Each week, we’re showcasing three mostly unknown Austin acts we’ve discovered on Bandcamp (or, in this week’s installment, Soundcloud) in the hopes of bringing them From Our Living Room to Yours.
Gessica - "Indian Springs"
Merging the abstract bedroom rhythms of tUnE-yArds and the melodic complexity and songwriting
prowess of St. Vincent, Gessica is an intriguing indie pop chanteuse who has been quietly releasing a
wealth of material over the past year. Though Gessica’s production skills are still growing, songs like
“Indian Springs” illustrate how well she grasps the inner workings of pop and how adept she is at getting
unusual mileage out of less-than-state-of-the-art gear. “Indian Springs” weaves together a plucky,
energetic acoustic guitar line with R&B synth strings and a syncopated beat. But the spotlight rightly
shines on Gessica’s voice – her multitracked, rich harmonies leading into a pleading lead vocal that then
morphs into a schoolyard chant. Gessica has an adventurous take on traditional song structures, favoring
ever-shifting melodies and unorthodox harmonies over more straightforward hooks, and that gives her an
advantage in winning over Austin fans who may be pop averse.
New China - "OK♥QT"
By the end of the ’90s, riot grrrl may have been written off as a dead trend, but great ideas
have a way of refusing to lie dormant. A full 20 years or so away from its origin, riot grrrl is righteously
reemerging and Austin is not-so-secretly one of the hot spots of the new revolution, thanks in large part to
local favorites Foreign Mothers, Feral Futures and incendiary upstarts like New China. Closer in sound to
Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and Flipper than Bikini Kill, New China embrace cacophony for the
weapon it is, with “OK♥QT” standing out as simply the most efficient and quickly devastating salvo from
their debut Buffet. A blitzkrieg of churning rhythms and skronky anti-riffs, “OK♥QT” is a brilliant single
minute blast that can handily shut up any “girls can’t rock” dipshits still lingering out there.
BLXPLTN - "Stop and Frisk"
Through a seemingly unending series of local shows and house parties, BLXPLTN is coming out as an
early contender for Austin’s Most Likely to Succeed in 2014. An electro-punk trio with a sound
combining the breakneck speed and throbbing low end of Big Black and the hooky politic of prime era
UK punk, BLXPLTN stand out even more thanks to their three pronged vocal attack, with
guitarist/singer Khattie Q’s blood curdling howl filling out the edges of debut single “Stop and Frisk”
before TaSzlin Muerte and Jonathan Horstmann join her for the protest ready chorus. Horstmann’s fuzzed
out bassline might be the track’s secret weapon, though, functioning similarly to the gut punching riffs
that defined Mclusky while Muerte’s electronic drums keep things simple but propulsive. Austin doesn’t suffer from a lack of punk bands, but in its short existence BLXPLTN has already proven itself to be one of the most inventive and engaging.
– Nick Hanover