>

spreadsheet

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.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 145
 
A taste of classic songwriting and futuristic soul music are the endposts of today’s SXSW mix.  Highlights:
 
John Moreland (7) - Moreland’s songwriting is classically crafted and consistently introspective, but he could sing an Applebee’s menu and it would still sound heart wrenching.  That voice is so rich, yet comfortable, right where this brand of alt country sounds best.
Kastle (7) – Incorporating pop, dubstep and deep trance melodies and structures into his music, Kastle sounds unique among the masses.  The record is ethereal and lonely, but the piercing jabs of percussion drive things ahead as we dig into Kastle’s mind and a bit of his soul.
Johnny Winter (6) – A Rolling Stone Top 100 Guitarist, Texas slinger Johnny Winter repped 70s blues and rock and roll at SXSW this year, spearheading a lineup alongside young blues-rock upstarts.  Winter is scorching and classic, dripping with technical mastery and soulful playing.
Johnnyswim (6) – Adapting acoustic rock into a grander sound, Nashville’s Johnnyswim continues to evolve nicely on 2014’s Diamonds.  Whoas and handclaps make up the biggest of Johnnyswim’s choruses, a pop-oriented record that hits a variety of emotional chords.
Jonny Fritz (6) – SXSW regular Jonny Fritz (f/k/a Jonny Corndawg) was at it once again this year, supporting 2013’s rambling, clever Dad Country.  Fritz’s sense of humor is what puts these tunes over the top, not scared to let you crack a smile during a traditional country hoedown.

Julio Bashmore b2b Omar S (5) – Trance artists Julio Bashmore and Omar S went back-to-back at their SXSW showcase this year, a nice combination for spacey, deep grooves.  Bashmore is of particular note – club hits like Au Seve are a product of the producer’s careful crafting.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 145

 

A taste of classic songwriting and futuristic soul music are the endposts of today’s SXSW mix.  Highlights:

 

John Moreland (7) - Moreland’s songwriting is classically crafted and consistently introspective, but he could sing an Applebee’s menu and it would still sound heart wrenching.  That voice is so rich, yet comfortable, right where this brand of alt country sounds best.

Kastle (7) – Incorporating pop, dubstep and deep trance melodies and structures into his music, Kastle sounds unique among the masses.  The record is ethereal and lonely, but the piercing jabs of percussion drive things ahead as we dig into Kastle’s mind and a bit of his soul.

Johnny Winter (6) – A Rolling Stone Top 100 Guitarist, Texas slinger Johnny Winter repped 70s blues and rock and roll at SXSW this year, spearheading a lineup alongside young blues-rock upstarts.  Winter is scorching and classic, dripping with technical mastery and soulful playing.

Johnnyswim (6) – Adapting acoustic rock into a grander sound, Nashville’s Johnnyswim continues to evolve nicely on 2014’s Diamonds.  Whoas and handclaps make up the biggest of Johnnyswim’s choruses, a pop-oriented record that hits a variety of emotional chords.

Jonny Fritz (6) – SXSW regular Jonny Fritz (f/k/a Jonny Corndawg) was at it once again this year, supporting 2013’s rambling, clever Dad Country.  Fritz’s sense of humor is what puts these tunes over the top, not scared to let you crack a smile during a traditional country hoedown.

Julio Bashmore b2b Omar S (5) – Trance artists Julio Bashmore and Omar S went back-to-back at their SXSW showcase this year, a nice combination for spacey, deep grooves.  Bashmore is of particular note – club hits like Au Seve are a product of the producer’s careful crafting.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 144 
 
Another festival weekend passes, shifting OEB back to cranking through the SXSW Spreadsheet, still paying dividends months after those Austin showcases.  Highlights:
 
Ishi (8) - Dallas electro-pop band Ishi is a hell of a good time, funk-riddem dance music that is equally focused on song as it is on groove.  The gimmickry of Ishi’s presentation is more of a foil than a reality, the ultra-clean drive comes across pleasantly cohesive instead of predictably sterile.  
Ivy Levan (8) - Pop-soul artist Ivy Levan hits hard on her debut EP Introducing the Dame, a driving collection of R&B hooks, horn leads and bass grooves.  Levan’s voice is a mix of throwback and modern pop, a limb off the expansive Winehouse tree.
Ingrid Michaelson (7) - Ingrid Michaelson has opened her arms up even more to pop mentalities on 2014’s Lights Out, a nice mix of her pretty folk sounds amid somewhat understated hooks.  The record is consistently tight and relatively straight down the middle, but there are a few moments that find Michaelson breaking out her comfort zone, shown nicely on the rock-pop juggle “Girls Chase Boys”.
Jacques Greene (7) - Electronic producer/performer Jacques Greene’s latest EP Phantom Vibrate lives comfortably between sexy R&B and spacious ambience.  The emerging artist has a precise touch, employing ghostly samples, circular percussion and just enough down-tempo beats to get the shoulders shaking.      
Jared & The Mill (7) - The Phoenix-based folk rock band gave Endres what was taken away, a set bedside at St. David’s Medical Center, one of the most beautiful moments at SXSW I’ve ever even read about.  Cheers to Jared & The Mill, so give their tunes a spin after drying your eyes watching this piece on Endres’ surprise visit.
J. Greene & The Steady (6) – Austin’s J. Greene & The Steady are a swampy bunch, delivering surprisingly powerful blues-rock on their lead single “Shakedown”.  There’s a twist of psychedelic rock at the end of the track that’s a sweet compliment to the song’s Living Colour-esque riffs.
James McMurty (6) – Texas country-blues artist James McMurtry is a regular around these parts, a songwriter that blends the traditions of the genre with some whiskey-soaked rock and roll.  McMurtry is a storyteller, weaving multi-verse yarns through his deep, thirty-year catalog.

Jensen Sportag (6) – Electronic duo Jensen Sportag cover a ton of ground on their catalog, from down-tempo experimentations to the funk-pop groove of latest single “One Lane Lovers”.  Even in throwback synth-pop mode, Jensen Sportag manage to stay relatively subtle and regularly left-of-center, a nice touch in their cerebral mix.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 144 

 

Another festival weekend passes, shifting OEB back to cranking through the SXSW Spreadsheet, still paying dividends months after those Austin showcases.  Highlights:

 

Ishi (8) - Dallas electro-pop band Ishi is a hell of a good time, funk-riddem dance music that is equally focused on song as it is on groove.  The gimmickry of Ishi’s presentation is more of a foil than a reality, the ultra-clean drive comes across pleasantly cohesive instead of predictably sterile. 

Ivy Levan (8) - Pop-soul artist Ivy Levan hits hard on her debut EP Introducing the Dame, a driving collection of R&B hooks, horn leads and bass grooves.  Levan’s voice is a mix of throwback and modern pop, a limb off the expansive Winehouse tree.

Ingrid Michaelson (7) - Ingrid Michaelson has opened her arms up even more to pop mentalities on 2014’s Lights Out, a nice mix of her pretty folk sounds amid somewhat understated hooks.  The record is consistently tight and relatively straight down the middle, but there are a few moments that find Michaelson breaking out her comfort zone, shown nicely on the rock-pop juggle “Girls Chase Boys”.

Jacques Greene (7) - Electronic producer/performer Jacques Greene’s latest EP Phantom Vibrate lives comfortably between sexy R&B and spacious ambience.  The emerging artist has a precise touch, employing ghostly samples, circular percussion and just enough down-tempo beats to get the shoulders shaking.      

Jared & The Mill (7) - The Phoenix-based folk rock band gave Endres what was taken away, a set bedside at St. David’s Medical Center, one of the most beautiful moments at SXSW I’ve ever even read about.  Cheers to Jared & The Mill, so give their tunes a spin after drying your eyes watching this piece on Endres’ surprise visit.

J. Greene & The Steady (6) – Austin’s J. Greene & The Steady are a swampy bunch, delivering surprisingly powerful blues-rock on their lead single “Shakedown”.  There’s a twist of psychedelic rock at the end of the track that’s a sweet compliment to the song’s Living Colour-esque riffs.

James McMurty (6) – Texas country-blues artist James McMurtry is a regular around these parts, a songwriter that blends the traditions of the genre with some whiskey-soaked rock and roll.  McMurtry is a storyteller, weaving multi-verse yarns through his deep, thirty-year catalog.

Jensen Sportag (6) – Electronic duo Jensen Sportag cover a ton of ground on their catalog, from down-tempo experimentations to the funk-pop groove of latest single “One Lane Lovers”.  Even in throwback synth-pop mode, Jensen Sportag manage to stay relatively subtle and regularly left-of-center, a nice touch in their cerebral mix.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 143
 
I’m taking a break today from new bands to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony (killer by the way – Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel and Nirvana are must-see sets), but I have some reviews leftover from this week including a band that just released one of my favorite records of the year.  Highlights:
 
Hundred Waters (9) - Majestic drama overhangs the whole of The Moon, gradually rising from ambience with expert precision.  Everything floats here, from the mix of electronic and organic percussion to Nicole Miglis’ ethereal croon.
Horse Thief (7) - Intermingling psychedelic rock with Fleet Foxes-style folk, Horse Thief achieve mature, patient moments throughout the record.  Their guitar melodies could be meandering on their own, but instead they end up being a hypnotic base for Horse the Thief to spin folk-minded anthems.
Hikes (6) – Austin’s Hikes is an interesting blend of complex math rock and airy dream pop, intermingling head and heart with natural ease.  Their 2013 debut Friends throws a lot of ideas at the wall - the kind of sound that surely grows in stature with repeated listens.
Highly Suspect (5) – It’s easy to see the potential in Highly Suspect’s debut EP, a dark, grimy rock record infused with blues licks twisted with 70s-era, psychedelic waves.  The thicker the better, best displayed on the sludged power of “Bath Salts”.

The Howlin’ Brothers (5) – The Howlin’ Brothers’ 2014 record Trouble could have been brewed up in an early-60s, Nashville studio, leveraging traditional bluegrass with the early moments of rock and roll.  The blues-infused tracks stand out the most (“Night and Day”, “Love”), a willingness to adventure outside of the sometimes-limiting genre.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 143

 

I’m taking a break today from new bands to watch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony (killer by the way – Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel and Nirvana are must-see sets), but I have some reviews leftover from this week including a band that just released one of my favorite records of the year.  Highlights:

 

Hundred Waters (9) - Majestic drama overhangs the whole of The Moon, gradually rising from ambience with expert precision.  Everything floats here, from the mix of electronic and organic percussion to Nicole Miglis’ ethereal croon.

Horse Thief (7) - Intermingling psychedelic rock with Fleet Foxes-style folk, Horse Thief achieve mature, patient moments throughout the record.  Their guitar melodies could be meandering on their own, but instead they end up being a hypnotic base for Horse the Thief to spin folk-minded anthems.

Hikes (6) – Austin’s Hikes is an interesting blend of complex math rock and airy dream pop, intermingling head and heart with natural ease.  Their 2013 debut Friends throws a lot of ideas at the wall - the kind of sound that surely grows in stature with repeated listens.

Highly Suspect (5) – It’s easy to see the potential in Highly Suspect’s debut EP, a dark, grimy rock record infused with blues licks twisted with 70s-era, psychedelic waves.  The thicker the better, best displayed on the sludged power of “Bath Salts”.

The Howlin’ Brothers (5) – The Howlin’ Brothers’ 2014 record Trouble could have been brewed up in an early-60s, Nashville studio, leveraging traditional bluegrass with the early moments of rock and roll.  The blues-infused tracks stand out the most (“Night and Day”, “Love”), a willingness to adventure outside of the sometimes-limiting genre.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 142
 
Two returning favorites top the latest of OEB SXSW sets.  Spin some new tunes on this fine Saturday night.  Highlights:
 
Hey Marseilles (10) - From ballet-soundtrack strings and horns to strikingly precise songwriting, Lines We Trace is straight elegant.  It’s been a couple years of following Hey Marseilles and every listen garners more nuances beyond the overall folk anthem mindset the record embodies as its anchoring point.
High Highs (9) - Tracks like “Cascades”, “Boxing” and lead single “Movement” display High Highs as the same band, but with a little more umph, a more determined drive.  The ambient folk that permeated throughout Open Season have been replaced with more psychedelic, rock tones, a natural evolution for High Highs sound.  
Hard Proof (7) - Traditional jazz melodies are blown through a narrow musical gasket, contemporary and even visionary at times.  “Lots” and “Trickle Down”, also from 2013, are of the same ilk, but even more in the pocket with a focus on the polyrhythmic textures of Hard Proof’s complex, percussive backbone.

Heartsrevolution (7) - It’s a dangerous field that can be too sugary or over the top so easily, but Heartsrevolution reels it in just enough to be dance music for the hipster and mainstream set.  The experimental moments succeed because Heartsrevolution willingness to go all-in on handclap hooks, counteracting against one another in compelling harmony. 

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 142

 

Two returning favorites top the latest of OEB SXSW sets.  Spin some new tunes on this fine Saturday night.  Highlights:

 

Hey Marseilles (10) - From ballet-soundtrack strings and horns to strikingly precise songwriting, Lines We Trace is straight elegant.  It’s been a couple years of following Hey Marseilles and every listen garners more nuances beyond the overall folk anthem mindset the record embodies as its anchoring point.

High Highs (9) - Tracks like “Cascades”, “Boxing” and lead single “Movement” display High Highs as the same band, but with a little more umph, a more determined drive.  The ambient folk that permeated throughout Open Season have been replaced with more psychedelic, rock tones, a natural evolution for High Highs sound. 

Hard Proof (7) - Traditional jazz melodies are blown through a narrow musical gasket, contemporary and even visionary at times.  “Lots” and “Trickle Down”, also from 2013, are of the same ilk, but even more in the pocket with a focus on the polyrhythmic textures of Hard Proof’s complex, percussive backbone.

Heartsrevolution (7) - It’s a dangerous field that can be too sugary or over the top so easily, but Heartsrevolution reels it in just enough to be dance music for the hipster and mainstream set.  The experimental moments succeed because Heartsrevolution willingness to go all-in on handclap hooks, counteracting against one another in compelling harmony. 

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 141
 
A duo of related artists in the vibrant Austin Latin music scene coincidentally are paired together in this latest set of post-SXSW recommendations.  Highlights:
 
The GTW (8) - The GTW’s dual singles of “Calling Cards” and “Bleach Pool” are strong introductions into the emerging artist’s infectious, minimal R&B fashion.  These songs set the scene as candlelit romance, but there are spirits of dark loneliness and regrettable yearning both lyrically and sonically.  
Grupo Fantasma (8) - It’s been four years since El Existential and thirteen since the band’s debut, a history Grupo Fantasma is touring behind the spring and summer, going as far as recently playing their self-titled record in full at a recent Austin gig.  Their sound is less based on song and more on groove and energy, so the lack of new tunes isn’t a big hit as Grupo Fantasma moves to the future through the past.
Gina Chavez (7) - It’s incredible how far-reaching this is as a debut, equally English and Spanish both linguistically and stylistically.  In fact, every track here is trying something a little different, presenting a deep range from danceable pop (“Siete-D”, “Gotta Get”) to more minimal explorations (“Soy Quien Soy”, “Will You Love Me”) without losing any sense of dynamic.
Giraffage (6) – Giraffage, a down-tempo and experimental producer from San Francisco, displays some patient, but pop-focused tendencies through his early tracks and 2013’s full-length Needs.  The more out-there the better, something you hear more in pockets than everywhere on most of Giraffage’s tracks.
Goodnight, Texas (6) – The lovely roots of Goodnight, Texas is worn right on the band’s sleeve, a harmony-laden band led by banjos, mandolins and a rumbling bass drum.  Authenticity shines first and foremost here, lyrically calling back to field and mine songs without losing their young urgency.
Golden Animals (5) – Heavily dripping in cavernous blues traditions, Golden Animals pull out hazy psychedelia from the roots genre in their sophomore record, 2013’s Hear Eye Go.  Golden Animals have a melancholic vibe rather than anything resembling power rock, a nice and ballsy twist to their dark Western soundtracks.

Greg Vanderpool (5) – Monahans’ Greg Vanderpool has gone Nebraska in his solo outing this year, releasing a couple of acoustic tracks – bare bones and introspective.  There’s a dark indie pop overlay that is expected given Vanderpool’s main unit, a nice combination of familiar and new.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 141

 

A duo of related artists in the vibrant Austin Latin music scene coincidentally are paired together in this latest set of post-SXSW recommendations.  Highlights:

 

The GTW (8) - The GTW’s dual singles of “Calling Cards” and “Bleach Pool” are strong introductions into the emerging artist’s infectious, minimal R&B fashion.  These songs set the scene as candlelit romance, but there are spirits of dark loneliness and regrettable yearning both lyrically and sonically. 

Grupo Fantasma (8) - It’s been four years since El Existential and thirteen since the band’s debut, a history Grupo Fantasma is touring behind the spring and summer, going as far as recently playing their self-titled record in full at a recent Austin gig.  Their sound is less based on song and more on groove and energy, so the lack of new tunes isn’t a big hit as Grupo Fantasma moves to the future through the past.

Gina Chavez (7) - It’s incredible how far-reaching this is as a debut, equally English and Spanish both linguistically and stylistically.  In fact, every track here is trying something a little different, presenting a deep range from danceable pop (“Siete-D”, “Gotta Get”) to more minimal explorations (“Soy Quien Soy”, “Will You Love Me”) without losing any sense of dynamic.

Giraffage (6) – Giraffage, a down-tempo and experimental producer from San Francisco, displays some patient, but pop-focused tendencies through his early tracks and 2013’s full-length Needs.  The more out-there the better, something you hear more in pockets than everywhere on most of Giraffage’s tracks.

Goodnight, Texas (6) – The lovely roots of Goodnight, Texas is worn right on the band’s sleeve, a harmony-laden band led by banjos, mandolins and a rumbling bass drum.  Authenticity shines first and foremost here, lyrically calling back to field and mine songs without losing their young urgency.

Golden Animals (5) – Heavily dripping in cavernous blues traditions, Golden Animals pull out hazy psychedelia from the roots genre in their sophomore record, 2013’s Hear Eye Go.  Golden Animals have a melancholic vibe rather than anything resembling power rock, a nice and ballsy twist to their dark Western soundtracks.

Greg Vanderpool (5) – Monahans’ Greg Vanderpool has gone Nebraska in his solo outing this year, releasing a couple of acoustic tracks – bare bones and introspective.  There’s a dark indie pop overlay that is expected given Vanderpool’s main unit, a nice combination of familiar and new.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 140
 
I have some stacked sets lined up for this week, revisiting SXSW artists that are worth following after showcasing in Austin back in March.  A mix of familiar names and a strong new find spearhead this afternoon’s coverage.  Highlights:
 
Flashlights (8) - From puncturing guitar riffs to bouncing choral bass lines, Flashlights cover a wide amount of range on the EP’s three songs, explorations that will be leveraged into an upcoming sophomore full-length Bummer Summer. 
Foster the People (7) - Their headlining performance at SXSW was in support of Supermodel, Foster the People’s anticipated follow-up to breakout Torches.  Supermodel has taken in the disco grooves of 2014 pop for a fuller sound than its predecessor, though it hides some of Foster the People’s creative melodies in walls of electronic groove.
Flosstradamus (7) - Flosstradamus is one of the most noteworthy Trap producer DJs on the scene, in the same echelon as the most recognized names in the genre.  Rave elements topped on pounding bass kicks.  
The Fresh & Onlys (7) - The Fresh and Onlys now sound fuller, more dynamic - an interesting and expansive turn.  Melancholy has turned into confidence, careless and free has turned into focus.
Fuel Fandango (5) – Melding pop, dance and alt rock through a Spanish filter, Fuel Fandango tend to kitchen-sink their tracks including 2014 bright, four-on-the-floor single “New Life”.  It’s strong in parts, but sometimes the whole can be too much, too soon.

Gent & Jawns (5) – Trap duo Gent & Jawns established their huge, bass-heavy sound with 2012’s “Turn Up” and have spread that further into bounce and dubstep rhythms since.  It’s party music for sure, but there’s some detail in their production that stands out on a headphone listen as well.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 140

 

I have some stacked sets lined up for this week, revisiting SXSW artists that are worth following after showcasing in Austin back in March.  A mix of familiar names and a strong new find spearhead this afternoon’s coverage.  Highlights:

 

Flashlights (8) - From puncturing guitar riffs to bouncing choral bass lines, Flashlights cover a wide amount of range on the EP’s three songs, explorations that will be leveraged into an upcoming sophomore full-length Bummer Summer.

Foster the People (7) - Their headlining performance at SXSW was in support of Supermodel, Foster the People’s anticipated follow-up to breakout Torches.  Supermodel has taken in the disco grooves of 2014 pop for a fuller sound than its predecessor, though it hides some of Foster the People’s creative melodies in walls of electronic groove.

Flosstradamus (7) - Flosstradamus is one of the most noteworthy Trap producer DJs on the scene, in the same echelon as the most recognized names in the genre.  Rave elements topped on pounding bass kicks.  

The Fresh & Onlys (7) - The Fresh and Onlys now sound fuller, more dynamic - an interesting and expansive turn.  Melancholy has turned into confidence, careless and free has turned into focus.

Fuel Fandango (5) – Melding pop, dance and alt rock through a Spanish filter, Fuel Fandango tend to kitchen-sink their tracks including 2014 bright, four-on-the-floor single “New Life”.  It’s strong in parts, but sometimes the whole can be too much, too soon.

Gent & Jawns (5) – Trap duo Gent & Jawns established their huge, bass-heavy sound with 2012’s “Turn Up” and have spread that further into bounce and dubstep rhythms since.  It’s party music for sure, but there’s some detail in their production that stands out on a headphone listen as well.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 139
 
Sasquatch coverage is wrapping up today as the first set of artists take the stage in a few hours, so I got your morning covered with yet another SXSW set.  More to come this long weekend as well!  Highlights:
 
Emily Wolfe (7) - There are plenty of minimal ballads for graying loneliness in Wolfe’s early catalog – the acoustic breather “Accident”, the early morning emotionality of “Dance On the Record Grooves” – but it’s the harder edged Emily Wolfe that keeps the ear, a direction that seems to be the road on which Wolfe will take her next musical steps.
Featherface (7) - Houston’s Featherface has achieved something new with their 2013 dual-single “Ourselves Together”/”The Cosmic Draw”, patiently finding ways to weave space-rock melodies into the slightest hint at pop song forms.  It works – both tracks keep a mid-tempo pace of minor riffage, but find dynamics in their instrumentation whereas most have made the transition to electronic wizardry.
The Falls (6) – Like a pop-focused The Civil Wars, The Falls adopt the same guy/girl duo entanglement in an honest, engaging way.  Their latest single “Into the Fire” is definitely a step further in the direction of hooks and accessibility found in The Falls’ songwriting.
Federal Lights (6) – There is a lot that is right with Federal Lights’ We Were Found In the Fog, a folk/rock record that takes cues from everything Springsteen in its tone throughout.  It’s solid in both its quiet and loud moments, a pretty good start for the Canadian newcomers.
Empress Of (5) – 80s pop revivalists Empress Of put that synth-heavy groove into a personal and introspective prism on 2013 Systems EP.  It’s an eclectic mix (check “Tristeza” for the most far out, and successful of Empress Of’s early catalog.
Fallen Riviera (5) – Fallen Riviera takes on the softer side of modern rock, merging emotional verses and anthemic choruses.  Their debut, 2013’s Another World, seems like a collection of radio tracks – a two-sided coin for sure.
The Fauntleroys (5) – The Fauntleroys is Alejandro Escovedo’s newest project, a psych rock outfit that made their debut at SXSW this year.  Only a jam or two can be found online as of today - more to come from the veteran Austin singer-songwriter that has no quit in his stride.

Fever the Ghost (5) – Fever the Ghost’s debut EP Crab in Honey moves to defy categorization, rather embracing rock, pop and spaced out weirdness equally.  It’s expectedly hit and miss, but there’s some moments of glory throughout the five-song effort.

Post-SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 139

 

Sasquatch coverage is wrapping up today as the first set of artists take the stage in a few hours, so I got your morning covered with yet another SXSW set.  More to come this long weekend as well!  Highlights:

 

Emily Wolfe (7) - There are plenty of minimal ballads for graying loneliness in Wolfe’s early catalog – the acoustic breather “Accident”, the early morning emotionality of “Dance On the Record Grooves” – but it’s the harder edged Emily Wolfe that keeps the ear, a direction that seems to be the road on which Wolfe will take her next musical steps.

Featherface (7) - Houston’s Featherface has achieved something new with their 2013 dual-single “Ourselves Together”/”The Cosmic Draw”, patiently finding ways to weave space-rock melodies into the slightest hint at pop song forms.  It works – both tracks keep a mid-tempo pace of minor riffage, but find dynamics in their instrumentation whereas most have made the transition to electronic wizardry.

The Falls (6) – Like a pop-focused The Civil Wars, The Falls adopt the same guy/girl duo entanglement in an honest, engaging way.  Their latest single “Into the Fire” is definitely a step further in the direction of hooks and accessibility found in The Falls’ songwriting.

Federal Lights (6) – There is a lot that is right with Federal Lights’ We Were Found In the Fog, a folk/rock record that takes cues from everything Springsteen in its tone throughout.  It’s solid in both its quiet and loud moments, a pretty good start for the Canadian newcomers.

Empress Of (5) – 80s pop revivalists Empress Of put that synth-heavy groove into a personal and introspective prism on 2013 Systems EP.  It’s an eclectic mix (check “Tristeza” for the most far out, and successful of Empress Of’s early catalog.

Fallen Riviera (5) – Fallen Riviera takes on the softer side of modern rock, merging emotional verses and anthemic choruses.  Their debut, 2013’s Another World, seems like a collection of radio tracks – a two-sided coin for sure.

The Fauntleroys (5) – The Fauntleroys is Alejandro Escovedo’s newest project, a psych rock outfit that made their debut at SXSW this year.  Only a jam or two can be found online as of today - more to come from the veteran Austin singer-songwriter that has no quit in his stride.

Fever the Ghost (5) – Fever the Ghost’s debut EP Crab in Honey moves to defy categorization, rather embracing rock, pop and spaced out weirdness equally.  It’s expectedly hit and miss, but there’s some moments of glory throughout the five-song effort.