Soundclouds of the Underground: SXSW Edition
ABOVE: FIDLAR. IMAGE COURTESY OF DAVID BLACK
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
Bands, brands, music writers, and music lovers alike have flooded Austin, Texas this past week for the annual South By Southwest Festival, a massive union of concerts, conferences, and much more that brings out some of the year’s best underground talent. Since so many of the fest’s artists have been featured in past editions of this column, it only seems right that we share some of our SXSW picks as the event comes to a close this Sunday. Check out the chosen tracks below to see which acts we think are worth scoping out.
FIDLAR: “Gimmie Something”
Who: If their name—which is an acronym for “Fuck it, dog, life’s a risk”—is any indication, FIDLAR is a band of talented troublemakers whose loud, distorted sound often flirts with old school rock-pop and surf punk in the blunt context of drug-using, beer drinking, and a general disregard for anything safe.
The Song: “Gimmie Something” is a stupendously fun song obviously inspired by the Rolling Stones (it’s even tagged that way on the group’s Soundcloud page), but FIDLAR still find more than enough ways to make the track their own—its catchy melody seems prime for a joy ride with friends, one that we hope you’ll enjoy responsibly.
Mexicans with Guns: “Hummingbird”
Who: Mexicans with Guns (aka Ernest Gonzales) describes himself as a “music maker, culture remixer, reincarnated Shaman, artist, kind of vato,” and we couldn’t agree more. The producer plays with the plasticity of peculiar sounds, bending and building on them in order to birth raw, multifarious music that is truly unique.
The Song: It seems as though with “Hummingbird” (along with every other track on his Soundcloud), Mexicans with Guns heads left where most other producers would go right. An eclectic yet fluid mix of ominous tribal sounds, oscillating synths and a climactic chiptune-esque riff, the textured track is one we most definitely have on repeat.
Current Project: The Texas native will be performing this Friday at Emo’s East as part of the Friends of Friends showcase, which also features Salva, Pusha T and Shlomo. Find out more details here, and for more info on Mexicans with Guns, click here.
Pure X: “Things in My Head”
Who: Austin, Texas’ vey own Pure X (made up of singers/guitarists Grace Caulfield, Nate Grace and drummer Austin Youngblood) make sexy, mysterious music that sounds like it’d best be heard in the wee hours of the night at a ghostly dive bar. Sultry and simple, the band’s grungy aesthetic is the South at its coolest.
The Song: “Things in My Head” is slow and steady, shifting from a melancholic verse to a more lighthearted chorus. The group’s organic emotional range is part of their appeal, and the controlled drama that it yields helps to give this gorgeous track a rather cinematic sentiment.
Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.