Every day last week KUTX profiled the Ones to Watch–seven must-see artists at SXSW 2016. In case you missed it, here’s all seven artists compiled into one easy-to-read post!
For a few years, Austin’s Roger Sellers had a split musical personality. Some of his songs were folk-based while others were electronic. Last year, he decided to give a new name to his electronic side: Bayonne.
This month, Sellers is re-releasing his 2014 album Primitives, this time as Bayonne. The album sounds big and lush, even if he created it all by himself with a looping pedal. “It really comes from very minimal, kind of primitive-type things, just note after note—minimalism,” Sellers told KUTX’s John Parsons in 2014. “It’s really simple music just layered on top of each other until it sounds crazy.”
Bayonne is a sight to see onstage. He recreates his songs from the ground up with that looping pedal, sounding a lot bigger than a solo artist. Listen to our feature here, hosted by Jody Denberg and produced by Art Levy.
Bayonne at SXSW 2016:
Sunday, Mar 13: Mohawk, 7:20 p.m. (Barbarian Group)
Tuesday, Mar 15: Waterloo Records, 5 p.m.
Thursday, Mar 17: Container Bar, 1:30 p.m. (Mom + Pop showcase, RSVP here)
Thursday, Mar 17: Barracuda, 8:15 p.m. (official SXSW showcase, Secretly Group)
Friday, Mar 18: Victorian Room At The Driskill, 12 a.m. (official SXSW showcase, ASCAP)
David Wax Museum
David Wax Museum doesn’t fit into one genre, and that’s what makes the band stand out. David Wax and Suz Slezak first teamed up about a decade ago in Boston. David spent his college years studying folk music in Mexico, and combined with Suz’s love of Americana, they make for a unique sound.
“It was real fertile ground for us to explore the Mexican songs and bring in the Mexican instrumentation, the rhythms, and the lyrical ideas,” David told KUTX’s Jay Trachtenberg in 2013, “and kind of bring that to bear on our songwriting. It helped us find our own voice that way.”
Guesthouse, David Wax Museum’s fourth album, is more emotional, written after the birth of David and Suz’s first child. The band reflects on these big changes with big songs, like “Young Man.” And these big songs will certainly lead to bigger audiences. Listen to our feature here, hosted by Jody Denberg and produced by Art Levy.
David Wax Museum at SXSW 2016:
Wednesday, Mar 16: KUTX Live at the Four Seasons, 9 a.m.
Wednesday, Mar 16: Swan Dive, 11 p.m. (official SXSW showcase)
Friday, Mar 18: Scottish Rite Theater (All The Children Boogie: A Tribute To David Bowie)
Saturday, Mar 19: Licha’s Cantina (Brooklyn Country Cantina, RSVP here)
For years, London’s Lotti Benardout, Dom Goldsmith, and Arthur Delaney sang in other bands, but in 2014, they teamed up as Haelos. All three of them sing and write for Haelos, a process that Dom says is refreshing.
“We’ve really enjoyed kind of viewing it as a collective, this whole project. It’s like kind of surrendering a little bit of your own ego to kind of share with everyone else.”
With just a few songs to their name, Haelos have captured worldwide attention. Their sound is a mix of trip-hop and electronic, but there are some other, more creative descriptions. “Our friend over here who runs a music blog coined this term ‘dark euphoria’,” says Dom. “I suppose we’ll just wear that. That sounds good!”
Haelos’ debut album, Full Circle, comes out March 18, right in the middle of SXSW. They may be newcomers, but Haelos already sound like a band that could stick around for a long time. Listen to our feature here, hosted by Jody Denberg and produced by Art Levy.
Haelos at SXSW 2016:
Wednesday, Mar 16: Flamingo Cantina, 12 p.m. (Under The Radar)
Wednesday, Mar 16: Red Light, 3 p.m. (Floodfest)
Wednesday, Mar 16: Sidewinder, 5 p.m. (Secret Sounds Australia)
Wednesday, Mar 16: The Gatsby, 9 p.m. (Pandora)
Thursday, Mar 17: Spotify House, 1:45 p.m.
Thursday, Mar 17: 3Ten ACL Theater, 12 a.m. (official SXSW showcase)
Friday, Mar 18: Empire Control Room, 2 p.m. (Baeble)
Friday, Mar 18: Hotel San Jose, 5 p.m. (SXSanJose)
Friday, Mar 18: Latitude 30, 10 p.m. (official SXSW showcase)
Saturday, Mar 19: Urban Outfitters, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Mar 19: Barracuda, 3:30 p.m. (Do512)
It took a little while for Nashville’s Rayland Baxter to find his place. He spent his college years as an athlete but with a creative interest. “I was always making up short stories in college, and that came fairly easy to me but they were all fantasy kind of stuff,” says Baxter.
But when he picked up a guitar and started traveling around the country, Baxter discovered his calling. Imaginary Man, his second album, lives up to its title: these songs blur the line between fact and fiction.
Rayland Baxter is the son of Bucky Baxter, a pedal steel guitarist who’s played with Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, and Ryan Adams. To this day, the younger Baxter holds onto some of Bucky’s fatherly advice: just be yourself. Listen to our feature here, hosted by Jody Denberg and produced by Art Levy.
Rayland Baxter at SXSW 2016:
Thursday, Mar 17: Hotel San Jose (SXSanJose)
Thursday, Mar 17: Blackheart (official SXSW showcase) — 10 p.m.
Friday, Mar 18: Swan Dive (Frye Days) — 4 p.m.
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Matthew Logan Vasquez has spent the past decade as the frontman for Delta Spirit. But now, he’s showing off a new sound as a solo artist.
“I grew up listening to Metallica, White Zombie, and rock and roll,” Vasquez told KUTX’s Trina Quinn last year. “And that’s kinda what this project is about. It’s being able to get that side of myself out.”
Vasquez moved back to Austin last year and he released an EP called Austin as an ode to his hometown–it even featured a number of local musicians. Earlier this year came Solicitor Returns, an album that makes good on his rock and roll promise. Listen to our feature here, hosted by Jody Denberg and produced by Art Levy.
Matthew Logan Vasquez at SXSW 2016:
Wednesday, Mar 16: Container Bar (Collide on Rainey, RSVP here) — 5:20 p.m.
Wednesday, Mar 16: Bungalow (official SXSW showcase) — 8:20 p.m.
Thursday, Mar 17: Plum Creek Sound (Dripping Springs, RSVP here)
Saturday, Mar 19: KUTX Live at the Four Seasons — 9 a.m.
Saturday, Mar 19: Stubb’s (Rachel Ray’s Feedback, RSVP here)
Saturday, Mar 19: The Parish (official SXSW showcase) — 11 p.m.
A Giant Dog
One of the breakout Austin artists over the past year has been Sweet Spirit, but don’t forget about their punk-rock alter-ego: A Giant Dog. Sweet Spirit’s Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen formed A Giant Dog eight years ago.
“A Giant Dog is Sweet Spirit’s evil twin,” says Ellis. “It’s heavy music that should make people who like heavy music know that it’s okay to like pretty music.”
A Giant Dog’s incredible live shows helped earn the Austin band a record deal with Merge, the label that’s been home to Arcade Fire and Spoon. Pile, A Giant Dog’s third album, is out in May, and Austin’s best-kept-secret might find itself with a national audience. Listen to our feature here, hosted by Jody Denberg and produced by Art Levy.
A Giant Dog at SXSW 2016:
Wednesday, Mar 16: KUTX Live at the Four Seasons — 8 a.m.
Thursday, Mar 17: Tap Room at the Market (official SXSW showcase) — 1 a.m.
Saturday, Mar 19: Barracuda (the Big One, RSVP here) — 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Mar 20: Empire Garage (Uncle Doug and Aunt Karla’s Chili Dog Fest 7) — 9 p.m.
Bombino hails from the Tuareg region in North Africa, an area that’s been torn apart by civil war over the past few decades. But Bombino’s music is positive, a blend of psychedelic rock, blues, and traditional Tuareg sounds. His songs are political and deeply personal, and he doesn’t think the language or cultural barrier is too big to understand them. Speaking via email through a translator, Bombino says “that music is it’s own language…it is a feeling that can be shared with anyone.”
Bombino is influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Santana, and Mark Knopfler, and another guitarist, the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, worked with him on his previous album. His new album, Azel, is another mixture of old and new, produced by the Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth but it spotlights Bombino’s unique style. Listen to our feature here, hosted by Jody Denberg and produced by Art Levy.
Bombino at SXSW 2016:
Thursday, Mar 17: Hotel San Jose (SXSanJose)
Thursday, Mar 17: Hotel Vegas (official SXSW showcase) — 10:45 p.m.
Friday, Mar 18: SXSW Radio Day Stage (VuHaus) — 3 p.m.
Friday, Mar 18: Palm Door on Sixth (official SXSW showcase) — 1 a.m.
Saturday, Mar 19: Waterloo Records — 6 p.m.