This post was written by Hatchet reporter Maddy Pontz.
D.C. might be lacking true 20-something hipsters, but the South by Southwest Festival last week offered up fresh new finds in film, music and technology.
As someone who defines nearly every event in my life in terms of music, it was an easy decision for me to opt for that entry badge. Hundreds of thousands of people swarmed Austin, Texas for the music portion of the festival, and I was lucky enough to be one of them.
Here are my top three favorite bands out of SXSW this year, so you can have the indie cred of saying you knew them way back when – when they had only first played in Austin.
An awesome band out of Chicago, Carbon Tigers is a group of four genuinely affable guys playing awesomely skilled, energetic music. Their tunes might commonly be categorized under the larger indie rock genre, but the guys told me that they prefer “pop art rock.”
Carbon Tigers recently released an EP entitled “The Wars At Home,” a super talented showing that I would recommend to fans of Cold War Kids or Minus The Bear (a band the guys cite so heavily as an influence that their guitarist Nick Cudone tattooed his upper arm to recognize the group).
Be sure to check out my favorite two songs on the EP: “The Wars At Home” and the opening track “Everybody Else.” Lead singer Chris Wienke’s voice is haunting, creating a swaying, chill EP perfect for nearly any occasion.
2) Emily Wolfe
Singer and songwriter Emily Wolfe has only performed in public for two years now, which was sometimes evident in her slightly uncomfortable stage presence. She spoke softly into the microphone between songs, often pushing her hair into her eyes and looking toward the ground. However, Wolfe more than made up for any timidity on stage as soon as she began to sing, roaring soulful tunes that truly electrified the SXSW crowd.
Musically, if you could combine Tegan and Sara and Ingrid Michaelson, with a hint of Melissa Etheridge, you might find yourself listening to Wolfe’s self-titled “dream rock.” She is a performer who can rock out for some songs and then switch to quiet, emotional jams in a flash.
Wolfe is unsigned to a major label, so be sure to check out her music on her website.
Lime Cordiale, an Australian band on a first trip to the U.S., was able to truly get the crowd pumping during an afternoon set at the festival.
The two brothers of Lime Cordiale, Oliver and Louis Leimbach, are gifted with clear voices, awesome instrumental skills and the ability to write super catchy pop tunes.
In an interview with them before the show, the brothers said they define their music as “indie with a soul influence and pop hooks at the same time.” Really, they said they just hope to get everyone dancing and thrive off of that energy if they succeed.
The brothers cite Amy Winehouse, The Strokes, The Specials and ska music in general as their biggest musical influences. They hope to spend some time driving and playing shows across the country, having what they would consider a classic American road trip, the kind they’ve read about all their lives.