We’re releasing a special edition of our monthly mixtape today to coincide with South By Southwest, going on now in Austin, Texas.
Usually, our mixtapes are about discovery + exploration—for us as much as listeners. We comb through the music sent to our way through the various PR and management company lists we’ve ended up on over the years, track bands we like and regular tastemakers like Oh My Rockness, and, of course, being fans of indie music in Southern California, listen to a lot of KCRW (while making an effort not to parrot them), picking favorite new songs every month and presenting 15 of them in a mix. This month, we’re focusing on what bands we’d like see if we were in Austin this week—a musical wish list, if you will—featuring one track from the top twenty artists we’d recommend (an extra five to both reflect the vast array of wonderful bands playing and make up for the five lost when we do our year-end top ten albums).
With a few notable exceptions—we totally Chad Valley recommend to anyone down there that you check out out of the UK; we would have included him, but his new single won’t be out for a couple weeks, so we’ll be sure to add it to next month’s mix. And we feel terrible that we’ve missed him the past couple times he’s been in Los Angeles. And we would have included Middle Kids, but we just included them on last month’s mix; again, highly recommended—we did catch them when they were in town recently and they killed, as the kids say. And Phoebe-fucking-Bridgers—same deal, we just featured her recently, but really want to catch her live. Luckily, like many awesome musicians of late, she lives in LA.
Like the year-end mix, this one will lift our usual rule that don’t include a band more than once in a year’s time.
But who cares about any of that—let’s get to the music. We’re staring out with a track from one of our absolute favorite new artists, New York/Maryland’s Maggie Rogers. By all appearances, she can’t not write an amazing, jaw-dropping song and it’d be a shame to miss her live. Moving on, we’ve got a nice woozy track from Minneapolis’ Dem Yoot; our favorite track from The Japanese House‘s most recent EP; one from the excellent Deep Sea Diver out of Seattle; Chi-Town’s Noname; Nnamdi Ogbonnaya also out of Chicago; a beautiful song from Brighton’s Phoria (totally recommend that whole album); an emotion-packed song from NYC’s Vagabon; long-time favorite, The Lighthouse and the Whaler; the title track off the recent EP from Melbourne quintet Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever; the Bay Area’s Jay Som (AKA Melina Détente); our favorite off of the awesome new full-length from LA-based and NPR-loving Cherry Glazer; an excellent new find for us, Baltimore’s Outer Spaces; Cloud Castle Lake, who’s been on our radar for a while now and is making a welcome trek over from Dublin; a new one from Melbourne’s Woodes; Brooklyn’s Gabriel Garzón-Montano; a new one from London’s Little Simz, who we had one of 2015’s best albums; another new one for us, Austin’s own Migrant Kids; some clever indie rock from St. Paul’s hippo campus; and we’re ending things out with Lizzo, also out of the Twin Cities, whom everyone should see live—we did on the night of this year’s presidential inauguration, and was exactly the dance party of positivity we needed.
So, check out the mix and, if you’re in Austin reading this, check out these bands; you can run a Find command on this page if you’re on your computer (command + f on Macs) and search for the band you’re looking for on the long list of artists. And if you’re not in Austin, track a band you like on Facebook or the like and check them out when they come to your town.
Enjoy. And keep it weird, Austin.