Words by Teresa McCullough
Between weaving in and out of crowds the past three days, to capturing some awesome surprises, SXSW has been one hard grind, but definitely a blast to attend.
If you haven’t heard yet, Elliphant is one cool, down to earth, edgy chick. I had the chance to interview her back in October when she was touring with Charli XCX, and I’ve been a fan ever since. As I popped into a bar called “Container Bar” made of seven stacked shipping containers, I waited for the show to start while making a few new friends. Cue Elliphant chilling at the side of the stage hanging with some fans, taking selfies with a selfie stick, in a 80’s vintage puffy coat and a black beanie that said “Salaam”. I knew that this show was about to ignite the day.
One of her jams, “Down On Life” (Produced by Skrillex) really got me feeling the vibe of the day. The crowd was definitely into the electronic daytime reggae jam out. She hung off the metal poles of the makeshift stage at #thesweetspot, pretty much making the sound check dude cringe, while taking it to a new level. Definitely check out her album Look Like You Love It as she raps over some well produced beats. She’s badass and a fun time.
I got kind of lost when I stumbled upon a very muddy, large outdoor stage, as these youngin’s killed it. Surprised to hear that the band lives close by to Philly, in Baltimore, I was pleasantly mesmerized by their sound. The band, Sun Club, with their 2014 album, Dad Claps At Mom Prom, played a bunch of fun jams like “Summer Feet” and “Beauty Meat”. These kids may be young, but they definitely know how to jam out. Check em out.
Words by Megan Matuzak
Performing at Latitude 30, the self described British Embassy, Honeyblood, a duo from Scotland played to a group of fans who had carved out a portion of their last night at SXSW. Frontwoman Stina Tweeddale was equally gracious and surprised by the crowd, especially when she could hear them singing along to “Super Rat”. An important thing to note about Honeyblood is the new drummer, Cat Myers. Myers is an incredibly skilled drummer; her energy is incomparable and her drum fills are intricate and different every time. She is no doubt holding her own.
Honeyblood played a new song, “A Black Cloud”, which is a heavier track for the band overall. Both Tweeddale and Myers’ energy during the new song was visible and rewarded when the reception from the crowd was overwhelmingly positive. If “A Black Cloud” is a snapshot of an album to come, it should be their most interesting record yet.
Topping off the Saturday night, and SXSW, was none other that Philly’s own, Cheerleader. The five piece had played a variety of different showcases including a small and new spot, Bar 2211, which was separated from most of the hub bub of the part of Austin directly surrounding I35 but right around the corner from the She Shreds Showcase Friday afternoon. But on Saturday night, they played right in the thick of 6th Street, at an official venue called Soho Lounge.
The crowd at Soho Lounge was more the Bud Light and glowstick kind of crowd, but as Cheerleader hit a stride in their set, they all began to bob their heads along and pay attention. It was clear to see that the five piece were having a lot of fun for their last show at SXSW, as they danced around the sectioned off stage and belted the lyrics. Their latest single “Sunshine of Your Youth” boated well with the crowd and Cheerleader undoubtedly gained some new fans.
SXSW was an awesome experience. If you haven’t been before, go. Find out new music, stumble upon cool venues, and make some real connections with people.