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SXSW 2021: Day 2 Review

By Ashley Farnie
Assistant Music Director

Day 2 of SXSW introduced me to so many new artists and I am excited to share them with you!

I began my day with another showcase presented by The British Music Embassy, including the artists Tayo Sound, porji and Ego Ella May, Phoebe Green, Jekyll and Family Jools.

Tayo Sound and his electric guitar performed a refreshing pop set alongside his band. Sound’s performance introduced a new male voice to the genre of pop music and secured his spot as a new favorite artist for listeners.

My favorite of Sound’s tracks he performed include “Runaway” and “Cold Feet.” Sound also performed unreleased songs that will soon be made available to the public, so be sure to keep up with Tayo Sound. 

Following Sound’s pop performance, porij and Ego Ella May changed the tone of the virtual environment. porij refuses to be categorized under any one label, experimenting with various instruments and qualities derived from many genres. For any introduction to porij’s sound, check out their most popular track, “150.”

May’s innocent presence onstage and delivery of incredible jazz vocals captivated the audience with clarity and peace. May’s green attire contrasted with the red lighting of the stage to ensure the audience’s attention be directed to her. May’s performance was unlike any other I have experienced thus far at SXSW, and the calm demeanor she maintained assured the flawless delivery of her vocals.

Phoebe Green is a new favorite artist of mine with her unique aesthetic creating a distinct environment onstage. A future alternative pop icon, Green’s lyrics discuss love and are accompanied by upbeat instrumentals that make for satisfying tracks.

Whether getting over a breakup or falling in love, Green expresses emotions that pertain to all. I recommend listening to “Reinvent” and “Golden Girl” to start your obsession with Green.

Portrait photo of Phoebe Green in a leopard bucket hat in front of a pink backdrop. Phoebe’s hair is orange and curly.
Phoebe Green, performing at SXSW 2021.

Indie rock band Jekyll incorporates both 80’s vibes and emo influences into their music. As an introduction to Jekyll’s discography, I highly recommend checking out “Echoes” and “Nightporter.”

Family Jools’ sound is reminiscent of Elton John with a classic and timeless performance accompanied by a grand piano and drum set. With minimal production or instrumentation, listeners can focus on the music itself, as the artist intended. “Georgia” was definitely my favorite song from Family Jools’ performance.

Finishing the night with a showcase presented by Sounds Australia, the following artists provided a great finale to day two of SXSW: The Lazy Eyes, Hachiku, Alexander Biggs, Sycco and Shannen James.

With a home video quality recording in their living room, The Lazy Eyes performed an energetic set all while barefoot. Their opening song led me to believe this trio was a bedroom pop band, but towards the end of their performance, the band transformed into a psychedelic garage rock band full of energy and enthusiasm.

Their latest release, “Where’s My Brain???,” offers a preview of the band’s essence.

Black-and-white image of band members, 4 long haired men, smiling.
The Lazy Eyes, performing at SXSW 2021.

Performing from a front porch, Hachiku and her band produce a soft rock and indie pop sound similar to that of artist girl in red. Hachiku’s stage setup offered a glance into her personality, and her band’s positive energy radiated throughout the performance.

“I’ll Probably Be Asleep” is currently Hachiku’s most popular song on Spotify, and also my personal favorite.

Alexander Biggs proved his talent while performing alone with his acoustic guitar. Opening with my favorite song of his, “Madeleine,” Biggs’ songwriting is exceptional and heart wrenching. The accompaniment of simply his guitar allows the listener to focus on the lyrics and his musical ability, both vocally and instrumentally. 

Black-and-white portrait photo of Alexander Biggs.
Alexander Biggs, performing at SXSW 2021.

Sycco’s set was surrounded by house plants, where her charisma and talent kept the listener engaged and excited for more. Sycco performed an energetic and playful set, opening with a song I would highly recommend, “Dribble.”

Concluding the Sounds Australia showcase, Shannen James’ indie pop music contains hints of country influences. James’ powerful voice maintained clarity throughout her energetic performance, alongside her band who had ceaseless smiles on their faces. 

Day two of SXSW was a great experience and introduced me to so many new artists that I will be adding to my playlist. I am excited for the rest of the week to ensue and showcase so many new artists. Keep up-to-date on SXSW events by following our Twitter!

Featured image by SXSW Online

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