Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: SXSW 2011 Edition

Pin it

Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: SXSW 2011 Edition

Great new records chosen by SXSW music programmer Matt Sonzala.

Every week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Matt Sonzala, Music Fest Coordinator at SXSW. His department books over 2000 bands each year for SXSW. Matt also runs a blog ( and hosts an online radio program called The AustinSurreal Show on

B L A C K I E, Spred Luv EP

Hailed by the New York Times as a "one-man noise ordinance violation," Houston's B L A C K I E (yes, all caps with spaces) embodies the best aspects of classic punk rock, and presents them in the form of hip-hop. He raps, and he makes his own beats, but said beats and rhymes are way more boom than bap.

Listen: "Nothing Stopping" or "My Window"



Anika, Anika

The new queen of space rock, German chanteuse Anika, has been compared to Beth Gibbons, but maybe that's because her self-titled debut was produced by Beth's partner in Portishead, Geoff Barrow. Off-kilter, ethereal, and uber-intelligent, her music harkens '60s psych-rock with a 2011 electronic edge.

Listen: "I Go To Sleep"



The Echocentrics, Sunshadows

The latest project from Austin musician Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, Ocote Soul Sounds), is a radical departure from what you might have come to expect from this young leader in Latin music. Many don't know he also makes hip-hop beats for folks like Bavu Blakes and others from his home state. Vocalists Tita Lima and Natalia Clavier round out a trio that has a beautiful sound all its own.

Listen: "Esclavo Y Amo"



Butcher Bear & Charlie, Carbomb

A raucous mix of soulful noise and funky rhythms with an abstract hip-hop sensibility, the duo of Butcher Bear & Charlie are one of Austin's most fun party bands. Outfitted in a colorful bear suit, DJ/beat maker Butcher Bear is a strong fixture in the Austin music scene. Think Madonna if her earlier producers did more interesting drugs and grew up listening to the Butthole Surfers.

Listen: "Chopsticks"



Nive Nielsen & Deer Children, Nive Sings

Most people don't even realize that there are people living in Greenland. And they almost certainly don't know that one of modernity's most forward-thinking singer-songwriters was born and raised there and still calls it home. Nive Nielsen's songs are light and spacey, yet complex and edgy. She covers the topic of love, but also the topic of killing bugs with her vacuum cleaner, and says her mother is the most beautiful woman of all. It's one of the prettiest records of the past decade, hands down.

Listen: "Room"