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:
|Adam Arcuragi & The Lupine Chorale Society
|She comes to me
|Catchy and easy listening Americana/folk with full supporting
band and choir
|Everytime I hear this song I think of Kill Bill. At times
monotonous, but with a fairly well executed end
|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.
|Folkish song with excellent up-tempo percussion, with unusual
musical arrangement during intro. Great control of voice.
|Patience is strength
|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.
|A Real clever trick for a bear
|Synthpop. Catchy intro and chorus. Not for all, but reminds of
Vega’s synth period
|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
|April Smith & the great picture show
|Folkish cute. Maybe more western. Maybe Swing. Or maybe all of
|heat and hot water
|80s sound-a-like, starts slow with excellent tempo change
|Instrumental; good execution and production
|British pop band with potential: catchy backup vocals and
|Instrumental, featuring hip-hop, violins and a genuine belly
dancer, apparently. Fun, but personally not sure of bands
|Soul, with hints of US and Sri Lanka. Excellent stuff.
|Dance? Yes, sure as long as it has got a fun chorus and
|Electro rock/pop/dance from Montreal, Canada: musically
|Let it go
|Folk: melodious but predictable.
|Something in the water
|Folk from down-under: crazy fun intro to chorus.
|Rock/Psych, with hints of 80s pop music. Uptempo.
|I was in love
|Tunesian/German traditional music. Obviously it rocks. I think.
Hey, it’s catchy…
|Lets get started
|Folkish, with layered music. Enjoyable.
|Once and for all
|Excellent and best of SXSW 2011: falsetto and that. Plus: based
on popular play
|Hahahaha. Reminds strongly of Antheil.
|Cute song but gets monotonous. Good, but strongly backed by
|All these things
|Folk with whimsical lyrics
|Well produced, lyrical and melodious
|The ballad of Speck and Pebble
|Excellent produced instrumental by one man band Steve. Or
|Lets break up the band
|Fun Punk/Rock from Vancouver: slightly reminding of the
|DJ Chicken George
|Funk/Soul with a touch of hip-hop
|The Eastern Sea
|Catchy marriage of folk and traditional music
|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
|Excellent music/composition and lyrics
|Folk, with strangely attractive voice and good arrangement
|Uptempo Spanish electronic rock from Colombia
|Paintings in the attic
|Experimental guitar rock (instrumental) that turns into a
|Fared Shafinury & Tehranosaurus
|Iranian music intermixed with western music.
|Water Music Treadmill
|Instrumental guitar rock, monotonous but easy listening if
you’re in that mood
|For a Minor reflection
|Instrumental popular, changes tempo over time
|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
|Banco de Papel
|Spanish tear jerker but good
|Ha Ha Tonka
|Excellent song with good flow that is hard to categorize
|Hotels and Highways
|Poppish Folk, slightly reminds of early works of the
|Soak it up
|Rock, typical, predictable but good voicing and melody.
|Ivan and Alyosha
|Fathers be kind
|Slow rock excellent with Spanish sounding guitar accents
|A song for the missing
|Folk, melodious and excellent inversion
|Uptempo folk, no frills, no nothing
|Come Live the Life
|Surprisingly, excellent song, as I expected the band to have
|So Fast, So Maybe
|White, Female, HipHop? You betcha!
|You know, hats off for combining excellent music with
|Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
|Pop music with plenty of variation
|Folk/Popular. Boring lyrics, but interesting combination of
vocals and piano
|The Green word
|I have no words for this.. atonal, not in tune excellent
mastery of vocals and instruments
|Letting up despite great faults
|Syntpop: Predictable, uptempo, slightly reminding of 80s
electro pop sound
|Excellent voice and lyrics, accompanied by synth
|Heron and the fox
|Folk, with strange hooks
|Jazzy, folkish sound: excellent all round music with a pretty
|Professional sound, excellent voice and catchy tune
|It came from you
|Classical trained pianist goes pop. Does that ring a bell?
|The New Mastersounds
|Funk. Boy. Live.
|This was fun until it was adopted by Guitar Hero
|Poppish and highly predictable, but easy listening
|Uptempo folk/pop – predictable
|The Grass Harp
|Norwegian folk. Good, for the appropriate occasion
|Big red heart
|Good. Rock. Of. Course. From. Tracy.
|Two Star Symphony
|Instrumental with cello/drums and violins. Good but too
|Excellent synthpop, vocals and production.