9) - Debut LP Secondhand Rapture is wickedly dense for a greyly toned indie pop record.  Minor-key catchiness is such a nuanced art form, one that MS MR just nails in a fiercely unique way.
Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich+Fussible (8) – The international appeal here is obvious – Bostich+Fussible switch back and forth between English and Spanish vocals just as easily as they shift around worldly bases and forms.  While Bulevar 2000 is a dance record by nature, Bostich and Fussible avoid predictable house beats, instead incorporating melodies and practices of EDM into their rootsy traditions.
Naïve Thieves (7) - Loose, but not necessarily laid back, Naïve Thieves find a nice pocket to work through their already matured sound.  Look out for the African melodies and percussion that find their way into Vamonos, a nice way to break out of rock paradigms by shifting influences around the world.
New Madrid (7) - New Madrid has turned to a deeper sound on their recent seven-track effort Sunswimmer, twisting a grunge underbelly through the Athens-based band’s Southern folk-rock roots.  The near-ambient launch of opener “All Around the Locust” opens up the expanse of Sunswimmer early, slowing down in the back-end like a breath slowly let out over time.
Monogold (6) - Shoegaze/indie pop band Monogold hasn’t released any new music in over three years, interesting in that their dreamy, percussive sound has since become a popular song form in SXSW circles.  As expected, full-length The Softest Glow has aged well as something equally inventive and inviting.
Nightmare and the Cat (6) – Twee melodies and hovering electronic pop make up the meat of Nightmare and the Cat’s latest EP Simple, though tracks like “Goodbye So Many Times” and “Alvarado” drive some more punch and drama in their increasingly sharpening sound.
Myrryrs (5) – Nashville beatmaker/producer Myrryrs generally sticks to hip hop beats and down-tempo R&B through his released originals.  Combining a lounge atmosphere with percussive punch is a pleasant mix, one that hypnotizes with focus.

NY Night Train Soul Clap and Dance Off (5) - Jonathan Toubin is a New York City specialty.  The DJ’s homegrown party, Soul Clap and Dance-Off, has become a monthly Brooklyn institution.  Audiences get lost in the groovy dance tracks that hiss and snap off vinyl 45s.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 150

 

One-fifty!  This evening’s set is extra packed with four bands shaking our radars.  Mexico, New York, California and Georgia are represented with a mix of rock, pop and World styles.  Highlights:

 

MS MR (9) - Debut LP Secondhand Rapture is wickedly dense for a greyly toned indie pop record.  Minor-key catchiness is such a nuanced art form, one that MS MR just nails in a fiercely unique way.

Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich+Fussible (8) – The international appeal here is obvious – Bostich+Fussible switch back and forth between English and Spanish vocals just as easily as they shift around worldly bases and forms.  While Bulevar 2000 is a dance record by nature, Bostich and Fussible avoid predictable house beats, instead incorporating melodies and practices of EDM into their rootsy traditions.

Naïve Thieves (7) - Loose, but not necessarily laid back, Naïve Thieves find a nice pocket to work through their already matured sound.  Look out for the African melodies and percussion that find their way into Vamonos, a nice way to break out of rock paradigms by shifting influences around the world.

New Madrid (7) - New Madrid has turned to a deeper sound on their recent seven-track effort Sunswimmer, twisting a grunge underbelly through the Athens-based band’s Southern folk-rock roots.  The near-ambient launch of opener “All Around the Locust” opens up the expanse of Sunswimmer early, slowing down in the back-end like a breath slowly let out over time.

Monogold (6) - Shoegaze/indie pop band Monogold hasn’t released any new music in over three years, interesting in that their dreamy, percussive sound has since become a popular song form in SXSW circles.  As expected, full-length The Softest Glow has aged well as something equally inventive and inviting.

Nightmare and the Cat (6) – Twee melodies and hovering electronic pop make up the meat of Nightmare and the Cat’s latest EP Simple, though tracks like “Goodbye So Many Times” and “Alvarado” drive some more punch and drama in their increasingly sharpening sound.

Myrryrs (5) – Nashville beatmaker/producer Myrryrs generally sticks to hip hop beats and down-tempo R&B through his released originals.  Combining a lounge atmosphere with percussive punch is a pleasant mix, one that hypnotizes with focus.

NY Night Train Soul Clap and Dance Off (5) - Jonathan Toubin is a New York City specialty.  The DJ’s homegrown party, Soul Clap and Dance-Off, has become a monthly Brooklyn institution.  Audiences get lost in the groovy dance tracks that hiss and snap off vinyl 45s.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 149
 
I’m spinning a bunch of new artists this weekend, including another SXSW set of late adds and even later reviews here at OEB.  Nonetheless, this evening’s set spotlights two ends of the musical spectrum, both coming out of Texas.  Highlights:
 
Milezo (9) - The foundation of Milezo’s sound is focused, psychedelic rock, but this is more on the side of a singer-songwriter record than a blues-jam vehicle.  Milezo takes a lot from the 70s forefathers (lots of Beatles and Jefferson Airplane here), but that’s countered in perfect harmony against the quartet’s youthful, passionate delivery.
Merriment (7) - Christie and Collin Dupree are the younger siblings of pop-rock band Eisley, seemingly where all of the power pop-like melodies come from throughout Merriment’s music.  While the Americana influence holds strong, Merriment’s sweet ballads have a forthright nature that seems more connected with modern radio sounds than Appalachian traditions.
Mexican Institute of Sound (6) – For anyone looking to hear just about everything in a short SXSW set, Mexican Institute of Sound delivers the goods.  Dance music at its core, Mexican Institute of Sound throws in sounds from across the globe – mariachi, funk, polka, rock – into a bass-drum puree.  
Mighty Mountain (6) – Mighty Mountain present an interesting mix throughout their early tracks, mixing orchestral chamber folk with a modern alternative rock base.  This seems to just be the start – Mighty Mountain adds some electronic dance elements to recent single “Your Last Breath”.
Minor Mishap Marching Band (6) – It’s pretty cool that this is becoming a genre in and of itself – original marching band music appreciated as a new (well, old) musical art form.  Minor Mishap stands out for its use of Eastern, European and Latin melodies in their eclectic, energetic stew.
Matthew Koma (5) - A singer-songwriter by trade, New Yorker Matthew Koma has had his biggest success with EDM collaborations include the massive Zedd track “Spectrum”.  While the over-the-top, pop nature of Koma’s recent recordings can be a little alien removed from a big festival tent, a solo Koma set would be interesting to see how far the artist is swinging in either direction.

Milkdrive (5) – Bluegrass/folk rock band Milkdrive once again return to SXSW, dropping a band set in addition to backing Ray Benson.  Acoustic and clean, Milkdrive is a pleasant listen deeply rooted in Americana traditions.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 149

 

I’m spinning a bunch of new artists this weekend, including another SXSW set of late adds and even later reviews here at OEB.  Nonetheless, this evening’s set spotlights two ends of the musical spectrum, both coming out of Texas.  Highlights:

 

Milezo (9) - The foundation of Milezo’s sound is focused, psychedelic rock, but this is more on the side of a singer-songwriter record than a blues-jam vehicle.  Milezo takes a lot from the 70s forefathers (lots of Beatles and Jefferson Airplane here), but that’s countered in perfect harmony against the quartet’s youthful, passionate delivery.

Merriment (7) - Christie and Collin Dupree are the younger siblings of pop-rock band Eisley, seemingly where all of the power pop-like melodies come from throughout Merriment’s music.  While the Americana influence holds strong, Merriment’s sweet ballads have a forthright nature that seems more connected with modern radio sounds than Appalachian traditions.

Mexican Institute of Sound (6) – For anyone looking to hear just about everything in a short SXSW set, Mexican Institute of Sound delivers the goods.  Dance music at its core, Mexican Institute of Sound throws in sounds from across the globe – mariachi, funk, polka, rock – into a bass-drum puree. 

Mighty Mountain (6) – Mighty Mountain present an interesting mix throughout their early tracks, mixing orchestral chamber folk with a modern alternative rock base.  This seems to just be the start – Mighty Mountain adds some electronic dance elements to recent single “Your Last Breath”.

Minor Mishap Marching Band (6) – It’s pretty cool that this is becoming a genre in and of itself – original marching band music appreciated as a new (well, old) musical art form.  Minor Mishap stands out for its use of Eastern, European and Latin melodies in their eclectic, energetic stew.

Matthew Koma (5) - A singer-songwriter by trade, New Yorker Matthew Koma has had his biggest success with EDM collaborations include the massive Zedd track “Spectrum”.  While the over-the-top, pop nature of Koma’s recent recordings can be a little alien removed from a big festival tent, a solo Koma set would be interesting to see how far the artist is swinging in either direction.

Milkdrive (5) – Bluegrass/folk rock band Milkdrive once again return to SXSW, dropping a band set in addition to backing Ray Benson.  Acoustic and clean, Milkdrive is a pleasant listen deeply rooted in Americana traditions.

 
Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 148
 
I’ve got a stacked set this evening, especially for this late in the SXSW game.  A pop/rock blend dominates the top spots – highlights:  
 
Lucius (10) - A mix of jangling indie rock, R&B and rambling pop, Lucius’ two-headed vocal attack owned the room that night.  Their coordinated attire matched the tight, professional presence that is Lucius, a live sound that translated beautifully into their 2013 full-length Wildewoman.
Lucinda Williams (10) - A remastered edition of Lucinda Williams self-titled debut, celebrating 25 years of recorded history, recently found release, a nice time to take a bird’s eye view across her expansive catalog.  For anyone new to Lucinda Williams, prepare to be awed by her unique and gritty take on the genre, unapologetically rocking out against back-porch folk and country, still fresh on Williams’ latest full-length, 2011’s Blessed.
Mahaut Mondino (7) - An intricately crafted pop-centric song, “Voodoo Me” uses bubbling bass beats and optimistic synth chords with sharp accuracy and a hint of electronic embellishment.  On it’s own, “Voodoo Me” might seem like a run-of-the-mill pop R&B single, but a dig into some of Mondino’s collaborations and soundtrack work reveal a well-rounded artist ready to burst. 
Mark McGuire (7) - McGuire’s music isn’t for a distracted ear, demanding a close listen among ambient waves to pull apart the storytelling arc throughout Along the Way.  Synths, guitars and electronic sounds from the unknown drive the dramatic energy of tracks that are complete front-to-back.
Marmalakes (6) - Austin’s Marmalakes continues to jump off on record with 2013 single “Wells”, a presentation of down-turned power pop, slightly tilted breaths of indie rock groove.  The melancholic manner in which Marmalakes approaches a normally punching genre gives them something unique, an adventure to keep an eye on for the future.
Marrow (6) - When the excellent Kids These Days disbanded about a year back, rapper Vic Mensa has since grappled the spotlight, deservedly so.  Much of the rest of Kids These Days went on to form Marrow, whose single “She Chose You” and accompanying track “Mothers of Maladies” layer swirls of guitars and keyboard melodies with creative zeal and zest.
Major Major Major (5) - For a garage pop duo, Austin’s Major Major Major’s latest single “Scream Queen” has an ever-present dreamy nature – a surprising treat.  Some of their earlier tracks expand on this concept, taking a fuzzy approach in a tight and focused manner.

Marie Miller (5) - Folk/pop artist Marie Miller is immediately accessible and inviting, clean and sound songwriting.  This plays as a double-edged sword at SXSW, but Miller would have appeal to pop country ears.

 

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 148

 

I’ve got a stacked set this evening, especially for this late in the SXSW game.  A pop/rock blend dominates the top spots – highlights: 

 

Lucius (10) - A mix of jangling indie rock, R&B and rambling pop, Lucius’ two-headed vocal attack owned the room that night.  Their coordinated attire matched the tight, professional presence that is Lucius, a live sound that translated beautifully into their 2013 full-length Wildewoman.

Lucinda Williams (10) - A remastered edition of Lucinda Williams self-titled debut, celebrating 25 years of recorded history, recently found release, a nice time to take a bird’s eye view across her expansive catalog.  For anyone new to Lucinda Williams, prepare to be awed by her unique and gritty take on the genre, unapologetically rocking out against back-porch folk and country, still fresh on Williams’ latest full-length, 2011’s Blessed.

Mahaut Mondino (7) - An intricately crafted pop-centric song, “Voodoo Me” uses bubbling bass beats and optimistic synth chords with sharp accuracy and a hint of electronic embellishment.  On it’s own, “Voodoo Me” might seem like a run-of-the-mill pop R&B single, but a dig into some of Mondino’s collaborations and soundtrack work reveal a well-rounded artist ready to burst. 

Mark McGuire (7) - McGuire’s music isn’t for a distracted ear, demanding a close listen among ambient waves to pull apart the storytelling arc throughout Along the Way.  Synths, guitars and electronic sounds from the unknown drive the dramatic energy of tracks that are complete front-to-back.

Marmalakes (6) - Austin’s Marmalakes continues to jump off on record with 2013 single “Wells”, a presentation of down-turned power pop, slightly tilted breaths of indie rock groove.  The melancholic manner in which Marmalakes approaches a normally punching genre gives them something unique, an adventure to keep an eye on for the future.

Marrow (6) - When the excellent Kids These Days disbanded about a year back, rapper Vic Mensa has since grappled the spotlight, deservedly so.  Much of the rest of Kids These Days went on to form Marrow, whose single “She Chose You” and accompanying track “Mothers of Maladies” layer swirls of guitars and keyboard melodies with creative zeal and zest.

Major Major Major (5) - For a garage pop duo, Austin’s Major Major Major’s latest single “Scream Queen” has an ever-present dreamy nature – a surprising treat.  Some of their earlier tracks expand on this concept, taking a fuzzy approach in a tight and focused manner.

Marie Miller (5) - Folk/pop artist Marie Miller is immediately accessible and inviting, clean and sound songwriting.  This plays as a double-edged sword at SXSW, but Miller would have appeal to pop country ears.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 147
 
A few more recommendations of new bands (and one established act) from the SXSW roster, still paying off three months later!  Highlights:
 
Little Dragon (10) - It’s been great to be privy to Little Dragon’s rise to indie pop headliners in the last few years, evolving into a smooth, R&B band with 2014’s Nabuma Rubberband.  A pointed departure from Ritual Union and the experimentation of Little Dragon’s early catalog, Nabuma Rubberband mixes electronic pop and the natural dramatics of the Swedish quartet’s multi-headed sonic palette.
Linus Young (7) - Debut single “City of Sin” is thick and anthemic at its core, but the tenderness expressed primarily through Iris Belson and Joseph Walker’s harmonized vocals bring the song back down to earth.  Linus Young captures this counterbalance terrifically, turning what could be predictable into something uniquely heartfelt.
Low Pros (7) - Low Pros is a dive into the intermingling of EDM and hip hop, pairing producers A-Trak and Lex Luger who equally contribute to the communal sound of their just-released debut EP1.  Jumping back and forth between dance tracks and rap collaborations with a dirty South focus, Low Pros has appeal from both sides of this banging coin.
Line & Circle (6) - Drawing from alternative rock of the late eighties for the new wave base, Los Angeles’ Line & Circle’s latest single “Mine Is Mine” is polished rock/pop in fine form.  Two other tracks from 2012 follow suit - mid-tempo and moody groovers pitched right up the middle.
Liquor Store (6) - While Liquor Store is a relatively new band, their sound is fiercely classic.  Revivalist punk rock full of power chords and guitar riffs, Liquor Store loosely delivers through 2013’s sophomore record In the Garden.
Los Amigos Invisibles (6) - The veteran Latin funk/R&B band hit up SXSW this year touring around 2013’s Repeat After Me, an expectedly danceable record that switches back and forth between Spanish and English vocals.  With the disco revival of the last couple years in electronic and indie circles, Los Amigos Invisibles should continue to be embraced by a new generation this year.

Liz (5) - R&B performer Liz has that pop princess sound, but is able to intermingle with banger beats.  Her best vocal comes from the Zedd collaboration “Hourglass”, but there’s a few solo singles that play a little too much down the middle comparatively.  

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 147

 

A few more recommendations of new bands (and one established act) from the SXSW roster, still paying off three months later!  Highlights:

 

Little Dragon (10) - It’s been great to be privy to Little Dragon’s rise to indie pop headliners in the last few years, evolving into a smooth, R&B band with 2014’s Nabuma Rubberband.  A pointed departure from Ritual Union and the experimentation of Little Dragon’s early catalog, Nabuma Rubberband mixes electronic pop and the natural dramatics of the Swedish quartet’s multi-headed sonic palette.

Linus Young (7) - Debut single “City of Sin” is thick and anthemic at its core, but the tenderness expressed primarily through Iris Belson and Joseph Walker’s harmonized vocals bring the song back down to earth.  Linus Young captures this counterbalance terrifically, turning what could be predictable into something uniquely heartfelt.

Low Pros (7) - Low Pros is a dive into the intermingling of EDM and hip hop, pairing producers A-Trak and Lex Luger who equally contribute to the communal sound of their just-released debut EP1.  Jumping back and forth between dance tracks and rap collaborations with a dirty South focus, Low Pros has appeal from both sides of this banging coin.

Line & Circle (6) - Drawing from alternative rock of the late eighties for the new wave base, Los Angeles’ Line & Circle’s latest single “Mine Is Mine” is polished rock/pop in fine form.  Two other tracks from 2012 follow suit - mid-tempo and moody groovers pitched right up the middle.

Liquor Store (6) - While Liquor Store is a relatively new band, their sound is fiercely classic.  Revivalist punk rock full of power chords and guitar riffs, Liquor Store loosely delivers through 2013’s sophomore record In the Garden.

Los Amigos Invisibles (6) - The veteran Latin funk/R&B band hit up SXSW this year touring around 2013’s Repeat After Me, an expectedly danceable record that switches back and forth between Spanish and English vocals.  With the disco revival of the last couple years in electronic and indie circles, Los Amigos Invisibles should continue to be embraced by a new generation this year.

Liz (5) - R&B performer Liz has that pop princess sound, but is able to intermingle with banger beats.  Her best vocal comes from the Zedd collaboration “Hourglass”, but there’s a few solo singles that play a little too much down the middle comparatively.  

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 146
 
After a two-week summer break, OEB is back in business, starting with another post-SXSW set and more to come throughout the week. Today’s highlights:
 
Leverage Models (8) - Synth chords mix with rolling bass lines, drums with electronic pads and swells.  While Leverage Models can be best described as experimental rock/pop, there are pockets of pop majesty (the choruses of “The Least of Your Brothers” and “Cooperative Extensions” stand out), a sweet leveling point to the hills and valleys of the band’s fearless approach.    
Laura Cantrell (7) - Laura Cantrell’s music is alt country songwriting in fine form, a precise artist with a pretty, welcoming voice.  Her latest record, this year’s No Way There From Here, is a throwback to simple and effective melodies, pleasant and pointed rather than shooting for pop radio hooks.
Kindness (6) – UK electronic artist Kindness came to SXSW this year for some DJ sets, imaginably dipping into the ambient R&B of his solo work.  Kindness describes himself as a variation of disco-funk, but slow down the meter to a contemplative space to get a feel for Kindness’ patient approach.
La Luz (6) – Dreamy pop/rock band La Luz captures a Seattle haze on their psychedelic full-length.  Surf riffs and 70s-era jams run through the record – a well-defined sound right out of the gate.
Lauren Shera (6) – Folk artist Lauren Shera’s latest single is “Hell’s Bells”, a dense, acoustic track that builds with a layer of intensity through the chorus.  It’s a nice direction for Shera – early songs from her third record Gold and Rust show a mix of this and traditional, minimal material.
Keys N Krates (5) – Keys N Krates are a Trap band, adding drums and keys to turntables of a rhythmically pounding experience.  Bass rattles and spliced melodies make up the heavy layers of Keys and Krates music, a dense live experience for sure.

KIONA (5) – Austin newcomers KIONA’s debut track “Midnight Holiday” is a formidable start, an indie rock number with a pulsating drama that peaks into a clever B-section, a sign of potential to come for their upcoming studio record.  This song bounces nicely, but employs a dark undertone to even out the space.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 146

 

After a two-week summer break, OEB is back in business, starting with another post-SXSW set and more to come throughout the week. Today’s highlights:

 

Leverage Models (8) - Synth chords mix with rolling bass lines, drums with electronic pads and swells.  While Leverage Models can be best described as experimental rock/pop, there are pockets of pop majesty (the choruses of “The Least of Your Brothers” and “Cooperative Extensions” stand out), a sweet leveling point to the hills and valleys of the band’s fearless approach.    

Laura Cantrell (7) - Laura Cantrell’s music is alt country songwriting in fine form, a precise artist with a pretty, welcoming voice.  Her latest record, this year’s No Way There From Here, is a throwback to simple and effective melodies, pleasant and pointed rather than shooting for pop radio hooks.

Kindness (6) – UK electronic artist Kindness came to SXSW this year for some DJ sets, imaginably dipping into the ambient R&B of his solo work.  Kindness describes himself as a variation of disco-funk, but slow down the meter to a contemplative space to get a feel for Kindness’ patient approach.

La Luz (6) – Dreamy pop/rock band La Luz captures a Seattle haze on their psychedelic full-length.  Surf riffs and 70s-era jams run through the record – a well-defined sound right out of the gate.

Lauren Shera (6) – Folk artist Lauren Shera’s latest single is “Hell’s Bells”, a dense, acoustic track that builds with a layer of intensity through the chorus.  It’s a nice direction for Shera – early songs from her third record Gold and Rust show a mix of this and traditional, minimal material.

Keys N Krates (5) – Keys N Krates are a Trap band, adding drums and keys to turntables of a rhythmically pounding experience.  Bass rattles and spliced melodies make up the heavy layers of Keys and Krates music, a dense live experience for sure.

KIONA (5) – Austin newcomers KIONA’s debut track “Midnight Holiday” is a formidable start, an indie rock number with a pulsating drama that peaks into a clever B-section, a sign of potential to come for their upcoming studio record.  This song bounces nicely, but employs a dark undertone to even out the space.