Each day from SXSW 2017, we’re bringing the best discoveries from Austin, Texas. Whether it’s a small-time local band or a hyped-to-the-skies newcomer on the brink of stardom, DIY is rounding up anything and everything happening in Austin, Texas.
Here’s a quick guide to the best things we saw on Wednesday 16th March.
The best bands of SXSW, day three
- Jay Som’s wide-ranging new album ‘Everybody Works’ seems to skip genre constraints for fun. And the California musician’s early afternoon set at Cheer Up Charlie’s plays a similar game. Her full band are one of the tightest in Texas, and they casually flick between amped-up alternative rock, power solos and even the odd nod to funk.
- There’s a serious amount of talk around Snail Mail, the project of 17-year-old Batimore-based musician Lindsey Jordan. Her band play two sets, including their first ever outdoor show. It’s here where they thrive best, dodging the technical problems that strike their indoor Sidewinder set, giving more room to the youthful, emotional giants Jordan pens on the debut ‘Habit’ EP.
- Out back of Cheer Up Charlie’s – surrounded by the atmospheric scent of Austin’s glorious ‘Tater Tot’ potato snacks, and a crowd which includes Noname, Jay Som, and ermmm, everyone’s favourite tartan-hatted Canadian, Nardwuar – Tei Shi is on electric form. In the full two years between now and that initial spark of ‘Bassicaly’ (which remains the set’s closer, and an absolute pop banger) Valerie Teicher has been painstakingly shaping and finetuning her identity as an artist, through the musical exploration of her forthcoming debut, and her flooringly brilliant live show. Her vocal control, holding back the reins of even the most tricksy gymnastics, is more impressive than a Mary Berry showstopper cake. Rich story telling, wisely crafted pop, and a captivating set; Tei Shi is ‘Bassicaly’ brilliant.
- For a good few minutes following Chain of Flowers’ set, an exhausted but beaming Josh Smith has to take an extended lie-down across the front of the stage. It’s no surprise really – the Cardiff band have just finished demolishing a low-ceilinged bar rammed to the rafers with lager cans held aloft, and Smith spends much of the time menacing the front row, and ducking through squalling, ferocious guitar lines. Quite a workout, really.
The best sights of SXSW, day three
We spotted the following things on our travels. And no, these weren’t jet lag-induced hallucinations.
- As the (very) early hours of Wednesday roll in, PC Music star QT can be seen spotted watching the band QTY play a frat party. It’s all gone a bit meta.
Photo: Emma Swann