Pairs Well With…Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons, The Low Anthem
It was around this time last year that I first heard Of Monsters and Men while listening through SXSW bands and I can remember this moment of knowing I was listening to something bigger in the making.After a few rounds of Wake Owl’s debut EP Wild Country (set for release in the US January 23), I’ve recaptured that same feeling from a band that approaches the folk rock genre in a strikingly similar fashion.Wake Owl pulls from Laurel Canyon Americana and European folk influences equally, creating a new sound that is still overwhelmingly familiar.They put together brilliant little pop songs that bleed emotion, from the yearning anthem “Wild Country” to the acoustic pop chorus of lead single “Gold”.I was pretty floored when I learned that Wake Owl performs as a duo, but the band sent OEB a note letting us know they’ll expand to a four-piece for what is sure to be a buzzing SXSW set if the indie folk audience continues on in 2013.
2013’s first set is an interesting and diverse mix of artists worth a listen and one who I’m putting my money on breaking out in 2013 - Wake Owl. Highlights:
Wake Owl (9) - Wake Owl pulls from Laurel Canyon Americana and European folk influences equally, creating a new sound that is still overwhelmingly familiar.
Butch Walker (8) - The choruses shine with fist-pumping/swaying action, but Walker is smart to keep a sense of looseness around the recordings to let his band The Black Widows lay back into cool grooves.
Wall. (6) – At moments I quite like Wall.’s debut single “Magazine”, but it dragged just a little too much for my tastes.Fans of Lana Del Rey are going to love these hushed tones and dark pop tunes.
J Roddy Walston and the Business (6) - J Roddy Walston and the Business deliver some serious blues licks on their whiskey-soaked self-titled debut.I love this band’s 70s-inspired rock and roll attitude on record and would spend a SXSW set with them if only to shake out my dancing boots for a half-hour.
Washington Irving (6) - Washington Irving (a band, not a historical figure) lays down some interesting European folk and modern pop as their backing music, but the highlight of their 2010 debut EP are the distinctive Scottish vocals that carry a sense of authenticity to a weathered tradition.
Wavves (6) – The punk version of sister band The Best Coast, Wavves succeeds in distorted garage punk that is actually disguising tight little pop songs.Early reports of their upcoming fourth record promise a diverse effort with influences ranging from acoustic melodies and even hip hop – Wavves recently recorded a track for Big Boi’s latest record.
The Wealthy West (5) - Brandon Kinder, also known as the lead singer of OEB highlight act The Rocketboys, has set upon a solo effort in 2011 with the release of The Wealthy West’s debut EP.The Wealthy West plays laid back folk music with a pop-centric focus that fits nicely in the burgeoning acoustic scene at this year’s SXSW.