A thrillingly diverse music line-up, brough to you by SXSW 2015's Hype Hotel.
The line-up for one of SXSW's most anticipated showcases, Hype Hotel Presented by Feed the Beat, has now been announced - and it looks like 2015 is setting up for some up and coming talent of epic proportions come March 17th. As if the Austin festival wasn't getting hot enough!
Line-up addition Natalie Prass is not to be missed
Selected by a variety of top music blogs via Hype Machine, Hype Hotel presents the best in new talent from every genre in a spectacular showcase at SXSW which this year takes place between March 17th and 21st 2015. On the pop spectrum, we have everything from BBC Sound of 2015 winners Years And Years to Nashville singer Natalie Prass, whose classic songwriting calls to mind the likes of Beth Orton and a little Springfield. More on the electronic side of things is Michigan's own Daniel Wilson and Autre Ne Veut whose 2013 single 'Play By Play' was a definite fan favourite, and who bear some musical resemblance to Brit duo Hurts. Also worth a watch are US Heatseekers chart topper Ryn Weaver, Nashville indie quartet Coin and the very alternative Raury from Atlanta.
After flirting with a number of outfits, from Laura and the Tears to Hey Laura, 2015 sees the arrival of Laura Welsh proper with her debut album 'Soft Control'. Awash with smooth, soulful vocals float-ing over slick electro-pop production, it's easy to draw comparisons between Laura Welsh and her contemporaries, most notably Jessie Ware. Yet while similarities exist, the quality of songwriting on 'Soft Control' renders such a comparison more of a compliment than a criticism.
If 'Soft Control' is a mission statement then it's a strong one. Welsh might have operated under a number of guises prior to the release of her solo debut, but from the first swelling chorus of album opener 'Soft Control', it's abundantly clear that Welsh has now found a strong and clear identity. What's most impressive across the album as a whole is the consummate control Welsh exercises over her vocal, easily morphing from mournful and brooding tones into delicate falsetto.
On latest single 'Ghosts', pared back verse gives way to commanding chorus with Welsh's vocal exercising total control as she cries, "I need you to help me through / I can't lay these ghosts to rest". It's a formula which reoccurs across the album, slowly building verses punctuated by impassioned, impacting choruses. It's a trick that provides some of the album's best moments. The dark and tense 'Break The Fall' is a masterful display of just how well it can work as Welsh seethes, "I want to love you but I'm just too cynical" over a sinister marriage of dark synths and trembling strings. Likewise, 'Cold Front' proved the best example of how the technique allows Welsh to showcase her vocal ability, switching in an effortless instant from an edgy uncertainty into a flourishing falsetto.
Continue reading: Laura Welsh - Soft Control Album Review