Infinite Shuffle

April 3, 2011

SXSW 2011: Follow-up

Filed under: Austin, Lafayette La., Los Angeles, Nashville, SXSW — assman41 @ 5:24 pm

After the barrage of music I listened to leading up to and during SXSW, I sent my ears on hiatus for a little while afterward. Upon returning home, the only music I listened to for about a week and a half was whatever was on the radio during my commute to and from work.

Now that I’ve had plenty of time to recuperate, I’m back with a vengeance. I downloaded as much stuff as I could find from all the new bands I discovered in Austin and have been lying on my couch listening to it all for the past day or so.

Rather than putting them in any special order, I’ll just discuss the bands in the order that I listened to them.

The Civil Wars

As I noted in a previous post, The Civil Wars are just a man and a woman — John Paul White and Joy Williams — and they’re from East Nashville, Tenn., and Muscle Shoals, Ala., respectively.

They sing beautiful country harmonies over an acoustic guitar and an occasional violin. At times, Williams’ voice kinda reminded me of Alison Krauss.

All of the songs on their debut full-length album, Barton Hollow, are solid, but the title track is definitely the highlight.

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

GIVERS

I kinda regret missing these guys. This was the band that my friends saw while I was soaking up all the free food and beer I could while crashing a private party across the street from said show.

All of my friends said GIVERS was one of the best bands they saw during the week, and they’ve received a lot of positive post-festival reviews — including shout-outs from NPR and Time magazine.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2060909_2060910_2060865,00.html

The quartet, which hails from Lafayette, La., plays very solid, indie-pop with an Afrobeat vibe reminiscent of Vampire Weekend and a little island flair.

GIVERS – Up Up Up

They put out a five-song EP in 2009 and will thankfully be releasing their debut LP next month.

Lord Huron

A perfect opening act for GIVERS would be Lord Huron. They sound a lot like the Fleet Foxes, but with a notable island twist.

Lord Huron – Mighty

The group is from Los Angeles, with roots in Michigan, and has put out a pair of EPs — 2009’s Into the Sun and last autumn’s Mighty. With only seven songs between to the two discs, they’re definitely leaving me wanting more.

I am most assuredly looking forward to their first full-length release, whenever that may be. In the meantime, maybe I’ll go see them when they pass through Chicago in May.

Zookeeper

I’ll be the first one to admit that Zookeeper really isn’t as good as I thought after seeing them live. Maybe it was the fever’s fault, but when I saw them the first night I was in Austin, I found myself transfixed by their music on multiple occasions.

I remember comparing them to acts such as The Band when I saw them live. But after listening to their album, Becoming All Things, that is no longer apt.

Really, I’d just call the Austin group a run-of-the-mill indie folk group.

Zookeeper – Boy & The Street Choir

The Lemurs

Speaking of my first night in Austin, it’s clear that the best band I saw that day was actually The Lemurs.

The hometown crew had the Ghost Room jumping with their surprisingly solid indie rock set.

They also mix in plenty of electronica and called to mind VHS or Beta a bit.

The Lemurs – My Definition

This comparison may be totally inane, but on at least one song, the vocals reminded me of a non-British Simon Le Bon.

I feel like these guys have the potential to breakout nationally.

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