The very first Sound on Sound Fest is just around the corner, bringing one of the best festival lineups of the year with it. The headliners, including Beach House, Run the Jewels, Phantogram, and Austin’s own Explosions in the Sky are sure to bring in the majority of the fans, but the organizers have made sure to fill the lineup with incredibly talented local artists for those who show up early. Here are five local acts that you can’t miss at Sound on Sound.
The duo of Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon formed their project Night Drive in 2013 after discovering they dated the same girl who died in a car accident, and ever since then they’ve been making dark, emotive synth-pop. Despite not having released a full-length album, Night Drive’s track record shows nothing but promise for the future. Influences from 80’s synth-pop bands such as New Order bleed through on songs like “Drones,” proving to be irresistibly danceable, and no doubt a highlight set at Sound on Sound.
As one of the forerunners of the Austin hip-hop scene and co-founder of Weird City Fest, Protextor is constantly finding ways to contribute to the city (he even made a song about it). His introspective lyrical style and soul/funk flavored beats will be joined on stage by the recently reunited local hip-hop crew, Space Camp Death Squad, making for Protextor’s own little ATX hip-hop showcase at his set.
Local producer Ian Orth’s solo project Orthy is one of chilled out, atmospheric new wave music. The steady beats of his studio material translate into a full-out dance party in a live setting, which was made clear when he opened for Neon Indian at the Mohawk this month. And if that’s not enough, Orthy’s even done a full rework of Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart,” transforming the classic, upbeat rock song into a slow-burning, electronic ballad.
Touring in support of their third album, Impulse, Boyfrndz’ psychedelic post-rock is sure to translate into a frantic, yet incredibly precise live show. Their layered guitar style and backdropped vocal mixing makes for a spacey and borderline-epic experience of clashing drums and the occasional dark synth line.
Out of all the undercard acts on the Sound on Sound lineup, Emily Wolfe is likely the closest to blowing up. Her lo-fi, bluesy, garage rock style resembles that of early material from The Black Keys, but somehow with a much more magnetic personality to her music. If the festival makes a return in 2017 (hopefully it does), don’t be surprised if Emily Wolfe snags a much higher spot on the lineup poster.
(Photo Courtesy of Sound on Sound Fest)