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Casual Victim Pile II

SXSW 2011 Picks 2 Click

By Margaret Moser, Fri., March 11, 2011

Casual Victim Pile II
Photo by Todd Wolfson

Speak

SXSW showcase: Sat., March 19, 8pm, Red 7

"It's been fun to be here, but we're getting homesick," confesses Troupe Gammage, calling on break between sessions in New York City. "We've had no days off for the last two weeks. And I'm looking forward to spending my birthday at home this year with tales of the Big Apple."

Spoken like veteran road warriors, something the Austin quartet have become since Hear Here, their five-song EP on Austin indie Playing in Traffic, sailed under the critics' noses last year. The recording collected much praise for its clean, synth-based pop-rock and Gammage's layered harmonies with guitarist Nick Hurt, bassist Joey Delahoussaye, and drummer Jake Stewart. It also doubled as the soundtrack to their win as Best New Band at the 2010 Austin Music Awards.

Following it requires more caution, according to Gammage.

"We go pretty slow when it comes to new songs because of what we consider 'Speak-worthy.'

"We're still working some of the songs we wrote before, fleshing them out. The transition from one direction to another is slow, but right now we're really into the dancy stuff. The more groove-y stuff is finding its way into everything we're working on.

"Austin music is moving in an awesome direction because the rootsy-Americana-folk-country thing that's dominated for so long is seeing the scene doing more electronic music and hip-hop and music like Mother Falcon. A lot more people are using instruments like Octopus Project and Ghostland Observatory do.

"The old Austin champion band is Spoon, an incredible rock band, but I think the new wave of Austin bands is going to focus more on experimental and music outside the sphere of roots.

"I think it needs that balance. Austin needs to be more diverse than just country."

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