For our second weekly music playlist on Austin.com, we have featured a variety of Austin artists- everyone from Bob Schneider and Nakia, to up and coming rock band Residual Kid. All of these groups have something to offer when it comes to sound, lyrics, or just connecting with their audience, so get your week started with some great Austin bands!
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After coming in at 7th place on The Voice in 2011, Austin vocalist Nakia has been rising up the ranks to become one of the best voices in local pop music. Nakia moved to Austin from Chicago in 2002 after finishing up an internship with Aware Records and was first noticed by Fastball guitarist Miles Zuniga, who asked him to join his side project The Small Stars. After choosing Cee Lo Green to be his coach on The Voice, he was able to make it to the quarter finals before leaving the show. Since 2007, Nakia has released four albums.
Austin has many big musicians, with longtime Austinite Bob Schneider being a favorite among the locals. Former lead singer of Ugly Americans, he is currently a solo artist performing around Austin and the United States. Kicking off his solo career in 2002, and has since released over a dozen records, many of them on his own label Shockorama. Describing his music as “acoustic with electronic beats and other noises” Schneider has continued to pack houses around town for years, and continues to be a popular draw not around the country as well.
Leopold and His Fiction
Drawing comparisons to Jack White of The White Stripes along with other vintage style rock bands, Leopold and His Fiction have played their way around Austin venues for many years, while drawing huge support from the indie music scene. Daniel James, the groups front man was born and raised in Detroit and grew up taking in the sounds of the cities rich music scene which consisted of funk, soul, and rock acts, before leaving for a brief stint in Northern California to be a student at San Francisco State University, where he received a writing degree. After landing a job at Universal Records and becoming convinced that he could write and perform songs that were just as good as ones from the bands he signed, James decided to start a group which would become Leopold and His Fiction, who released their debut record in 2006. They have since moved to Austin and have become known as one of the city’s most successful groups.
Cowboy and Indian
Fronted by Jesse Plemons, who played the role of Landry Clarke on the show Friday Night Lights, Cowboy and Indian will be a hit with fans of the show and anyone looking for good folk music. Casting Jesse in a new light away from film, Cowboy and Indian demonstrates his talent as a musician and as a songwriter.
Forming in 2009, local rock band Residual Kid came together after members Deven Ivy (guitar and vocals), and siblings Max (bass) and Ben Redman (drums) met at a songwriting camp. After gaining attention throughout Austin, the band soon began to play shows across the United States, leading them to having their music featured on shows such as 20/20. In 2014, the band got their big break after catching the attention of Seymour Stein, a Warner Brothers executive, who has signed groups such as The Ramones, Madonna, and Talking Heads.
Pack of Wolves
Metal bands are a rare find in Austin, but when you happen upon one, they are usually good, with Pack of Wolves being one that stands out from the rest. With dizzying guitars and blood curdling screams, Pack of Wolves bring an energy and a jolting force that metal fans will love.
The Digital Wild
With tracks such as “Riskin,” local pop band The Digital Wild is not an act to pass over. With pure and angelic vocals from front woman Chantell, the need to listen to their music will become a regular occurrence as their intertwining of indie, pop, and electronic music is smooth and pleasing to the ears.
Opposite Day is a funky band from Austin that weaves different sounds to get something that sounds unlike anything you’ve heard before, building a musical intricacy through their songs that is rare in the Live Music Capital. Found in 2001, the group have been around for quite some time, getting their name heard around Austin, while also making them a popular group to watch.
Feral Future is a female act that are a mix of punk and rock, creating a rowdy live experience with every show they play. With songs such as “The Middle” off of their debut self-titled record released last year, Feral Future is a group that will get your week started off right. Take a listen to the track here.
Creating a sound that is unique, Austin group Zorch is a group that everyone needs to pay attention to, playing intricate guitar parts that take center stage to all the other instruments. With catchy gang vocals throughout tracks such “We All Die Young” there is no doubt that everyone listening will enjoy the bands clever tunes.
Featured photo: Bob Schneider
If you are interested in reading more of Lauren Gribble’s features, you can check out her website Listen Here Reviews.