From the lofty vantage point of SE1, I haven’t heard much buzz from South By Southwest this year, or at least very little in the way of real surprises and completely new discoveries (If you know different, of course, please share).
One thing that has come my way from the Austin scrum, though, is a band from Cleveland called Cloud Nothings, who we’ve been pretty taken with this week. Looking at Cloud Nothings’ Myspace, one particular gig listing stands out to locate where their music fits in – a forthcoming Lawrence, Kansas show with Woods and Real Estate. Their sweet and ramshackle debut, “Turning On”, definitely fits in with that newish lo-fi aesthetic perpetuated by Woodsist et al, and occasionally I can hear the requisite throwbacks to Flying Nun, very early Go-Betweens and so on.
There’s an affinity to Wavves, too, though generally Dylan Baldi (who made the album all by himself, it seems) is more plaintive than bratty. It doesn’t all quite work, sometimes being a little bit too shambling and indie for me. But at the very least check out “Hey Cool Kid” on the Myspace, which is one of the most bashfully insidious songs I’ve heard in a while.
And while you’re around, another new band worth checking out, I think, is Forest Swords, from The Wirral. Forest Swords’ Myspace claims they sound like “River hymns + damp woods + dry leaves + sea winds,” which looks alright. More prosaically, though, I’d venture to pitch them as a kind of Liverpudlian analogue to Sun Araw; a sort of dank, addictive psych-dub band, who occasionally throw in some R&B and vague ethnological forgery vibes, and at other times seem to be jamming, dislocatedly, over an old Burial track.
Judging by these tracks, it actually works really well: check out the pretty amazing “Miarches”, especially, and let me know what you think.