SXSW 2018 Day 1 Highlight: LIFE at the British Music Embassy

The band LIFE ended our first night at SXSW 2018, and it was a raucous yet tight 35 minute set. They are an amazing English punk band that recently released their debut album, Popular Music, in 2017.  

Here are a few pictures and a video from the show. Using every part of the bar and stage, Mez, was mesmerizing with his showmanship. The band kept pace tearing through song after song. The video below best embodies the set. 

DSC_0681.JPG
DSC_0734.JPG
Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Life's great performance of "Rare Boots" at the British Music Embassy on 3/12/18. See more music, pictures and video at stairwellbaby.com

SXSW 2018 Recommendations Part 7

Here is our seventh group of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list is chosen by Jamie.

Hayley Heynderickx is a doom folk artist from Portland, OR. We originally heard her on an NPR All Songs Considered Podcast
Hayley Heynderickx
RIYL: Courtney Barnett, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen
Pseudo Genre: Doom Folk

Here is the official video for “Yom She La La”. This was written as an entry into a one day song writing contest.

The second video is a live version of “Drinking Song” performed at NPR’s Tiny Desk.


Lucy Dacus was inspired by a reunion with her birth family that occurred after she released her first album. She is about to make a splash in a big way after signing with a new label.
Lucy Dacus
RIYL: Courtney Barnett, Lily Allen
Pseudo Genre: Punk Folk

”Night Shift” is a 6 plus minute epic track that changes tempo and showcases her singing and musicianship.

We love the raw performances at Bob Boilen of NPR’s desk. Here is Lucy’s Tiny Desk Concert


IDER are old schoolmates that formed a band and moved together into a 2 bedroom apartment music studio where they create songs with lovely harmonies.
IDER
RIYL: Lucius, Dirty Projectors, Wilson Phillips
Pseudo Genre: Folktronica
This live version of “Body Love” really showcases their strong harmonies.

<

This is a studio version of “Learn to Let Go” that demonstrates their fully produced sound.


Invoke is a string quartet making modern classical music. They are currently in residence at The University of Texas, Austin
Invoke
RIYL: Yo Yo Ma, Orchestras
Pseudo Genre: Modern Classical

Here is a video from a a TED talk

Friday Playlist 2/23/18

This week we celebrate the birth of one of SWB’s founders. Happy Birthday Jamie..

Janelle Monáe is both a visual and musical artist. Her artistry, aural, and visual beauty come through in her videos for “Make Me Feel” and “Django Jane”. Needless to say, we are waiting with baited breath for her new album to drop.

We stumbled upon “Hardly Strangers” by the Psychic Markers and knew instantly that we had to share it with you.

Screaming Females create earnest and honest that you could call Indie Rock, or Post Punk, or whatever you want, but it is damn good.

Someone took the time and amazingly created an amazing mash up of the Solo movie trailer with the Beastie Boys “Sabotage”

Kendrick Lamar returns to our list this week, with the Brit awards performance that you surely missed.

Speaking of the Brit Awards, if your performance is strong enough to receive a response from the government, it definitely makes our list. Stormzy had a performance in which he targets Theresa May. Instead of labeling him “Fake news” or making up a silly nick name, the British Government decided to respond with logic and numbers.

As long as Nilüfer Yanya keeps putting out good music, she will keep making our list. This week, you can enjoy “Baby Luv”

Is it punk? Is it Hip-Hop? Is it Indie rock? Who cares, it is Bakar

We will be a bit lazy and end this list with three of the greatest cover songs of all time. To be a great cover, you actually have to bring something new to a song, and all 3 of these definitely qualify. We start with Johnny Cashperforming “Hurt” by NIN

Few songs are undeniably greater than the original, but Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help From My Friends” elevates the Ringo-led Beatles tune to another level.

Jamie’s favorite cover, and perhaps favorite song is Jeff Buckley performing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Happy Birthday, Jamie.

New Father John Misty Song

Today there is a new FJM song available pretty much wherever you listen to music.  

It is called “Mr. Tillman” (FJM’s real name is Josh Tillman). 

FJM has some tour dates coming up, see the dates below. 

D1A3C3C1-2AE4-417E-8A1B-B1013C4CE0F4.JPG

NEW TOUR DATES

6/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl w/ Gillian Welch - Tickets | Info

UPCOMING TOUR DATES

3/3 - Phoenix, AZ @ McDowell Mountain Music Festival - Tickets | Info
3/11 - Tampa, FL @ Gasparilla Music Festival - Tickets | Info
4/28 - Cincinnati, OH @ The National Homecoming Festival - Tickets | Info
4/29 - Fort Worth, TX @ Fortress Festival - Tickets | Info
5/26 - Halifax, UK @ The Piece Hall - Tickets | Info
5/26 - London, UK @ All Points East Festival - Tickets | Info
5/28 - Dublin, IE @ Vicar Street - Tickets | Info
5/29 - Dublin, IE @ Vicar Street - Tickets | Info
5/30 - Dublin, IE @ Vicar Street - Tickets | Info
6/1 - Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound Festival - Tickets | Info
6/2 - Nimes, FR @ This Is Not A Love Song Festival - Tickets | Info
6/3 - Paris, FR @ We Love Green Festival - Tickets | Info
6/5 - Warsaw, PL @ Palladium Warszawa - Tickets | Info
6/7-6/9 - Porto, PT @ NOS Primavera Sound - Tickets | Info
6/8 - Aarhus, NO @ NorthSide Festival - Tickets | Info
6/10 - Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival - Tickets | Info
6/12 - Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene - Tickets | Info
6/14 - Bergen, NO @ Bergenfest - Tickets | Info
6/15-6/17 - Hunter, NY @ Mountain Jam Festival - Tickets | Info
6/16 - Minneapolis, MN @ Rock The Garden - Tickets | Info
7/13 - Louisville, KY @ Forecastle Festival - Tickets | Info
7/27 - New York, NY @ Panorama Music & Arts Festival - Tickets | Info
8/4 - Toronto, ON @ Fort York Garrison Commons - Tickets| Info
11/9-11/10 - Weissenhäuser Strand, DE @ Rolling Stone Weekender - Tickets | Info
11/16-11/17 - Rust, DE @ Rolling Stone Park - Tickets | Info

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 6

Here is our sixth group of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list focuses on some singers with truly beautiful voices.

Odetta Hartman is a talented musician with a beautiful voice. She combines her talents with some gorgeous production to compete some great music.
Odetta Hartman
RIYL: Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse
Pseudo Genre: Beautifully produced Electro Singer-songwriter

Here is the official video for “Dreamcatchers”.

The second video is a live version of “Batonebo”.


Davie is an artist that straddles the line between R&B and Gospel to create some truly inspired music.
Davie
RIYL: The Weeknd, Luther Vandross, Kirk Franklin
Pseudo Genre: Rhythm & Gospel

”Testify” is a song that most embodies his overall music style.

We think that talent really shines through in live performances and this version of “Love Sick Fool” highlights his great vocals.


Sunflower Bean are a band with two lead vocalist that swap off lines throughout their songs. It creates an interesting dynamic that fans of The XX and Stars are familiar with.
Sunflower Bean
RIYL: The Cardigans, The Pixies (Popier songs), Stars
Pseudo Genre: Swapping vocals and hooks
This is the official video for “I Was a Fool”

Here is a 20ish minute live performance in the KEXP studios that allows you to hear the band live.


SYML is an American musician with a Welsh name that creates some hauntingly beautiful songs.
SYML
RIYL: Hozier, R. Kelly
Pseudo Genre: SINGER Songwriter

”Where’s My Love” is a simple and beautiful song with a very simple, yet powerful, video.

Here is a very simple live recording of “Fear the Water”.

Friday Playlist 2/16/2018

This week we have quite along playlist which includes some relevant music, some music we came upon, and a few brand new releases.

Affected by the events in South Florida, we draw strength from Amanda Palmer and her post Columbine song, “Strength Through Music”.

Kendrick Lamar curated an exceptional soundtrack to the new Black Panther movie.

Amen Dunes is a nom de guerre of Damon McMahon. He shares his beautiful and emotion filled voice on “Blue Rose”

IAMDDB is an up and coming British Hip Hop artist, and she is truly one to watch in 2018.

Noga Erez is an Israeli musician who at 18 served in the army as a military musician.

Chrystal is another artist from England, but she specializes in personal and straight shooting Pop music.

Car seat Headrest made many “Best of” lists with their recent hit “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” and they return with a new sure hit, “My Boy (Twin Fantasy)

PJ Harvey has long been a SWB favorite, and here she remakes an Irish classic for an upcoming movie soundtrack

Superorganism has an origin story worthy of a Marvel Comic hero.

Beach House is a controversial band around the SWB offices, and some of us love Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s band and others…well…don’t. Have a listen and you can decide.

Isadora is another British musician that makes this week’s list with a lovely song.

BlocBoy JB & Drake put out a track that is sure to be on many heavy rotation lists for weeks to come.

Our list ends with a cover from one of the greatest movies of all time, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. One of music’s true iconoclasts,Frank Ocean , puts his spin on “Moon River”

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 5

Here is our fifth group of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list includes one artist that you may have heard in the past (Amy Shark), and a good sample the mixture of sounds you can hear at SXSW.

We start this list with another Australian lady. Amy Shark is an Australian singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice for Pop Music. She breaks with current trends by utilizing sparse instrumentation instead of overproduced backing tracks
Amy Shark
RIYL: Kesha, Adele, Pink
Pseudo Genre: Beautiful Vocal Pop

This is a live version of her breakthrough hit “Adore”. Believe it or not, the video starts off with a real life fish story.

The “Golden Fleece” video was recorded in a studio and demonstrates how she sounds with full, but simple, production.


The next recommendation, Surfbort, brings great contrast to this the other bands we’ve recommended. Their brand of raw, hardcore Punk Rock is something you feel more than hear. These songs are definitely not for everyone
Surfbort
RIYL: L7, Sex Pistols, The Slits
Pseudo Genre: Punk that will shake you to your core

”Hippie Vomit Inhaler” is a song and video that are as intense as the name implies.

The ”Back to Reaction” video begins with an alarm waking someone from bed, and this is the most calming part of the video.


WILD are a socially conscious band from California that use Male/Female Harmonies to create infectious sing alongs.
WILD
RIYL: Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Lady Antebellum
Pseudo Genre: Harmony and Hooks

The video for “All My Life” includes messages about shelter animals, a subject near and dear to the SWB staff.


“Throw Me in the Water” is one of their most recent songs and gives a glimpse of what we can expect from WILD in the near future.


Uni rounds out this group of recommendations with their modern take on Glam Rock. They create fun songs while channelling the spirit of progenitors such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, and T-Rex.
Surfbort
RIYL: David Bowie, T-Rex, Lou Reed
Pseudo Genre: Glam is back and it is FABULOUS

”What’s the Problem?” an amazingly catchy tune with a NSFW video that embraces Glam and all of it’s excesses.

NSFW VIDEO

This is a live video of ”Adult Video” which was the B-side of “What’s the Problem”.

Iceage “Catch it”

You may have heard the term “Post-Punk” as a music descriptor and wondered what it truly meant. It is most definitely an overused term, but there are very few bands and songs that embody Post-Punk more than Iceage’s latest single “Catch it”. The first thing I think of when I hear “Catch it” is of early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. After all, who could embody post punk more than Nick Cave’s post Birthday Party band? As this Danish band enters its second decade, I expect some big things from them, and I am eagerly awaiting their upcoming album. 

Friday 2/9/18 Playlist

Welcome to our second Friday playlist, which includes a few videos that we shot this week. Each Friday we will post a list of songs at around noon, just in time for you to enjoy all weekend. These will be songs of the moment, or songs related to things in the world, etc. This week we have a couple of songs inspired by Valentine's Day.

Nilüfer Yanya is a jazz pop musician that creates some truely enjoyable songs.

Tom Misch is an East London musician that is part of a new wave of British musicians ready to invade Ammerica.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is one of our favorite live bands, and they make another appearancs on a SWB list.

Frankie Cosmos have created one of our Valentine's Day theme songs. "Being Alive" is a fun, happy, and exaggerated love song.

Elvis Costello created an indie music Valentine favorite way back in the 70's with "My Funny Valentine".

Poppy Ackroyd's composition "The Calm Before" is a beautiful classic song that you can use to woo your someone special with some candle light and warm smile.

Andy Cooper rounds out this week's list of new music with a solid video and a great Hip Hop track with some interesting production.

Vince Staples and Tyler the Creator are the last 4 songs on our list. These are videos that we shot live at a great show in Dallas at The Bomb Factory.

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 4

Here is our fourth group of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list highlights some of the many amazing women that we hope to be able to see at SXSW.

Stella Donnelly is an Australian singer/songwriter whose delicate and beautiful voice shares her delicate and personal emotions.
Stella Donnelly
RIYL: Lily Allen, Courtney Barnett, Kesha
Pseudo Genre: Confesional Folk Rock

”Boys Will Be Boys” addresses rape in a misogynistic culture. It could easily serve as an anthem for the #METOO movement

This “Mechanical Bull” video demonstrates how strong her music can be when conveyed in an intimate setting. We hope to see her at a church or other similar setting this March in Austin.


Helena Deland has a beautiful voice and she accompanies it with elegantly layered musical tracks.
Helena Deland
RIYL: Adele, Joanna Newsom, Fiona Apple
Pseudo Genre: Elegant Songs written by a singer

”Aix" was our first exposure to Helena and the doubled vocals and backing track coupled with her lead vocals just blew us away.

”There is a Thousand” is a song off of her upcoming album.


Sammus (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is an erudite, Ivy League educated rap artist. She entertains and will likely educate you with her lyrics.
Sammus
RIYL: Open Mike Eagle, Homeboy Sandman, Lauryn Hill
Pseudo Genre: Scholarly Hip Hop Rock

Immediately upon hearing Sammus I thought of Open Mike Eagle and was pleased to find out she has a song “Qualified” that features Mike.


“1080p” is a very personal track that includes a voice mail from her mother.

Black Panther Soundrack

The Black Panther movie is not out until February 16th, but the soundtrack will be released this Friday, February 9th. We are particularly excited for the soundtrack which was put together by TDE's Top Dawg and Kendrick Lamar. The songs include some of our favorite musicians with contributions from Kendrick, James Blake, and Vince Staples. 

Today sees the release of a new video for the  song, "All the Stars", from the soundtrack.

 

Another new Titus Andronicus Song/Video "Above the Bodega (Local Business)"

Titus Andronicus are soon to release their 5th full length album, A Productive Cough.  All accounts and evidence point to band leader Patrick Stickles continuing to create personal stories and songs. Almost every Titus Andronicus album has an overreaching theme and NYC life is the center of A Productive Cough.

 Today, Titus Andronicus shared the second single from the album, "Above the Bodega (Local Business)".This track is varies significantly in both tone and composition from the recently released first single "Number One (In New York)".  "Number One" conveys anxiety and and the chorus does not appear until the very end of the song.  Conversely, "Above the Bodega" has an upbeat tone with the song structure centered around its chorus. This song is definitely worth a listen, and Stickles personalizes the video with some banter at beginning and then end of the video. 

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 3

Here is our third batch of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list is a bit different than the previous, and we are making a prediction that these are artists that are going to “make it big” after SXSW. Now is your chance to listen to them before they become really popular. March, in Austin, might be one of your last chances to see them in a small venue.

Sam Fender is a singer/songwriter from England with a soulful voice and great indie rock insticts. Sam is only 21, and he has a bright future ahead.
Sam Fender
RIYL: Hozier, Jack Johnson, John Mayer
Pseudo Genre: Soulful indie rock

This live video demonstrates the beauty of his voice and music while he sings his most renowned song “Play God”

“Greasy Spoon” demonstrates the harder edge that exists in some of his music.


Ruby Fields is a self taught musician that composes earnest and catchy indie rock songs. She is driven to express herself and even creates her own music videos.
Ruby Fields
RIYL: Avril Lavigne, Kesha, Lady Gaga
Pseudo Genre: Indie Rock for a new generation

”P Plates" is a perfect example of her DIY ethics. The music and video are all her own.

The song that first brought her some attention was “I want”.


Sinead Harnett is a English R&B artist born to Thai and Irish parents. Who, like Sam Smith, gained attention by being featured on a Disclosure track.
Sinead Harnett
RIYL: Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Adele
Pseudo Genre: Soulful, experimental R&B

The true test of the quality of a singer’s voice is how they sound live. Here is a live tape of Sinead’s biggest hit ”If You Let Me”.


Here is the video from one of her more recent tracks “Still Miss You".

Friday Playlist 2/2/18

Welcome to our first Friday playlist. Each Friday we will post a list of songs at around noon, just in time for you to enjoy all weekend. These will be songs of the moment, or songs related to things in the world, etc.

Our first playlist starts with O' Canada as our neighbors to the North are making their anthem gender neutral.

Franz Ferdinand is a Scottish dance rock band that returns with their first proper album in almost 5 years. Their latest is sure to get your toes tapping.

Ezra Furman's music and and attitude on life are strongly influenced by another great Jewish Indie Music icon, Lou Reed. You can reed about him in his own words here. He returns with a brilliant new album which includes "Love You So Bad"

Nils Frahm is a composer, Pianist, and multi-instrumentalist know for his eccentricities. When he had a broken thumb he composed 9 songs intended to be played on the piano with only 9 fingers. This is a track from his latest album.

Field Music is an English Pop/Rock band that have a new album coming out today. “Share a Pillow” is one of the tracks.

Maxwell Young is a musician from New Zealand that we are expecting some big things from. You can hear one of his latest tracks “Bianca”

Shame is a post-punk band from England. They recently released their debut album Songs of Praise which includes the track “Concrete”.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is another New Zealand band that are known for their blissful and energetic songs. They have a new album coming out later this year. This first song released, “American Guilt”, is a departure from their previous sound with a decidedly harder edge.

Yung Bae put out an interesting remix of Kendrick Lamar's DNA which is currently one of the most blogged about tracks on the interwebs.

Lastly, No Age are a heavy rock/Punk band from LA. Last week they put out another excellent record. Send me is an enjoyable music video with a story of its own.

WE would be remiss if we did not include the Kendrick Lamar/Weeknd track from one of th emost anticipated soundtracks in recent memory, Black Panther

Our Heavy Rotation Play Lists

Introducing our Heavy Rotation playlists. These are songs that the SWB staff is listening to most frequently at this moment in time. This list will have somewhere between 9-12 songs that will be changing frequently.

If you are on a web browser you can open a separate tab and play the youtube list while you browse our site or around the web. On your phone you can use the Spotify or Apple Music links to listen on the go. Of course the Youtube will also work on your phone.

You can always access these lists from the PLAYLISTS drop down at the top of the page.

Some of these songs are likely to be NSFW!

Here it is as a Youtube Playlist

Here it is on Spotify

Here it is on Apple Music

Click This link right HERE to go to the playlist on Apple music.

SXSW 2018 Recommended Artists Part 2

Here is our Second batch of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

Ahi has a voice that has been described as "gravel on silk". His lyrics and voice are a timeless pleasure to listen to.
Ahi
RIYL: Chris Stapleton, Shawn Mendes, James Taylor
Pseudo Genre: Modern Country Folk Pop

His biggest hit is "Ol' Sweet Day".

You can also check out his Tiny Desk Concert from NPR.


Cape Francis is a nom de plume of Kevin Olken Henthorn. Most of his previous experiences are in power chord driven Indie Rock bands. Despite the slower pace of these songs, his Indie Rock background shows through.
Cape Francis
RIYL: Real Estate, Jason Mraz
Pseudo Genre: Indie Soul-Folk

"Olly" is a great example of his new signature sound.


Rapsody is a politically and socially conscious MC. She gained her largest audience as a featured guest on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly. Her topics and reference vary from life experiences and political opinions to movie and superhero references. She pulls no punches and is not afraid to speak her truth.
Rapsody
RIYL:Kendrick Lamar, Open Mike Eagle, Dessa
Pseudo Genre: Hip Hop with a message

Kendrick returns the favor and features on "Power".


Here is the smooth flowing "OooWee".

SXSW 2018 Recommended Artists Part 1

Here is our first list of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018.

Flyte are a London band with a Timeless sound that would have fit into the late 60s as well as today. Their beautiful harmonies and catchy melodies will have you humming along.
Flyte
RIYL: The Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Mumford and Sons
Pseudo Genre: Classic Catchy Pop Rock

Here is their video for "Faithless".



Fabrizio Cammarata is an Italian crooner with a soulful voice and gorgeous melodies. Don't worry, he sings in English
Fabrizio Cammarata
RIYL:Rod Stewart, Josh Groban, Sam Smith
Pseudo Genre: Singer/Songwriter/Wife Stealer

Here is a live video for "Misery".