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Ambient folk rock duo Nassau to play SXSW on 3/16

Ambient folk dads Justin Wilcox and Jeffrey Silverstein, aka Nassau, make some pretty sweet, evocative tunes. Their debut record, Heron, arrived last September to eager listeners on Bandcamp. Their songs are stripped down to twangy guitar, reverb-heavy vocals, and a little bit of drum machine, highlighting the duo's great, old school songwriting chops. Nassau are headed to SXSW Music Festival in Austin, playing 3/16 at 18th Over Austin. -Geena Kloeppel

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SXSW Presents: Kyle Craft

 In his own ways, Kyle Craft is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. The Louisiana-born, Portland based singer/songwriter has a defined understanding of how to mix the two, along with folk and blues elements to produce songs that are rich with the journey through emotions and life. 

And all of this from a kid that wasn't even sure he wanted a career in music.

“The whole music thing has been a really strange cinematic sort of journey for me,” Craft says. “None of it really makes sense on paper.” It may not make sense to him on paper, but it makes sense to every last one of his fans. It made sense to Sub Pop Records, too, as they signed Craft without any question or hesitation. Not too shabby for a Southern boy with bluegrass roots. Whether he's playing his solo acoustic sets or backed by his talented band of friends, Craft older sounding tunes for a younger generation of kids. We couldn't be more pleased with that.





SXSW Presents: Kyle Craft

 In his own ways, Kyle Craft is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. The Louisiana-born, Portland based singer/songwriter has a defined understanding of how to mix the two, along with folk and blues elements to produce songs that are rich with the journey through emotions and life. 

And all of this from a kid that wasn't even sure he wanted a career in music.

“The whole music thing has been a really strange cinematic sort of journey for me,” Craft says. “None of it really makes sense on paper.” It may not make sense to him on paper, but it makes sense to every last one of his fans. It made sense to Sub Pop Records, too, as they signed Craft without any question or hesitation. Not too shabby for a Southern boy with bluegrass roots. Whether he's playing his solo acoustic sets or backed by his talented band of friends, Craft older sounding tunes for a younger generation of kids. We couldn't be more pleased with that.





SXSW Presents: Johanna Warren

*photo by Allyce Andrew

Most people think of music as a means of release or expression, and both of those are very much so true. But for songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Johanna Warren, music is something even more - it's like a natural energy. “Music is vibration; it's a direct way to affect matter," says Warren. "A song is a way to journey into places of discord and then resolve back into harmony.” Warren's articulation of this is crystal clear through her delicate folk compositions, each taking some sort of dark and haunting turn in a way that plays off her understanding of mysticism, occultism and human existence.

These themes run deep in her songs, but also in how she visually represents them. Her music videos often carry the same motifs, often showcased through physical movement. Warren has even translated this into the basis of a label, founding Spirit House Records in 2016. The label is home to many radical and fluid minds who find themselves identifying in some way or another as witches, healers and free spirits. One of the first Spirit House releases happened to be the first of her Gemini albums with the second, Gemini II, coming out just a couple days ago. Both find themselves rooted in personal mythology and occult symbolism, pushed through moody melodies and tones. 

Johanna Warren's songs are introspective and compound, making for an entrancing live production.





SXSW Presents: Candace

Dreamy in every sense, the shoegazey-psych trio Candace (formerly Is/Is) haven't missed a beat since 2010. Made of Sarah Rose and Sarah Nienaber sharing guitar, bass and vocal roles and Mara Appel DesLauriers supplying drums and vocals as well, they've never ceased to have the utmost understanding of each other, the music they make and the world around them. This understanding aids them in bringing that whirring static sound from inside our brains in a way we actually want to absorb over and over again.

While always remaining pleasantly noisy, some Candace songs teeter closer to reverberated pop while others remain close to the washed out, droney atmospheric haze they've perfected throughout the years. On top of the mysteriously brooding feel their original tracks have to them, for the last couple of years they've released little collections of cover tracks in celebration of Valentine's Day, putting their own little spin on some deep cuts and leaving listeners with no shortage of work to dive into.

No matter when you choose to dive into Candace's discography, its reliable yet sundry songs will pull you in as a fan. Expect the next full length from Candace, titled New Ruins, to be out just in time for SXSW in early March. 

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