Here are just a few of the acts worth catching at BandSwap this weekend:
Kae G the Original Seed, Fortune the Iron Mike Mangler, and DJ Icirus make up Savage Souls, a crazy-talented hip-hop act from North Charleston. We’re constantly in awe of this trio’s prolific nature, putting out new songs and EPs every chance they get. And by every chance they get, we mean they put out 14 songs in 14 weeks last year. With one EP down so far in 2014 (Illnastastic) and another due by the end of the month (Sword Gang), these guys are on track to release a total of four EPs by the end of the year. Impressed yet? Either way, check out their standout single “Our Time,” a hoppin’, layered track off Illnastastic. —Kelly Rae Smith
This electro-pop foursome got together last year, shortly after making a musical connection at a tacky Christmas sweater party. Drummer Brooks Wharton, guitarist Jamie Teske, bassist Mike Meehan, and frontman/keyboardist Joe Davies wasted no time in polishing their cerebral synth-pop in time to compete in BandSwap. Good thing they did, because Lectra Lust wound up walking away as winners of the Experimental/Electronic category and got to compete in the finals in May. The guys’ summer was busy, too — they released their debut EP Footnotes at a jam-packed Royal American gig that was typical of this band’s live shows: full of energy, sweat bands, and things that glow in the dark. —KRS
When we first heard this local band’s self-titled debut, a witty and whimsical collection of alt-country gems, the CD played on repeat — for a couple of weeks. It’s pretty damn special. Frontman Justin Osborne holds the fort down on his own most of the time, like on SUSTO’s national tour this summer, but Johnny Delaware (piano, guitar, vocals), Jordan Hicks of Brave Baby (guitar), Eric Mixon (bass), and Taylor McCleskey (drums) are on the record as well as some full-band gigs. Together, SUSTO’s Southern Gothic country sound is nothing short of magic. —KRS
Dangermuffin says they sound like organic, sand-blasted roots rock with a sweet jam spread. The band recently went into West Ashley’s Truphonic Recording Studios to lay down their fourth full-length record that they say is their best and biggest collection of songs to date. The band’s previous record, Olly Oxen Free, showcased notable restraint and tasteful songwriting, which makes the follow-up incredibly promising. Their feel-good musical style will put sand under your feet and a cold one in your hand no matter the time or place. —J. Chapa
A staple of the D.C. entertainment scene, LouLou’s voice sounds at ease, whether it’s riding a reggae backbeat or weaving through a smooth bossa nova session. LouLou Ooldouz Ghelichkhani was born in San Jose, Calif., though she was raised in Paris, France until her teenage years. Based now in the U.S., LouLou began working back in the ’90s with Thievery Corporation, a notable electronica outfit that combines dub, lounge, jazz, hip-hop, and Latin ingredients. LouLou recently relocated to Austin, Texas to front her band, Bone, Fur and Feathers, a groovy avant-garde French psych-rock outfit. She’ll be DJing as well as performing at the BandSwap after-party. —JC
The Dunder Chiefs
It’s only taken two years for Charleston’s own The Dunder Chiefs to get noticed by the locals. The guys recently signed on to join the roster at Charleston-based record label Coast Records. If you like some fine banjo pickin’ and well-done vocal harmonies, these boys will hit the spot. Make sure you have a pair of boots with a sturdy heel on ’em, because you’re gonna be stomping along to their hook-filled tunes when you catch them live. —JC
We bet Tyler Boone makes his mama really proud. Something about his music makes you feel good deep-down inside. Even when Boone is belting out a heartbreaking ballad, there’s a sense that everything will be all right. Boone takes the blues style of old and adds a poppy hook that will excite fans of John Mayer or Howie Day. He’s opened for Hootie and the Blowfish and Christopher Cross — and, ironically, Boone’s tunes seem to be a mix of the two. It’s good-time music with an edge to it. —JC
Charleston’s Dead 27s make music that’s a sunny blend of soul, blues, and Southern rock. The guys debuted back in 2012, and audiences have been falling hard for them ever since — and we don’t just mean local listeners. In June, the seven-member crew made it to the top-12 bands in VH1’s Make a Band Famous competition and subsequently got tons of national recognition. The band also won the Rock category during the BandSwap finals in May. Catch ’em while you can — a recently signed deal with booking agents Intrepid International Artists means these guys will be living the dream on the road soon. —KRS
Winner of BandSwap’s Singer-Songwriter category, indie-pop artist Gabay impressed the judges with her ace songwriting abilities. Her first EP Green features smart pop songs with fun hooks, and her follow-up collection is slightly darker and a little more grown-up. Gabay likens her new style to Fiona Apple but with a hip-hop flair. To see and hear what we love about Gabay, check out her single “Smile Pretty,” an upbeat, clever, and catchy tune that’s also sweet and sentimental as it’s about her stepdad’s battle with cancer. “That has always been one of the most inspiring things in my life,” Gabay says about her stepdad in a recently released video performance. “He always has a great attitude, is motivated, and is grateful for every day.” —KRS
Influenced by everything from hip-hop to funk to Carolina, Sun-Dried Vibes makes reggae rock with a Southern twist — a genre they like to call deep-fried reggae. The trio won BandSwap’s R&B, Hip-Hop, Soul, or Reggae category at the beginning of the summer, just a month after releasing their sophomore album Back2Square1. The album, recorded at James Island’s Oceans Industries Studios, debuted on the iTunes Reggae Charts at No. 6. —KRS
Logan Venderlic calls his sound folk wave, and that’s right on the money. Now based in Charleston, the singer-songwriter hails from West Virginia, where he made some waves indeed with an appearance on NPR’s Mountain Stage, plus a ton of write-ups in national publications. He’s already got a new collection of songs ready to release as soon as he finds the right record company. In the meantime, let him woo you live with blissfully bright tracks like “I Saw the Light,” which features Rachel Kate Gillon on backup vocals. —KRS
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