So, South By Southwest, that overstimulated, BBQ-braised, adult carnival of music, debauchery, pedicabs, and hangovers came and went. A good number of us pounded breakfast tacos, some of us attended workshops (show-offs!), many of us tweeted, most of sweat through every shirt we brought, and all of us saw live bands we can’t stop listening to or talking about.
Here (in no particular order, by the way) are five bands that played SXSW you need to know. Some may be brand-new names, some might be bands you keep hearing about but haven’t heard yet, and they all need to be on your radar — and in your earbuds — now.
1.) Doomtree: If we were an Auto-Tune-, airhorn-happy hip-hop artist who saw Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree’s SXSW set at Mohawk, we’d unplug our 808 forever and start looking into nighttime accounting classes. Dessa, P.O.S, Cecil Otter, Mike Michtlan, SIMS and the rest of the Doomtree crew blew up like a Dumpster full of dynamite, showcasing enough collective energy, rhythm, hustle and flow to make us wonder why these guys (and girl!) aren’t playing the Super Bowl halftime show. Listen: P.O.S., “Stand Up (Let’s Get Murdered)” and Mike Mictlan “Prizefight.”
2.) Yuck: The name may conjure images of that unhappy green face warning you not to drink bleach, but the British foursomes’s fuzzy guitars, mopey bass lines and reticent Yo La Tengo harmonies cast sunny Sonic Youth shadows all over Austin. Listen: “Georgia” and “Getaway”
3.) Foster The People: Don’t let the L.A. trio’s name trick you into believing they’re some kind of Polyphonic Spree religious experience. Their must-listen track, “Pumped Up Kicks,” is the sonic equivalent of a ray of sunlight, but it’s actually this generation’s “Jeremy.” The Vampire Weekend-meets-MGMT vibe of “Houdini” made us feel a little better after we discovered what “Pumped Up Kicks” is about. Listen: “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Helena Beat”
4.) Smith Westerns: Don’t hate the Chicago threesome because they look like models and have hot-guy names like Cameron and Cullen. In fact, that’s partially why we love them. Hate them because the boys behind the garage-glam album Dye It Blonde (the name sounds like a Stones and Dylan compilation album, and the album sounds like the Beach Boys hung out with Pulp) aren’t even old enough to vote. And they’ve already toured with MGMT. Listen: “Weekend” and “Girl In Love”
Smith Westerns/ Credit: Angel Ceballos
5.) Funeral Party: The Cure-referencing L.A. band’s no musical newcomer –- the foursome’s been around for more than five years. But their upcoming album, The Golden Age Of Nowhere, which feels a little like Ian Curtis filtered through the prism of Tapes ’n Tapes and The Cloud Room, is on everyone’s download-now list. Listen: “New York City Moves to the Sound of L.A.” and “Finale”
+ Watch Funeral Party’s “Finale” video: