Seventy Five

I finally managed to add some notes to the 75 or so personally selected songs of SXSW 2011 (out of 1200 or so: earlier). I’ve not ranked anything in this list as ranking is so subjective: I think together all the songs form a solid and enjoyable list of songs. The songs that sprung out I marked as ‘recommended’: ‘recommended’ as in ‘this band has a future’ or ‘the song is just plain simple subjectively good’. Personal side-notes were written up to be as brief as possible, more or less to provide a mental anchor to distinguish the artists and/or songs

I’m fairly happy with the fact that even some dance/hiphop songs made it to this list: artists like K.Flay and Ancient Astronauts obviously surprised me because of either a smart delivery of lyrics or a highly inventive use of samples.

What else? Most of the bands listed below are independent: to support them, please find their websites or buy their songs from their preferred digital music distribution system.

Over time I hope to be able to add proper linkage to the artist’s websites. In the mean time, enjoy:

Band/Artist Song Status Comment
Adam Arcuragi & The Lupine Chorale Society She comes to me Catchy and easy listening Americana/folk with full supporting
band and choir
Agent Ribbons I’m alright Everytime I hear this song I think of Kill Bill. At times
monotonous, but with a fairly well executed end
Aislyn Nail biter recommended Electro pop. While not featuring the best voice I’ve heard, the
chorus is oh-so innocent and an outtro that is unrelated to the
Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys Get Yourself Free Soul, luscious soul. Predictable female lead vocals but
excellent accompanying music with traditional musical break.
Allie Moss Late Bloomer recommended Folkish song with excellent up-tempo percussion, with unusual
musical arrangement during intro. Great control of voice.
Alvarez Kings Patience is strength recommended Typical British pop song with catchy melody and intro
AM & Shawn Lee Dark into light Synthpop. Why is this in my list? It’s fairly boring.
Analog Rebellion A Real clever trick for a bear Synthpop. Catchy intro and chorus. Not for all, but reminds of
Vega’s synth period
Ancient Astronauts Worldwide Instrumental mix of hiphop, synth and untraditional sampling.
Features KRS-one sample
The Apache Relay Home is not places U2-like song with well executed outtro
Aphasia Metal Tank Instrumental/guitar rock
April Smith & the great picture show Colors Folkish cute. Maybe more western. Maybe Swing. Or maybe all of
ARMS heat and hot water 80s sound-a-like, starts slow with excellent tempo change
Balmorhea Clamor Instrumental; good execution and production
Bear Driver Wolves recommended British pop band with potential: catchy backup vocals and
Beats Antique Junktion Instrumental, featuring hip-hop, violins and a genuine belly
dancer, apparently. Fun, but personally not sure of bands
Bhi Bhiman Guttersnipe recommended Soul, with hints of US and Sri Lanka. Excellent stuff.
Botany Waterparker recommended Dance? Yes, sure as long as it has got a fun chorus and
Braids Lemonade recommended Electro rock/pop/dance from Montreal, Canada: musically
Brandi Emma Let it go Folk: melodious but predictable.
Brooke Fraser Something in the water Folk from down-under: crazy fun intro to chorus.
Chappo Come home Rock/Psych, with hints of 80s pop music. Uptempo.
Chiha I was in love Tunesian/German traditional music. Obviously it rocks. I think.
Hey, it’s catchy…
Christine Fellows Lets get started Folkish, with layered music. Enjoyable.
Clock Opera Once and for all recommended Excellent and best of SXSW 2011: falsetto and that. Plus: based
on popular play
Consortium Musicum Mechanical Mammoth recommended Hahahaha. Reminds strongly of Antheil.
Cults Go Outside Cute song but gets monotonous. Good, but strongly backed by
Sony Entertainment
Darren Hanlon All these things Folk with whimsical lyrics
David Berkeley George Square Well produced, lyrical and melodious
Delicate Steve The ballad of Speck and Pebble Excellent produced instrumental by one man band Steve. Or
Dizzy Eyes Lets break up the band recommended Fun Punk/Rock from Vancouver: slightly reminding of the
DJ Chicken George Overthrowed Funk/Soul with a touch of hip-hop
The Eastern Sea The Menu Catchy marriage of folk and traditional music
Edwyn Collins Losing sleep recommended Simple rock no hooks no nothing; knocks the ball out of the
Eli Paperboy Reed Come and get it Soul, by white guy with an excellent voice but… yeah.
Emanuel and The Fear The Rain becomes the clouds recommended Excellent music/composition and lyrics
Emilie Clepper Wearing you Folk, with strangely attractive voice and good arrangement
Estados Alterados Contenme Uptempo Spanish electronic rock from Colombia
Experimental Aircraft Paintings in the attic Experimental guitar rock (instrumental) that turns into a
bittersweet song
Fared Shafinury & Tehranosaurus Matarsak recommended Iranian music intermixed with western music.
Feathers Water Music Treadmill Instrumental guitar rock, monotonous but easy listening if
you’re in that mood
For a Minor reflection Flod Instrumental popular, changes tempo over time
Friska Viljor If I Die Now Scandinavian rock, with hallmark Swedish sound
A great big pile of leaves We don’t need our heads Pop Rock with catchy chorus
Great Lake Swimmers Pulling on a line Rock, tangy and slow
Gustavo Galindo Banco de Papel Spanish tear jerker but good
Ha Ha Tonka Usual Suspects recommended Excellent song with good flow that is hard to categorize
Hotels and Highways Train whistle Poppish Folk, slightly reminds of early works of the
Houses Soak it up recommended Electropop, excellent
In-Flight Safety Model Holmes recommended Rock, typical, predictable but good voicing and melody.
Ivan and Alyosha Fathers be kind Slow rock excellent with Spanish sounding guitar accents
Joey Cape A song for the missing Folk, melodious and excellent inversion
Jonathan Edwards Sunshine Uptempo folk, no frills, no nothing
K’s Choice Come Live the Life recommended Surprisingly, excellent song, as I expected the band to have
burnt out
K.Flay So Fast, So Maybe recommended White, Female, HipHop? You betcha!
Kina Grannis Valentine recommended You know, hats off for combining excellent music with
predictable lyrics
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper Penny Licks Pop music with plenty of variation
Laura Jansen Single Girls Folk/Popular. Boring lyrics, but interesting combination of
vocals and piano
Lava Children The Green word recommended I have no words for this.. atonal, not in tune excellent
mastery of vocals and instruments
Letting up despite great faults In steps Syntpop: Predictable, uptempo, slightly reminding of 80s
electro pop sound
Lex Land Havana recommended Excellent voice and lyrics, accompanied by synth
Little Scream Heron and the fox Folk, with strange hooks
Little Tybee Design recommended Jazzy, folkish sound: excellent all round music with a pretty
Lucy Schwartz My Darling recommended Professional sound, excellent voice and catchy tune
Marcia Ball Watermelon time Plain jazz.
Marco Benevento It came from you recommended Classical trained pianist goes pop. Does that ring a bell?
The New Mastersounds Thermal Bad Funk. Boy. Live.
Go North The Pauses This was fun until it was adopted by Guitar Hero
Richard Barone Glow recommended Poppish and highly predictable, but easy listening
Sarah Jaffe Clementine Uptempo folk/pop – predictable
Silje Nes The Grass Harp Norwegian folk. Good, for the appropriate occasion
Tracy Bonham Big red heart recommended Good. Rock. Of. Course. From. Tracy.
Two Star Symphony Goblin attack Instrumental with cello/drums and violins. Good but too
Vanaprasta Healthy Geometry recommended Movie music.
Xylos Daring Dearest recommended Excellent synthpop, vocals and production.
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