SXSW Overflow 2012: Day Two (A Stick and a Stone, Midday Veil, Standing Shadows, & The Depaysement)
On to Day Two of this year’s SXSW Overflow Fest over at Super Happy Fun Land; still ramping up somewhat, with only a handful of bands playing (as opposed to, say, Tuesday, when there’re 13). Here’s what I think of the folks playing tonight:
A STICK AND A STONE: Hrm. Okay, that’s a little odd — for some reason, A Stick and A Stone‘s Website lists the show as also featuring “hoja lopez and sirlady indee.”, whoever the heck that might be. Maybe they’re collaborators of some kind, I guess, since ASaAS appears to be a one-man-band of the synth-heavy variety; the one video I’ve seen so far is just Elliott Harvey all by himself, doing this high-pitched, somewhat eerie-sounding electro-stomp dirge thing. Check it out:
MIDDAY VEIL: This one’s interesting; some of their stuff sounds way more experimental than the rest, with lots of psych-rock washes and “bubbly” vocals, but then the songs on their actual album, Eyes All Around, are a lot easier to get into, kind of riding the line between hazy trip-hop and a “Let Forever Be”-like psych-drone; check it out for yourself, right here:
STANDING SHADOWS: Actually wrote these guys up last year, funnily enough, and I was surprised at how much I liked ’em at the time. They’re still pretty impressive, in a murky, electronicized dance-rock vein — think Placebo, a darker, more dangerous-sounding Killers, or Muse minus the theatrics, and you’ll be close. This kind of thing is extremely hard to pull off, in my book, but Standing Shadows actually make it work.
THE DEPAYSEMENT: And then there’s The Depaysement, from Higashimatuyama, Japan, who I’ve only heard a teeny-tiny little bit of at this point. It’s interesting, though, a lot more low-key and oddball than I was expecting; these guys sound less like a Japanese rock band and more like some weird combo from Eastern Europe, oddly-accented English and all. The songs meander and bounce gently but insistently, with almost a ska-like beat to ’em and soul-influenced vocals, and the result is…well, not half bad, frankly.