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Mr. Kitty

11 Austin Bands to Catch at SXSW 2017

 While SXSW features exotic music like throat-singers from the steppes of Mongolia or flute bands from the peaks of the Andes, we must not forget that some of most exhilarating music comes from our own backyard.  Here are 11 bands that will be slaying at SXSW this week.

1. Mobley (Post-Genre Pop)

Cutting vocals in the woods behind his college dorm. Mixing in the backseat of a sedan. Sneaking into the music department after hours to teach himself to play new instruments (and sneaking out before the faculty arrived in the morning). From the start, Mobley's work has been marked by solitude, ingenuity, and a drive that could only be called obsessive. Whether you experience his music on record or at one of his incredible live shows, the passion is palpable. Mobley grew up all over the world, from the Spanish Mediterranean to the California coast. Perhaps it's because of this itinerant childhood that he finds it so hard to sit still.

 

 

 

2. Night Drive (Synthpop)

Inspired by sci-fi cinematic landscapes, Night Drive creates modern synth-pop that explores the darker currents of abstract emotion. Infectious melodies wrapped in thoughtful lyrics with pulsing dance beats unveil a stylish, energetic sound that has been featured in film, tv and radio around the world. Touring and opening for international bands such as CHVRCHES, Robert DeLong,Tesla Boy, Miami Horror and The Psychedelic Furs, Night Drive has quickly garnered a reputation as a captivating, must see live show.

 

 

 

3. Leopold and His Fiction (Alt Rock)

For Leopold and His Fiction, creating an album as sublimely chaotic as Darling Destroyer took a lifetime of cultivating a kaleidoscopic musicality. Born and raised in Detroit, Daniel first began making music after finding a forgotten about guitar in his grandmother’s basement as a child. “It had only two strings, but I took it home and started studying immediately,” he recalls. He also played drums in a band at school and learned to play horns and bass, but his focus remained on the guitar. “I’m an only child and was always alone, but I was lucky enough to have an instrument I could bury myself in,” he says. “It was a kind of gold mine, having such an outlet growing up.”

 

 

 

4. Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears (Blues Rock)

Black Joe Lewis trawls the familiar intersection of blues, soul, funk, and garage rock, but he's got a few enlivening strategies to make the old formula feel fresh.

 

 

 

5. Los Coast (Soul Rock)

Los Coast's music is a punchy, psych-tinged, lyrical variety of soul.  For the band, comprised of Trey Privott, John Courtney, Megan Hartman, Damien Llanes, and Natlie Wright, this style of music is uniquely effective medium of communication.

 

 

 

6. Melat (R&B)

Born in Austin, Texas, Mélat is the eclectic soul of modern RnB. Mélat tells a story that is both challenging and inspiring crafted from her very own life experiences. It is a pure and honest reflection of her soul. From love, lust, success, to failure Mélat sings of what it means to be a human being simply longing to “be”.

 

 

 

7. Sweet Spirit (Cabaret Rock)

Quickly becoming the most anticipated live shows in Austin, Sweet Spirit is on a roll.  In between shows, the band found time to work with producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick) on their sophomore full-length St. Mojo. The new record comes out on April 7, 2017 on Austin label Nine Mile Records and features a bigger, more dynamic set of songs. Lead single "The Power" has already become a fan favorite at live shows, while the Queen-esque track "The Mighty" and Prince dance funk of "I Wanna Have You" take the band is exciting, unexpected new directions. Guest contributions from members of Grupo Fantasma, Mother Falcon and A Giant Dog help expand the band's already considerable sound.

 

 

 

8. Annabelle Chairlegs (Psych Rock)

Annabelle Chairlegs plays out around town often, exuding polished, glitzy, Sixties-inspired rock & roll fleshed out by guitar licks straddling the line between surf-y and noir. Helmed by Mackin's strange, arresting voice, usually either a powerful belt or contorted into theatrical yelping, the band commands the stage with intense authority.

 

 

 

9. Mr. Kitty (Gothtronica)

An artist creates to evoke a reaction, and Forrest and Isaac Ross Lemaire of Mr. Kitty are electro-goth sorcerers who succeed in creating an 8-bit dreamworld for their listeners.  Not quite neophytes, Mr. Kitty have had five previous releases, and their discography runs the gamut between wistful tracks of wintered melancholy to frenetic electro-bangers of seizure-inducing speed. The constant through all of their music is the gothic romanticism of Forrest's lyrics and the perpetually evolving innovativeness of Isaac's hard-hitting beats and crystalline synths.

 

 

 

10. CAPYAC (Electro-Funk)

CAPYAC is a surreal dance act made up of one half swamp baby (P. Sugz), one half agave plant (Potion). To question the origins of the band is to ponder the origin of humanity itself. When founding member Potion stumbled upon the name, half-conscious on his bedroom floor at 3 a.m., it was nonsense, much like the primordial soup from which life on this planet emerged.

 

 

 

11.  S U R V I V E (Instrumental Electronica)

S U R V I V E has been producing synth-heavy, horror-score-influenced compositions for years, and two of the group's members are known for crafting the critically acclaimed score for the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. For almost a decade, the band has explored these themes with drum machines and analog synths, shown on numerous EPs and on their first full-length, Mnq026 from 2012. Releasing their second full-length record 'RR7349' last September on Relapse Records, S U R V I V E kick off their 2017 globe-trotting, festival-heavy tour schedule with a series of shows for SXSW in their hometown of Austin, Texas.

Mr. Kitty Brings Self-Destructive Synth Pop To Get Lost In

An artist creates to evoke a reaction, and Forrest and Isaac Ross Lemaire of Mr. Kitty are electro-goth sorcerers who succeed in creating an 8-bit dreamworld for their listeners.  Not quite neophytes, Mr. Kitty have had five previous releases, and their discography runs the gamut between wistful tracks of wintered melancholy to frenetic electro-bangers of seizure-inducing speed. The constant through all of their music is the gothic romaticism of Forrest's lyrics and the perpetually evolving innovativenes of Isaac's hard-hitting beats and crytsalline synths.  Mr. Kitty's sixth album, A.I., will be released digitally on March 7th and the pysical release will follow on May 5th. The question that lingers while listening to Mr. Kitty is "Is this a catharsis of emotion? Or is it the gradual demented slide into a mental breakdown?"  The oscillating diagnosis makes Mr. Kitty eternally appealing and while their music is scintillating, it is their live show, specifically Forrest's energy, that is crown jewel of their appeal.  See Mr. Kitty play February 9th at Nite School (Sky Hutchen's brilliant dark wave showcase) @ Cheer Up Charlies or catch them February 28th @ Elsyium aka 'The Mecca of Austin Gothtronica'.

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Best Austin Electronic Acts 2017: Mobley, Mr. Kitty

Our Best of Austin 2017 poll has begun last week with the Electronic category and, after you-the-people cast your vote, we have the results to share with you!

Overall Poll winner (Jurors' vote + Readers' vote): Mobley

Readers' Poll Winner (Readers' Vote only): Mr. Kitty

We are superproud of these two Austin acts, that offer very different varieties of electronic music.

The full list of nominees for our Best of Austin 2017 Electronic Category can be found under the streaming tracks.

 

 Mr. Kitty
  88%   186 votes
 Capyac
  0%   0 votes
 Mobley
  1%   3 votes
 SURVIVE
  1%   4 votes
 Missio
  0%   0 votes
 Eyelid Kid
  3%   8 votes
 Thor & Friends
  0%   2 votes
 NAM
  2%   6 votes

Mr. Kitty Remixes Crystal Castles' "Frail," New Album Coming Soon

One of Austin’s best-kept secrets, Mr. Kitty has become the dark prince of self-destructive synthpop here in town. Having shared the stage with Crystal Castles and begun to establish a sizeable following outside of Austin as well, this goth-electro genius is destined to darken many doorsteps across the nation sometime soon. Providing dark lyrics with romantic themes and new wave synths floating over pulsating drum machines, Mr. Kitty hasn’t missed on any of the five full-length releases they’ve put out so far. Factor in a powerful live show, and some of you may be kicking yourself for having not found them sooner. Mr. Kitty will be releasing the (Rose Edition) of the album, Eternity, on Valentine’s Day, and here’s a recent remix of Crystal Castles’ “Frail” to get you in the mood.

Lee Ackerley

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