Black Belt Eagle Scout
Who? Portland-based musician Katherine Paul explores what it’s like to be a queer, Native American woman in the US today.
Steve Lamacq says: “Female-led, interesting songs. On her debut album, ‘Mother Of My Children’, there’s a track called ‘Soft Stud’ – that’s really good. She’s got an amazing voice which is hard to describe but when you hear it you go: ‘Oh yeah, I get it’. It’s quite laid-back but it’s still very powerful, so they can create a lot of emotion without having to make really rowdy songs. I mean, there’s a couple of upbeat songs on the album but mostly it’s quite gentle but powerful, with really lovely sounding guitars. I like it.”
Who? Wisconsin teen duo, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Isaac deBroux-Slone and bassist Raina Bock.
Steve Lamacq says: “They sound like a New York band trying to do ‘Everything Flows’ by Teenage Fanclub. They put out a single called ‘Communication’ – that’s pretty interesting.”
Who? Canadian five-piece, led by principal songwriters Austin Boylan and Jacob Shepansky, along with Peter Baylis, Paul Jacobs, and Tom Gould.
Steve Lamacq says: “If you like post-Strokes slightly garage-y guitar pop, this is for you. They’ve got a song called ‘Hank Williams’ which is really good. It sounds like early-noughties, but with good choruses, don’t outstay their welcome, and they look like a band. They don’t come from Brooklyn, but they look like they should.”
Who? Hailing from the north of Sweden, ShitKid is 24 year old Åsa Söderqvist.
Steve Lamacq says: “Apart from trying to work out how we’re going to say this on air – SsshhhKid, I suppose – there’s an awful lot of electronica at South by Southwest this year, but rather than being overly mellow and ponderous electro, this is upbeat. Which is good. It’s electropop with a slightly dismissive vocal over the top.”
Who? Feminist art-punk band whose tag line is is ‘Destroy All Dude Rock’.
Steve Lamacq says: “I saw them there last year and they’re back. It’s X-Ray Spex meets post-punk with a really charismatic, slightly eccentric lead singer. There’s a great track called ‘Evolution’ on the last record. The lead singer looks like she should be a British actress playing second female lead in an old episode of Inspector Poirot, but she’s so hyperactive onstage. There’s a bloke with a sax, and it’s really rhythmical and good. It’s slightly eccentric, but not in an intentional ‘we’re going to be wacky’ way. It’s just naturally off-beam.”
Steve Lamacq’s Lost Alternatives, a 71-song journey through the alternative music scenes of the Nineties, is released on March 22. His book, Going Deaf For A Living, is published by Omnibus Press on 18 April.