SXSW Song of the Day: Sparkling – I Want To See Everything.

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Photo credit: écoute chérie

It’s not often that you hear a song that requires you to be beyond bilingual but this uplifting tune from the band Sparkling is one such song. The band really commits to the language bit, but it fits the tone of the song.

Sounding like a late ’80s new wave band, Sparkling is a 3 person band from Cologne and everyone from Germany speaks many languages so I guess it’s no surprise. That’s all I can find about this band, so this post ends now.

Sparkling plays Buffalo Billiards on Monday, March 16 and at Seven Grand on Wednesday, March 18.

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.