Though it sometimes seems like this year’s South by Southwest Festival was designed to tap into ’90s nostalgia (Counting Crows are back, for some reason!) and let rappers relive the glory days (Mystikal and Busta Rhymes on the same bill! 50 Cent performing Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in full!), there are still bona-fide buzz bands filling Austin’s many bars, lounges, restaurants, and music halls with the songs that just may be the cornerstones of mixtapes six months from now.
Kimbra is a perfect example: The New Zealand-born sprite probably best known so far as the guest vocalist on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” brought an excellent, eclectic mix of dance rhythms, theatrical piano pop, and epic rock.
“Love Is a Two Way Street” let her lace into some dreamy echo-rock harmonies, while “Old Flame” was an intense cabaret-rock burn that ran circles around anything from that Lana Del Rey album. But there’s plenty of jittery funk embedded in her DNA, too—with an album out on May 22, expect one of her songs (perhaps the blissfully danceable “Cameo Love,” which has already seduced millions of YouTube users and EW’s own Valentines Day playlist?) to be a dark horse entry in the Official Song of Summer 2012 Sweepstakes.
In fact, Wednesday night was a terrific showcase all around for strong, singular women. READ FULL STORY »