SXSW Music: Moving Panoramas
Jangling, surfy soundtrack to a kidnapping
By Neph Basedow,
9:25AM, Wed. Mar. 16, 2016
Moving Panoramas have had one hell of year, and it’s only March. The band’s debut LP, the rightly named One, dropped in October. Since then, the Austin trio’s been abuzz with moody dream-pop.
Singer Leslie Sisson recounted her grisly kidnapping for a Chronicle cover story last fall. “[One’s] songs are about my recent journey,” explained the Dallas native in the unthinkable piece. That insight heightened the tunes’ emotive essence, some of which was otherwise lost in Sidewinder’s sound mix on Tuesday and amidst the group’s intermittent rhythm hiccups.
“Tonight” commenced the group’s stroke-of-midnight set, melancholy, brooding. The former Texas Rollergirl recalled Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino straightaway. Americanized flecks of the Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler also reared sporadically.
Bassist Rozie Castoe sported a minor’s tattoos: “X” on her hands designating under-21 status. She expertly recovered the rhythms that faltered early on. Later, “Radar” locked the groove, its harmonies fluid and demure.
“We’ve got time, right?” wondered Sisson, prematurely.
The guitarist peeked at her wrist, pleased. The City of Austin’s official showcase surfed on to the trio’s jangle, the threat of an unvarying formula nullified by One’s eponymous single. Its live variant dealt Brit-pop tones and an indelible hook. At the meaty 45-minute mark, the punctual trio dismounted gracefully.
“Thanks!” smiled Sisson. “Happy South by Southwest!”