I spent the better part of last week in Austin taking in the music portion of this year’s South by South West Festival. I sincerely had no idea what to expect, as this was the first time I was taking in the festival with a wristband (rather than just going to the unofficial showcases, mostly hosted during the day), and until now, I had never gone for so many days, either. 

I could go into the ins and outs of the festival more, however, I want to get straight to the music and feature some of the standouts for me.

I had just heard a Speedy Ortiz song, “Everything’s Bigger,” (see below) a few weeks ago on the radio. I remember liking it, and with every new-to-me artist I’ve been running in to these days, I checked to see if they were playing SXSW – sure enough, they were. So, I put them on my GIANT list of bands to see, but they weren’t high on the totem pole.

But as we were making the short trek from New Braunfels to Austin, I’m fairly certain we heard “American Horror” and probably joked/not-joked that they were playing the fest (because EVERYBODY was playing the fest). The song came on again on XMU during a drive during the fest. Then, on Wednesday, during the NPR showcase, the intro riff kicked in to gear in the house music and I knew we had to check them out.

I keep thinking in my head how everything old is new again. And, with Speedy Ortiz, this case could be made. Remember Tracy Bonham? Well, I do, and that’s what I think of when I listen to Speedy Ortiz’s Real Hair EP. And, for me at least, it works. There’s something about the alt-guitar work, laid over a solid rhythm section, and topped off with female lead vocals that are no where else but on point. If you ask me, it’s 90s drab college rock, alive and well in 2014. And, I’m alright with that.

Check out the Real Hair EP below on Spotify, and keep a look out for this band.

Real Hair EP:

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