Your SXSW NYC All-Stars, Volume 1: Beach Fossils, Class Actress, Idle Warship, Blitz The Ambassador, and Led Er Est
Beach Fossils playing live via @kellianderson on Twitter
It’s day one of the music events at SXSW, and plenty of NYC-area bands have made the trek to Austin, TX to play shows! Here’s our first look at some of the bands from New York City that will be playing South by Southwest.
Beach Fossils (Brooklyn)
Beach Fossils, a band whose reverb-slicked indie pop compares favorably to acts like Surfer Blood, Best Coast and the Drums, formed in 2009 as a vehicle for the solo recordings of Dustin Payseur. Bassist John Pena and guitarist Christopher Burke were brought into Beach Fossils’ lineup later that year, after Payseur had single-handedly put together the recordings that would comprise the group’s first album. Beach Fossils’ debut 7" single, Daydream/Desert Sand, was released on Captured Tracks in February 2010; their self-titled album was released on the same label later that year.
Class Actress (Brooklyn)
After logging several years as a coffeehouse singer/songwriter, Elizabeth Harper began focusing on electronic music in 2009 with the help of producers Mark Richardson and Scott Rosenthal. A Philadelphia native, Richardson first appeared on Harper’s radar several years prior, when he remixed a song from her debut album. Harper preferred Richardson’s version to the original, and the two eventually reconvened in Brooklyn, where they began fusing Harper’s pop songs with sampled drumbeats and synthesized instruments. Rosenthal also joined the project, and Class Actress made their studio debut with 2010’s Journal of Ardency, an electro-pop EP that took its cues from Madonna, Depeche Mode, and the fellow Brooklyn-based band Chairlift. After hooking up with Carpark Records, the group released its first album, Rapprocher, in October of 2011.
Idle Warship (Brooklyn)
Idle Warship is a musical duo composed of Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli and Philadelphia singer Res, Res has appeared on each Talib Kweli album since 2000’s Train of Thought. They have also toured together, including on the summer 2005 MGD Flavor 2 Savor mini-tour. They released their debut mixtape, Party Robot, on October 27, 2009 for free. This was originally set for a 2008 release and announced on Talib Kweli’s MySpace page in a New Year’s blog entry.
Idle Warship has released numerous new songs via their MySpace page, including “Industry Diary,” “Screamin’” featuring mc chris, “Pull It Out” featuring Dapa Flex, “Fall Back” featuring Chester French, among others.
The group released their debut album Habits of the Heart on November 1, 2011.
Blitz the Ambassador (Brooklyn)
A blindingly bright clarity drives Blitz the Ambassador. With a spot-on sense of flow, he name-checks Basquiat and Lumumba, evokes lovelorn sighs on Accra Buses, emigre alienation, history’s shadows. All set to swirls of brass, distorted guitars, and the crackle and pop of old amplifiers. With a lightning-fast mind, the political boldness of Chuck D, and the sixth groove sense of Fela Kuti, the Ghanaian-born, New York-based MC, composer, and producer unleashes psychedelic Afrobeat colors and triple-time rhymes on Native Sun (Embassy MVMT; May 3, 2011). The album was sparked in Accra yet forged in the African diaspora.