Here we go again: less than one month to go to SXSW 2020! From the 16th to the 22nd of March we will be in Austin for one of the most popular showcases and conference festivals in the world.
During that week a great selection of Italian artists will play in Austin. Here are the ones which have been announced, so far: WOW, Qlowski, Big Mountain County, Hån, Heir, Baseball Gregg, Cactus?, Birthh, Altre di B, Flamingo, Yuman and Swingrowers.
Italia Music Export – SIAE will support all the Italian musicians and their managers attending SXSW 2020. Our support to the artists includes travels, promotion and strategic advice.
FIMI (The Italian Federation of Music Industry), in collaboration with ITA (Italian Trade Agency), will host a showcase titled ‘Sounds from Italy’ on March 18th at Stephen F’s Bar, moreover, you’ll find them at the Italian booth at the Austin Convention Center.
Get to know them all:
Wow play Italian pop songs, inspired by the Italian music golden age: ’60s, Italian RCA label, Mina, Milva, Patty Pravo, Luigi Tenco, Sergio Endrigo, Piero Ciampi, Morricone’s and Bakalov’s orchestrations. Everything is filtered through a D.I.Y. attitude, influenced by N.Y. no-wave and punk music.
‘If Low was a pair of Italian bohemians who always wore sunglasses indoors and grew up on a so-square-it’s-cool catalogue of library music, it might sound something like the oh-so-chic garage-pop duo WOW. “Nina” is a stargazing lullaby, complete with an outro that takes your dreams to outer-space.’ – NPR
London based twee punks Qlowski return after their first tape released in 2016 (in Bandcamp’s best of the year) and the head-spinning ‘Pure As Fear’ EP (2018) with a ton of touring under their belt in Europe. An uncommon post-punk sensibility, propulsive rhythms, a modern spin on kiwi-pop and a weird combination of dark punk, noise rock and flower pop are what makes them stand out. Television Personalities, Hannett‘s production style, The Clean, Killing Joke, Aussie Punk.
Shifty rhythms, circuitous bass-and-guitar interplay, feedback bridges that disappear beneath the musicians’ feet… smart and sharp songwriters who constantly teeter on the edge between light and dark, twee and death-rock. Their unrest is our pleasure. — Jes Skolnik (Bandcamp)
Big Mountain County
Big Mountain County is a four-piece wild and dirty psych-rock band started in Rome in 2012. In just a few years the band has earned international acclaim for their European tours and participation in festivals: at Binic Folks Blues Festival (France) they were invited to perform two years in a row and at Rome Psych Fest, the press unanimously declared them “best live band 2016”. As a consequence, they sold out of first press vinyl and Gas Vintage Records (their label at the time) had to put a rush on the second pressing of their first album “Breaking Sound”. 2016 saw them embark on an intensive tour schedule and as a testament to the strength of their stunning performances, Area Pirate Records released the live album “Anachronicle”. Moreover, in 2017 they were invited at the 25th Sziget Fest in Budapest.
At the end of February, they will start a huge European tour (France and Spain), then they will fly to Austin!
HÅN blends ethereal pop and dark melodies into a nostalgic but captivating mix. Having grown up in a small Italian town near the Garda Lake, she soon started to craft her unique songwriting style, mixing an experimental, dreamy production with pop-driven melodies. Unexpectedly gaining praise from many international music blogs (Gorilla vs Bear, The Line of Best Fit, CLASH ) her debut EP collected millions of streams, while she embarked in a tour supporting Cigarettes After Sex, Bonobo and showcasing at festivals like Eurosonic Nooderslag, Waves Vienna and Primavera Sound. Her latest singles Gymnasium and It’s better when I sleep anticipate a new EP that is set to be released in the first months of 2020, which will also see HÅN touring across Germany and UK.
Little by little, year by year, singer/songwriter HĒIR has taken it in. Born in Russia not long before an early move to Italy, HĒIR (born Patricia Manfield) followed her musician parents around the globe. She grew up touring the world with her parents who played piano, flute, guitar and drums for different orchestras. While in university HĒIR attended a fashion show at the invitation of a friend and was quickly spotted for her statuesque look. She’d spend the next few years modelling for national campaigns – FENDI, Dior Beauty, and Versace most recently – and building a following on social media of fans enamoured with her effortlessly cool style. However, music has always been at the centre of HĒIR’s universe. HĒIR was chosen for the name of the project as a homage to her parents who instilled a lifelong passion for music. She began working in earnest and released her debut single “Threads” in 2018, which introduced listeners to Manfield’s homegrown brand of bedroom pop aimed at stadiums, intimate and massive all at once.
Her latest effort, ‘My Love’ is disarming. Beginning with a simple guitar pluck, it shapeshifts into a forceful vocal tour de force.
Baseball Gregg is a pop duo with a dual nationality from Stockton, California and Bologna, Italy. Founders Luca Lovisetto and Samuel Regan met in Bologna while Samuel was studying there.
Every month of 2019 Baseball Gregg released a song. Some of the songs were written the month before they were released, while some songs were written as early as 2009. The project, titled “Calendar” slowly unfolded, one song at a time, collecting over a million Spotify plays in less than 12 months.
Releasing one single each month, Baseball Gregg took a whole different approach to recording and releasing music. For the first 4 years as a band, the focus was on creating full, cohesive albums. These singles will soon be compiled into a physical album, Calendar, out on February 28th via Z Tapes (Slovakia) on vinyl and tape, while La Barberia Records (Italy) will publish “Calendar: a companion book”, a collective zine with contributions from friends and artists.
Cactus? is a three-piece band from the industrial plains of Northern Italy.
In 2016 they release their debut EP “Sorry for My Accent” on their own label From da Cove, taking inspiration from the British Indie/Lo-Fi scene. The record is well-received by the critics and it is led by the single “I Don’t Think It’s Good for You to Stop Smoking” which is eventually added to the Spotify playlist “Best of Indie” by Domino Records (Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand).
While their popularity keeps rising, they are contacted by Denver indie rapper Bodhi to co-produce “Amazing, Pt.1” an instant hit both on Youtube and Spotify: the video for the song gets viral helping the Spotify streams reaching 500k.
The newest LP “No People Party” has been released this past February under the label Costello’s Records. The record sees the band moving to a more hand-crafted sound combining influences from the dance-punk phenomenon of the mid-00s with the current Lo-fi Bedroom movement, adding to the mix 80s synths and samples.
BIRTHH is songwriter, producer and daydreamer Alice Bisi, for whom it’s all about surprises. It’s what gets her up in the morning – the never-ending promise of beauty, of a vast blue sky to lose yourself in each day. It’s also seeped into the music she makes, with her forthcoming second album WOAH full of unexpected key changes, shifting tempos and playful twists and turns. It’s there in the way the crisp beats of single Yello/Concrete, about trying to stay more grounded, morph slowly into a woozy, organ-drenched ballad. Or in the undulating push and pull of the glitchy Supermarkets which, like the rest of the album, Bisi demoed in a nine-month burst of creativity in her makeshift bedroom studio before finishing it with Solange collaborator Lucius Page and the Grammy-winning Robert ‘LB’ Dorsey. Deeply personal – the fragile Parakeet is about the loss of her beloved grandmother – and gleefully abstract, WOAH is an album that will pull the listener deep into its own world. “The songs are little planets,” she says, before keeping the space theme going by referring to the music she makes as ‘cosmic pop‘.
Altre di B
Soccer buffs, as suggested by the vintage name, since their debut in 2011 Altre di B (also known as Altre) has secured a place in the flourishing underground scene of their hometown Bologna, carrying around a lively and vigorous sound combined with interactive, multi-instrumental and choral live performances that brought them as well on international stages including SXSW, Sziget, Primavera Sound, and Europavox. By claiming the inventiveness of Arcade Fire and the energy of The Vines as the main sources of inspiration, Altre unveils its artistic appetites with surprisingly jubilant rock songs for uninhibited music with a strong euphoric dimension.
After numerous recording sessions collected in self-titled issues, Altre has released its first DIY record “There’s a Million Better Bands” in 2011 and started a tour across Italy and Europe before the releases of “Sport” (2014, DIY) and “Miranda!” (2017, Black Candy Records) and six tours between North America and Canada. With the incorporation of synths and choirs, they now expanded their sound spectrum, mining a mix of post-punk, jangle and twee; their fourth album is coming out in 2020 (WWNBB).
Flamingo, as a band, was born when Lavinia Siardi (guitar + vocals) met with musician Giacomo Carlone (drums) during Lavinia’s first EP tour in 2015. But the two actually started working together when Lavinia went back to Milano after three years in Japan and recorded the album “Komorebi” (in Japanese “the sunshine filtering through the leaves of trees”). Flamingo’s music is characterized by suspended and reverberated moments alternated with violent outbursts, with the rhythmic section being the backbone of their songs. The album is an attempt to achieve catharsis, both in terms of lyrics and sound, as a consequence of the moments of break and growth experienced by the members, and combined with therapeutic musical rituals. Komorebi is
going to be released in early 2020 by WWNBB. Flamingo brings on stage a live show characterized by strong shoegaze and post-rock influences.
Swingrowers are an accomplished four-piece vintage-pop band formed in 2011; known for their three genre-defining studio albums and music videos which have collated over 70 million streams and views worldwide. Their latest album ‘Outsidein’ (2018) mixes commercial electronica with contemporary jazz whilst lyrically addressing internet and social media culture.
Swingrowers have hosted tours of North America, Europe, Japan and India performing at hundreds of festivals around the world including two sold-out shows at Blue Note Tokyo and headlining Chartres Fete Nationale in France to a 15,000 capacity crowd.
Swingrowers are now recording their fourth studio album, due in October 2020 and are seeking labels to represent this releases specific territories.
Yuman was born 24 years ago, from an Italian mother and a Cape-Vert father. He is the eldest of three siblings and his life, already quite challenging, had soon put him in front of sudden growth. Yuman reacted using music as a shelter; a wunderkammer, a powerful place of comfort kept hidden for a long time. He then decided to open this“room” and explore its contents, making music his life. In 2015 he took a sabbatical from work and travelled around Europe: from London, he moved to Berlin, where he could meet another artistic melting pot, which gave him the opportunity to jam with local musicians. Back in Rome, he met the producer and owner of Leave Music, Alberto Quartana, who recognized, at first sight, his great talent and decided to produce him, intrusting Francesco Cataldo as artistic producer of the project. 2019 begins with YouTube mentioning Yuman among the 10 most promising artists of 2019 in the “The sound of 2019” ranking. In September, his debut album “Naked Thoughts” finally comes out, preceded by the singles “Twelve” “Run” and “I Will”.