Sound Dessert teamed up with the lovely Nicola and Lauren of Willow Wood Music to present an unofficial SXSW day party at Hotel Vegas on Sunday, March 15th. After weeks of gray, rainy skies in Austin, the sun cooperated for what was a beautiful sunny day.
SXSW goers were treated to the sounds of Hollis Brown, -Us, Löwin, The Jag, Basketball Shorts, and the smoldering Sol Cat. Sponsors Sailor Jerry, Firestone Walker, and LIVE Kombucha Soda quenched thirsts, while Oatmega Bars, Bearded Brothers, and Saucy satiated appetites, and Mailchimp helped us spread the word.
Americana five-piece Hollis Brown kicked things off at noon, playing an energetic set. Though SXSW had barely kicked off, the New York based rockers already had their plates full, driving into Austin from Denton, TX (where they played the Denton 35 Festival), then immediately after their gig at Hotel Vegas, headed to Houston to play a show that night and, you guessed it, back to Austin right after for a steady stream of SXSW gigs.
The guys are total pros and you would’ve never guessed they were gravely sleep deprived. Keep an eye out for their new album slated for release in May.
Next up was Houston-based solo electronic artist -Us, aka Avery Davis. The Houston-based artist incorporates live instruments into his sets creating a full-bodied sound. SXSW marked -Us’ Austin debut and he made quite an impression with a silky cover of Kindness’ “Swingin’ Party” along with his shimmering single “Smile.”
Austin’s own Löwin followed with a spirited set showcasing some new songs off their upcoming EP, Royal Jelly. Fronted by Sara Houser, Löwin embodies the perfect combination of restraint and power, just like their moniker implies.
The Jag brought their psychedelic sounds to Hotel Vegas, channeling perfect east side, Sunday fun-day vibes. Not to mention they’ve got a single called “White Horse.” Are we sure they’re not from Austin? They should be.
Delivering some more local flavor was Austin’s Basketball Shorts. The three-piece played a riotous set as they’re prone to do. Pretty sure by the time their short set wrapped, there was a fresh layer of sweat on the stage. Good times.
Closing out the day was Nashville’s Sol Cat. Frontman Brett Hammann’s seductive vocals, to quote Willow Wood Music, “had all the ladies not-so-subtly clinging to his every note.” Take one listen to “Bread on the Table” or “Body Like That” and you’ll understand why. Sol Cat’s stage presence took things to 11 just as the sun was starting to set on what was an amazing afternoon.