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Pitchfork 2019: Local Spotlight

Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off this Friday, July 19th and as always, there’s no shortage of Chicago musicians and bands slated to perform this year. Before you head out to Union Park to experience another packed weekend of live music, brush up on our favorite Chicago artists performing this year.


Ric Wilson

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Photo By Michael Salisbury

Ric Wilson’s bouncy, disco-inspired raps have an infectious energy about them, which carries over to his charismatic stage presence. Blending funk, R&B, and smooth hip-hop, Wilson’s work on his EPs BANBA and Negrow Disco, as well as his latest single “Yelllowbrick,” offers a little something for everyone. While he’s able to connect with listeners through his lyricism, Wilson connects best with his audience during his interactive live performances— there’s no doubt he’ll have the full crowd dancing along to his Pitchfork set. Plus, with an extensive catalog of collaborations with fellow Chicago musicians, chances are we’ll have a special guest or two pop up during Wilson’s set.

For Fans Of: Kweku Collins, Joey Purp, Saba

Start With: “No Hands,” “Hang Loose,” and “Yellowbrick”

Where To Catch Him: Saturday, Red Stage at 1:45-2:25pm


Lala Lala

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius


Fronted by London-born, Chicago-based singer songwriter Lillie West, Lala Lala has performed at just about every venue in the city and toured nationally, sharing the stage with bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Frankie Cosmos and Wolf Parade. Lala Lala’s music has connected with a wide-array of audiences thanks to West’s knack for honest and introspective storytelling through her lyrics and her fearless exploration of different sonic landscapes on the 2018 album The Lamb. Make sure you get to the festival early on Saturday to catch a set from West and her band, which will likely be packed with veteran musicians of Chicago’s scene.

For Fans Of: Madeline Kenney, Jay Som, Soccer Mommy

Start With: “Water Over Sex,” “Scary Movie,” and “I Get Cut”

Where to Catch Them: Saturday, Green Stage at 1:00-1:40pm


Tasha

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Photo By Alexa Viscius

Chicago singer-songwriter Tasha has been on a roll since releasing a stunning debut Alone at Last in 2018 via Father/Daughter Records. The record garnered praise from listeners and critics with Tasha’s blend of soothing vocals, gentle melodies and poetic lyrics. This year, Tasha has embarked on her first national tour, playing with artists like Helado Negro and Hand Habits, as well as performing at SXSW. Tasha’s self-described “bed songs” that combine indie pop with a soulful touch will ease Pitchfork goers into the third day of the fest, allowing for a tranquil moment to start the final day.

For Fans Of: Gia Margaret, Jamila Woods, Sir Babygirl

Start With: “Lullaby,” “New Place,” and “Winter Song IV”

Where to catch her: Sunday, Blue Stage at 2:45-3:30pm


Grapetooth

Photo by Alex Hupp

Photo by Alex Hupp

A collaboration between Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel and producer/songwriter Chris Bailoni, Grapetooth’s synth-heavy, new-wave sound translates into a spirited and raucous live performance, which make the perfect Friday afternoon act to get everyone ready for the long weekend ahead. Since Frankel and Bailoni teamed up and released their first single in 2017, they’ve followed that up with a debut full length release via Polyvinyl Records and played sold out shows across the city. From Lincoln Hall to Thalia Hall, each of Grapetooth’s shows have no shortage of dancing and shenanigans— most of their shows have ended up with the audience joining the band onstage for their closing song, “Trouble.”

For Fans Of: New Order, Knox Fortune, Broncho

Start With: “Trouble,” “Blood,” and “Red Wine”

Where to Catch Them: Friday, Blue Stage at 4:00-4:45pm


Whitney

Photo By Olivia Bee

Photo By Olivia Bee

Whitney is returning to play their second Pitchfork, having first played in 2016 following the release of their debut album. Besides already playing Pitchfork, Whitney has also played Lollapalooza and sold out, back-to-back shows at venues like Thalia Hall, so chances are you’ve seen them play at one point or another. However, this show at Pitchfork marks their first Chicago performance of the new era; Whitney’s second album Forever Turned Around is slated for release on August 30th. Their set at the festival will undoubtedly feature the live premiere of some of the new music, so don’t miss out on the Chicago kick off for Whitney’s highly-anticipated new music.

For Fans Of: Kevin Morby, Durand Jones & The Indications, Courtney Barnett

Start With: “Giving Up,” “Golden Days,” and “No Woman”

Where to Catch Them: Sunday, Green Stage at 6:15-7:15pm


Full Pitchfork Festival Schedule 2019

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Courtesy of Pitchfork Festival

Get your tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival here before it’s too late, and catch up on Pitchfork years past below!






PHOTOS: Rock the Garden 2019

This year the annual Rock The Garden festival returned with a stacked lineup. We caught incredible sets from deM atlaS, Heart Bones, Adia Victoria, X, Bad Bad Hats, Courtney Barnett and The National— check out our photo recap below!

Mamby On The Beach Returns for 2019

Mamby on the Beach will be back for another year of festivities and music at the beach this August 23rd and 24th. While their location and schedule might be different than year’s past, the line up is full of an incredible variety of acts as usual. Headliners include Brockhampton, Troye Sivan, Zhu, and Sylvan Esso and acts like T-Pain, Noname, Empress Of, and The Aces are also slated to perform at Montrose Beach. For the full line up head here, and snag your tickets before it’s too late!

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If You Don’t Like It, Book It: A Recap of Book Your Own Fest

Content Warning: discussion of sexual assault


While interviewing the organizers of Book Your Own Fest, we ended up discussing our shared love of indie punk band, Camp Cope. Organizers Tia and Tayler Krabbenhoft told me that last summer they got a chance to see Camp Cope live, and afterwards got in a word with drummer, Sarah Thompson. When they relayed their stories of speaking out against abusers in the music scene Thompson replied “you’re pissing off the right people.” Keep this sentiment in mind as you read.


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Not many music festivals can say they were begat from a meme. Except for Book Your Own Fest, which just had its inaugural event this past March in Fargo, ND. You can thank Tayler Krabbenhoft, the main organizer of the festival, for the cool name. Or you can thank fellow Fargo music festival, The New Direction Fest (TND), for the conversation that spurred it. Back in January, Krabbenhoft posted a moderately innocuous meme on Facebook poking fun of TND Fest’s dude-heavy lineup, and a former TND volunteer took to commenting “if you don’t like it, book your own fest.” And so Krabbenhoft did exactly that.

“I wanted to prove that with less money, less resources, and less time we could get a lot of diverse acts— genre-wise and people-wise,” Tayler tells me during a break between sets. It’s the final day of Book Your Own Fest and I am sandwiched in Tayler’s tour van along with her sister and bandmate Tia Krabbenhoft, longtime friend and fellow organizer Cydney Berlinger, and a case of Hamms.

Performances at Book Your Own Fest ranged from ambient spoken word to fast punk sets and, poignantly, not a single act on the bill was all-male. But Book Your Own fest almost didn’t happen. The sisters recently received a particularly unsettling threat that made them hesitant to continue for safety reasons. But unfortunately, the sisters seem pretty used to handling this type of thing. Their band, Free Truman, earned a reputation last summer when they publicly called out a man who non-consensually kissed a woman at another local venue. After doing so they were met with outrage and online harassment from various men, and after Tayler’s meme caught wind, she endured another round of online barrages, eventually ending in someone leaking her address. It seems impossible to discuss Book Your Own Fest without also discussing sexism and rape culture. It’s all inextricably linked. “People who… aren’t so much with [Book Your Own Fest], would be like ‘oh they’re just causing drama, they’re just starting things’” continues Tayler. That word, ‘drama’, sparks palpable frustration in the van. Being accused of drama is one of the oldest ways in the book to diminish women’s feelings and write off the importance of their ideas. Is DIY an ethic or a middle school hallway? (P.S does anyone wanna book Drama Fest next? I’ll cover it.) Conflating “drama” with “talking openly about experiences with sexual assault” seems to be all too common of a confusion. Quieter, but still adamant, Tayler reminds us how often it happens (sexual assault that is, not drama) ”Things like this affect more people than you even know… it happens all the time in the music scene.” With all that said, I down a shot of tequila from one of several red plastic cups littering the floor of the van and go back inside, trying to reorient myself.

Book Your Own Fest is held at Red Raven Espresso Parlour. A cafe and venue that Cyndey is a barista at. But inside it’s easy to see why Red Raven would be the logical choice regardless; Adorned with pieces of kitsch decor and various anti-Trump memorabilia, I think it’s safe to assume this is where any DIY kid would scamper off to in a small town. And hey, they even had gender neutral bathrooms (which is honestly ahead of a lot of venues on that curve). Given the high visibility of it all, I assumed there would be more righteousness in the air. That it would feel radically different to see performers on a stage where they weren’t being evaluated as comparisons to men. But perhaps the chip on my shoulder is weightier than that of Tayler’s. I also couldn’t help wondering if some of the fun of Book Your Own Fest comes from a community showing that they could do everything the boys could and more. But there was an extra layer of safety. I felt better taken care of in Red Raven Espresso Parlor than I have in many a house show. I moved in the space, unafraid to take up room. I didn’t feel like that, at any moment, a late twenties man in a leather jacket would use me to start a mosh pit at an uncalled for period of time. And, although Fargo, ND is far from a queer oasis, my tired boyfriend who I bullied into driving me 3+ hours and I were able to curl up in a booth at the cafe with no side eyes. At one point a friend nicknamed ‘Coach’ announces to the Krabbenhofts that the baked potatoes were here. Which encompasses part of the feeling of being at Book Your Own Fest. Tayler and Tia had been cooking all week so that there would be homemade food at the fest. And, evidently, they ordered baked potatoes as well. There’s nothing quite like home-cooked food that says “I want you to be here”.” The warmth of the atmosphere suggests the fest has happened before and will happen again. Not to mention that the schedule ran on time (for the most part). At one point the vocalist of Lincoln, NE band Histrionic said “I suck. No I don’t suck” as they tuned between songs. “I know if I say that you’ll all be like ‘no you don’t!’ Whatever.” During Free Truman’s own set, Tia’s drumstick briefly went flying, which was only met with cheers. There was room for mistakes at Book Your Own Fest, and there was room for support.

Book Your Own Fest is special, it’s one of the first of its kind. But it also isn’t exactly hard to find non-men, and queer folks, and black and brown folks making music. So if this is who’s making music, shouldn’t festivals generally reflect that? However, I have a strong feeling that anyone condemning an ask for a more inclusive lineup are the same people who are on social media asking if anyone “knows any good female-fronted bands.” In case you were curious, TND Fest did eventually book more “diverse” acts. Seven to be precise. That would be seven acts that aren’t all male out of twenty one. A whopping one third. Take that, sexism! To clarify, Tayler did not just sit around making memes at the ready. She actually met with a TND organizer to have a conversation regarding the lack of… women. The organizer apparently had the audacity to ask her “is this not enough for you?” No. It isn’t. Book Your Own Fest is the result of years of tokenization. Of being a band comprised of two latinx women who are used as check mark in the diversity box. Don’t throw us a bone and expect us to treat it like a feast. Book Your Own Fest is the feast. It’s the lineup that made me drive over three hours to a city I barely knew existed. All because I wanted to bear witness to something that seems impossible for music scenes, whether they be DIY or industry giants, to understand: a lineup with many acts that aren’t cis white dudes. The whole night, something nags me. Where are you looking in which there are not any non-male bands? Where are you looking in which no POC bands exist? Or is your milktoast lineup the result of not looking at all because it’s far easier to pretend you’re not part of the problem and offer up flimsy excuses? Defending lazy lineups by way of sending threats to young women?…Perhaps the lady doth protest too much.

It is a potent time to be an artist with an opinion, particularly a non-male artist with an opinion. Book Your Own Fest feels like a call to action in this sense. Music doesn’t have to look like that. Book Your Own Fest exudes a you-can-do-it-too attitude. And it only takes one. That first time you see someone who looks like you doing something you love, it changes you. Free Truman themselves wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for seeing Cydney’s former band, Uncle Grandpa, play a show when they were younger. And now Free Truman is providing that same affirming mirror, both as a band and with Book Your Own Fest. Earlier Tayler told me, “It’s literally life changing to see someone who looks like you playing music.” I hope someone in the audience feels that same way.

The music industry is so often viewed as a boys game, and if you want to gain entry it’s advised that you play like a boy. But the Krabbenhofts developed their own strategy. Book Your Own Fest thrived without a single all-male act on the bill. It thrived with a differently natured community. Which begs the question, if three young women in a small town can put together an inclusive two day festival in under three months, why can all professional bookers and promoters scrounge up for us is an opener?



Keep up with Free Truman on Instagram + Twitter  and Cydney Berlinger’s band Plumslugger on Facebook





SXSW 2019: The Complete Photo Gallery

Check out our photo gallery from the annual SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas— and stay tuned for interviews and more recaps coming next week.


March 12th featuring Husky Loops, Fatherson, and ShitKid

March 13th featuring The Dunts, Thyla, Easy Life, Dehd, Molly Burch, Slow Pulp, Shy Boys, Fontaines D.C.

March 14th: ANCHR Showcase featuring Faux Furrs, Seasaw, The Golden Fleece, Deeper, Pool Holograph, Uma Bloo, Half Gringa, Rookie, Thompson Springs, The Evening Attraction, Blue Dream

March 15th featuring Pottery, Parrot Dream, Black Belt Eagle Scout, HÆLOS, Tasha, Sir Babygirl

March 16th featuring WAND, Fontaines D.C., Gnarcissists, Stuyedeyed, High Waisted, Pinky Pinky, The Dunts, Native Sun, Miya Folick, Kirin J Callinan

Portraits featuring Stuyedeyed, Nardwuar with Public Practice, Pinky Pinky, Native Sun, Ric Wilson and The Dunts


SXSW 2019 Highlights: The Best New Acts We Saw in Austin

As with most music festivals, I went into the week at SXSW having a list of artists I had seen before and wanted to see again, but the true beauty of any festival is stumbling across some gems that you’ve either never seen before, or never even heard of. With hundreds of showcases and more than a thousand artists, SXSW offers the best opportunities for music fans to discover their new favorite bands, and this year I definitely found a few new personal favorites. Read up on the nine best new bands I caught at SXSW 2019 below!


Fatherson

I caught a great set from Scottish rock band Fatherson on my first night in Austin, on March 12th at Seven Grand. The Kilmarnock-based trio fronted by Ross Leighton have actually been around since 2010 and toured with the likes of Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit, Panic! at the Disco, and Enter Shikari, but this year marked their return to SXSW for the first time since 2015, and I finally got the chance to see them perform this time around. Throughout their set at Seven Grand, the bandmates seemed to have this sense of ease and chemistry between one another, which perfectly complimented Leighton’s powerful, yet silky vocals.

Listen to Fatherson’s 2018 album Sum of All Your Parts here and see where they’re playing next here.

For Fans Of: Foals, Twin Atlantic, Frightened Rabbit

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ShitKid

Swedish musician Åsa Söderqvist— AKA ShitKid— took the stage at the wee hour of 1AM on March 12th at Cheer Up Charlie’s indoor venue, and while she and the audience theoretically should have been exhausted from a full day of music at that point, no one let on and the room buzzed with an electric energy during the entire set, proving you shouldn’t ever judge a band by their name. Söderqvist and her bandmate kept the crowd entertained throughout their set with different antics; whether it was dismantling the drum set on stage, climbing ledges around the room, or lifting their instruments above their heads, there was never a dull moment during the show. Unsurprisingly, the crowd begged for an encore song from ShitKid, but unfortunately the venue curfew didn’t allow for their demands to be granted.

Keep up with ShitKid’s upcoming tour dates here.

For Fans Of: Cherry Glazerr, Chastity Belt, Charly Bliss

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Fontaines D.C.

Easily one of the most buzzed about bands at this year’s festival, the Dublin-based Fontaines D.C. put on a show well worth the hype. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform twice, for the first time on March 13th at Swan Dive, which drew a huge crowd and a line out the door. The band’s collective stage presence had this juxtapositional sense about it, with lead singer Grian Chatten coming across visibly anxious as he paced the stage on his tip toes and bit his fingernails, while his bandmates would thrash around the stage or climb up on the amps during the show. The dynamic worked really well and had everyone hooked, and towards the end of the set, a large mosh pit started going for the Irish punk band.

Fontaines D.C. returns to The States later this year for a tour with Idles— dates here, and you can listen to their latest single here.


For Fans Of: Idles, Iceage, Protomartyr

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The Dunts

Another great export from across the pond at this year’s SXSW: Glasgow’s The Dunts. The four-piece formed in late 2016, but have already garnered plenty of buzz around their sound and live performances, which has earned them past slots at Reeding and Leeds festival and upcoming slots at UK Festivals this summer. Their guitar-driven tracks and rowdy stage presence blends perfectly with their catchy choruses and guaranteed-to-get-stuck-in-your-head melodies. Although this was their first ever SXSW, both of their performances that I caught (on 3/13 at The British Embassy and 3/16 at 720 Club) drew in very large crowds of enthusiastic fans.

Stay tuned for an interview with The Dunts coming soon, right here on ANCHR!

For Fans Of: The Vaccines, Shame, White Reaper

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Black Belt Eagle Scout

I was lucky enough to catch Black Belt Eagle Scout, the project of singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Katherine Paul, on Friday, 3/15, when I arrived to a venue early for HÆLOS’ final set of the festival. While I had never had a chance to listen to Black Belt Eagle Scout’s music, Paul and her bandmates instantly won me over with their live show, which kept the audience on their toes with a dynamic performance. The set had more delicate, softer moments that lured the audience members in, but Paul and her bassist also didn’t pass up the opportunity to shred.

Black Belt Eagle Scout will tour with Julia Jacklin in April and May, including an already sold out show at Schubas Tavern on May 8th. Full dates here.


For Fans Of: Julia Jacklin, Miya Folick, The Beths

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Pottery

Montreal’s Pottery hasn’t been around long at all, but they had large crowds at both of their sets that I attended. Blending together elements of different genres—from surf rock to post-punk to krautrock— there’s a special element to their sound that you just can’t put your finger on, but it made the perfect soundtrack for Friday afternoon when I first saw them at a Cheer Up Charlie’s day party. So far Pottery has only released two singles, but based on their live shows, their future releases will be worth the wait.

See where you can catch the new band on tour next— upcoming dates here.

For Fans Of: The Districts, Omni, Ty Segall

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Sir Babygirl

For the Father/Daughter Records showcase on Friday night, Sir Babygirl (the moniker for musician Kelsie Hogue) went all out with her stage presence; face paint, a full getup featuring a tutu-esque cape, and back up dancers. While that performance was completely captivating and demanded the audience’s attention for obvious reasons, I also had the chance to catch a solo, acoustic set from Sir Babygirl on Sunday afternoon, and Hogue’s stripped-back performance commanded the room just the same as the first time I saw her perform. As a songwriter and performer, Sir Babygirl exudes her message so clearly and so powerfully that you can’t help but listen and appreciate.

Keep up with Sir Babygirl updates here.

For Fans Of: Hand Habits, Caroline Rose, illuminati hotties

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Native Sun

SXSW-goers packed in Cheer Up Charlie’s indoor room for a rambunctious show from New York’s Native Sun on Saturday night, 3/16. While the four-piece was another one of buzziest bands this year, my first time seeing them only exceeded my expectations. Between the crowd surfing that occurred in the low-ceiling venue and lead singer Danny Gomez jumping off stage while the rest of the band let loose onstage, I think it’s safe to say everyone in the room had their adrenaline pumping at the end of the set.

Keep up with Native Sun here and stay tuned for our interview with them.

For Fans Of: Acid Dad, Naked Giants, Twin Peaks

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Gnarcissists

I got the chance to finally see one of Gnarcissists’ many SXSW sets on Saturday, 3/16, at Spider House, and besides being one of the best new bands I saw, their set was one of my all-time favorites at SXSW. Although this set was near the end of the long week, the band members cranked up the volume and still poured all of their energy into this performance. Refusing to remain confined to the stage set up outdoors at Spider House, the band jumped offstage to play amongst the crowd that had gathered to watch the care-free gig.

Keep up with Gnarcissists’ upcoming shows and announcements here.


For Fans Of: Cage The Elephant, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Stuyedeyed

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SXSW Spotlight 2019: Ten Acts Not to Miss This Year

The annual SXSW Festival kicked off over the weekend in Austin, Texas with Interactive and Film festivals, and the Music festival commences this week with over a thousand showcasing artists performing at different venues around the city. Between unofficial and official showcases happening all day and all night, creating your schedule for the fest can be quite an overwhelming feat. If you’re looking for some help selecting artists to keep on your radar throughout the week, we’ve got you covered! Below are ten official showcasing artists that are ANCHR approved must-sees.


Deeper

With their catchy, punchy guitar melodies and the refreshing spin they put on post punk influences, Chicago’s Deeper is one band you can’t miss at SXSW this year. They’ve played stages of all sizes across Chicago over the past few years— most recently selling out a headlining gig at Sleeping Village and taking part in a packed Planned Parenthood fundraiser at Lincoln Hall. Since the release of their self-titled debut record in 2018, Deeper has spent a significant of time out on the road, including a cross country stint with The Districts. Get to know more about the band here, and go see them at one of their nine shows this week!

For Fans Of: Omni, Ought, The Districts

Start With: “Pink Showers,” “Pavement,” and “Message Erased”

Where to catch them: Deeper will be playing showcases 3/12 through 3/15. See their full schedule here, including a spot on the ANCHR Magazine showcase.

Thumbnail Image of Deeper by Brendan Carroll

Madeline Kenney

Multi-tasker extrodinaire Madeline Kenney followed up her 2017 debut record with Perfect Shapes last year, an album she recorded in Durham, North Carolina with producer Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock of Dimes). Kenney managed to write and record her sophomore effort while also running her own record label and touring throughout the year— sharing stages with the likes of Wye Oak, Soccer Mommy, and Jay Som. Perfect Shapes embodies Kenney’s growth as an artist and the triumph that can come from creating outside of your comfort zone and past boundaries. Although the album is full of complexity on both a lyrical and sonic level, weaving together layered and experimental sounds, Kenney and her band step up to the challenge of bringing these songs to life on stage, with more limited resources than in the studio. Don’t miss out on Madeline Kenney’s handful of gigs this week, and get to know more about her here.

For Fans Of: Miya Folick, Lala Lala, Flock of Dimes

Start With: “Bad Idea,” “Cut Me Off,” and “Perfect Shapes”

Where to catch her: Madeline has shows at SXSW from 3/10 through 3/14. See her full schedule here.

Lunar Vacation

Hailing from Atlanta, Lunar Vacation’s surf rock vibes (or “pool rock,” as they describe it) will fit right in with the warm weather in Austin this week. On their EPs Artificial Flavors and Swell, the band mix breezy guitar melodies with enchanting, hazy vocals that will be sure to get you swaying along during their shows. Although Lunar Vacation just formed in 2016, the band has already shared the stage with the likes of Hockey Dad, Calpurnia and Triathalon, and they’re giving you plenty of chances to see them during SXSW.

For Fans Of: Beach Bunny, The Marías, Hockey Dad

Start With: “The Basement,” “Swimming,” and “Too Late, Colin”

Where to catch them: Lunar Vacation has shows at SXSW from 3/11 through 3/17— full schedule here.

Slow Pulp

Slow Pulp recently moved from Madison to Chicago and quickly took the city by a storm, selling out a headlining show at Schubas in January and opening up a sold out Vundabar show at The SubT only a few weeks later. It’s no doubt they’ll be a hit at this year’s SXSW with their easy-on-the-ears sound that blends together the best of psychedelic rock, indie pop and punk genres. Lead singer Emily Massey’s dreamy vocals are just as flawless onstage as they are in the band’s recorded tunes, and the whole band pours everything they’ve got into their live performances—so be sure to catch one of their energetic and inspiring gigs this week.

For Fans Of: Vundarbar, Hala, Bad Bad Hats

Start With: “Steel Birds,” “Preoccupied,” and “Die Alone”

Where to catch them: You have nine chances to catch Slow Pulp at SXSW- see them all here.

Tasha

Chicago singer-songwriter Tasha released her stunning debut album Alone at Last in 2018 via Father/Daughter Records, garnering high praise from both music critics and fans. Blending together soothing vocals, gentle melodies and poetic lyrics, the album provides listeners with a tranquil oasis. “These are bed songs,” Tasha aptly says about the collection of soulful indie-pop songs, which will undoubtedly be a heavenly escape for SXSW festival goers this week.

For Fans Of: Gia Margaret, Jamila Woods, Sir Babygirl

Start With: “Lullaby,” “New Place,” and “Winter Song IV”

Where to catch her: Tasha will be playing a handful of shows on 3/14 and 3/15—full details here.

TWEN

Nashville’s TWEN (Jane Fitzsimmons and Ian Jones) doesn’t actually have any studio recordings out at the moment, but their vibrant live performances have already fostered a lot of buzz around the band. Recently, Jones, Fitzsimmons and their bandmates have toured around the country with Naked Giants and Ron Gallo, but this year marks the indie rock duo’s SXSW debut. They’re coming in hot with eight gigs at the festival, and you can get ready for their shows by listening to their live EP on Spotify.

For Fans Of: Caroline Rose, Ron Gallo, Sunflower Bean

Start With: “Awestruck,” “Damsel,” and “Baptism”

Where to find them: Twen is giving you plenty of chances to see them play this week, from 3/13 to 3/16. Full schedule here.

Taylor Janzen

Winnipeg-based indie folk singer-songwriter Taylor Janzen just released her debut EP last year, but she’s already struck a chord with listeners across North America. Deemed Interpersonal, the four song collection boasts a raw and vulnerable quality that’s both relatable and refreshing. This year will mark Janzen’s SXSW debut, but she’s also slated for sets at festivals like Winnipeg Folk Festival, Bunbury Festival, and Shaky Knees later this year, so don’t miss your chance to see her early on. You can find out more about Taylor Janzen (including her love for Dennis Quaid) by checking out our interview here.

For Fans Of: Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers, Boniface

Start With: “Stations,” “The Waiting Room,” and “Colourblind”

Where to catch her: See Taylor’s official SXSW schedule here.

Stuyedeyed

This Brooklyn-based four piece fronted by Nelson Hernandez-Espinal pack their music and their show with energy, volume, and a clear message. Through their lyrics and their onstage commentary, Stuyedeyed makes it clear they’re here to say something with their art, and that they’ll always use their platform to call out negative behavior and create a safe space. In addition to being advocates, the members of Stuyedeyed have proven themselves to be one of the hardest working bands by constantly touring and playing shows, while also working on new material. The band just recently wrapped up a run with Post Animal and Ron Gallo, and they’ll also be swinging back through the midwest for a string of tour dates post-SXSW. Stuyedeyed is returning to the festival this year with a show every day, so there’s no excuse not to catch them at least once this week!

For Fans Of: Post Animal, Naked Giants, Acid Dad

Start With: “Mr. Policeman,” “Funeral,” and “Gun”

Where to catch them: See Stuyedeyed from 3/11 to 3/17— more details here.

Dehd

Dehd combines the best from Chicago musicians Jason Balla (NE-HI, Earring), Emily Kempf (Vail, formerly Lala Lala) and Eric McGrady to craft a distinctive sound that’s undeniably their own. Their punchy guitars and breezy melodies have a signature tone that sets Dehd apart from other artists in the same genre, and their unique set up and enthusiastic performances make for one of the best live shows in the city. Following their 2016 self-titled debut, Dehd has released an EP and a few singles, but just last week the band announced their next full length album, Water, out May 10th. Make sure you catch one of their many shows this week to get a sneak peek at what the album will sound like.

For Fans Of: Preoccupations, Priests, Flasher

Start With: “Dying For,” “Sunburn,” and “Lucky”

Where to catch them: You have plenty of chances to see DEHD from 3/12 to 3/16—full show details here.

HÆLOS

Back in 2016, London’s HÆLOS had just released their debut album, Full Circle, and they were one of the buzziest bands at that year’s SXSW. This year, they’re finally back at the festival and on the brink of their sophomore effort, Any Random Kindness— out May 10th. The band made their first recent release with single “Buried in the Sand” in October and have since drip-fed a few more singles from the upcoming album, all of which showcase lead singer Lotti Benardout’s hypnotizing, ethereal vocals. While HÆLOS’ sound falls within an electronic pop realm, their live shows have a very organic vibe and a special touch that you can’t get just from listening to their record, so don’t miss them this week.

For Fans Of: TV On The Radio, HONNE, London Grammar

Start With: “Dust,” “Pray,” “Buried in the Sand”

Where to catch them: HÆLOS will be playing shows 3/12 through 3/15. See their full schedule here.


This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bands to check out at SXSW 2019, and this only includes official showcasing artists. There’s still plenty of bands popping up on unofficial shows all week— including ANCHR’s first unofficial showcase on March 14th. RSVP for that show to see Pool Holograph, Deeper, Uma Bloo, Seasaw, Rookie, Thompson Springs and more!













Live Recap: Yoke Lore's Sold Out Return to Schubas for TNK Fest 2019

Brooklyn’s Adrian Galvin (AKA Yoke Lore) is no stranger to Chicago, having played the city several times over the past couple of years. At Schubas alone, Yoke Lore has performed there supporting Overcoats and as headliner, and this past Saturday, he returned to headline a sold out show. The TNK show, which took place on the fourth night of the annual winter festival, had sold out weeks in advance, so I knew going into the show that the room would be packed with eager fans.

After Shortly had to unfortunately cancel their set, Deanna Devore stepped in to open up the show, alongside Chicago’s Ester and Nashvilles Sontalk. The crowd of dedicated fans showed up early and listened attentively to the first three acts, and in the final moments before Yoke Lore would hit the stage, the room buzzed with anxious excitement. Finally, the lights dimmed and Galvin and his bandmate made their way up onto the dark stage. As Galvin began to strum his banjo, the lights flickered on and Yoke Lore music videos and visuals were projected on the screen set up as a backdrop. The crowd sang along to the set openers “Fake You” and “Only You,” and Galvin’s signature dance moves accompanied his ethereal vocals and twangy banjo. When it came time in the set for Yoke Lore to perform the viral cover of “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden, an audience member shouted out that the track was their wedding song, and Galvin dedicated the performance to them. The highlight of the night came when it was time for Galvin to perform the popular single “Beige,” and the echoes of every single person in the room singing along bounced around the room.

Eventually, it was time for Yoke Lore to exit the stage, but the audience begged for an encore with cheers and applause. Galvin didn’t make them wait long before he returned for a couple more songs, including the unreleased “Tom Robbins.” Before playing the final song, Galvin explained that he’ll probably never record the tune, in order to keep it as a special part of his live shows forever. “When you record a song, there’s a piece of it that gets morphed,” he said. “I want this song to be just for us,” he continued and played the song while the backdrop showed a starry night scene.

Yoke Lore’s TNK performance added another layer with the visual projections, but at its core remained the beautiful authenticity that Galvin’s art and music has always showcased. Based on the success of this show, 2019 is gearing up to be a huge year for Yoke Lore, so don’t miss him when he comes to a city near you! Check out Yoke Lore’s 2019 tour dates here.


Photos of Deanna Devore, Ester, Sontalk and Yoke Lore at Schubas Tavern