As we noted yesterday in our rock and roll edition, SXSW was once again South-by-South-Mess. But the nightclubs were blowing up with the next batch of electronic music superstars, and while EDM blindly barrels down the tracks to Dumbsville, USA, there is hope for smart dance music that’s slowly invading the Top 40. These are the artists we want to dance with throughout the summer, these are the artists we fell in <3 with. Get your pop on.
SXSW 2014 was a good showing for electronic artists with Boston ties, like Haerts, Carousel, and Magic Man. But it may be recent Berklee College of Music grad Betty Who that earns the most headlines by summer. The Australian artist’s mega-jam “Heartbreak Dream” has massive mainstream potential (where you at on this, KISS 108?), and hell, she even shared the stage with Shaquille O’Neal down in Austin. Her new EP, Slow Dancing, is out April 8. Prepare for liftoff, and don’t miss that Boston club show next month.
Chet Faker may be well-known in electronic music circles, but Nick Murphy was relatively fresh news to the masses down in Austin. His 2012 EP Thinking In Textures was a breakthrough in his native Australia, and global audiences first heard him covering Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” in a 2013 Super Bowl advertisement for Becks’ Sapphire. The downtempo artist performs as part of Together this spring.
One of the breakout artists on VanyaRadio since our launch last month, this New York project led by synth mastermind Peter Kirk has quickly become of the buzziest bands around. “All Of The People” has generated nearly 500,000 plays on Soundcloud, and the former Long Island bedroom project seems poised for a big breakthrough. From the 16th floor of our hotel room at the Hilton, we actually heard “All Of The People” playing live down on a big stage below us. That’s a metaphor for something.
A few years ago I walked into a party at SXSW to see Class Actress, and since I arrived too early, caught the band on before them. They were Crystal Fighters. This year, I walked down 6th to some room to see Miami Horror, and since the show was running late, I got treated to the “before” band, which was Touch Sensitive. Led by keyboardist Michael Di Francesco of Van She, their glistening electro-pop was the perfect day-time dance party set-up to Miami Horror. The crowd lost its shit to “Pizza Guy.” Keep this tip.
The Neon Gold Records party was packed with full-frontal awesome on Saturday night (Great Good Okay Fine, Haerts, Miami Horror, Magic Man) but it was Tove Lo that caught our attention. The latest Swedish electro-pop export has a new record, Truth Serum, out this month, and it’s full of love-torn pop gems. These are songs to make bad romantics decisions to.