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10 Upcoming International Acts You Should Watch At SXSW 2014


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SXSW Festival

South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) is widely known as THE festival for emerging musical talent with artists both established and up-and-coming flocking from around the globe to Austin, Texas to offer the musical experience of a lifetime to eager festival goers. Having begun in 1987, the weekend event has seen some exciting acts, virtually all of which have shot to international recognition since their slot on the SXSW bill - and very deservedly.

It's a huge opportunity for fledgling bands across the world with such a vast line-up that takes over the whole of Austin for over a week. Unlike most festivals were an artist has to be signed or at least have an agent to feature in the line-up, SXSW does a great job at embracing unsigned talent. The weekend even sees dozens of secret gigs dotted around the city as no-one is ever quite sure of who is and who isn't playing. Prince, Arcade Fire and Jay-Z are just a few of many who have surprised and delighted event goers with their unexpected appearances, so make sure you keep an eye out this year. For now though, we're excited to give you ten top acts from across the planet that are well worth your time this March.

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September Girls - Cursing The Sea Album Review


Dublin five-piece September Girls might be named after a Big Star song (give or take the odd "U" here and there) and revel in luscious harmonies and bubblegum choruses, but scratch away at the surface and there's a pugnacious undercurrent to their winsome pop. 

September Girls - Cursing The Sea Album Review

While comparisons with Talulah Gosh, The Primitives, Shop Assistants and The Jesus & Mary Chain aren't exactly wide of the mark and therefore inevitable, it's the tough-as-nails sentiment behind songs like 'Heartbeats' and 'Sister' that set them apart from many of their current contemporaries. Having first burst onto the spotlight at 2012's Indietracks Festival having formed a year earlier, it's clear when listening to the twelve songs that comprise 'Cursing The Sea' that their ambitions lie beyond the shambling lo-fi indie scene they've emerged from. 

Not that 'Cursing The Sea' represents an exercise in lavish production. Drenched in feedback and reverb, vocals low in the mix and drums that echo relentlessly like a musical pneumatic drill, it's a record that combines all the youthful exuberance expected from a quintet barely out of their teens with an, at times, unsettling honesty. Aforementioned former single 'Heartbeats' might ride along merrily on the crest of an insistent riff recalling The Violent Femmes 'Gone Daddy Gone', yet lyrics such as "Don't call me baby, I'm not yours." suggests anything but a saccharin coated love song.

Continue reading: September Girls - Cursing The Sea Album Review

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