The ABC’s of SXSW: (Q – Z)


We’ve been covering some the lesser known acts that performed just recently at the 2011 SXSW in Austin, Texas.  So let’s wrap things up with the final bit of the alphabet!  It’s the best and most fanciful bit of all.  Q is for…



This genre dancing duo from Denmark make some of the greatest songs you’ve never heard.  Robin Hannibal provides the luscious backdrops, full of light and colored tiles, and Coco Malaika fills the space with shoo-badoos of smooth splendor.  It’s a wonderful collaboration, likened to Jill Scott light-cycling in Tron (ok, just made that up) or Thelonious Monk skipping in Wonderland (it’s true).  It’s gorgeous tunery, ripe for the picking.  Check out their debut self-titled album, it’ll be the exclamation point on your day today.

[More Quadron]


The Rumour Said Fire

Another Danish band.  Sorry, I love ‘em.  The Rumour Said Fire started just a few years ago, but they’re already award ridden and notorious for harmonies on high.  Their past EP, The Life and Death of A Male Body, held “The Balcony”, a massive delight of a song with aimless beauty.  Now, they’re ready to release a full-length late this year titled The Arrogant, with includes “Desolation, Mr. Foe” and “Passion”, both of which you can sample below.  Scandinavian music is adored for a very justified reason.

[More The Rumour Said Fire]

Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe

The Texas native made a big splash at this year’s SXSW, doing a few sets, including one recorded and featured by NPR.  And she’s been highlighted by Paste Magazine as one the best solo artists coming out of 2010.  And, she made my very favorite song of 2010.  I’m very biased about her music, so don’t trust me, listen and discover for yourself.

[More Sarah Jaffe]


Theophilus London

I’m not an expert on Hip-Hop, it’s a weak spot.  But my plate will be full up with the way Theophilus London grooves.  He’s not content with just a back beat, he layers beats upon backtracks upon guest vocals.  A favorite, “Humdrum Town”, makes a personal spiritual revival a hand’s width away.  He’s just released the Lovers Holiday EP, five tracks that dip into the 80’s multicolored glare and slip into dark side streets.  It feels like he’s singing to the light posts and his past demons the whole way through.  It’s great.  And keep an ear open for “Why Even Try” featuring Sara Quinn of Tegan and Sara.

[More Theophilus London]

Unicorn Kid

Unicorn Kid

If you’ve ever tried to make the electronic type of music, where things are plugged into other things, and buttons abound, then you know just how hard it can be.  But you’d also know just how fantastically rewarding it is when you hit just the right rhythm and tone.  Scotland’s Unicorn kid describes his sound as music you’d fight ninjas to in Second Life.  Having experienced neither, I can’t be sure, but it’s all set to a furious pace, perfect for out of your gourd nights in a dance club two levels down.

[More Unicorn Kid]



There’s a lot hidden in the voice of Mark Charles Heidinger.  He’s the head honcho behind D.C. based Vandaveer.  All sorts of alt-country prey falls to this man’s spear.  Though the most heavy hitting songs he makes tend to feature the voice of Rose Guerin, a smoky vixen from a yesteryear.  Together they rile up the tired old creaky tales of woe, and slap them silly till they bend and maliate.  Great stuff for a inevitable parting of ways.

[More Vandaveer]

Withered Hand

Withered Hand

Kidnap Neil Young, Ron Sexsmith and Elliot Smith and shove’em in a blender.  Gently.  And out will come Dan Willson, the Scottish soft-spoken man who named his moniker after a verse from the book of Matthew (12:9-14).  But you’ll find most of his music is balefully honest, full of struggles with temptation, full of secret musings.  It’s addicting.  Though, I’m fairly confident that if you met the man behind the words, he’d be the nicest person to fancy your mettle.

[More Withered Hand]



This Brooklyn quintet sounds like Camera Obscura on a yacht.  Their 1st album, Xylos, was released on 4/5/11 and features the two songs below.

[More Xylos]


Young Magic

With perhaps the most mysterious of airs about him, Isaac Emmanuel (ex-Australian/current NYC resident), frequently visits the ‘60s to scoop and gather materials to present in the present.  As Young Magic, he has only two released songs to his name, but they’re doo-zees.  According to Carpark Records: “These songs were recorded over the last six months in various places around the world: old spy bases near Berlin, empty rooms in Iceland, kids’ playgrounds in Melbourne, and no water flats in New York.” The high flying “Sparkly” and the tribal ritual “You With Air” are pre-cursors to a wonderful something else.  Stay tuned, Young Magic is set to release a full-length this year.

[More Young Magic]



When I speak of the Austin, Texas band Zorch, I speak from an obsession with one song.  “Zut Alore!”  It is epic and ridiculous in every way possible.  But when your band’s made of two parts: drums and synths, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.  With tri-lateral spies and UFO born babies.

[More Zorch]

Thanks for reading!  We hope you found new music!

You can catch the rest of the series here:

[A – H]  [I – P]



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