05 March 2011 - 0 Comments
This year SXSW celebrates its 25th anniversary, and will see over 1900 bands play during the 4 day festival in a multitude of venues in and around the world famous 6th street in downtown Austin, Texas. The conference attracts over 13000 music professionals and fans alike from all over the world with the common interests of music and music business.
New Zealand has a strong representation of artists once again making the trek to Austin;
Extraordinary singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser released her third album Flags in October 2010 and celebrated with sold-out tours in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. Flags reached the #1 spot on the New Zealand album chart, #3 in Australia and entered at #59 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts in America and climbing as high as #3 on the U.S iTunes album chart. The first single from Flags, “Something in the Water,” is a hit at radio around the globe.
Kids of 88
It's pretty much impossible for any band to pull of a support slot for bands as diverse as Scissor Sisters, Passion Pit and Ke$ha successfully... unless you're New Zealand's KIDS OF 88. Not only did they pull it off, they did it without compromising, at least not consciously. With their debut U.S. single/EP "Just A Little Bit" (Dryden Street / SonyMusic Independent Network), Kids of 88 have fashioned music that combines their synth-based dance beats with a purely melodic song structure, creating music that's as fresh and exciting as it is propulsive and driving.
The Naked and Famous (pictured)
After releasing two critically acclaimed EPs, the group exploded onto the world stage after their self-released single “Young Blood”. The single debuted at number one in NZ in May 2010 and saw them quickly signed by UK label Fiction Records. “Young Blood” went on to platinum sales and won the group the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award in New Zealand. The album has already received glowing four-star reviews in Uncut and Mojo and seen The Naked And Famous feature on major festival line-ups for 2011. “Young Blood” has already hit Alternative Top 10 charts in Australia, Canada, the USA, UK and Germany and their songs have featured in television shows including Gossip Girl, Chuck, and Vampire Diaries.
Liam Finn has confirmed his first ever North American tour with a full band. Kicking off at SXSW. Finn has spent much of the past year working on the follow-up to his debut 'I'll Be Lightning,' which will be released this spring he burst onto the American scene in 2008 with the release of 'I'll Be Lightning,' which earned him Artist to Watch accolades from The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Stereogum and more. Spin called it "a remarkable solo debut album of bittersweet indie pop," while Entertainment Weekly praised his "effervescent choruses [and] swooning harmonies."
While studying for a music degree in her hometown of Auckland she created enough buzz with laptop crafted demos to garner airplay on national radio and in the past 18 months she’s performed at some of the country’s biggest festivals, as well as performing opening sets for the likes of The Kills and Peaches, in early March she will tour nationally with Mark Ronson as well as perform at Future Music Festival. Her New Zealand debut single “Broken Machine” was released late September 2010 and rounded out the year at Gold record status. The follow up single "Bite Back" is currently on rotation on commercial and alternative networks in both Australia and New Zealand. Perez Hilton premiered the video - decrying Zowie "Fierce Deluxe".
Street Chant has toured New Zealand with their spiritual antecedents The 3Ds, The Clean, Black Lips, The Fall and played around Australia with The Dead Weather. At home their debut album Means surprised everyone by going into the local album charts at number 30 and they also won a local music award called “The Critics Choice”. In October 2010 Street Chant played CMJ with acts such as The Crystal Stilts and The Mad Scene. The New York Examiner picked them as one of the top bands to see, Brooklyn Vegan called them "the darlings of the night" and The C-Ville News they were "perhaps the best band that I saw all weekend"
Surf City are not just flash in the pan new kids. Formed in Auckland’s Mt Roskill, they’ve been making a racket around the garages and practice rooms since 2004. Locally, it wasn’t long before they were filling the basement bars and urban hang outs with their warm fuzzed up and strummed down frenetic tones. It was a sound pioneered in the early 1980s by New Zealand bands like The Clean and The Bats. But, Surf City are moving the sound forwards into the new millennium. They were giving the sound their own new contemporary twist. After negotiations with a number of labels, they finally settled on Fire Records, who released their debut album Kudos in late 2010. So far the album has been a US College radio favorite (reaching no.18 in CMJ top 200) and picked up great reviews with the likes of Pitchfork and Popmatters.
Dynamic and dark, Battle Circus pummels the senses with stunningly dramatic ferocity. The four-piece's reputation for explosive performances and bold, ambitious musical arrangements has led to numerous shows around the world supporting Amanda Palmer, Gary Numan, and Karnivool. No strangers to the international festival circuit, the band have appeared at CMJ Music Marathon, New Zealand’s Big Day Out, FILTER Magazine’s Culture Collide, and Taiwan’s infamous Spring Scream Festival. Having relocated to the US at the close of 2010, Battle Circus is now set for rigorous touring of the American continent.
One of New Zealand's illest emcee producers with the ability to vibe audiences into his world of music. He brings to the stage an eclectic mix of rock, reggae, roots, drum n' bass, hip-hop, jazz, dubstep, dancehall, funk and r'nb. Kapisi usually performs with his six piece band however he plans to convert audiences with his live n direct deejay sound system at SXSW.
A smooth dude from New Zealand who raps.
For a comprehensive list of where and when the New Zealand bands will be playing in Austin please visit http://www.outwardsoundnz.com/