SXSW Music: Must-See International Acts
10 trending bands scanning the globe from Brazil and Israel to Austria and Australia
BoogarinsWed. 15, Sidewinder Outside, 10:15pm; Sat. 18, Hotel Vegas Annex, 10:30pm
Psychedelic guitar pop from Goiânia, Brazil, radiates tropical tones under the lispy Portuguese croon of singer Fernando Almeida and the melodic spells of guitar hero Benke Ferraz. Their self-titled LP was nominated for Best Portuguese Language Rock Album at the Latin Grammys last year.
Sven HelbigWed. 15, St. David's Historic Sanctuary, 11pm
Neo-classical man of intrigue, Germany's Helbig co-founded the Dresden Symphony Orchestra and has collaborated with Pet Shop Boys, Rammstein, and Snoop Dogg. His latest album employs a stunning vocal choir in a classical collection mixed with artsy electronic beats.
James HerseyWed. 15, Empire Control Room, 11:30pm
Every song this guitar-strumming pop singer releases sounds like a single. No surprise, the Austrian artist racks multi-million Spotify spins and remixes by Dillon Francis, Kygo, and Tiësto.
Noga ErezWed. 15, Esther's Follies, 12mid; Thu. 16, Sidewinder Outside, 12mid
Dishing avant pop over jittery electronic beats, this young Israeli vocalist/producer has hooks like daggers: "Can you dance while you shoot?" she asks in the single precipitating debut LP Off the Radar on City Slang. Entwining art and violence, she sounds like a fresh M.I.A.
Otoboke BeaverThu. 16, Maggie Mae's Rooftop, 11pm
Wild and reckless all-girl J-punk from Kyoto approaches a heavier alternative to TsuShiMaMiRe. Last year, the quartet, named after a Japanese "love hotel," unleashed its debut full-length Okoshiyasu!!, which showcases bouncy punk spiked with garage pop tendencies and colorfully madcap vocals.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal FeverThu. 16, Parish, 11pm; Fri. 17, Hotel Vegas, 10:10pm
This Aussie quintet avoids incriminating itself as indie rockers, classifying their sound as "tough pop/soft punk." The Sub Pop signees, delivering sophomore effort French Press this week, craft intelligent songs wherein any of their four singers lead the delivery of witty lyrics over beach guitar and driving rhythms.
BuggsyThu. 16, ScratcHouse Backyard, 11:30pm
Bristol's Rasta rapper boasts a flow like an automatic weapon, firing physically impossible quadruple-time verses with a prosody informed by his African drumming background. The reggae/grime rapper's lyrics are profound, evidenced on two-part album series The Great Escape.
Let's Eat GrandmaThu. 16, Blackheart, 1am
British besties serenading strange topics over laid-back experimental pop, where their dual voices allure us into surprisingly strong songcraft. Imagine Ween as young girls from the UK.
No JoyThu. 16, Cheer Up Charlies Inside, 1:15am; Fri. 17, Hotel Vegas Annex, 11pm
Montreal's No Joy is birthing a "dream-doom" genre. The group, anchored by singer/guitarist Jasamine White-Gluz and guitarist Laura Lloyd, creates unpredictable, ethereal dream-pop detonated into pounding shoegaze.
Japanese HouseFri. 17, Latitude 30, 11pm
Twenty-one-year-old singer Amber Bain's vocals plead in layered harmonies over dreamy pop with electronic arrangements. After a trio of EPs on tastemaker label Dirty Hit, a full-length is imminent for one of England's most promising artists.