NEWS:  SXSW - the Countdown Begins
Credit: Julia Mason

NEWS: SXSW – the Countdown Begins

With just two months until the festival opens in Austin, Texas, we bring you the first of a number of articles on music recommendations, divided into categories for your convenience and perusal. Multi-venue festivals can be overwhelming and SXSW is the mother of them all so let us help you decide who to check out. We begin with some recommendations of artists from Scotland.

Dead Pony

“We want to make music that is powerful and angry.”

The Glasgow quartet achieve this and more with their twist on rock. It’s both bouncing and edgy, full of energy, and a strong vocal in lead singer Anna Shields. Their debut 6-track EP War Boys was released in September 2022 via LAB records. But it’s live when this band particularly shine. Dead Pony had a hectic schedule in 2022 seeing them play festivals in the UK and Europe as well as support slots for Twin Atlantic and Mother, Mother as well as their own headline gig at King Tut’s in Glasgow. They will bring the party to Austin, bring your dancing shoes.

Elephant Sessions

Scotland has a strong tradition of taking traditional music and injecting it with contemporary sounds and influences. Elephant Sessions are from the Highlands of Scotland and comprise Euan Smillie (fiddle), Alasdair Taylor (mandolin), Seth Tinsley (bass, synth) and Greg Barry (drums, samples). The instruments listed are a clue to the music of this talented band. They infuse their trad with electronica and funk producing wild music which you will simply lose yourself in, and dance like no-one is watching.

Hamish Hawk

Edinburgh’s Hamish Hawk has a way with words which is delightful, enthralling, and thoroughly entertaining. His talent to set his lyrics within the most glorious music makes him stand out as an artist from the post punk crowd. His new album Angel Numbers is set for release at the beginning of February while his breakthrough album Heavy Elevators saw him make the BBC Radio 6 Music playlist with a number of his singles. Working with Idlewild‘s Rod Jones has given Hamish Hawk a renewed creativity and the imagination of his writing is simply extraordinary. Anyone who releases a single called ‘The Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, 1973‘ is worth checking out.


And now for something completely different. Edinburgh’s Redolent are difficult to describe, not a criticism, just an honest observation of their unique set-up. Fronted by brothers Danny and Robin Herbert, alongside drummer Andrew Turnbull, bassist Robbie White, and Alice Hancock on live samplers, the 5-piece band write songs that are modern Scottish snapshots of times in their lives. It will be interesting to see their stage set-up in Austin as their preferred configuration is within a cube created by scaffolding, where the band can thus play in the round. With synths, drums, electronica, and a stage setup which includes their lyrics, the sound is born out of the club-scene. The lyrics are brutally honest, talking of personal challenges, of peer pressure, and the response to surviving in the world we currently live in. But all the while with beats which are enticing and entertaining.  Redolent have been included in the NME 100 list of essential emerging artists for 2023.


This is the perfect time to see Vlure who are beginning to gather a lot of momentum in the UK. Thrilling, confrontational, memorising – the 5-piece from Glasgow create a club-night vibe with their techno mix of electronica, guitars, and drums, plus the charismatic performance of frontman Hamish Hutcheson. Their debut EP Euphoria was released early in 2022 on So Young Records and it’s pulsating and intense. Their current live set includes a cover of Faithless‘s ‘God Is A DJ‘ with the added poignancy of the recent loss of Maxi Jazz. No matter what the time of day, Vlure are guaranteed to bring the club.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.