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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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Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015
The combo of Benevento’s laid back vibes and feel good grooves is tailor made for a neighborhood like San Diego's Ocean Beach.

Keyboardist Marco Benevento has been on quite a roll over the past decade. He first came to fame as half of the Benevento/Russo Duo with drummer Joe Russo, with the pair earning acclaim for their improvisational jams that produced a sonic storm that felt like way more than the sum of merely two musicians. Benevento’s multi-dimensional sound was and remains a key factor, mixing analog keys and acoustic piano with psychedelic synths in diverse fashion.


Tagged as: marco benevento
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Monday, Mar 23, 2015
From artists that have already made a splash (Bleachers) to those hoping to land a record deal (Demi Louise), Friday of SXSW 2015 captured the struggle to make it in the modern music industry.

On Friday of South By Southwest Music, I seek out three artists at very different stages of their careers who are clearly engaging with the festival on different scales. Seeing these artists alongside one another brings to light part of what makes SXSW so unique: it’s a place where you can see an international superstar, a new act touring in support of a highly regarded first record, and an unsigned young singer hoping for a record deal, all in one night.


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Friday, Mar 20, 2015
UK hip-hop (Little Simz) and powerful singer/songwriter acts (James Vincent McMorrow) highlight South by Southwest's Thursday showcases.

Having essentially marinated in a stew of rock guitars for the past two days—not that that was a bad thing!—on day three of the 2015 South By Southwest Music Festival I decide to traverse as many genres as I possibly can. From a Korean doo-wop girl group to Long Beach rap, with some detours into neo-soul and freaky British electropop, my findings are stimulating and surprising through and through. I also spend a lot of time in churches, which yields gorgeous acoustics and some new favorite singer-songwriters. For the sake of attempting some modicum of coherence, I’ll group artists according to the broad genre traits that they share, though that’s not at all meant to undersell the distinctive qualities of each performance.


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Thursday, Mar 19, 2015
BØRNS, Ryn Weaver, and Stromae all stand out as artists poised to break out big in 2015 after their stellar performances at SXSW.

On day two of the 2015 South By Southwest Music Festival, I make it my mission to check out bands I’ve heard tons of buzz about but haven’t seen live, bands who’ve either released very little music so far or who are famous elsewhere but haven’t gained tons of traction in America yet. Throughout the day and deep into the night, I’m blown away by every single band I see, so here’s hoping that the word gets out about all of this talent. Rather than narrating the day chronologically, I’ll start with the acts that left the heaviest impression on my consciousness and then proceed from there. These are bands that will—or, at the very least, should—blow up in 2015.


Tagged as: austin, indie rock, sxsw, texas
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