We’re back and (mostly) recovered from our time in Austin, Texas for SXSW 2017. We saw bands and artists galore from hip hop to honky tonk. Here are some of the best fresh faces we found:
- Jonny P: We know what you’re thinking, “You went all the way to SXSW, and your favorite discovery was based out of Nashville? [insert eye roll here]” Yes, yes we know. We’ve been hearing some buzz around town about this Bronx-born singer-songwriter and now we know why. His retro-inspired fashion combined with his seemingly effortless talent was a standout amongst many of the DIY bands at the festival. In just a few years, he has served up some truly delicious tunes drawing from the sounds of the past but anchored firmly and irrevocably in the present, defined by disarmingly direct arrangements, a superlatively smooth vocal style, and an undying belief in the power of soul. “Soul music should invoke all the emotions. If it’s a crying song, you should be bawling your eyes out. If it’s a happy song, you should be grinning from ear to ear.”
- Los Coast: We stayed up way past our bedtime to catch Austin’s own Los Coast at the New West party Saturday night and it was well worth it. Comprised of Trey Privott, John Courtney, Megan Hartman, Damien Llanes, and Natalie Wright, Los Coast’s music is a punchy, psych-tinged, lyrical variety of soul. The band somehow combined both a polished and garage sound that left the crowd completely captivated. It’s no wonder they’ve earned well-deserved residencies in Austin’s thriving bar scene. Rumor has it they’ll be releasing their debut album later this year.
- PWR BTTM: Pop-punkers PWR BTTM was easily this year’s SXSW champion. Duo Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins, who describe themselves as genderqueer, use their slick guitar work and clever lyrics to spread the message of love and acceptance all while sporting faces full of glitter. Their performance was theatrical, hilarious, and inspiring. Their upcoming album Pageant is due May 12 on Polyvinyl Records.
- Jade Bird: While patiently waiting for the beloved Brent Cobb to perform at the Paradigm Talent Agency showcase, we stumbled upon the stunningly beautiful Jade Bird. Based out of London, the soon-to-be star’s chilling voice and mix of country, pop, and folk sound stopped us in our tracks and left us speechless. Jade Bird is currently working on her debut EP. In the meantime, let this video speak for itself.
- Night Beats: We got lost trying to find The Mystery Lights at Barracuda Bar but delightedly found our way onto Night Beats’ set instead. Formed in Seattle, Washington, the band consists of lead singer and guitarist Danny Lee Blackwell, drummer James Traeger and bassist Jakob Bowden. Their garage psychedelia tinged with R&B inspired us to buy another drink and stay put. Their latest release Who Stole My Generation is available now and is said to “spike the punch and drown your third eye in sonic waves of colour.” Check out their single below.