SXSW Report | Live music recommendations

03/14/2014 5:55 PM

03/14/2014 6:16 PM

Four bands you should check out, all of whom played inside the Austin Convention Center on Friday afternoon.


They're a six-piece from France, four men and two sisters, and their world-beat music has a heavy North African accent. It's arranged in drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, melodica, violin, saxophone, kora and a variety of handheld percussive instruments. The lead singer's voice is deep and resonant, like Leonard Cohen's. The music is groovy and lively and easy to indulge in, especially when the sisters lay down some lovely harmonies.


From Oslo, Norway, this quintet features the angelic vocals of lead singer Ingrid Helene Håvik. Her band lays down a vibe that sways from ethereal to oceanic, thanks to the tide of keyboards (there were three on stage) and the three- and four-part harmonies. There was some guitar-with-bow action and a fluglehorn episode. It was all melodic and engaging. "Bjork dipped in the Cocteau Twins," a reviewer once called it, an apt description.


They're from Kettering, England, and their sound is a mix of garage rock and psychedelic rock. Catchy melodies, rich harmonies and a vibe that at times can make a listener think of the Stone Roses and Oasis, sometimes at the same time. (Noel Gallagher is a big fan). They'll be at the RecordBar on May 1.

Jeremy Messersmith: His lyrics can get glum and moody, but this Minnesotan writes the kinds of sweet melodies that'll stick in your noggin for a while. He doesn't necessarily sound like either, but if you're a fan of Neil Finn or Elvis Costello, you'll probably like more than a few of Messersmith's songs.


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