SXSW: From L.A. to London, bands offer landscape of sounds


Best Coast, the native Los Angeles duo of Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, will showcase songs from their new album “California Nights” which will debut on May 5. According to an interview in Spin magazine, lead singer Cosentino’s “obsession” with the ’90s heavily influenced the album, which will feature tracks inspired by Gwen Stefani, The Go Go’s and even Sugar Ray.

Although their third album (their fourth for fans who consider the band’s short but powerful seven-track project “Fade Away” an album) will channel a raw ‘90s garage sound, Cosentino has said that it will retain “classic Best Coast elements,” including dreamy vocals, lots of reverb and distortion and a lo-fi, surf-rock tinge.

Cosentino’s unique feminine vocals combined with strong, raw instrumentals mark the band’s distinctive sound and their wide range of influences sets them apart from other indie rock acts at the festival. Their home state’s sun-baked glam aesthetic also has a profound impact on the band’s lyrics and attitudes and firmly nurtured their hazy, far-away dreamy sound.

Similar acts at the festival like Surfer Blood and the Mowgli’s, who also hail from Los Angeles, will aid in bringing the laid-back, sunny California vibe to Austin, adding to the variety of indie rock acts from the central, southern and northwest states in town.

Best Coast will perform on the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center on March 20 at 3:00 p.m. and at UpRoxx House on March 21 at 11:30 p.m.


Among the older and more established acts at SXSW, the Vaccines, born out of West London’s 2010 music scene, will play several shows at this year’s SXSW.

The band, whose sound has only slightly evolved since their moody, irreverent and best-selling 2011 debut album “What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?” remains as gritty and scathing as ever with tracks like “No Hope” and “I Always Knew.”

The Vaccines’ incredibly torrid sound intensifies onstage, where lead singer and guitarist Justin Young’s tall lanky figure is known to strain his vocal chords and thrash around on stage.

In 2013, the Vaccines won major recognition from the English rock scene including a nomination for a Brit Award for Best Live Act and two “New Musical Express,” or NME award nominations, including Best British Band and Best Album.

Their third and softer but still upbeat 2013 release, the EP “Melody Calling,” was a hint at their third album to come, “English Graffiti,” which will debut in 2015.

The Vaccines will perform at Cedar Street Courtyard on Thursday Mar. 19 at 8:00 p.m. and the Parish at 10:00 p.m.


Since they emerged in 2010, the Austin native band Wild Child has snagged its spot on the music capital’s impressive sound map and has become an indie icon.

Performing at huge festivals like ACL, Bonnaroo, and Float Fest, Wild Child demanded and gained the adoration of a devoted fan base, especially in their hometown. 

True to their name, the group is anything but tame onstage. Their performances are marked by boisterous hoots and hollers both onstage and off and the band’s energy is known to rouse a raucous festival crowd.

The band’s upbeat, but folksy, mellow sound and raw, hearty lyrics are perfectly blended and balanced with the honeyed voice of leading woman Kelsey Wilson. Wild Child’s unique sound relies heavily on their variety of instruments as well as their ability to make music without instruments: their high-energy stomping, yelping and clapping on stage puts festival-goers in a sort of mad frenzy

At SXSW, you can expect to hear tracks off their newest album “The Runaround” as well as Wild Child classics from their first effort, “Pillow Talk,” including crowd-shakers and favorites like the festival-appropriate “Cocaine Hurricane” and “Silly Things.”

After SXSW, the band will continue to tour across the U.S covering the southern states of Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas, so if you miss their SXSW sets, you’ll still be able to catch Wild Child on their way.

The group will perform several times at SXSW including shows at Beale Street Tavern on March 13 at 8 p.m., Icenhauer’s on March 19 at 10 p.m. and Blackheart on March 20 at 8 p.m.

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