SXSW Song Of The Day: Ali Barter – January

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Photo Credit: Lindsey Byrnes

In this writer’s humble opinion, some of the best, most compelling songwriters of the past few years just so happen to be Australian women with guitars – think Courtney Barnett, Alex Lahey, Julia Jacklin, and Stella Donnelly, just to name a few. And after listening to her sophomore album Hello, I’m Doing My Best, I just may have to add Melbourne’s Ali Barter to that list.

Hello, I’m Doing My Best, released in October of last year, showcases Barter’s songwriting quite well. Songs like “Backseat” and “Ur A Piece Of Shit” grab the listener with their punky attitude and energy while other tracks take a more introspective approach. “January” falls into the latter category with its lyrical portrait of someone wistfully examining their life with the advent of another new year:

Hey there January
Looks like we’re alone again
Another year is over
Left the same way it came in
Said that I’d be thinner
Said that we’d be better friends
But I’m still on the treadmill
Change the channel

And on a side note, I will point out that the video for “January,” featuring Barter laying by the side of a pool littered with empty beer cans as others continue to party around her, presents a reasonable facsimile of how one can sometimes feel by the end of the week during SXSW.

Ali Barter plays Friends at 10:00pm on Thursday, March 19.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Solveig Matthildur – Dystopian Boy

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Photo Credit: Dean Wallflower

I was already turned onto the dark synth-based sounds of Iceland’s Kælan Mikla this past November when they made a stop in Toronto for a Taste of Iceland/Reykjavik Calling-presented show alongside fellow Icelanders Solstafir, so they were already on my list of notable acts at this year’s edition of SXSW. And with the recent announcement that Kælan Mikla member Sólveig Matthildur would also be performing as a solo artist, one more name has been added to that list.

“Dystopian Boy,” the first single off of Matthildur’s latest album Constantly In Love, definitely shares some sonic DNA with Kælan Mikla while also bringing to mind the likes of Austra and Bjork. Check out the video for “Dystopian Boy” below.

Sólveig Matthildur plays Barracuda Backyard on Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30pm.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Blushing – So Many

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Photo Credit: Cody Ross Cowan

Another day, another SXSW performer profile. Today we turn the spotlight on Austin shoegazers Blushing.

The band, made up of two married couples, just released their self-titled full length debut in September of last year and will be returning to SXSW to promote it.

“So Many,” the lead track off that album, starts things off with a slow burn, taking its time to build up to the big climax until it finally unleashes a burst of distortion just past the halfway mark. Check out the video for “So Many” below.

Blushing plays Esther’s Follies on Thursday, March 19 and probably also a bunch of other shows over the course of the week.

SXSW Song Of The Day: Jehnny Beth – I’m The Man

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Anglophiles that we are, one of Panic Manual’s consistent faves over all our years of attending SXSW has been the British Music Embassy.

And today, we get our first details about this year’s lineup at the Embassy’s new home at Cedar Street Courtyard. With names such as Beabadoobie, The Murder Capital, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Bang Bang Romeo, Steam Down, Orielles, Arlo Parks, Knucks, Aaron Smith, and Self Esteem, it offers up a decent cross section of British music.

Of the names announced so far, one that stands out in particular is the previously unannounced Jehnny Beth, who’ll be showcasing songs off of her upcoming solo debut, To Love Is to Live, at the festival. The Savages singer always puts on an impressive live show, putting her all into each performance, and her appearance at SXSW promises to be no less intense.

Check out the video for “I’m The Man,” the first single off To Love Is to Live, below.

Jehnny Beth plays Cedar Street Courtyard at 11:00pm on Wednesday, March 18.

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