SXSW, a multi-genre culturefest conference taking place in Austin, Texas, has arrived this March; and we have five very good reasons to be excited.
From March the 17th to the 22nd, South by Southwest (SXSW) will platform hundreds of talented musicians of varying levels of fame to exhibit their new work. This is really a show with no limits in terms of genre, ingenuity and creativity; consider this a supermarket for your next favourite bands. Whether you are an electronica, classical, blues or R&B fan, this is a great opportunity to hear the voices of tomorrow and find your next musical crush.
To give you a flavour of just how much talent is on offer, here are a few of our favourites:
Benn Ottewell | Genre: Rock
This guy has the most delicious voice I’ve heard in ages: it’s not aggressive or too pitch-perfect; just filled with passion and an impressive range from emotional high notes to guttural rock bass.
He plays the guitar with no limited ability to make the simplest of riffs sound exquisitely flawless. His lyrics are beautiful, taking a nice cross over from country to form a gentle simplicity with rock’s hard emotion. If you haven’t googled him yet, get a move on.
Carolyn Wonderland | Genre: Blues
Compared to Janis for her voice- and it is easy to see why. She has a touch of gospel about her and there is a really sweet sadness in her voice; she goes from roaring euphoric passion to a heartbreaking mellowness in a few minutes and it’s just so lovely to listen to. It’s also fantastic to see people coming to the more side-lined genres to re-create them and capture what worked.The electric guitar adds a modern update to the genre and the whole thing comes off as very theatrical. This woman is the Meryl Streep of music.
Mother Falcon | Genre: Classical
If you think classical music is outmoded, acoustic and dull, think again.This band bring an almost orchestral approach to music where the lyrics, however beautiful, play second fiddle to the incredible intricacy of the melodies. It is like watching Vivaldi coming out a time machine to perform his new single inspired by Daughter. This is a developing field and I for one will be fascinated to see how it develops.
THE NIGHTOWLS | Genre: R&B
Yes, no spaces, I checked. This is a pretty large band, and I think this actually works for the sound they are creating; they are not selling themselves as packages but the music and interpretation they create. They go back to the roots of R&B, there are traces of soul still in the seams of the melody and I really like the return to a toned down backing to focus on the power of the vocals. Definitely worth checking out if you don’t like the sliding merger to hip-hop.
Bronze Whale | Genre: Electronic
Other that a seriously cool name, this duo has a terrific amount of creativity. Sentences don’t end unless these Texan maestros permit it to, the beat and melody are carefully cut apart and rearranged in something more outrageous, thought provoking and new. This is a really great place to start if you are an alternative music novice; they cross over modern and synth hip hop with inventive keyboarding and simplistic electronica. They are the bridge between the two realms; a bridge you won’t regret crossing.