The music portion of SXSW officially opens up today and practically every band that is releasing new music this year will be performing in Austin in the next five days.
I say practically because there are a number of artists with good music coming out this week that are NOT playing SXSW.
Joan Wasser aka Joan As Police Woman. This indie rocker shows off her soul side on her new album The Classic. My guess is she named this album because of the classic sounds that recall the music from Stax Records artists like Carla Thomas with “Holy City” and Otis Redding with her song “The Classic”. Of course since this is a Joan record you still get a feel of her indie spirit. You can get more of an understanding of where she’s headed by just watching the video for “Holy City”
Also checking out their soulful side but with a little more polished pop sound is the Britpop band Metronomy. This band is going all in with its 60′s pop references for their new album “Love Letters”. Check out this video by Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry and their first single from the album. The trippy Astrologically inspired song “I’m Aquarius”
Instead of looking back, Manchester band, Elbow is looking forward. Or more specifically based on the lyrics, to reaching middle age. The band that has been described as “prog rock without the solos” (think of Peter Gabriel singing for Radiohead) meets the challenges of aging head on. Lead singer and writer Guy Garvey is definitely in a reflective mood after the break-up of a romantic relationship and also reaching the ripe old age of 40. The band reaches for sonic heights and an epic almost cinematic sound to the music. Its sound is big and sprawling and I’m sure it’s going to send chills down the spines of concert audiences everywhere. The first single looks at the people who have made NYC a brimming metropolis. I’m hoping US audiences will finally embrace this band. They deserve it.