SXSW Special: Australia in Austin

March 10, 2014

With SXSW upon us, it feels appropriate to have a little reflection on how Australia will be touching Austin over the coming weeks.

2014 will see the largest number of Australian bands in history attending the music festival. With so many to consider, perhaps it’s best to look at a few of the lesser know acts that could bubble up on the back of showcasing their talent to the world.


Kins - Post Tropical Storm from Kins' self-titled debut


There’s no better way to kick things off than with a bit of controversy, and whilst Kins – who have recently been picked up by Alt-J’s management – are listed as an act that hails from Brighton in the UK, upon doing some further research, one will discover that the band actually hail from Brighton in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs.

It’s easy to forget what one may call a betrayal of their roots when listening to their infection Radioheadesque, bass driven pop tunes. Perhaps one that could fit straight on the bill at a Laneway style festival in 2015. I think we’ll all be claiming these guys soon.


DZ Deathrays - Dollar Chills from Bloodstreams


As per our recent article on Korean acts at SXSW[DB1] , the second of our three bands most certainly takes it up a notch. I remember seeing DZ open for The Bronx early in 2013, and in all fairness, this 2-piece out of Brisbane certainly stole the show. Prior to seeing them, a friend described the boys as Death From Above 1979 with a guitar instead of a bass. Whilst I don’t exactly quite agree with this, they certainly have a fun thrash poppy ethos, and that should put them in good stead for some love for their appearance at SX in 2014 (these cheeky devils have attended before!).


High Tension - High Risk High Rewards from Death Beat


Finally – and just to make sure we take things to the max – High Tension are probably the most ferocious Australian act that will grace a stage a SXSW 2014. With Karina Utomo’s vocals having serious eardrum lashing capability, one may almost feels as though the fury that was channeled by Nick Oliveri on certain Queens of the Stone Age tracks early in the 2000s comparatively sound like a pussycat whispering. Whilst it’s hard to see High Tension getting much love in small markets like Australia, one can imagine this type of foray into the global spotlight could prove quite fruitful for the Melbourne based 4 piece.


Stay tuned for more SXSW content around both the interactive and music conference & festival.


Daniel