Women to watch during South By Southwest Music Festival 2014.
By Hope Petersen
With more than one million followers on SoundCloud, Chloe Howl was nominated for BBC Sound of 2014. She will release her debut studio album, Chloe Howl, in 2014. Howl was included in the New Artists 2014 list by iTunes, and in addition to her SXSW appearance, is opening for Ellie Goulding at some of her 2014 European show tours.
The Jitterbug Vipers
Specializing in a cult jazz offshoot called “viper music,” The Jitterbug Vipers’ music is reminiscent of the jitterbug music of the 1930s and ’40s, a classic age of swing dancing. A viper is also known as a toker, and viper music is a specialty of swing, played and sung by famous artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. Sarah Sharp, primary singer-songwriter for The Jitterbug Vipers, attended Berklee College of Music before joining the band as a sub. Her playful flow and naughty innuendo soon won over fans and critics alike. Outside of her work with Jitterbug Vipers, Sharp works under the moniker Kaliyo, crafting smart indie pop for song placements in fashion, film and TV. Check out the self-described “swingadelic viper jazz” band at jitterbugvipers.com.
Combing classic country, honky tonk and punk rock, Lydia Loveless’ full-length record, Somewhere Else, has a dark, poppy vibe. She has been listed as one of Five Best New Artists for January 2014 by Spin magazine. Her lyrical bent includes feminist statements as well as drinking songs. Raise your glass at lydialoveless.com.
Missouri-born Angel Olsen first started out backing up indie-folk royalty Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Her haunting 2012 debut album and promising 2014 sophomore follow-up catapulted her in to fame. Her latest album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, debuted Feb. 18, promising more of her full-throated exultation, admonition and bold, expressive melody.
Encompassing country, soul, rock and blues, Elle King released her four-song EP debut, The Elle King EP, on RCA/Fat Possum Records. Since its release, King has toured with the likes of Monsters and Men, Train and Michael Kiwanuka. King was spotlighted as an Artist to Watch in 2012 by Esquire Magazine. The Elle King EP has gathered favorable press from Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Glamour, Perez Hilton and Vanity Affair. Listen for yourself at elleking.com.
The Casket Girls
With lilting, whimsical melodies inspired by spookiness and happenstance, The Casket Girls’ sophomore album, True Love Kills the Fairy Tale, is filled with chemical hazes about love gone sour. With pysch-rock synths and a title track reminiscent of a lucid dream, The Casket Girls are sure to make a memorable mark at this year’s SXSW. Check out why they have us in a trance at casketgirls.org.
Casket Girls photo by ANTON. King photo by Phil Knott/Courtesy RCA Records. Olsen photo by Zia Anger. Jitterbug Vipers photo by April Miles. Loveless photo by Blackletter/Patrick Crawford. Howl photo by Tom Martin.