SXSW 2015 – Must See Acts [TMN EDITOR’S PICKS]

sxsw-2015

Portable charger? Check. Craftily packed suitcases? Check. Showcase RSVPs sent? Check. Yep, ninjas. We’re ready to head out to SXSW next week. We can’t believe it’s finally here, but it is. It’s time to charge down to Austin to wander the streets seeing band after band, DJ after DJ. As you’ve come to know from following this site for so many years, each of our editors has a unique set of musical tastes. Sometimes we all have picks in the middle of our colective Venn Diagrams, but, for the most part, we all lean our different ways. With that in mind, we wanted to highlight the must-see acts from each ninja. So, bust out your pen and notepad. You’ll want to write these down.
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Daniel Wilson

This artist popped onto our radar with the undeniable charm of “If You Went Away.” His vocals are somewhat unrefined, which definitely adds to the appeal. We’ve only heard a few tunes, and the whole time, we’ve been wondering – what does his live show sound like? We’ll find out soon.

’If You Went Away’

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CRUISR

If you’re looking for a raucous indie rock show that’s sure to be full of energy, catchy pop hooks, and the unavoidable need to dance, then CRUISR will be a show not to miss. These cats have a knack for engaging pop-driven indie, and we’re positive it will translate into a live performance with ease.

’CRUISR – Go For It’

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ELEL

This eclectic Nashville act promises to deliver plenty of on-stage intrigue, given the amount of instrumentation that goes into their “world pop” arrangements. Their vocal arrangements are extremely original as well, which should be interesting when translated into a live show.

’40 Watt’

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Jack Garratt

This has got to be one of our favorite artists as of late. Undeniably unique, unpredictable, and unconventional, this vocalist always dazzles with his impeccable range, and intricate soundscapes. If there is one artist that I personally “can’t miss,” it’s Jack Garratt.

’Worry’

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Jeremy Loops

What would Texas be without some beer-drinkin’, whiskey-shootin’, shit-kickin’, dusty-floor-dancin’ tunes? This infectious folk artist embodies those long-lasting memorable moments with a few friends, some cold drinks, and some frivolous dancing. He encapsulates Americana in pop-centric folk rock, and he does so from all the way down in South Africa.

’Skinny Blues’

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JP Cooper

We had the pleasure of interviewing this young Manchester-based vocalist a few months back, and we have to say, we’re overwhelmingly excited to catch his live show. In fact, if there’s a “must see” show based on vocal finesse, it would be this one. His tone, range, and dexterity is something that we just can’t pass up.

’Closer’

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Library Voices

We’ve been hip to this act for quite some time, falling enamored with their highly contagious tune, “Drinking Games.” Part of our adoration came some of their projects with Red Brick Song’s Casablanca sessions, which our the best collaborations the indie scene has seen in the past few years.

’Library Voices – If Raymond Carver Were Born In The ’90s’

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ASTR

After playing our raucous ‘TMN PResents’ party in Denver in late 2014, ASTR has continually set the bar higher on already engaging live sets. After 2014’s incredible ‘Varsity’ EP, we’re hoping 2015 sees a proper album from the New York alt-poppers.

’ASTR – Operate’

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Fred Falke

A man within the confines of dance music needing no real introduction, Fred Falke’s ‘French-Touch’ and disco inflected house records have been a staple of countless critics, artists and fans alike for nearly two decades. Any chance to see The Fred at such an incredible festival is a must.

’Bastille – Bad Blood (Fred Falke Remix)’

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Hundred Waters

The only non-dance affiliated act on Skrillex’s OWSLA Records, Hundred Waters crafts a stripped down brand of avant-garde pop stylings. Their live sets are as engaging as they are melodic and tasteful. If you haven’t yet, pick up their sophomore LP, ‘The Moon Rang Like a Bell’.

’Show Me Love’

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George Maple

George Maple is an iconic vocalist reining from none other than the homeland of pure talent – Australia. After having collaborated with the likes of Flume, the Future Classic artist is well on her way of becoming a global sensation. George Maple, the harmonious goddess, is making her way out to this years SXSW and we guarantee she is one not to miss.

’Vacant Space’

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Hudson Mowhake

The big name at Numbers never fails to impress with his tunes. Having been involved with Yeezus, being half of the former power duo TNGHT with Lunice, and just killing it all around, HudMo’s influence and discography knows no bounds. He continues to tear it up with every release and always puts on a great show.

’Hudson Mohawke – Chimes (Official)’

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Leon Bridges

Leon is the second coming of 50’s soul. His style is a mix of Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke that epitomizes emotion in the always growing realm of singer-songwriters. “Coming Home” is a landmark single and his album is on the way. If you’re looking for an old school vibe, Leon is your man.

’Coming Home’

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BØRNS

Here’s someone muddying the lines between electronic rock and folk in his own unique and refreshing fashion. His recent EP, Candy, is a must hear if you haven’t caught it already. This LA native is poised for a strong rest of the year and will be a perfect fit for the SXSW community.

’10,000 Emerald Pools’

Sweater Beats - Dark Matter (feat. Allie)
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Sweater Beats

HW&W & Symbol’s very own Sweater Beats is making his SXSW appearance this year and needless to say, this is a monumental step for the young producer. The forward-thinking artist has been soaring over the industry and this year will only be more promising for his career. If you’re headed to SXSW this year, make sure to catch Sweater Beats – but leave your sweater at home because it’ll be too hot to handle.

’Flume & Chet Faker – Drop the Game (Sweater Beats Remix)’

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Beacon

Brooklyn duo, Beacon, is undoubtedly one of the most underrated artists in today’s music world. I was foruntate enough to catch them last year on tour with Tycho and words do not do their live set or music any justice. Their eloquent way of storytelling is exemplified in their intricate sound designs along with moving melodies and touching synths. If you want an ambient, yet tranformational experience, Beacon is definitely one not to miss.

’Beacon – Bring You Back’

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Little Simz

Being both a female and a UK native, Little Simz is a minority in the hip-hop realm, but please don’t underestimate her. Able to hold her own with any emcee out there, Simz first impressed us with her E.D.G.E EP last summer. Since then, she’s followed that project with multiple mixtape releas, proving that Simz has an unparalleled work ethic. The girl definitely has bars, and we’re excited to see what she brings to the table when she comes stateside for her performance at SXSW.

’It Ain’t Safe (Freestyle)’

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Torey Lanez

A true triple threat, Tory Lanez never ceases to amaze us with his many talents. As one of the brightest acts emerging from the Toronto music scene, Tory made waves with his Lost Cause mixtape last fall. The consummate entertainer, Tory’s show promises to be a memorable one, as the emcee exudes a natural charisma that draws the audience in from start to finish. Expect him to crowd surf a minimum of five times, as the Canadian strives to have as much fun as possible every night.

’Snakehips x Tory Lanez – Dímelo #songsfromscratch’

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Trippy Turtle

Making a name for himself last year with his quirky, uptempo, R&B insprired remixes, Trippy Turtle has undeniably become the face of Jersey Club music. Armed with an uncanny sense of humor and some high energy, bed-spring infused productions, Trippy’s showcase promises to be a blast, and we expect you’ll be struggling to catch your breath when it’s all said and done. Eee…Err Eee…Err Eee…Err FOFOFADI!

’Trippy Turtle – Trippy’s Theme’

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Mick Jenkins

Mick Jenkins is a Chicago emcee who combines some serious jazzy vibes with an intelligent lyricism matched by few other up ‘n coming rapers. In many ways, his style transcends the current trends in hip-hop without sacrificing dope, forward-thinking production. Mick promises to be an enlightening, laid-back and smooth performance–if you haven’t already check out his mixtape The Waters to prepare.

’Jazz (Prod. by OnGaud)’

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Jay Prince

Jay Prince is a UK-based, Soulection-affiliated rapper and vocalist who made waves with his debut project, BeFOR Our Time. Prince’s music has a distinct soulfulness to it that when combined with instrumentals from producers like IAMNOBODI, who will also be at SXSW, creates a sunny, nuanced aesthetic. Jay Prince is definitely an artist on the up ‘n up who will be awesome to see perform this early in his career.

’Jay Prince – Polaroids’

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Haywyre

It’s crazy to think that there are people who still question the legitimacy of electronic artists as musicians. Vancouver producer Haywyre is just one of many to disprove the closed-minded with lush, complex sonic arrangements and a clear understanding of musical composition. His performance promises to showcase impressive skills on both the keyboard and controller but, more importantly, should be a huge dance party.

’Odesza – All We Need (Haywyre Remix)’

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Kaytranada

Another member of the Huh, What & Where collective, Kaytranada has been pioneering the future R&B/soul movement for years now and it’s been paying off in big ways. He’s been pictured recently with Rick Rubin and has created countless hits with an array of artists. His live sets are soulful, funky and ubeat making him likely one of the funnest DJ sets you’ll find at SXSW.

’MNEK – Wrote A Song About You (Kaytranada Edition)’

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7 Acts We Loved At Noise Pop Festival 2015–SF, 2/20-3/1 [Festival Review + Playlist]

Flight Facilities-16Now in its 23rd year, Noise Pop Festival has become an absolute staple of the Bay Area for fans of independent music, film and art. With multiple shows every night at some of the best venues SF and Oakland have to offer, Noise Pop presented the best kind of difficult decisions on a daily basis. The Noise Pop HQ, at the newly renovated Swedish American Hall, was a fantastic destination as well hosting intimate shows, happy hours and even a live podcast recording with Toro y Moi where he premiered “Half Dome,” the eighth track from his upcoming album. Although there were plenty of activities outside of the concerts, being the ninjas we are, we’re going to focus on our favorite performances from the week. Browse through some pictures and songs in our chronologically ordered list below.

1. Flight Facilities, 2.24 @ The Regency Ballroom

Why we loved it: Australian DJ duo Flight Facilities, of the esteemed Future Classic, took stage at The Regency in full aviation gear for an energetic set. What really took their performance to the next level was live vocal assistance from talented Owl Eyes and Surahn Sidhu, member of Empire of the Sun, who covered female and male parts of Flight Facilities’ countless hits. [Photos by: Justin Yee]

’Flight Facilities – Two Bodies feat. Emma Louise (Extended Version)’

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[Get Crunk] Friday Party Playlist (Vol. 138)

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Hey ninjas! So…as you all know, I have been running TMN’s Friday Party Playlist for quite some time now. Unfortunately, this month is nothing but bat shit CRAY, so I will be passing the torch over to ninja Mitch to help keep you satisfied this month. This ninjette will be back in April to continue the party anthems each and every week….but school always comes first. So while you all do beer bongs and twerk on walls, i’ll just sit in the library and let my liver repair itself before Spring Break. See you all in a few weeks.

As always #danceirresponsibly.

Until next month, ninjas.

’Flosstradamus feat. Waka Flocka – TTU (TroyBoi Remix)’
’LeMoti – 107th Part Deux (Buku Remix)’
’Valentino Khan – Deep Down Low (Original Mix)’
’Maison Cartel – The Cartel’
’Tincup x Quix x G
Rex x King Tutt – Rainy Day (Original Mix)’
’Skrillex & Diplo (Jack Ü) X Justin Bieber – Where Are Ü Now (Halogen Remix)’
’TWRK – Spring Break (feat. The Rej3ctz & Dougie F)’
’um.. – dont copy us’
’I See Stars – Murder Mitten (Dotcom Remix)’
’Aazar x Rae Sremmurd – Come Get Her’
’TroyBoi – No Substitute ft. Y.A.S’
’dabow – the last round he was going to fight’
’Pyramid Scheme and Mk Ultra – Ghost ( Trip V Festival Remix )’
’Synchronice & Kasum – Glorious (OLWIK Remix)’
’Reech – Nah Oh’
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Howie Lee – Sink Like Titanic [TMN Premiere]

trapdoor records, howie lee, forward thinking, trap music, gangster, tupac, fart noises

Howie Lee, Bejing born and London educated, pursued a degree in sound art opposed to sound design, or audio engineering. He takes the meaning of “deep” to a gallery status. The jazzy time signatures on “Sink Like Titanic” create a groove that provoke more thought than rigid 4/4 time signatures.

Discover more from Howie Lee on Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter.

Howie Lee & LinFeng
Sink Like Titanic
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[NEW] Kid Cudi – Love

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Kid Cudi
love.

Kid Cudi has been showcasing his versatile talents outside of music recently–from starring in acclaimed Sundance films to joining the cast of Comedy Bang Bang. Even with a budding acting career, though, he recently announced  that he’ll be working on the long anticipated next chapter in the Man on the Moon series with the same team of collaborators who helped created his classic debut. This morning, Cudder took to Soundcloud to sneak release a new loosie titled “love.” Keeping the throwback vibes alive, Dot Da Genius, the producer behind “Day and Night” among other hits, adds to Cudi’s own production featuring a Ratatat sample making the perfect backdrop for his signature swooning, uplifting vocals. The chorus on this one erupts into stadium-worthy proportions and the layering of Ratatat guitar riffs add to that epic sound. Hopefully we’ll hear MOTM3 sooner rather than later but this should do a great job holding fans over until then.

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[NEW] Snakehips & Tory Lanez – Dímelo

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Snakehips x Tory Lanez
Dímelo #songsfromscratch

Corporate involvement in music often comes under scrutiny, but Adidas Originals’ partnership with Yours Truly for the #SongsFromScratch series has been one of the most important recent endeavors in music. Uniting artists who typically wouldn’t collaborate, the program has churned out some of the most prolific creations in recent memory. The latest entry in the series is an international affair, as we find Canadian extraordinaire Tory Lanez striking up a partnership with the UK’s Snakehips for “Dímelo.”

“Dímelo” is a perfect blending of both Tory’s and Snakehips’ individual styles. “Dímelo” shares much of the whimsical charm of a typical Snakehips production but with an added hip-hop flare. Tory on the other hand abandons his grittier, more lo-fi sound in favor of something a bit more upbeat, though his swagger remains tightly intact.

Listen to the tune above and make sure to watch the process that went behind the single at the official Songs From Scratch website. Also feel free to check out our recent interview with Tory Lanez as well.

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[Future] Beshken – Hiro

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Hiro

There’s an interesting, almost cinematic approach in this new original Beshken tune. The chopped and panned vocals flutter along beside a cacophony of other sounds until it resolves into a lush and textured rhythm with pounding drums and a blanket of warm synths. Besh’s work is never short of emotive elements, and his shift from futuristic, hip-hop remixes to his own songs has shown quite a bit of growth for him in recent months.

The Next Wave artist is hitting a formative point in his musical journey and “Hiro,” which is defined as “generous and tolerant” in Japanese, is evident of his changing approach to the material he is putting out. This track will hold us over nicely while his upcoming EP is in the works, and it’s even available for free download here. Beshken and Next Wave are setting up a big 2015 so far, and “Hiro” is just the tip of the iceberg.

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