Thursday SXSW Sleepers


Natisú

Purple

8pm, Lucky Lounge
Beaumont-bred garage rockers Purple debuted on last year's 409. That area-code proud LP's follow-up, Bodacious, arrives next month. The trio's singer/drummer Hanna Brewer suitably cites Gwen Stefani and Karen O as vocal influences, while the rest of the band channels the grungy blues-rock of the Raconteurs. The Texans' 24-year-old timekeeper splits vocal duties with six-string shredder Taylor Busby. – Neph Basedow

Toothgrinder

8pm, Elysium
Welcome to Asbury Park, hope you survive. The Garden State's newest massacre crew are a far remove from Springsteen's stadium rock, hewing closer to Dillinger Escape Plan. The Vibration/Colour/Frequency EP gives Justin Matthews a platform to scream, those Mike Patton comparisons well-earned as the quintet heads deeper into post-rock. – Richard Whittaker

Natisú

9pm, Departure Lounge
As Natisú, Natalia Suazo only bears a guitar and her voice, a simple combination that's led her to the top of the Chilean rock scene. Debut platter Deshabitar and 2014's La Historia emulate the feel of an intimate unplugged session, as driven by her soaring voice and dulcet timbre in songs like "Continente" and "La Historia." – Alejandra Ramirez

Sam Outlaw

9pm, the Gatsby
An overly obvious stage name, Sam Outlaw comes by it honestly, adopting his mother's maiden name when he began playing L.A. stages. It fits the SoCal country soundtrack of last year's outstanding Ry Cooder-produced debut, Angeleno. It spins less outlaw country than a smooth style that hearkens Laurel Canyon and Gram Parsons cut with a hard dance-floor shuffle. – Doug Freeman

Chirkutt

10:30pm, Russian House
A self-described "epic fusion" band, Chirkutt folds in everything from indie and folk pop to the hard rock of its native Bangladesh into a wide-ranging sound. The quintet formed in 2002 and has released two LPs, the most recent being 2013's Jadur Shohor. – Michael Toland

Coldair

10pm, Tap Room at the Market
Another Kyst castaway following the Poles' breakup, Tobiasz Biliński returns to SXSW with his one-man New Order. Norway-born, Baltic-raised, the classically trained 25-year-old producer "has the (un)ease of a skilled but troubled painter, to picture great, engaging soundscapes," opined a countryman recently. – Raoul Hernandez

ToyGuitar

10:30pm, Buffalo Billiards
Signees to NOFX's label, ToyGuitar's new "In This Mess" is a walloping mix of surfside rave-ups and Jack Dalrymple's (Swingin' Utters) howly vocals – pop-punk you can slam, skank, or just plain dance to. Think of the best beach hootenanny band, scratch them out, and insert ToyGuitar. You'll want a spare turntable, too, because the SF quartet will burn a hole in your old one. – Marc Savlov

Altimet & the Kawan Band

11:30pm, Russian House
Malaysian producer/MC Altimet formed the Kawan ("friends") to give his tracks a bigger, stronger flavor. A single song might incorporate R&B, reggae, hip-hop, and Malaysian folk styles (joget, dangdut, zapin), with a call-and-response perfect for in-concert action. The group has appeared all over the world, but this is its first time in the land where hip-hop began. – Michael Toland

Collin Shook

11pm, Elephant Room
Pianist Collin Shook took the long way around to the Austin jazz scene, beginning in his birthplace of Dallas through five years spent in Tucson. Leading both a trio and a quintet around town (and appearing occasionally on double bass), Shook brings a post-bop sensibility to lively compositions and effortless performances. His second LP, The Desert, inspired by his Arizona tenure, arrives this spring. – Michael Toland

Night Birds

11:30pm, Buffalo Billiards
Straight-ahead, all-guns-blazing punk rock enjoys never-ending teenage appeal. Crack open a six-pack and spray paint the walls for the Night Birds' Fat Wreck Chords debut, Mutiny at Muscle Beach. Despite the fact NOFX have called "Whoa on the Whoas," high-flying frontman Brian Gorsegner and crew mainline everyone from Adolescents to Adrenalin O.D. "Born to Die in Suburbia"? More like Most Likely to Self-Combust Onstage. – Marc Savlov

The Contortionist

1am, Elysium
Is pastoral metal even a thing? The Contortionist sow those seeds among their hard-edged prog metal. When vocalist Michael Lessard joined for 2014's Language, new and softer tones were added, but without supplanting their learned brutality. Revisiting much of 2009's Apparition EP with January's Exoplanet (Redux), Lessard proved a suitable replacement for departed-for-fatherhood founder Jonathan Carpenter. – Richard Whittaker

The Digital Wild

12mid, Maggie Mae's Gibson Room
Since 2014 debut Into, Austin's Digital Wild continues its genre-bending pursuit of blending everything hip-hop, rock, and electronica. From Chantell's raspy vocals and the quartet's trip-hop textures, the group could double as this town's pop-friendly Portishead. The new album drops this month. – Alejandra Ramirez

Sun Club

12mid, Blackheart
The Dongo Durango, Sun Club's chaotic, ornate debut LP, is a big album in every sense of the word. Buoyant, feel-good, indie rock via Baltimore, Sun Club recalls the whimsy heyday of Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, Matt & Kim, etc., before those bands squandered their youthful magic and became the crumbly saltines of musicians they are today. Fingers crossed, Sun Club fare better. – Libby Webster

September Girls

1am, the Main II
Experts in combining unassuming Sixties girl group vocals with chilling, eerie instrumentation, September Girls sounds like how falling in love in a graveyard feels. A new disc arrives April 8, but their debut, 2014's Cursing the Sea, draws inevitable (and justified) comparisons to the Dum Dum Girls' I Will Be, although September Girls meander down a spookier, more-saturated take on goth-pop. – Libby Webster

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

2016 Sleepers, SXSW Music 2016

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