Austin's annual new music showcase SXSW, which kicks off tomorrow, has always been press worthy - last year NME did a Peace cover feature direct from there, no less - but in 2014 it seems even bigger, even more intense. Undoubtedly, a lot of that is down to BA, who've just starting direct flights from London to Austin for the first time. This is great news for Brits who love new music - because it's about time the wider world woke up to the genius of the city.
You might remember Bulgarian rapper Dena - this week's Band Of The Week - from her breakthrough video, the cheap and cheerful 'Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools' that touted anti-materialistic ideas long before Lorde's 'Royals'. Now she's following that track with a whole album's worth of homemade beats and observations, 'Flash'. It's not just on clattering hip-hop that she excels though, and to prove it she's recorded us a special acoustic version of her track 'Flashed', with The Whitest Boy Alive's Erlend Oye.
When Fat White Family picked up the Philip Hall Radar Award ay last week's NME Awards, unofficial spokesperson Pete Lyons made a bizarre acceptance speech in which he repeated the band's name over and over as well as stating that the band "might just save America." That theory will be put to the test at SXSW this year with the Brixton troublemakers flying over the Atlantic for this year's BBQ-fuelled industry gathering having finally earning enough money to get them there following a fundraising gig in London this weekend.
Syracuse noise punks Perfect Pussy are this week's Radar Band Of The Week, earning the spot on the quite literal, undeniable strength of their debut EP, 'I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling', and their excellent forthcoming debut, 'Say Yes To Love'.
There’s no mistaking that Montreal duo Solids grew up loving the '90s slacker scene – their debut album ‘Blame Confusion’, released this week via Fat Possum Records, treads the same scuzzy lo-fi waters as Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Superchunk, updating their fuzz-pop thrills with big washes of reverb and flashes of art school flair a la Sub Pop racketmakers No Age. Melancholy album centrepiece ‘Haze Away’ now has a trippy new cartoon video courtesy of twisted animator Étienne Nixon.