A full Thursday at South By Southwest separated the real adults from those just pretending to be, as countless people gallivanted from venue to venue in a surprisingly mild Austin, Texas. For obvious reasons, the SXSW venues featuring free showcases were the most popular places, given that beer was priced basically the same anywhere you went.
I started March 14, 2019 attending the Next Level Apparel Showcase at Clive Bar, in the Rainey Street District south of Downtown Austin. You used to need to RSVP even with a badge, so it was convenient to be able to walk right in this time around. New York-based indie trip hop duo Clavvs set the perfect casual tone for the early afternoon start, as vocalist Amber Renee and multi-instrumentalist Graham Marsh performed much of their since-released EP No Saviors, including the head-swaying “Devils I Know” and personal favorite “Echo.”
Australian indie folk duo Oh Pep! was featured by 88.5 FM Southern California on the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center. They performed many songs from their recently released album I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You…
It was hard to shake off Shef Chura after she wowed the Dr. Martens Showcase at Container Bar. Indie rock stylings like hers are hard to find. She gave listeners a preview, including “Method Man,” of the her upcoming sophomore album Midnight. Unfortunately, it won’t be till June, when Midnight is released, that I can hear that stuff again.
I snuck a brief listen to New Zealand rapper Hans at The Parish before making sure I got into Barracuda for British alt-rock four-piece Another Sky. Lead singer Catrin Vincent’s unique voice provides the band with such an addicting and soothing indie rock sound that it was sad when the set ended. Luckily Canadian singer-songwriter Elisapie was able to ease some of my aches with an uplifting set filled with celebration and positivity, including “Wolves Don’t Live by the Rules.”
Well, it turned out I was more of a child than an adult, because after HÆLOS‘ set at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary I was pooped. It was a great set to end on because the London-based band’s mellow trip hop sound helped ease you into bliss. Those who weren’t there can’t listen to any of their new tunes until the next album. C’est la SXSW.
- Another Sky – “Forget Yourself”
- Clavvs – “Violet Sea”
- HÆLOS – “End of the World”
- Oh Pep! – “What’s the Deal with David?”
- Stef Chura – “Method Man”