SXSW is the one time of year that we here at OVRLD allow ourselves to write about some of our favorite non-Austin bands, since we are playing host to the whole world. It doesn’t mean you can’t come check out some fantastic local music at our SXSW showcase on Tuesday, March 11th at Oilcan Harry’s. But you can also check out bands from all over the world. Here are nine of our staff favorites.
Despite the fact that The Coathangers began their band as a joke in their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, they’ve developed into some of the most kick-ass punk rock ladies I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing play. Their songs range from cute-chick dancey tunes to brutal edgy face-melters. I was lucky enough to be able to catch one of their sets at SXSW 2013: I was hanging out at the Burger Records showcase at Hotel Vegas, waiting for Austin’s own Roky Erickson to take the stage later that afternoon, when I wondered over to the inside stage by chance – and I am so glad that I did. The ladies on stage rocked relentlessly, they took turns sharing different instruments and singing, they included humor in their songs, they barked into the microphone, they were rowdy and gritty and fun and a perfect blend of balls-out punk and head-bang-able garage-psych rock. Check out their video for “Hurricane” and make sure to catch them during SXSW 2014! The Coathangers will be playing an official showcase at The North Door on 3/12, as well as unofficial shows at the Liberty Bar on 3/14 and at the Longbranch Inn on 3/15. – Brittany Bartos
Rap’s gotten awfully nerdy and emotional lately (yeah I’m talking to you, Aubrey), but don’t worry, YG’s here to fix that. Compton born, cool as fuck, and aided by DJ Mustard’s absurdly infectious production, YG’s going to blow the roof of a few SXSW venues next week. Try not to miss all of them. – Matthew Hall
With Russia invading Ukraine, I’ve been a little more fixated on the post-apocalypse than normal, and the conclusion I’ve come to is this: if WWIII is going to go down, YVETTE is the only band capable of properly soundtracking nuclear winter. A duo that sounds like a multitude of apocalypses, YVETTE is perhaps best first experienced through “Attrition,” a torrent of metallic guitars, hypnotic vocals and an unstoppable beat. The New York-based band is said to be ferocious live, and their debut LP Process certainly makes that seem like a fair estimate, what with all the murderous cacophony and mutant dance rhythms. YVETTE will be playing a handful of shows during SXSW, but my recommendation is that you catch them Sunday at Beerland for the Panache Hangover Party, mainly because every Austin music fan knows Beerland already looks like a post-apocalyptic bunker anyway. – Nick Hanover
These Baltimore weirdos write great songs and perform them over-the-top theatrically. Plus, as my girlfriend put it: the lead singer looks like a cartoon snake who works as a waiter. You can’t beat that. Even Letterman’s a fan. – Matthew Hall
Having lived in the Southwest most of my life, it feels like a rare experience to find a band that encompasses so whole-heartedly what it means to hail from this region (harsh and dry as it is), while also accurately embodying what it means to be part of Gen Y in the US as a whole (see “Oak Tree” or “Bible Study”). Somewhat of a cross between Fleet Foxes and Local Natives, Desert Noises has rootsy, billowing arrangements that suggest a jam band who are closely attuned to melody. With the release of their spacious 2011 folk-psych debut, Mountain Sea, they made the decision to be known as something more than a cool local band in Provo, Utah. For over a year they’ve toured tirelessly from coast to coast, building a grassroots following – hopefully we’ll hear some of that influence in their forthcoming album to be released this month. – Bailey Cool
The Preatures have gradually crept into the American consciousness, but they’re about to hit in a big way with their inclusion in this year’s lineups for Coachella and Bonnaroo. You’ll likely never again get to see the Preatures in venues this small, so don’t miss it. – Carter Delloro
My SXSW plans this year include a mishmash of showcases split fairly evenly between local favorites and out-of-towners I’ve never heard before. Between checking out my friend’s “must-see” choices and all the overlaps in my own schedule, I have no idea who I’ll finally end up seeing and when. One band I’ve decided should be in my must-see list however is Pennsylvania’s Cello Fury. Consisting solely of three cellists and a drummer, Cello Fury play what sound like symphonic covers of Prog Rock songs, but that are actually 100% original compositions. There’s an epic, sweeping quality to their music that’s only amplified by the rich and lofty tones produced by the trio of cellos. Like our own Mother Falcon, Cello Fury demonstrate that classical instruments need not be relegated to playing 18th century oldies. Then as now, cellos simply rock.
I can’t really explain it, but this French band’s 2013 debut, Psycho Tropical Berlin, has had me mesmerized all week. They don’t sing a word of English (except on “Welcome America,” when they sing two words), but their sound – a cross between Stereolab and early B-52’s – is completely irresistible. – Carter Delloro
Dënver has been a gateway drug for me in the run-up to this SXSW. They’ve opened up my eyes to the beautiful Chilean indie-pop scene, as well as the incredible non-English-language music that’s coming into our city this week. Their 2010 sophomore album, Música Gramática Gimnasia, is a masterpiece of dance-oriented indie rock, and their follow-up – 2013’s Fuera De Campo – is just as good. They’ve scaled back the dance a bit on their more recent stuff, sounding like Tennis covering either Jens Lekman or The O’Jay’s, depending on the song. But it’s all incredible. This is the band that I can’t wait to see this year, and considering how far they had to travel to get here, it may be a while before they’re back. – Carter Delloro