Music can connect us with nature by painting mental landscapes of the places we've been, or the places we yearn to visit. Initially, these bands were picked for today’s Four on the Floor because their names relate to nature. However, listen to them and your mind may start to venture to the places their names refer to. Ultimately, these four SXSW Showcasing Artists are about creating cerebral landscapes for the listener.
Mighty Oaks is a band based in Berlin, Germany, the three members are all from different countries (US, UK, and Italy), and they play Americana/folk music with lyrics inspired by the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Did you catch all of that? Their story may be broad, to say the least, but Mighty Oaks has developed a tight knit musical identity focused around acoustic guitars, mandolins, and vocal harmonies with cool layers of electric guitar occasionally mixed in. The trio has released two EPs since forming in 2010 and they are preparing to play at their first SXSW.
RIYL: The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers
Having already received a blessing from the likes of A$AP Rocky, Adio Marchant, aka Bipolar Sunshine, is quickly rising to fame with his solo career after the split of his former band, Kid British. Drawing a firm contrast to the ska of Kid British, Bipolar Sunshine’s voice soars over pop, R&B, and reggae elements, featuring lyrics that are as personal as they are relatable. Marchant, who hails from Manchester, UK, released two EPs in 2013 under his solo alias.
RIYL: Frank Ocean, The Weeknd
This London duo was a mystery of sorts before releasing a few tracks and garnering sudden press attention late last year. After listening to Jungle’s handful of released electronic tunes, I was left anxious for more. The pair mixes ethereal keys with light drum samples to create trippy electronic landscapes underneath soulful vocals. The result is music that makes you move, mentally as well as physically. Jungle is quickly developing in to one of the more exciting indie acts out there, and is one you should pay attention to in 2014.
RIYL: Disclosure, Major Lazer
Typhoon’s anthemic rock is odd and ear-catching. The band's inclusion of horns contributes significantly to their orchestral feel, abruptly shifting between male and female vocals, acoustic and distorted guitars, lush Americana and jarring electronic. Formed in 2005, the 11-member band originating from Portland, Oregon released their third full-length album, entitled White Lighter, last year.
RIYL: Frightened Rabbit, Arcade Fire
Keep up with the list of showcasing artists here.
Mighty Oaks photo courtesy of the artist
Bipolar Sunshine photo courtesy of the artist
Jungle photo courtesy of the artist
Typhoon photo courtesy of the artist