Looking for some awesome music ahead of the Thunderdome of sonic exploration that is SXSW? Let me be your Lewis and Clark on this journey, your Sherpa through the terrane of the Serengeti of new and exciting tunes soon to be discovered in Austin.
Two bands that are packing a punch in the ultra-competitive arena of Indie rock are Cape Francis and Stranger Ranger. Each group features a unique yet familiar sound that holds crowds close like your favorite crewneck sweater. Their sounds are warm, embracing, and threaded with memories.
Cape Francis feels like the emotion of coming home, or leaving home. Their sound resonates in the soul and reverberates through the whole body. The simplicity of the instrumentation and the warm lyricism of Kevin Olken Henthorn brings about the same sentiment as a Bon Iver song does.
Some killer tracks include “Iditarod,” “5 in the Morning,” Fortified,” and “Olly.”
Stranger Ranger is one of those bands that reminds you how you felt in high school. Whether you were a music nerd, a weirdo, a punk, a photographer, a newspaper kid, or all of the above (this is my biography,) you probably felt like you were alone in this bizarre universe of social constructs. Maybe you and your friends got together and listened to Modest Mouse, American Football, and Snowing and talked about getting out of this dead end town.
Stranger Ranger’s music feels like escaping. It feels like packing up the car and driving somewhere, anywhere, as long as it was far away from here. It feels like the first time you knew that there was more to life than what was just in front of you. Their music is inherently sad, but it also spills over with hope. The subtleties in their chords bring immense emotion and the slow-burning pace of the songs keeps you captivated.
Check out “Hydration is Key,” “House Show” and “Everything All at Once”
Both of these bands will send chills down your spine and are definitely worth seeing live. Check out one or a couple of their shows below.
TBA – BMG Day Party
11pm – Official SXSW Showcase (Rhyme + Reason Records)
12pm – Lazarus Brewing Co. (Music for Listeners Showcase)
12:30pm – Whole Foods (Southwest Invasion)
630pm – Kebabalicious (Boomfantasy/Distrokid Showcase)
4:30pm – Swan Dive (ROSQUATCH Showcase)
TBA – Tiniest Bar (Lil Big Fest)
7:00 pm – Were Trying/Tiny Table Talks
10:30 pm – Phluff Showcase
2:00pm – Grey Estates Showcase
2:30pm – Blast Off Showcase
4:30pm – Tiny Engines Showcase
4:30pm – Topshelf Showcase
10:30pm – Camp West Campus