SXSW: Secretly Canadian

WRCT receives music from several amazing record labels. One record labels that I have grown to love is Secretly Canadian, a label based in Bloomington, Ind., and consistently releases music that is original while remaining highly accessible. While planning for SXSW, I made it my mission to catch some performances from bands signed to Secretly Canadian. On Monday, March 12, I was able to see both Gardens & Villa and Exitmusic, two unique bands signed to Secretly Canadian, perform at the French Legation Museum as part of Warby Parker’s Citizen Circus.

The vibe at the French Legation Museum was great for a mid-day show. The bands played on an elevated, makeshift stage at the bottom of the hill with concert-goers, ranging in age from infantile to middle-aged, lounging on the upper part of the hill. There was an emphasis on family friendliness that was understandably lacking at other events.

I arrived right at the beginning of Gardens & Villa’s set and was more than happy to just lay in the grass and listen to their synth-pop filled set. They had a tight groove going between their percussion section and synths, but lead singer Christopher Lynch carried the show with his deeply affected singing and flute playing.

Here’s the music video for “Black Hills” by Gardens & Villa:

Exitmusic played a slightly darker set, but the chilled out vibe remained as a prominent characteristic of the day. Aleksa Palladino’s vocals were the cornerstone of Exitmusic’s performance. I’ve listened to Exitmusic in passing, but it was only live that I realized the strength of Palladino’s vocals, especially during mic checks, when she gave a short a capella performance.

Here’s music video for Exitmusic’s “The Hours”:

Post by Matt Mastricova