There's no festival quite like South By Southwest. For four days a year, anyone with even the slightest feigned work-ties to Planet Pop descends upon the Live Music Capital Of The World.
Every March, Austin, Texas is transformed into a carnage-ridden view of all that's to come. Enjoy our pick of the best...
Jaimie Hodgson
For more on SXSW, including video interviews with the buzziest bands, head to the Radar blog.


A less knotty, pastoral Fleet Foxes

A little way from Austin’s bustling main drag, crawling as it is with already-pissed punks, police on horseback and the seemingly infinite scores of teenage emo-boppers that line its curbs day and night, next big nu-roots thang The Middle East’s show tonight could be anywhere in the world.

The quiet, shady surroundings of the venue, the hushed appreciation of the onlookers and the songs’ intimate intensity and twinkling, scenic lushness foster an atmosphere that feels almost more communion than rock show.

A seven-strong rag-tag folk orchestra of sorts, Jordan Ireland and co coax strangely visceral, sweeping hooks from delicate folk fumblings in a way that calls to mind a less knotty, pastoral Fleet Foxes or the Balkan-tinged drama of Beirut.

Unsurprisingly, it’s recent breakthrough single ‘Blood’ that really sees them hit their stride, the point around six minutes in when the ascending horns hit and you can see the room shake with a collective shudder of wonderment.


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