With such a promising lineup, it is no wonder that the Red Bull Sound Select parties at The Belmont wrap lines around the block. This evening’s RSVP list has over 18,000 entries. Portland artist Shy Girls (AKA Dan Vidmar) clearly have a lot to offer. It is amazing what a set of keys and a MacBook can create. Their music is soulful with R&B influences and a pop twist. Sexy, slow electronic bass and Vidmar’s light, airy voice are a welcome juxtaposition.
Between songs, he mentions that it is his first time in Austin and thanks the crowd for having them. Their cover of Brandy’s “Sittin’ Up in My Room” culminates their smooth, savory performance. The eclectic tone of their music is appealing and a fresh perspective. In the past year, they have shared the stage with major artists Twin Shadow and Washed Out. It seems to be only a matter of time until Shy Girls spin into a larger stream.
The night continues on the up and up when Jagwar Ma takes the spotlight. Their psych electro-rock vibes rival that of Tame Impala – a classic sound with a modern flare. The now-full Belmont is an ideal location to highlight their music. The speedy synth drums vibrate a psychedelic tone through the outdoor stage. Frontman Gabriel Winterfield’s voice is ethereal, softening the otherwise hard electronic sounds. The balance is magnetic. People jump and arms sway through the chilly air.
The Aussies highlight all of the best points of their first album Howlin’, released this past year. They are still wet behind the ears, having only been a group for a few years. But Jagwar Ma still deliver a flawless set. A jammy rendition of “Come Save Me” puts this idea into perspective. They may be newbies to the game, but their talent is palpable. It exudes through every part of their performance.