JADE JACKSON and AUBRIE SELLERS Two Los Angeles-based roots-rock songwriters with solo careers determined to write down collectively throughout quarantine, and emerged as a duo. Their video set for SXSW, with a partly masked backup band, was their first public efficiency. They leaned into electrical Southern-rock stomps, shared modal harmonies, and launched a brand new waltz a couple of yr with out concert events: “I want to go back to the way it was before we had distance between us,” Jackson sang.
MILLENNIUM PARADE Live Nation Japan despatched SXSW a concert-scale manufacturing with the melancholy synth-pop group D.A.N., the cheerfully smug rapper-singer Awich (surrounded by dancers) and the full-scale overload of Millennium Parade, a big band led by Daiki Tsuneta with two drummers, loads of computer systems and keyboards and a number of lead singers, female and male. It reached again to the bustling, horn-topped R&B of Earth, Wind & Fire, added latter-day sonic heft and occasional rapping, and surrounded itself with a video barrage that rocketed it right into a “Blade Runner”/anime futurescape. In “2992,” between a bruising bass line and a fluttering orchestral association, Ermhoi sang, “In this life we live, everyone is made to feel confused” — confused, maybe, however exhilarated.
HARU NEMURI The Japanese songwriter Haru Nemuri began her set, which appeared like a one-take video, as if it have been going to be tender and gauzy. She was alone in a room and rapping in a near-whisper over a looped choir of girls’s voices, with hints of Björk and Meredith Monk. But when she all of a sudden opened a door and ran upstairs to a rooftop, hard-rock guitars and a drumbeat got here blasting in, and her vocals turned to a scream. Her subsequent music was a shouted rap-rocker named “B.A.N.G.” and, after a breathless speech about wanting her music to “create something precious on this planet,” she was twirling and rapping at high velocity over a galloping beat and dense organ chords; the music’s title, and refrain hook, was “Riot.”
ONIPA Based in Sheffield, England, Onipa drew on music from throughout Africa. Onipa means “human” in Akan, a language in Ghana, and its music had roots in Ghana, Congo, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Algeria, together with hints of the African diaspora. The lyrics have been in English, whereas the grooves have been fusions that put momentum first.