Tin Ear Tuesday – Lemon v. SXSW Edition Tin Ear Tuesday – Lemon v. SXSW Edition

Tin Ear Tuesday – Lemon v. SXSW Edition from pinpointmusic on 8tracks.

In just a week’s time, the hordes will descend upon Austin, Texas for lots of beer, meat and staying up late. There’ll also be some bands playing at SXSW- thousands in fact- so it’s with that in mind that I (Lemon) have been very kindly invited to take the reins for this week’s installment of Tin Ear Tuesday. There’s lots of bands I’m psyched about seeing, and as a music nerd half the fun is discovering new acts while I’m there that I’d never heard of before. But there’s a list needs making, and below are a handful of bands that my wide-eyed, SXSW-first-timer brain is pumped about seeing at this year’s festival. I’ll probably be lucky to catch half of them, in truth.

Future Of The Left– ‘Arming Eritrea’ from Travels With Myself and Another– Welsh noise-rock outfit Future Of The Left fell off the radar for a while, 2009’s excellent Travels With Myself And Another has only recently been followed up with the Polymers are Forever EP. But off the radar or not, their brand of raucous rock will appeal to any fans of Pulled Apart By Horses or Les Savy Fav, and would be perfectly suited to one of the festival’s more intimate venues. Definitely worth getting shoved around in a mosh pit for. Besides, the bassist stole a beer off me once, midway through a set. I want revenge.

Cloud Nothings– ‘No Sentiment’ from Attack On Memory– If I know SXSW (I don’t), then Cloud Nothings are going to be the buzz band of the festival. Not that it’s a well kept secret – Attack On Memory is one of the best guitar albums in recent memory, already standing tall as a contender for album of the year. Lo-fi Wavvves-esque jams turned into Albini megahits – the difference between album number one and album number two from Dylan Baldi and co. is quite incredible. I’ve actually listened to this album so many times since its release that I need to hear these tracks live now. Yeah….just me and a thousand other fanboys.

SBTRKT– ‘Trials Of the Past’ from SBTRKT– The mask was always going to be seen as a gimmick, but at least it gives Aaron Jerome an opportunity to give his music the centre stage. A diverse and exciting mix of dubstep, electro and RnB, SBTRKT was everything that James Blake’s debut album should have been, and wasn’t. What’s more, it has a great mix of foot-tappers and danceable tunes- perfect for those looking to bust some shapes at the festival. I’m not, but assuming Jerome brings along his travelling band of collaborators (vocalists Sampha and Jessie Ware are an integral part of SBTRKT) then there should be something for ravers and head-nodders alike.

Mmoths– ‘Thnx’ from Mmoths EP– Blissed-out space-pop from Cork, Ireland. Jack Colleran has enjoyed a pretty promising rise in popularity throughout the last couple of years on these shores, and having completed his studies he’s just released his debut EP. It’s not just the locals heaping praise – Justin Vernon and Flying Lotus have also spoken of their admiration for the up and comer. I can’t imagine this being anything other than a laptop gig at SXSW – but with music so head-bobbable that’s hardly an issue. Good hangover music, anyway.

Grimes– ‘Oblivion’ from Visions– I think i’m in love. Canadian synthpop songstress Claire Boucher comes across as a bit mental on her twitter and various other internet incarnations, and her simultaneous fascination with dark electro and Mariah Carey means that this eccentricity comes across in her music. Visions, her debut album, is fantastic – at times her voice goes sugary sweet (on ‘Oblivion’), and at others it’s strikingly melancholic for one so young (on ‘Skin’). I’m expecting to have to wait for an age to see her at this year’s SXSW, or stand in some extremely packed out venues, but I’m ready.

Built To Spill– ‘Goin’ Against Your Mind’ from You In Reverse– In terms of American indie-rock, it doesn’t get much bigger than Built To Spill. I could maybe kneel slightly lower to Modest Mouse, but that’s just down to personal preference, and even they had to get their ideas somewhere. An ever changing line-up? Check. Lyrics about faith (or lack thereof) and morality? Check. Meandering guitar segments? You get the idea. It’s unlikely that i’m ever going to get a chance to see one of the more important bands in indie-rock’s past, so Doug Martsch’s band of misfits are definitely one band i’ll be trying to catch at this year’s festival. That’s assuming his retina doesn’t become detached, as happened in 2006 before SXSW. A REAL EYE-OPENER ETC.

Youth Lagoon-‘Daydream’ from The Year Of Hibernation– It’s fast becoming cliché, but Trevor Power’s debut album does not sound like the work of one man. A lo-fi 8 track experiment, The Year Of Hibernation sounds more like the product of an established indie band refining their art, not a young man plying his trade for the first time. Aside from the instrumentation (which belies the one man band), The Year Of Hibernation‘s lyrics have a real ‘lump in the throat’ effect. When Powers sings, “You make real friends quickly/But not me”, you believe him. And if I can’t take time out from beer and meat to go and sob into my iPhone for a while, then what’s the point?

Peaking Lights-‘Key Sparrow’ from 936– I’ve never been so excited about a band that sound so much like they couldn’t be arsed. The vocals mumble, the bass lurches somewhat. These were my first impressions of Wisconsin duo Peaking Lights. Upon further inspection however, the band’s second album 936 is actually wonderfully clever- lengthy tracks of dub-flecked psychadelica, that actually require continuous listening to fully absorb. Not to sound like a first year college student who’s just discovered The Doors, but these slightly ‘out there’ tracks are so infectious you can come back to them again and again. At the festival I expect a lot of punters at this who are either high, drunk or lost. Sudden movements prohibited- swaying only.

Tin Ear Tuesday – Lemon v. SXSW Edition from pinpointmusic on 8tracks.

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