SXSW 2012 (part 2)

Late, but it’s been done: I finally managed to listen to all the songs (all of em) of this year’s SXSW torrents (previously). More than last year’s effort (see here), I had the feeling this was very painful. While I’m sure that this set of music does not reflect the state of the music scene (well, lets hope so), I thought there were a lot more hiphop/soul/yaddayadda acts this year. I don’t mind good hiphop but, honestly, everything sounds the same these days. Worst yet, I had the same feeling of the ‘regular’ music. I still ended up selecting over hundred tracks, which is more than I imagined. The main list is here: unedited. Later this week, I will compile this stuff into edible portions. Before I head into the 5 best (or rather, surprising) acts and songs, I am surprised that last year’s best 5 songs still appear frequently in my favourite playlist. Highly recommended songs. But without further ado:

  1. Hooded Fang – ESP (youtube): Band from Toronto that surprised me with surf-rock-pop-lyrics. Refreshing and (I guess) already well-known in Canada for their prime minister Harper stunts.
  2. Maya Azucena – The Half (youtube): Powerful mix of soul and rock. Mind you, she’s been around for a while. Obviously I had never heard of her.
  3. Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds – Make it rain youtube) She’s apparently, white, but her vocals are like, you know, she could have been African American.
  4. Duck Fight Goose – Glass Walls (youtube) Electronic pop. Check. Guitar effects. Check. Chinese. Wait? Is this going to be the the year of the rise of Chinese Rock?
  5. Todd Reynolds – Transamerica – (link) With Transamerica, classically trained violist and composer Todd Reynolds blew my brains out. Member of the Steve Reich ensemble, he’s described as a “daredevil”, frequently crossing over to electronic music.