SXSW 2012 Spreadsheet 114:
A very strong set featuring some of the more inventive rock and pop I’ve heard in the last few days. Highlights:
We Are Serenades (9): Summery without being too sugary, the music is light, but still demands a strong listen with so many nuanced elements that beam with creativity and grace.
Walk the Moon (8): There’s a youthful energy in Walk the Moon’s bright indie pop sound, like a twist of garage punk in their heads that drives the music forward.
We Are Augustines (8): Dense layers of instrumentation and clever orchestration highlight their sound, while the lyrics carry heavy weight themselves with songs about disease and death surrounding frontman Bill McCarthy’s tragic family history.
Votaire Twins (7): By embracing electronic instrumentation while keeping a rock-pop sound, Voltaire Twins keep their feet in two rooms, which can appeal to a pretty wide audience.
Vintage Trouble (6): Vintage Trouble are a Los Angeles-based soul rock outfit that sounds like a blues record from 70s, holding true to their roots but still providing a rock energy that surely translates into an exciting live show. Props to the vocals of Ty Taylor, a passionate singer with a gritty and expressive tone.
Voxhaul Broadcast (6): LA’s Voxhaul Broadcast expectedly dabbles in electronic pop and shimming indie rock (that city has really established its own sound recently) with great energy and driving rhythms.
VibeSquaD (5): Trance, glitch hop and electronic jams all come together with VibeSquaD’s new sound, similar to the hypnotic dance music that has infiltrated the jam scene like EOTO or Bassnectar.
Viva Viva (5): This Boston-based outfit takes their 70s rock influences seriously, sounding like they actually come from that era with blues-based licks and a clean garage pop tone.
Wavves (5): Wavves rides the lines between punk, surf rock and upbeat pop with a accessible yet fuzzy sound loaded with youthful exuberance.
Wayne Kramer (5): The MC5 founder/guitarist is touring this year as a political activist instead of supporting a new album, continuing to push his grungy art rock filled with powerful messaging.