What should I see at SXSW 2015?

SXSW is about to start, and I definitely can’t wait to be back. It was 2010 when I last flew to Austin.
It is so hard to pick only a few bands out of more than 1000 showcases. I will have the chance to see a bunch of my favorite new acts the music scene has welcomed over the last years: Tei Shi, VÉRITÉ, Zella Day, Ryn Weaver, Shura, Torres, Ex-Cult and Kate Tempest. Still, I am attracted by big names, too: first of all, Jassie Ware.

 

CATHEDRALS

Since I heard Cathedrals EP, which came out in September 2014 on Neon Gold Records, my heart has been all for this San Francisco electro dream-pop duo. Singer Brodie Jenkins and musician/producer Johnny Hwin stand at the core of such almighty team, whose sounds mix a hint of r&b with dark electronics beats; the very talented female vocalist is the cherry on top. Cathedrals have a bright future ahead, you bet.

 

BOGAN VIA

It’s been over two years now since the Arizona synth-pop duo Bogan Via dropped their debut EP, Wait Up. It was recorded in late 2012 and features amazing track Kanye that I have listened to a thousand times at least. Their new single Madly, off their forthcoming EP, is the band’s biggest production so far and goes all out with electronic hip-hop backing beats and vintage synths. I can’t wait to see how they’re gonna mess it up on stage.

 

LOWELL

Originally from Calgary, she now lives in Toronto. Her debut album, We Loved Dearly, was released by Arts & Crafts in September 2014 and it’s stuffed with catchy electro pop songs. I truly love her explicit lyrics about sex, queer love and women’s rights.

 

BØRNS

I swear I used to listen to Garrett Borns, alias BØRNS, before Taylor Swift tweeted about him. He’s from Michigan, and his Candy EP featured sweet pop tracks 10,000 Emerald Pools, Electric Love, and Past Lives, one of my favorite 2014’s songs. He is already signed to Interscope, and SXSW will be the last chance to see him before he turns into the greatest pop star of all times (through a tour with Taylor, obviously).

 

DREAM POLICE

Formed in Brooklyn, NYC, in 2010, Dream Police is The Men’s Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi’s side project. Mixing power pop, futurist psychedelia, Krautrock and some 80’s old-school indie tunes, Dream Police will sure perform a unique live show, while turning their stage into quite a hypnotic moment of initiation. Get ready to stand in the frontline.

 

HANNAH DIAMOND

Pc Music Party will be one of my personal highlights of the whole festival, since every single band signed to the London-based label will perform a very special set for the occasion. I am so curious about Pc Music’s precious roster whose undisputed, most twinkling queen is Hannah Diamond. I couldn’t ask for more.

 

PART TIME

Part Time (AKA David Loca) isn’t really a brand new project. His debut album, What Would You Say, was released by Mexican Summer in 2011, while PDA, his next EP is by now a classic on Burger Records. His music combines synth-pop ballads with some Johnny Marr-ish guitar tunes evoking a dreamy atmosphere from the 80s. Fans of the earliest stuff by Ariel Pink and John Maus should definitely not miss him.

 

HO99O9 (pronounced “horror”)

New Jersey-based hardcore, punk and rap band. Every single video they released managed to scare the hell out of me. Their songs would make the perfect horror movie’s soundtrack, so no wonder they released a three-track EP on the stroke of last Halloween. Their beats are dark, creepy and intense, and I have great expectations for their fearsome live gigs.