Here are my notes and photos of the first of two lake cruises with BAMM.tv during SXSW 2012. In this case the bands are Soft Swells and Leah Siegal who fronts for Firehorse. BAMM.tv is a service that connects emerging artists with audiences through video. I wrote about them in my last post.
Soft Swells plays rock that sounds like its name. I say this in a positive way, as there are intelligent lyrics with a focus on quality music over volume. Soft Swells is billed as a duo out of Brooklyn and Los Angeles out of Brooklyn and Los Angeles but they had a third player on this set. The cruise format led to a more acoustic sound that you find on their videos. Their self-titled ‘Soft Swells’ LP goes beyond what you could do on a boat with full range of sounds, including stuttering and snapping drums, handclaps, a ringing xylophone, and subtle electronics. I especially liked “Every Little Thing.” They got some buzz fromTime Entertainment for their SXSW work.
The second artist was Leah Siegal who fronts Firehorse. She sang solo on the cruise. Leah is the singer/songwriter/instrumentalist behind the Brooklyn group. As the band site mentions, she was a classical violinist from ages six to twelve then taught herself to play guitar and sing, resulting in her first songs at fifteen. Now she has a full band that has been with her for some time. With just her you could focus on the lyrics but I hope to hear the full band at some point, as their videos are great. They have been getting a lot of good press from places like NPR, the Wall Street Journal and the Paste magazine for their work at CMJ in New York.
Leah also sings in the Citizens Band ("a ragtag cabaret collective that features musicians from the group Beirut"). I went to their performance later that night and you see pictures of it from my upcoming post on March 14 music.