Ahead of South By Southwest, Stereogum is highlighting a handful of our Band To Watch alumni who have busy schedules at this year’s festival. If you’re in Austin this week, now’s your chance to actually watch some Bands To Watch.
Last fall, IAN SWEET released their debut full-length, Shapeshifter — it made it onto our best albums of the year list — but the project’s roots go back further than that. Jilian Medford started making music solo under the name IAN while studying at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston, and the band gradually bloomed from there, adding drummer Tim Cheney and bassist Damien Scalise to its ranks through a series of serendipitous circumstances. Every song they’ve made together is a highlight, from early cuts like “If You’re Cryin” and “Born Good” to the standouts from last year’s LP, like “Slime Time Live” and “Cactus Couch.”
On Shapeshifter, the trio ambitiously realize Medford’s isolationist vision with a palpable chemistry, making teetering and visceral anxiety anthems centered around a gripping narrative of rebirth and reinvention in the face of a bitterly one-sided relationship. Their live shows cater to extremes, showcasing both their tightly-controlled chaos and arrestingly intimate moments. It’s a combination that’s not to be missed.
Check out all of their SXSW performances below:
03/14 Las Cruxes (She Shreds) – 2:30PM
03/14 Sidebar (Harry Fox Agency/Rumblefish) – 4:15PM
03/15 Spiderhouse Ballroom (Austin Town Hall) – TBA
03/15 Cheer Up Charlies (Nosiey/Jansport) – 10:00PM
03/16 Shirley’s Temple (The Alternative) – 4:30PM
03/16 The Market (Tigerbomb) – 11:00PM
03/17 Todd’s Mansion (Exploding In Sound) – 2:30PM
03/17 Hole In The Wall (Austin Oasis) – 4:20PM
03/17 Fine Southern Gentleman (KVRX Simpatico Booking) – 6:00PM
03/17 Sidewinder (Flowerbooking) – 8:35PM
03/18 Barracuda (Do512) – 2:00PM
03/18 Spiderhouse (Smear Mag/KVRX) – 4:45PM