Continuing to report from the crowd-surfing craziness of downtown Austin, Texas during SXSW Music 2012, Nordic Spotlight’s Pete Schwinge and Michelle Rae Anderson dutifully waded through the rock-and-roll vomit and Mary Jane clouds to find a beautiful oasis of sweet Scandinavian sounds.
The Bombettes (SE)
Garage punk band-of-cuties The Bombettes played short, punchy songs with titles like I Wanna (kick your a$$) and Dating Scene for a hopping, standing-room-only crowd (of mostly men) packed to the wood-paneled walls of B.D. Riley’s Irish bar on 6th street. In short, it kicked a$$.
Hear the ladies rock for yourself. — MRA
The Interbeing (DK)
Voted Best Metal Act at the 2010 Underground Music Awards, Denmark’s The Interbeing played a technically flawless set at the apt-named Dirty Dog Bar and, to be perfectly honest, they melted my face. I say this as a person who, other than researching and writing a post that included instructions on how to apply corpsepaint a la True Norwegian Black Metal, doesn’t normally listen to music that can be described as “tech” or “modern metal with a cool, futuristic feel” or “is this a soundtrack to someone killing an animal?” music.
But I went to the show and I rocked out until I was breathless and I’m now the proud owner of the band’s latest album Edge of the Obscure. Check out the face-melting sampler below. — MRA
Sofia Talvik (SE)
You may have read our pre-SXSW coverage on Sofia here, but even if you didn’t catch that, hopefully you did get to hear her beautiful voice down in Austin. Missed that too you say? Well have no worries, we have a sample for you as well as a sit down interview with her talking about her new RV tour bus (which we found out after SXSW it broke down :( ) — PS
Philco Fiction (NO)
While I only got to catch a short part of their set at this show, they did play the three brilliant songs in the SoundCloud widget thingy below. Norwegian band Philco Fiction filled the dank Austin Swan Dive bar with a sophisticated electropop delivered via a twisty array of genres, sampled sounds and dynamic vocalization.
It’s hard to believe that just two people can create such emotional symphonies their bodies and minds and their electronic extensions, but it’s true. I saw it. And we should all hope Philco Fiction gives the world more of their music very soon. — MRA
We caught up with YSF&IW at Filter’s Culture Collide event. Perfect sunny day for great upbeat music. The general consensus after their performance is that you just can’t help but smile and feel good after listening to them…and that’s the truth! Here they are talking about their new release, a greatest hits collection! :) — PS
Cat Caught Lark (DK)
SXSW has music everywhere, and by everywhere we mean from rooftops to flatbed trailers, to bathrooms, to back hidden alleys. But one of the best parts is catching a great act on the streets. We were lucky enough to be walking down the block at the time CCL just happened to be serenading everyone walking by. — PS
A deliciously interesting sound threaded in Swedish pop is that mysterious tropical beat (e.g., The Knife) that mixes so nicely with the “melancholy journey” sound that Nordic countries are known for. Korallreven nails the balance between warm breezes and Scandinavian snowfall, and their show at the Hype Hotel (and, by the way, the Hype Machine had the most consistently awesome band roster at SXSW that I could see) a warm sound of native beat that made feet and shoulders bounce even though it’s 2:40am and the last bus to your friend’s house (and the inflatable mattress she’s letting you sleep on while in Austin) just left 6th and Congress. But maybe that’s just me. Take a listen and decide for yourself. — MRA