South by Southwest is a mix of conference and craziness that takes over Austin, Texas every March. Discovery is always a big part of the experience — on the interactive media and film fronts too — but it's the "music + discovery" part of the equation where FUV fits right in. As always, there's a ton of live music too, and here are the results of what we headed to SXSW to share with you.
While music and the arts are clearly in Deva Mahal's bloodline — her parents are the blues legend Taj Mahal and dancer and educator Inshirah Mahal— this singer and songwriter possesses her own style and voice. And what a voice it is. Her Hotel San José performance of the song "Shakes" featured the voices of several grackles too, as well as the familiar guitar chops of Binky Griptite.
Deva Mahal with Binky Griptite (photo by Gus Philippas/WFUV)
One of the biggest buzz bands of the moment is Superorganism, an East London-based, eight-piece band that might just be the freshest act FUV has heard in some time. For a collective that mixes together the musical equivalent of the kitchen sink, the pool at Hotel San José threw in another fun variable (and instrument option) for this performance of "Everybody Wants To Be Famous" from the group's self-titled debut album.
Superorganism (photo by Gus Philippas/WFUV)
Jonathan Visger, who records as Absofacto, has quietly released a number of songs including “Dissolve” which garnered him a great deal of online attention, with over seven million Spotify plays. With bandmates Katie Lee and Mike Higgins, Visger's bedroom pop translated easily to an outdoor setting too, as Hotel San José's courtyard proved its SXSW magic once again.
Absofacto (photo by Gus Philippas/WFUV)
Possessing a voice that is seemingly once in a generation, Courtney Marie Andrews has spent much of the last few years on the road. She settled on Los Angeles to record her new album, May Your Kindness Remain, and in a stop at Hotel San José this SXSW, she performed a poolside version of the album's title track for us.
Courtney Marie Andrews at Hotel San José (photo by Gus Phillipas/WFUV)
Drawing from a range of influences, Nilüfer Yanya's voice and guitar style are fresh and unique. It’s no wonder why she’s been added to the NPR Slingshot initiative as an artist to watch, and FUV was lucky to catch up with her at Hotel San José for this performance of her latest single, "Thanks 4 Nothing," joined by saxophonist Jazzi Bobbi.
Nilüfer Yanya (right) with saxophonist Jazzi Bobbi (left) at Hotel San Jose (photo by Gus Phillipas/WFUV)
Hatchie is the pseudonym for the Brisbane, Australia-based artist Harriette Pilbeam. The song “Sure” was one of our first introductions to her music and the blissful, sun-soaked vibes evoke the best of Slowdive, Lush, and the Sundays. She’s a throwback and a real shoegazing dream who is playing her first shows in the United States, including SXSW and this one-song stop at Hotel San José.
Hatchie at Hotel San José (photo by Gus Phillipas/WFUV)