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Best bands of SXSW (part two): a personal selection from Julia Mason

Scottish correspondent Julia Mason was in Austin to cover SXSW and here's the second part of her pick of the best bands she saw at the unofficial showcases.

 

Part one of Julia's personal pick of the bands she saw at SXSW is here. Again please note these are all from unofficial showcases so are not subject to any sponsorship from the US military - see this blog or further details on that.


Population II


Canadian trio Population II at SXSW

WOW!


You know when you see a band, because they are the band before the one you really want to see, and then they are flippin ace – that’s a result. And so it was with the trio Population II.


Their music shape-shifted throughout their set, fusing psychedelic rock, raw punk, feverish funk, tinges of jazz, and even at times hardcore elements. The Canadian trio throw it all at us and it was thrilling at Hotel Vegas, one of the stalwarts of the alternative scene during SXSW. What a ride.







La Sécurité


Canadian band La Sécurité at SXSW

Canada was riding high in Austin this year and another band who grabbed the attention was La Sécurité.  The art punk collective is comprised of members from various projects across Montreal – including Choses Sauvages, Laurence-Anne, Silver Dapple, DATES, and Pressure Pin. However they blend together beautifully, and know exactly how to get the party started and it didn’t take long for everyone else to join in.  Headed to this side of the pond for The Great Escape in May, if you want to have a guaranteed good time at a gig, this is the band for you.




 

Shooks


Canadian punk band NOBRO at SXSW

And last, but absolutely not least, one of the first bands I saw in Austin this year. 


Shooks are a guitar band yes but that description simply does not do them justice.  This Austin band were captivating from the very start.  Charismatic lead singer Marlon Sexton commands the stage. Shooks produce indie angular edgy music, which is thrilling to hear. Their first single was Rum! released in 2021.  I suspect it won’t be the last time we’ll hear Shooks.  Let's hope they follow some of their other North American peers over to this side of the Atlantic.






 

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