Expand Your Mind With These 13 Psychedelic Bands at SXSW

Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band (Photo by David Brendan Hall)


Wed. 13, Hotel Vegas Patio, 9:30pm; Thu. 14, Hotel Vegas Annex, 11pm; Fri. 15, Russian House, 11:30pm
Tucson's Xixa dunks Italian spaghetti Western soundtracks in such strong psychedelics they come out seeing stars. Cumbia rhythms and Afrobeat repetitions figure equally heavy, all of it strained through the arid sands of a land that time abandoned long ago. The sextet's new EP The Code sounds like getting lost in a Southwestern desert after eating flowers off a questionably hebetic cactus.


Wed. 13, Lamberts, 10pm
Boston's Sundrifter is more interested in the destruction left behind after a cosmic occurrence than in the event itself. Less the blaze of rushing comets than the crash of asteroids, the trio's sophomore slab of acid doom drops the hammer from a galaxy far, far away.

Be Forest

Wed. 13, Velveeta Room, 12mid
Pesaro, Italy, trio Be Forest has clearly achieved mastery over its echo-laden, extra-dimensional dream pop. Third album ever and first in five years, Knocturne turns headily on the axis of guitarist Nicola Lampredi's intoxicating iridescence and drummer Erica Terenzi's blissed-out coo. Absinthe not included.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

Wed. 13, Hotel Vegas Patio, 12mid; Fri. 15, Lustre Pearl, 9pm; Sat. 16, Hotel Vegas Annex, 12mid
Australia continues its fine tradition of distinctive trip rock with the brilliantly named Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. The Perth quartet maintains more in common with the forthrightly rocking King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard than the more gentile Tame Impala, as last year's acid blotter High Visceral {Part 2} and this year's single "Keen for Kick Ons?" make plain.


Thu. 14, Mohawk Indoor, 9pm
Formerly of electronica act Lost Trail, musically inclined spouses Zachary and Denny Wilkerson Corsa mix traditional rock/folk instrumentation with glitchy tape recorders, enigmatic field recordings, and what sounds like cheap synthesizers with run-down batteries. The droning soundscapes found on the Memphis duo's upcoming sophomore album – Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces of Diamonds, Live Cats – are as disorienting as they are absorbing.


Thu. 14, Hotel Vegas Patio, 9:45pm; Sat. 16, Lucille, 10pm
Over the course of four albums, Austin-festival mainstay Boogarins perfected its lush alloy of psychedelic guitar and bright-eyed cheer. Few psych acts exhibit as much positive energy as this Brazilian quartet, language barriers be damned. 2017's Lá Vem a Morte and Desvio Onírico divided the band's soul into gentle acid pop and improvisational jam rock, respectively, while new single "Sombra ou Dúvida" promises a return to the former.

Orions Belte

Thu. 14, Elysium, 10pm; Fri. 15, 720 Club, 8pm
If Texas' own Khruangbin has a Scandinavian analog, it's Bergen's Orions Belte. The Norwegian trio eschews vocals for spacey guitar rock that draws from Nigerian Afrobeat and European B-movie soundtracks as much as Sixties psych pop. Sharply crafted and expertly performed, debut LP Mint demonstrates a confidence found only in young outfits whose members work day jobs in other people's bands.

Laura Carbone

Thu. 14, Hotel Vegas @ Volstead, 12:50am; Sat. 16, Elysium, 12mid
Singer/songwriter Laura Carbone hails from Berlin, but a cliched Teutonic ice princess she most definitely is not. Last year's Empty Sea discloses a jones for the British post-psych of the Eighties, laid atop brooding balladry that would enliven the set of any low-rent chanteuse.

Sixteen Deluxe

Sat. 16, Belmont, 10:45pm
Following Austin's beloved mid-Nineties competition for the British shoegaze sound, Sixteen Deluxe originally flamed out at the turn of the millennium. Performing off and on since 2010, this year promises the quartet's return with new music and catalog reissues. The group's 2015 glittered grunge single "Hit It" b/w "Dexfield Park" indicates a return to full noise-pop strength.


The Joy Formidable

Wed. 13, British Music Embassy @ Latitude 30, 5:30pm; Thu. 14, Container Bar, 5pm; Thu. 14, Scoot Inn, 10pm
Welsh dream rock wunderkinds get heavy on fourth LP Aaarth.

Tia Carrera

Wed. 13, Lamberts, 1am
Austin's long-running improvisational power trio cleanses the palate for new record Visitors/Early Purple.

Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band

Thu. 14, Hotel Vegas Annex, 8:15pm
Experimental local songwriter's sprawling ensemble explores the juncture where psychedelia evolves into prog rock.


Thu. 14, Hotel Vegas Patio, 12:15am; Fri. 15, Container Bar, 4pm
Philadelphia shoegaze revivalists unequivocally hit their mark at last on acclaimed third album Dance on the Blacktop.

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