Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

New Music – Jess Williamson, Snail Mail, Running Touch

Three more acts who impressed us at last week’s SXSW festival

Jess Williamson

Thu, Mar 23, 2017, 10:50


Every week, we highlight a couple of new acts from around the globe who’ve caught our attention. Please feel free to share tips with us or check out all past New Music selections here.

Jess Williamson

Here’s a reminder that the best stuff at SXSW is often the local stuff. Jess Wiliamson already has two albums under her belt but she’s still a relatively new name beyond her Austin base. One of her sets we caught at SXSW showed a somgwriter with some fascinating ideas about how to use sound, nuance and pacing to envoke menace and mood. That superbly rich and memorable voice of hers also helps, of course, working out songs which remind you in places of Cat Power, Anne Briggs and Chrissie Hynde. Check out last year’s “Heart Song” album below.

Snail Mail

Baltimore band Snail Mail’s main SXSW showcase was hampered by technical problems which is a pity because it’s clear there’s something special going on here. 17 year old Lindsey Jordan is a frontwoman and lyricist with serious smarts who is able to invest traditional lo-fi indie rock with some great musings and meanderings on teenage suburban life. Listen to their debut EP “Habit” below.

Running Touch

Bewitching wide-eyed electronic pop from Melbourne producer Matthew Henley formerly of emo hardcore band Ocean Grove. There’s much to like in what Henley is doing with Running Touch, especially the dramatic pull and push of the tracks like “This Is Just To Say” and the way in which he balances ethereal mood swings and tough, dancefloor-facing grooves.