Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

SXSW Friday: Kail Baxley / Fol Chen

April 1, 2013

While at the Team Clermont showcase, I saw a few of KaiL Baxley‘s tunes in between conversations. Baxley has an slurry, engaging voice that he set over an acoustic guitar for a mysterious, haunting vibe. After the room-filling sound of Roadkill Ghost Choir, Baxley’s sound was a nice sonic change of pace.

The last set I caught was Fol Chen’s set of fractured, rhythmic dance-pop. I danced more at Fol Chen’s set than any other at SXSW, because their insistent, pulsing rhythms called for it. Their unique sound relies much more on rhythms than melodies to get their message across, although there are definitely still synth notes and vocal melodies sung across their percussive frameworks. The female vocalist tied together the synths and percussion, as well as making their live show; her movement around the stage was the only bit of action from the band, who was busy making the intricate sounds. Several other people got in the dancing action, and it was a blast of a set. It definitely sent me home from SXSW on a high note.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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