Every year I listen to hundreds of bands in preparation for SXSW and I've noticed that each year has a unique musical trend that I associate with it. I've been through everything in the last eight years, including dub-step, electro-rock, old-school hip-hop and big folk bands. This year it seems that last year's breakthrough, Purity Ring, made an unmistakable impact on the industry because the "female lead with electronic backing and dark moody vocals" market is officially flooded. Not that I'm complaining because it turns out that this unusual combination makes for some pretty fantastic headphone fodder. However, I think the key is to figure out which of these is worth catching live since it's been my experience that shows of this nature can be a confusing mess for guys like myself. For example, here's a transmission from my brain last year at a Purity Ring concert:
"Jason, you need to dance like you're listening to house music. Wait no, stop, that's too high energy. Try shoe-gazing and flop your arms around a bit, no...nope, definitely not, you're getting looks. Oh crap, you love these lyrics coming up, for the love of god, don't try to sing like... *ADORN ME IN FEATHERS OF DEAD BIRDS* ...her. Sigh, can you please go get a drink so I can forget this?"
This year, there are several bands on my must-see list who fit this musical bill and I'm not sure which of them will translate to an enjoyable live show but I plan on seeing them all and think you should as well. If you happen to see me out there, maybe you can give me some tips on how to publicly groove to this type of music because I could sure use them.
For the record, I'm calling this genre "Witch Synth" because I think it sounds rad, and well, because I can.
Here's my short list of Witch Synth artists playing at SXSW 2013: