SXSW 2015 snapshots – six acts who’ve rocked so far
What we liked about Courtney Barnett, Leon Bridges, Boogie, Kristin Diable, Meg Mac and Shamir
The wow factor is high. Australian guitar-slinger with the sharpest songwriting lines we’ve heard in aaaages. Songs about buying a coffee percolator (to save money on takeaway coffees), Melbourne swimming pools and grocery shopping all tied up in the coolest rad guitar buzz you’ve heard in years. If you have a ticket for her upcoming Dublin show, put it in your shoe or under your pillow
Close your eyes and you could swear it’s Sam Cooke come back to life. A soulman from the tip of his head to the bottom on his toes, Leon Bridges swooned and soared and gave it socks with a set of vintage soul all redone and rebuffed for the times we’re in. Hit!
There may be other names in the SXSW hip-hop firmament getting more love and hype this week, but we think Boogie is the man for the long-run. He didn’t let that big stage at Stubb’s for the NPR showcase get to him in any way and instead the man from Long Beach, California knocked out a set of superbly observed, brilliantly wrapped tunes which were full of heft and width. Check his “Thirst 48″ mixtape for more.
The best SXSW moments are always like this. You get on your bike and you head off the downtown/Sixth Street grid in search of something weird, something cool, something which doesn’t have everyone making their lists and checking it twice. Out there, deep in the heart of South Congress, you find the St Vincent de Paul yard, wheel your way in, buy a water to cool down and watch the Baton Rouge-born and New Orleans-based Kristin Diable and her band rock it. There’s a great swagger to this one, with shades of Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks and Lana Del Rey in the wash. Some fantastic songs on her new “Create Your Own Mythology”, especially “Time Will Wait”
Meg Mac featured highly in our pre-SXSW tips and the Melbourne singer didn’t disappoint at her first Austin show yesterday. Here’s a woman with a powerful, rocking soul-pop voice but who knows when to hold back for the right time to thump you between the ears. Add in a really strong band and a bunch of cracking tunes (espcially the bluesy holler of “Roll Up Your Sleeves”) and you’ve someone with the potential to be your favourite new act.
Possibly the most fun 20 minutes of the day. Shamir bounces on stage and delivers a set full of zip, vim, vigour and Sesame Street-like giddiness. The tunes work like gangbusters, drawing you into the Las Vegas kid’s world and making you want to stick around for more.