SXSW 2016 Boston & Beyond Spotlight: Feel empowered in the emboldened psych-rock of Rann

Welcome to the latest in a week-long series of spotlights profiling the bands and artists performing at the 2016 Boston & Beyond party at SXSW, a collaborative effort between Berklee College of Music and Vanyaland. Our third annual event — and Berklee’s 11th SXSW party overall — goes down Thursday, March 17 at Austin’s Brush Square Park, located at 409 East 5th St., next to the Convention Center. The party is co-presented by Berklee Alumni, The Red Room @ Cafe 939, and Heavy Rotation Records, and is all ages and open to SXSW badge holders. Get on the list without charge by RSVPing via EventBrite. Additional info and music from each of the performing bands and artists can be found here.

Previous spotlights: Lady Pills, mar | co, Great Grandpa, Plastic Waves

Rann, 12:15 p.m. set time

One of our favorite new-music discoveries of the young year so far has been Rann, a Brooklyn-based psychedelic-leaning pop-rock quintet that caught out attention with the spastic-yet-contained fuzz parade singles “Falling” and “Cellophane” (the latter of which has found itself on daily rotation on VanyaRadio’s “This Is 617”).

Both tracks are off the group’s latest LP, Yellowgun, a relatively exotic collection of sounds and emotion that all bows down to the mighty tiff gods. While most psychedelic pop seems to add layers of sound in a downward, depth-minded trajectory, Rann’s sound flies upward, at once both weightless emboldened. The nine-track album is a strong, confident showing for a band that was born only last May.

Writes the Deli’s Dave Cromwell a few weeks ago when hyping the “Falling” video: “Dueling left and right stereo channel guitar bursts introduce RANN’s live-in-studio video recording of ‘Falling’… The polyrhythmic structure is soon filled out with precisely placed synth, sharp drums and driving bass figures that allow for dramatic spaces between those notes. ‘How does it feel?’ introduces the essential vocal hook, with the song’s title embedded in the answer line ‘right before you start falling.’ When the arena sized chorus ultimately emerges, a catchy rising melody hook punctuates each passage through. The overall feel is reminiscent of ELO’s psych-pop Beatles-influenced hits.”

Works for us. Check out a selection of Rann tunes below, and roll up early for our Boston & Beyond party at SXSW, where the band kick things off a little after noon local time.

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