This year during SXSW, KUTX had a lot of amazing musicians perform at KUTX Live at the Four Seasons, but unfortunately, we couldn’t fit everyone we loved onto the lineup this year. So in true SXSW fashion, we brought out even more artists to resident KUTX producer Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon’s house to play quick 1-2 song sessions for us! Featuring artists such as Brooklyn based Hip-Hop & Soul group Phony Ppl, Sun-Soaked LA Pop band Illuminati Hotties, Tropical Spanish Alternatives Y La Bamba, and many more. We’ll be rolling out the performances every day for next couple of weeks so stay tuned and happy SXSW!
– Felix Kimbrell, KUTX Intern
Jamie Drake – “Everything’s Fine”
Jamie Drake stands alone amidst a sea of different electric and acoustic guitars to her side. This doesn’t defeat her though, as she justly locks her position and defiantly looks out to the distance. This action directly relates to the song she plays, “Everything’s Fine”. Jamie’s tender singing may not correlate to the harsh reality in everything NOT being exactly fine right now, but her demeanor gives hope that things will get better. In the meantime, we will have her graceful music as a remindful lullaby to soothe us in the by and by.
Kyle Emerson – “Alone Tonight”
Driving home after a long day at work, is when you should really start playing Kyle Emerson’s records. Not that his music isn’t suitable for other situations, it’s just that Kyle and his backing band know exactly how to stimulate a sense of the working man and woman’s nostalgia with foreboding “Sha La La La’s” and temperate melody aplenty. No better example of this is found in his song, “Alone Tonite”, which radiates the image of a setting sun across the grand country sky pretty spectacularly.
E.B. The Younger – “When The Time Comes”
E.B The Younger blessed us with a performance of his song, “When The Time Comes”, showcasing the true emotive expression two guitars and a grand piano can have available when graced by a comprehensive lead. E.B or better known as Eric Brandon Pulido is no stranger to the frontman part, being the lead singer to the Denton, Texas darling band Midlake. Now in an effort to create a solo career E.B is using his past involvement to substantial use, meaning even more robust country time renditions for hungry listeners like ourselves.
Izaak Opatz – “Bathing in the Ganges”
“Bathing in the Ganges” is a track that Americana enthusiasts will absolutely love, and that’s due to the instrumentation taking a backstage seat to what the artist has to offer in terms of songwriting and storytelling. Izaak Opatz explains of the hardships he has most gone through in his adult life, and what that might mean for his future. It’s a track that’s so real and interpersonal, it feels almost improvised.
Chris Staples – “Relatively Permanent”
Chris Staples makes Indie-Electro something it usually isn’t, quiet and precise. Utilizing the power of silence and drawing a listener in with a low mix, the Florida based vocalist bends the conventions of an independent pop feel in his songs. In this record, “Relatively Permanent”, Chris crafts a song and performance which gives the listener time to think about what they are hearing and that thinking more often than not leans heavier towards appreciation after the fact.
Ginger Root – “Mahjong Room”
Aggressive Elevator Soul is what Californian Bedroom-Pop artist Ginger Root self proclaims his sound to be, and this new sub-genre may actually be applicable when considering songs like, “Mahjong Room”. The track features triplet block hits and a lingering piano that one may find when going up and down the lobby and top floor in any given hotel or office building. Still Ginger Root manages to make this sound one of enjoyment, that will have you wishing elevator rides were longer. That is of course assuming you don’t get claustrophobic too easily.
Ximena Sariñana – “Lo Bailado”
Rhythm and blues courses through the veins of Ximena Sariñana, the grammy nominated Mexican Pop songstress. Her band serves sunny guitars as the tropical score for a surprising thumping bass and drum kick, as Ximena’s own cheery edicts surf the audible wave played out before her. To search for any proof of this you can see her performance below of the track, “Lo Bailado”, off her newest project “¿Dónde Bailarán las Niñas?”.Trust us when we say, it will have you twisting and grooving in ways you didn’t know possible!
Laura Jean Anderson – “Lonesome No More”
A sultry voice and a seductive tune are two things Laura Jean Anderson knows very well. Coming from Los-Angeles, Laura occupies the Americana genre by following the definition of this space in a blues, grass-roots, retro-pop marriage. In her song, “Lonesome No More” Laura celebrates the potential start of a new connection. A connection that had to have been beckoned by her enchanting artistry no doubt.
Field Medic – “Henna Tattoo”
A compressed drum loop and an embellished guitar was all Lo-Fi artist Field Medic needed to convey his youthful ditty, “Henna Tattoo”. Starting music production in 2009, Field Medic lead man Kevin Patrick Sullivan stirs a slight shoe-gazing feel with alternative contemporary concepts to innovate a sound allowing for a fresh breath of octave oxygen in the independent space. His name might be Field Medic, but his performance did more than enough to resuscitate both our hearts and eardrums.
Cimafunk – “Ponte pa’ lo tuyo” & “Me Voy”
Where does one even begin when trying to define Cuba’s newest groove prodigy Cimafunk? Well, he’s part George Clinton in Funkadelic Rock, part James Brown in up-tempo Soul, and part Celia Cruz in pacing Merengue for good measure. Supported by a tremendous band filled with charismatic back-up signers, percussionists, and guitar players galore, lead singer Erik Alejandro Rodriguez’s lyrics and suave dancing hits every listeners body with a stamina impossible to dismiss. After hearing the group run through two scorching tracks from their discography, it’s safe to say Cimafunk is a force to be reckoned within the Latin Music space just as much as he is on the most pristine dance floors in the world.
Leyla McCalla – “Money Is King”
As an ex-Member of the string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leyla McCallla’s solo work shifts slightly from her old role of country-folk vocalist and cellist to a more spacious and classical New Orleans folk pep . Holding the banjo, Leyla leads her multi faceted band over, “Money is King”, a warning of the power society places on the almighty dollar. Nevertheless, it wasn’t necessary to mull over whatever our financial situations may have been at the time, because this performance made us feel like Louisiana kings and queens in our own right.
Charly Bliss – “Capacity”
Charley Bliss’s high pitched vocals coupled with hefty guitar playing lends to fun, infectious, power pop that calls you to roll the windows down in your car and drive as long as you can to no particular destination. The band is pure joy, and during this special performance of, “Capacity”, the group gives off a sublime aura that can relax a listener just as easily as it can engage them.
Strand of Oaks – “Weird Ways”
Timothy Showalter is a warm guy with a beaming smile so bright, it could illuminate a room. He likes to joke a lot and get to know those around him, but soon after this camaraderie concludes Timothy transforms into Strand of Oaks. Under this musical moniker, Timothy wades through sobering pain and nostalgic anguish to deliver intensive songs detailing relational issues, growing old and lonely, and coloring depression. It’s a feat thats incredibly difficult to even discuss, let alone to write and sing about. However, Strand of Oaks does simply that, and without even knowing it you find yourself recalling similar memories from a not so distant past along side with him. What a beautiful thing to behold.
Linying – “All Of Our Friends Know”
Singapore Electro-Pop artist Linying, provides empathetic emotion playing interconnected with developing snare hits and hazy guitar chords. What most separates Linying from other singers in her category though, is her matter of fact delivery in which she details her inevitable truth. On the song, “All Of Our Friends Know”, Linying describes her relationship with a former significant other but also the relationship herself in how she has been dealing with her anxieties in it.
The Rad Trads – “Good Luck Unto Ya”
Five piece Indie Rockers The Rad Trads contain a genuine roll about them. With the raspiness of lead singer John Fatum, the band is able to transport the listener to a simpler time of Sunday Mornings and back road cruising. In this track, “Good Luck Unto Ya”, the group presents an omen of good tidings to a not so fellow friend which will have you questioning, who hasn’t wanted to revel in distancing themselves every once in a while?
Taimane – “Lady Bird”
The Ukulele is a peculiar instrument. While it only has four strings, it creates some of the most untroubled islander sounds imaginable. But Taimane doesn’t appreciate these sentiments. In fact the Honolulu born Ukulele performer Taimane takes the appliance’s stereotypes of containing calm and relaxing melodies, and does a complete flip of the noise. In her Hawaiian rhapsody, “Lady Bird”, Taimane switches from mindful swings of her uke early on in the song to vapid strikes on the body at the drop of a dime, never letting the listener’s attention go for a second. In short experiencing Taimane’s music is like being on an ever changing Hawaiian rollercoaster ride, and it’s a ride we hope to never get off any time soon.
Murray A Lightburn – “Center Of My Universe”
Murray A Lightburn of the duo band The Dears, is a courtly man through and through and this shows through his expanding solo material. Dressed in a fine suit and tie, delicate vocal riffs are framed over nearly ethereal picks of his acoustic guitar. This immediately sets a scene of amorous elegance needed for a love song thats aptly named, “Center Of My Universe”.
Wafia – “Im Good”
Last year Australian Contemporary R&B artist Wafia gave the world the self-love anthem, “I’m Good”, and considering her previous powerhouse features with electronic artists such as Ta-Ku and Louis the Child, her progression away from timid song-structure and towards lyrical confidence has made all too much sense. While Wafia’s musical journey may not be just beginning, the foundation which she has crafted for herself is excitingly getting put to a greater use in creating enriching songs with even stronger songwriting to boot.
Y La Bamba – “Entre Los Dos”
Y La Bamba’s lead vocalist, Luz Elena Mendoza, sings from the depths of her soul which truly paves a path of righteousness in folk music that for most musicians in the same genre, is a path not easily taken. Although one couldn’t suspect this difficulty even existing when listening to the band, as each track they show comes off as naturally produced and recorded Latin pleasures.
The Fur. – “Messi”
The Fur. makes the kind of music you imagine playing in your head as the soundtrack when daydreaming and looking through a window to a particularly nice day outside. It’s Dream Pop at it’s finest, and whilst adorning a fuzzy carpet, the band uses subdued shakers paired with perfectly plucked guitar strings to glide across the story of a lonely grandmother longing for company. Sure, the tale may be solemn, but The Fur.’s swell sounds and poise wouldn’t give you that impression for a second.
Sasami – “Pacify My Heart”
Former Cherry Glazer synth player Sasami is a multi-instrumentalist wonder. Not only did she bring her hard knocking punk mix performance to KUTX live at the Four Seasons, but she also showed us a more reserved and tranquil outing of the track, “Pacify My Heart” off her self-titled 2019 debut album. Sasami is a chasmic talent that certainly feels sincere, and one which surely has more to offer than meets the future’s eye. And honestly, we can’t wait to see what that future may hold.
Phony Ppl – “Cookie Crumble”
Brooklyn built Soulquarians Phony Ppl put on a show where you are too busy savoring their buoyant company to stop and care about how they even sound to begin with. They are just that charming and charismatic, and fortunately it just so happens that their live performance is cut from the same jovial cloth. All this is due to the immense effort from the five man band culminating into a very special outing, and one that sure won’t crumble any time soon.
illuminati Hotties – “I Want to Keep Your Dog”
L.A Pop Fusion band Illuminati Hotties finds longtime producer and engineer Sarah Tudzin stepping into a mysterious yet gleeful leading role. Thankfully she does not fully follow the reclusiveness of an actual illuminati though, and we were blessed to receive a serene performance of, “I Want to Keep Your Dog”, under an equally as beautiful setting East Austin Sun.