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Our team kicked off a week of great stripped-down sessions in Austin during SXSW with the one and only Aaron Earl Livingston, aka Son Little. Using familiar blues-leaning licks and his remarkable soft and gritty vocals (think along the lines of Stevie Wonder) to sing his tales of love, loss, and life, Son Little has already seen and written so much, having collaborated with the likes of The Roots and RJD2 on various projects. He stopped by the BTRhouse to share some tunes and to chat with Maia.
Leave The Planet is the London-based shoegaze duo of Nathalia Bruno and Jack Milwaukee. Influenced by the likes of Slowdive, early Sarah Records releases, and Galaxie 500 (whose song inspired their band name), the pair came together as flatmates and eventually began collaborating based on their shared taste in music. They stopped by Saltlands Studio on a recent trip to the states to play some songs and chat about the band.
Old Monk is the brooklyn-based rock trio of Josh, Ian, and Tsugumi. Their heavy, prog-inflected indie rock is both catchy and complex, and they've been spending the past few years touring the country to get it heard. The band stopped by Saltlands Studio to play some of their latest songs, which explore the subject of love, and to share a few tales from the road with guest host Travis Harrison.
Mother Falcon, a group of young, classically trained musicians based in Austin, have a very unique take on music. Beginning as a jam session among a group of high school cellists looking to explore other genres, the massive band also incorporates violins, cellos, saxophones, and trumpet, piano, accordion, banjo, and bassoon to blend rock, jazz, and hip hop rhythms with lush vocal arrangements to craft their orchestral rock. In addition to entertaining audiences with their own impressive display of talent, they launched Music Laboratory, a summer camp for middle and high school orchestra students. The large band crammed themselves into the backyard at the BTRhouse for a very special session.
Samsaya is a Norwegian singer set to make her mark on pop music. With a heart painted over her left eye, which she calls "a reminder that everything I meet and see, I will look upon with my heart and see it with an open mind," Samsaya delivers pop music with smart lyricism and touches of funk and soul. Existing in a similar world as artists like Rihanna, M.I.A. and Amy Winehouse, Samsaya has her own positive spin on things, and she stopped by our backyard to share some of the fun! Samsaya is a Norwegian singer set to make her mark on pop music. With a heart painted over her left eye, which she calls "a reminder that everything I meet and see, I will look upon with my heart and see it with an open mind," Samsaya delivers pop music with smart lyricism and touches of funk and soul. Existing in a similar world as artists like Rihanna, M.I.A. and Amy Winehouse, Samsaya has her own positive spin on things, and she stopped by our backyard to share some of the fun!
During the 2014 SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, the BTR Live Studio team set up shop at a lovely house on the East Side and invited bands to play music and chat in the backyard. Southern Tier Brewing Company provided beverages and the fine Austin weather did the rest. K Ishibashi (aka Kishi Bashi) has racked up quite a musical resume over the past few years. From his NYC synth rock band, Jupiter One, to collaborations with of Montreal, Regina Spektor, and Sondre Lerche, this singer/violinist/composer continues to stretch his sonic palette -- originally developed as a solo project with complex live loops, Kishi Bashi has filled out his show with a full band. Here, they perform an intimate session at the BTRhouse as a trio that includes Mike Savino from Tall Tall Trees.
Genevieve's music has taken her from fronting the Chicago-based rock band Company Of Thieves to Los Angeles and a new solo endeavor. With the help of some of the world's best producers, she's been hard at work crafting bright, epic pop songs that showcase her stunning voice and refreshingly expressive personality. With a lethal combination of raw talent, a clear musical vision, and flawless songcraft, she's off to a very strong start. She brought her live band to Saltlands to share some tunes and chat with guest host Travis Harrison about her background and this new music.
It takes about fifteen years before music genres make a comeback, right? Great, then Vomitface has arrived right on schedule. There's no denying that this Jersey City trio are straight up 90s with their loud-quiet-loud dynamics, heavy-ass chunky bass, self-deprecating angst-laden lyrics thru yelps, murmurs, and hollers, and even a convincing 90s grunge look. It all add up to a well-proven formula for a good time. Sure, there's a bit of nihilism here (how could they leave that out?), but the sound is so good that we can't help but get a little excited about it. The band dropped by Saltlands Studio to play some songs and chat about their history with guest host Travis Harrison.
Mark, Scott, and Nathan make up Heaven For Real, the indie rock trio from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Musically, they work in distinctly Pavementesque non-sequiturs and shout-alongs that tend to to be super catchy and fun. We've seen a couple of these guys before (Crosss and Monomyth) and if we're lucky, perhaps they'll bring even more of their friendly Halifax scene our way... They stopped by Let 'Em In Music in Gowanus, Brooklyn, to play some songs, talk about the band, and address their non-existent connection to the Burpo family and their story, Heaven Is For Real.
Bonsai is a Brooklyn-based band made up of singer-songwriter Simone Stevens, Greg McMullen on guitar, and Bryan Bisordi on drums and bass (like, at the same time!). Though their orchestration can be a bit minimal, to amazing effect, the band weaves a lush world of sounds for each song and manages to fill them with refreshingly surprising shifts. Pop songs at their core, there are hints of country and rock (you could even call some of them “slowcore” -- sure, why not?) scattered throughout. The band stopped by Let 'Em In Music in Gowanus, Brooklyn, for this session.

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