…And you all thought we were going to get out of our SXSW 2022 coverage without a playlist featuring all of the artists we were excited to discover at the festival this year. Nope! We hit the pavement listening for incredible acts, and got a lot of international artists on our list for up-and-coming greatness. Check out our playlist below, and let us know what SXSW artists you’d like us to add in for some more listening pleasure!
The indelible Tayla Parx performed for the masses at Day 1 of Dr. Martens Presents at SXSW 2022. The singer/songwriter/actress shared her incredible voice while the crowd – which was wrapped around the building to get into the party – went wild from both inside the venue and outside the gates. Her stage presence was absolutely off the charts, as she garnered everyone’s attention despite other activities provided at the event. (Can you say “free tattoos”?) With two Grammy nominations under her belt for writing credits on Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next and Justin Bieber’s Justice, it seems like the songstress that is Tayla Parx isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
As the weather gets crisper and we snuggle up under more layers, there is a specific kind of music we yearn for. Nostalgia, warmth, fun. Luckily for us, polymathic artist Miles Francis gives us a run for our money with a curated playlist that provides a little boost of energy to keep us going through the cold winter months.
“breezy bass lines and smooth rhythms to keep it hot as the temp falls.”
Brooklyn-based indie rock trio Anna Sun illustrates the euphoric and unforgettable feeling of finding true love with the video for their debut single “Mine.” The pastel-singed visuals follow vocalist and guitarist Sam Aneson’s endeavors to ensure her lover understands how confident she is in their relationship and how much they mean to her at the end of the day.
Accompanied by performances from bassist Andrew Shewaga and drummer Nikola Balać, the video encapsulates the dreamy, vibrant energy from the track while also adding a layer of lighthearted humor that helps it stand out from the crowd and any other productions as of late.
I started this song with the intention of writing a bubblegum love song, and it turned into this larger than life, kind of romanticization of codependency. I think there’s something overly optimistic about the style of this song that matches the lyrical content.
I spent so much of my life obsessing about being in a relationship. It was shoved down my throat in the media that I consumed growing up as a girl. Prince Charming and all that. It became exhausting, and it started distracting me from bettering myself. I realized my programming at some point in my twenties and made a distinct effort to not make romance my number one priority. This song came out of the concept in my head I was drugged with my whole life.
The speaker is making her current relationship out to be absolutely perfect, the missing puzzle piece to her life. “I can do anything now, since I’m with you! I’ve been waiting forever for someone like you, and now I have everything I could ever want!” There’s a part two to this song, and it’s a rude awakening.
I have always struggled with codependency, and I think this song was my attempt to take the piss out on myself. The idea that another person being your partner can make you invincible is not a very healthy concept, in my opinion. I mean, I don’t know about you, but the only way I’m going to stand in the rain and not get wet is with an umbrella, not because I have a boo.
Check out our exclusive premiere below, and then show the band some love over on Facebook!
Producer: Sam Aneson Co-Producers: Nikola Balać, Andrew Shewaga Director: Sam Aneson, Nick Snow, Stephanie LeBlanc DP: Nick Snow Stylist: Liana Mack Editor: Sam Aneson, Nick Snow
Miami-based contemporary hybrid orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble recently released a magical album with roots-rock sister duo Larkin Poe. “During the challenging times of this past year, music served the critical purpose of connection to one another,” Jacomo Bairos and Sam Hyken of Nu Deco Ensemble explain. “Among those valuable connections was our first collaboration with the amazing duo Larkin Poe and the live album that resulted from it.” Paint the Roses: Live in Concert reimagines a previous release from Larkin Poe. A recorded live music experience, the instrumentation in this work is absolutely electrifying.
Sam Hyken of Nu Deco has taken some time to curate an eclectic – and electric – body of music into a soundtrack exclusively for us. Made up of his favorite songs that he has arranged for Nu Deco, you will get a taste of what inspires and delights this duo while having a uniquely enjoyable time. So turn your phone on airplane mode and zen out for a while with some of their “Favorite Arrangements.”
Pop hip hop project DARKMINDS formed in recent years when two established and talented artists Daniel Ellsworth (Daniel Ellsworth + The Great Lakes, Chaos Emeralds) and Christopher “C4 “ Umana (Big Sean, Trey Songz, Kelly Rowland) came together for a songwriting session. Because. of their obvious chemistry, they continued to make music together, and 2021 sees no gap in creativity. Two full-length albums are due this year from the duo.
Their new track, “Til’ The World is Gone”, is quite enchanting, actually. The duo went a little more dark pop with this particular release, a song that brings about the idea of Tim Burton-meets-One Republic. The lyrics are hopeful and vibrant, surrounded by entrancing percussion. The duo builds instrumentals around the lovely thought of loving something (or someone) so completely and deeply until everything is over.
“Catch Your Eye” – the B-side ballad to hopeful and uplifting single “Appian Way,” – now has an accompanying music video. Singer/songwriter, writer, editor, and filmmaker Tod Lippy has created true art with this track. His boldened vocals lead the way, and you’re completely blindsided when you find out that Lippy is actually newer to the world of recording music.
His background in physical art lends well to the music video’s poignant visuals. Using scans of some pretty unmistakable eyes, he sings – as though directly to these humans – with prestigious-sounding horns to really dig the message in early.
“Catch Your Eye” is less a protest song than a song about protest. About how being the “squeaky wheel” or the “fly in the ointment” is not only important but necessary when men (and yes, it’s usually men) in power have no reason or motivation to understand or acknowledge the myriad challenges facing the underserved, the disadvantaged, and the unfairly treated among us. How else can we change their hearts?
While protest footage is used sparsely, Lippy’s self-awareness remains at the forefront with the visuals. A beautifully compiled video, “Catch Your Eye” has the true potential to touch someone who definitely needs it.
Ambitions was released June 25. Keep up with Tod Lippy here.
Just as insane as this month has been for single releases, we’re getting absolutely bombarded by new music videos. So many incredible visual moments to take in, and we are thrilled to share our favorites with you! So settle in for some entertainment, or cue up that backyard projector for your next party to really grab your friends’ attention. Whatever the occasion, these videos will reignite that summertime spark that we kind of missed out on in the last year.
As much as we love covering music on an international scale, we see the value in (and need for) local artist spotlights. Since Imperfect Fifth is based in Kansas City, we have teamed up with the Kansas City Women’s Music Network to bring you artist highlights about twice per month.
About Alisa Jefferson: Alisa has always been very passionate about music and the songs she delivers as a singer/songwriter. She grew up in the Kansas City area with influences from ’70s Motown to mostly ’80s and ’90s rock/pop. She played viola in orchestra before she received her first acoustic guitar at age 13 and she hasn’t looked back since.
Currently, Alisa is writing, recording, and planning to release a 10+ track LP this summer. She has released four singles from this new LP to most major music platforms.