SXSW Showcase Artist Spotlight Series #1
We're thrilled to be hosting our first ever unofficial SXSW showcase next month in Austin, TX. In preparation we'll have a series of spotlight profiles on some of the amazing artists playing our showcase. Learn all about 'em below!
The Spirit of the Beehive
Distortion pedals are The Spirit of the Beehive’s best friend, and what a beautiful friendship it is. Zack Schwartz, Pat Conaboy, Rivka Ravede, and Tim Jordan are the force behind The Spirit of the Beehive. A self-described “band’s band”, the members of The Spirit of the Beehive are former members of Glocca Morra, Kite Party, and Stable Boys among other notable acts. Now, this Philly four-piece have toured with the likes of Palm and Japanese Breakfast, as well as gone on their own extensive US tour last year for their sophomore record, pleasure suck. Described as everything from “weird beer” to shoegaze to pop, TSOTB blends psych, scratchy garage punk, and fuzzy lo-fi to create a sound that is entirely their own. At times loud and heavy, with guitar riffs cutting through an otherwise light and dreamy melody on “big brain” off of pleasure suck, other times more synthpop-y, like “ricky caught me tryin’” off of the same record. Their latest record earned critical acclaim from Pitchfork, the Guardian and the Alternative, and even landed a spot on Jay Som’s touring playlist. If you haven’t checked them out already, this band is definitely worth a listen if you're a fan of the likes of LVL UP, Pile, and general lo-fi psychedelic goodness.
Listening to No Vacation’s dreamy surf-pop sounds like how it feels after lying in your bed after a long day at the beach. Nostalgic, warm, and almost blissful, No Vacation has created the perfect soundtrack to lazy summer days with their latest EP, Intermission. However, the road to this 2017 release wasn’t quite as smooth as their sound. After releasing their first record in 2015, Amo XO, No Vacation quickly rose in notoriety in their local San Francisco scene, as well as nationally. Following the release of their second EP, Summer Break Mixtape, which features their bouncy hit “Dræm”, (a track very reminiscent of early Two Door Cinema Club), the band decided to call things off and take an indefinite hiatus. Two years later, Sabrina Mai, Marisa Saunders, Nat Lee, and Harrison Spencer got the band back together and released their most recent record, which includes the massively popular single “Yam Yam”. Intermission, a 5-track record (including a literal piano intermission), is short, sweet, and incredibly nostalgic. If you can’t make it to phluff’s SXSW showcase this spring, never fear! No Vacation is going on tour for all of March, making stops all around California before making their way over to Brooklyn and transitioning into their new East Coast home.
Welcome to the world of “extremo”; emo so extreme it needed a new genre to describe San Jose’s awakebutstillinbed. You don’t have to look further than the title of their 2018 debut release, “what people call low sel-steem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you”, to know that this album is going to be an emotional odyssey, but there isn’t much you can do to prepare for the devastatingly vulnerable tracks that await. While the band originally hails from California, Shannon Taylor’s vocal chords are something entirely otherworldly. Every goose bump-inducing scream grabs your attention, refusing to let your mind wander off from the stories of loss, depression, and self-doubt that she tells so gut-wrenchingly. Many have pointed out parallels between “what people call low sel-steem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you” and the Hotelier’s “Home There is No Place Like”, or even early Rainer Maria, but awakebutstillinbed are proving themselves to be a powerful new force all their own in emo’s revival.