I’m continuously astounded by how much music there is in this city. It’s impossible to walk out into the streets without hearing something. There’s bands playing on rooftop restaurants, restaurant patios, pop up venues in parking lots, and in the streets. It’s really incredible to be surrounded by so much live music. This trip has been really eye opening to me because it has solidified the idea that music is the only thing that can connect people so deeply and viscerally. People have come from all over the world to Austin for a week of music and I find that really incredible. Nobody cares what the artists look like or where they’re from, it’s all about the art they’re creating. If the music is good, everyone is happy and if it’s not so good, people just move onto the next venue.
Something that really highlighted this for me happened last night. I went to a showcase to see a girl called CLOVES perform and after she finished her set I started talking to her. She lives in England and most of the people who write for WTGR also live in England. I mentioned to her that I write for WTGR and we’ve covered her a few times she immediately brightened and said, “Oh yeah I know Matthew, he’s wonderful!” Matthew is another writer for the blog and he lives in Cambridge and I thought it was so cool that the three of us were all connected by music, despite never meeting in person before.
She was one of the many incredible acts I was able to see yesterday. I went to a daytime
party where I saw Declan McKenna, a 17 year old guy from England, and he was so impressive. It was just him, his guitar, a keyboard, and a vocal looper on the stage and he was able to create a fully fleshed out sound all by himself. I also saw KLOE from Scotland and her set was very nice too. In the nighttime I saw Roo Panes in the same church I saw Clara-Nova and he was absolutely incredible. It was a very intimate show with just him, his guitar, and an audience of maybe 20 people. Later I saw KYTES, a four-piece band from Munich that makes upbeat indie pop, and The Young Wild, a Californian band that draws influence from their sunny state. I’m sad that there’s only two days left of SXSW, but I’m so glad that I’ve had this experience.