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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015
Amidst the many artists that flooded SWSX this year, these 15 new and rising talents stand out amidst the fray.

Though established acts like Tove Lo and Bleachers made appearances at South By Southwest in Austin this year, the music festival is more about discovering artists looking for more exposure and/or promoting new releases. Among the 40-plus bands I saw this year, these 15 new(ish) artists stood out for their energy and originality.


Tagged as: sxsw, sxsw 2015
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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015
Those still recovering from the bitter winter months, particularly in America's Northeast region, will find much to relate to in Colorway's ode to summertime, "Come Back July".

As countless weather reports and Buzzfeed listicles can attest, the Northeast region of America had a tough winter this year. No better time, then, for the new tune by the Northampton, Massachusetts band Colorway, called “Come Back July”. Written between 9PM 31 July and midnight 1 August of 2014, this simple yet catchy rock number is an honest plea for a time where one doesn’t have to take a Himalayan trek to get outside of one’s own home. For lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter F. Alex Johnson, this is “the time of the year when my little slice of the world feels the most alive—before it leaves us all for another twelve months.”


“Come Back July” is featured on Colorway’s upcoming studio LP, The Black Sky Sequined.


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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015
This week's best metal release finds some musical innovators from Brooklyn up to their philosophical shenanigans once again.

Album of the Week



Liturgy, The Ark Work (Thrill Jockey)
The more the years go by, the more Liturgy’s 2011 marvel Aesthethica stands out as one of the best metal albums of the decade so far. I can practically hear the cries of derision as I type. But it’s an album that so wonderfully turns the ideas of black metal on its ear, subverting, inverting it all so that instead of wallowing in misery and morbidity, it creates something bizarrely uplifting, its musical vision far outside extreme metal yet with its feet firmly planted in extreme metal influences. Typical of the metal scene, though, many were quick to react negatively toward Liturgy, but the more the backlash swelled the more apparent it was that folks were particularly preoccupied with the pretensions of guitarist/vocalist Hunter Hunt-Hendrix than the actual music. Four years have passed, and interviewers for metal publications are still bringing up his dissertation on black metal, unwilling to let that faux-controversy die.


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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015
Hozier's musical career is reaching new heights and he sold out his biggest yet headlining show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.

Andrew Hozier-Byrne has been touring pretty much constantly since the summer in support of his breakthrough self-titled debut album, propelled by lead single “Take Me to Church” (that song with all those “amens”). His current string of US dates climaxed with a show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, where Hozier humbly thanked everyone in his band, touring crew and the audience for all the work and dedication. The front row was packed with screaming young female fans but the sold-out venue was packed with wild fans of all ages, proof that Hozier has a huge following. In fact, the venue appeared pretty full already before the opener, George Ezra, who is also experiencing a quick-rising music career, even took stage. Ezra explained how he created his debut album Wanted on Voyage while trekking across Europe with a Eurail pass. That story helped explain some of his song titles, like “Barcelona” or for his biggest song, “Budapest”. His brief set was very well received by the crowd and he’s someone I would check out again (he has a solo headlining tour beginning in April).


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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015
Earthbound is a masterpiece meant for children, complete with all the daring, joyful, and deeply unsettling shards of truth this implies. Earthbound might be the best children’s game ever made.

I remember my own childhood vividly… I knew terrible things. But I knew I mustn’t let adults know I knew. It would scare them.
—Maurice Sendak


Last week on PopMatters, Scott Juster described Earthbound as “bizarre and melancholy,” an element that he came to appreciate with new eyes playing the game now as an adult. I am playing the game for the first time myself. I have no sense of childhood nostalgia for the game, no memories of understanding its world any differently than I do today. Scott is right. Earthbound is at times sad, surreal, and deeply unsettling. I had no idea before I started playing that Earthbound would be quite so weird or would tackle some very adult themes. My perspective is, of course, that of an adult, but I think Earthbound might be the best children’s game ever made.


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