If there’s one band that looks like they’re dominating SXSW’s buzz this yr, it’s Horsegirl. The younger trio from Chicago have already scored a take care of Matador [Interpol, Queens of The Stone Age] and recorded an album with acclaimed producer John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile) that hypnotises and enthrals with every twist and switch that it takes. Now, they’re taking up Austin, Texas as one of many week’s – and, virtually definitely subsequently, yr’s – most talked-about new bands and stars within the making.
Tonight (March 17) on the trio’s remaining SXSW present, going down at Seven Grand, Horsegirl appear both blissfully unaware or unfazed by the variety of folks speaking about them. The three members – guitarist and singer Nora Cheng, guitarist and singer Penelope Lowenstein and drummer Gigi Reece – take to the low, small stage within the plush bar and proceed to carry out as in the event that they’re of their remaining levels of rehearsals; tightly honed and quietly assured, however with an aloof casualness to their auras that makes the entire set really feel much more intimate than our small environment already gas.
With the three musicians, noise-rock is the order of the day. They breathe new life into the style, making the fuzzy, distorted layers of their songs into three-dimensional puzzle items that slot collectively to make an exhilarating larger image. Cheng and Lowenstein sing in unison, providing completely different views on their narratives, whereas Reece sits on the again not simply maintaining the rhythm however pinning the entire thing collectively.
“Typically I take into consideration I misplaced you / However I do know it’s solely love,” they sing on ‘World Of Pots And Pans’, an unreleased album observe that kicks off their set with lush melodies and churning guitars that wouldn’t really feel misplaced in a Sonic Youth tune. Current single ‘Anti-glory’ is extra pressing, its riffs needling beneath Cheng and Lowenstein’s instructions to “Dance, dance” that get the keen viewers in entrance of them doing simply as they want.
Whereas tonight’s present serves as an excellent preview of Horsegirl’s upcoming debut album, it additionally throws it again to earlier elements of the trio’s improvement. ‘Ballroom Dance Scene’, a 2020 single, is noisier and extra gnarled up than its recorded counterpart, including extra chunk to a tune that already had the ability to captivate instantly. In the meantime, ’Sea Life Sandwich Boy’, its predecessor within the band’s discography, is a jubilant piece of noise-rock, optimism peeking out by its clouds of fizzing guitar.
By the point closing tune ‘Billy’ comes round, it feels just like the three-piece have gained over but extra new followers able to stumble again out onto Austin’s streets and contribute to the word-of-mouth buzz swarming across the band. As these in entrance of them take advantage of the group’s remaining moments because the champions of SXSW 2022, Horsegirl themselves play on with the kind of nonchalance that implies – at the same time as a fledgling band – they’re taking their roles because the newly appointed monarchs noise-rock of their stride. Anticipate them to maintain maintain of that crown for a very long time to return.