Best of SXSW

Here’s my two cents on the best new acts at SXSW 2014 – from NY hipsters to London hip hop, there was quite a promising new crop of musicians to be found.

Avi Buffalo – Not necessarily a ‘new’ band per se, they have been around since 2009 but have done little to nothing on this side of the pond. They are one of those bands that started as the recording project of a singer/songwriter – named, Avi Buffalo. Avi and co. are signed to the always-cool Sub Pop Records and a stand-out track for me is What’s In It For?

Next up is The Preatures – an Australian group that will be a favourite with fans of Haim. They impressed at CMJ Music Marathon 2013 and have been going from strength to strength since.

Guantanamo Baywatch take the prize for most memorable band name anyways. The Burger Records-signed Portlanders play a mash up of dirty fifties back-alley r’n’r.

Dominique Young Unique was back at SXSW for I assume was not her first time. Taken under the wing of Yo Majesty’s producer David Alexander and recording in their studio from aged 12, she certainly shares her mentors’ taste for rapid-fire raps and high-speed +8 electro club beats.

Another current project of producer David Alexander is the new TLC-meets-Beastie Boys rap trio Pearls Negras. These girls hail from the favelas in Brazil, so yeah they’re basically pretty bad ass.

Team Spirit’s music is self-described as “a cocktail of Motown basslines, Thin Lizzy-esque duelling guitars, 90’s sing-along hooks, Glam beats and Chuck Berry feet.” yes please!

Weeknight are Andy & Holly. They’re from Brooklyn. They play dark pop. And… that’s about all they’re giving away really. Well they do makes really good songs, one of which is called Dark Light.

Another incredible young band from Brooklyn, Wet provide a nice change of pace from the noisier bands in this post. Just wait for the guitar to kick in on this track.

Cadillac Girl is quite obviously the name of the new track from… London hip hop act Only Real. (OK!) Even on a song named after one of America’s most enduring icons, Only Real’s Niall Galvin doesn’t lose his strong west London accent. Check it out.

And last but not least, Wardell. Wardell are Sasha and Theo Spielberg, children of Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. With every acclaim they receive from NPR to the Guardian, I guess there will always be some people out there who argue that their fame is disproportionate to their new status as a band. Could their insanely famous and influential father have anything to do with it? Hmmm, maybe. But maybe you should just decide yourself on the basis of their songs alone. Everyone deserves that right?

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Best of SXSW