Team ATH has been covering Austin Psych Fest/Levitation since its early inception, probably in the second year at Radio Room (sorry we missed the first year!), so we’ve seen the ups and downs twists and turns. Despite the various venues and changes, Levitation 2019 finally felt like it was home again.
Man I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m super excited for Thursday and the start of the new look Levitation Festival in Austin. The lineup is absolutely loaded with great music with not a single day, or even hour, lacking of some quality live music. For real, this is a lineup ya’ll. As we typically do with festivals in town, we plan to preview a few things for you to help you better plan for the weekend. Today I am extremely pleased to share with you an expertly crafted Levitation playlist from our old friends A Place to Bury Strangers. The band really nailed it with this one and offered us way more songs than we normally ask for. This could be your definitive playlist for the weekend and should help you discover some new tunes/bands you maybe weren’t expecting to check out. Enjoy the words and playlist after the jump.
Can I not just have this whole Black Marble LP already? This is the third single from the forthcoming Bigger Than Life LP, and again, it’s sure-fire gem. I’m actually really drawn to the beats on this one; they have this energetic pulse faintly tinged with a darkness that seems to match the fogginess of the vocal delivery. It’s probably cliche at this point, but balancing of the light and dark is so well executed that you can’t help but be caught up in your own emotions. But, perhaps the most striking moment comes just before the 4 minute mark, when the song seems to be stripped of its energy, leaving you with heavy vocals draped across minimal notes; it’s a pretty special twist. This new LP drops on October 25th via Sacred Bones Records. Don’t forget the band will be in Austin for Levitation!
Jonathan Bree has been on my radar for several years at this point, but I feel like he’s finally starting to get a name going for himself over here in the States. He was top of my list of last year’s SXSW performances, for both sound and the spectacle of the performance itself. This video offers a precise glimpse at what listeners will get when they catch Jonathan on his first official North American tour; it’s an orchestral pop song performed by a band without a face (the band has no face), which certainly grabs your attention in the live setting. He’ll be in Austin for Levitation, but will spend much of October and November throughout the continent, so if he comes near you, I assure you that won’t want to miss this.
I’ve loved a lot of music, but one of the acts I always tried to turn folks onto was Black Marble; I’ve even used these here pages to support the project. It seems that promise is finally coming to the forefront, as today they announced their signing to Sacred Bones Records. Chris Stewart, the man behind the project, has altered his craft for this new LP; he’s admittedly pushed the vocals to the front and sort of stripped them of various effects that accompanied his earlier works. And, while this began to emerge on It’s Immaterial, the beats here are pretty sharp, yet also really sparse, letting you focus on their intent as the lyrics sink into your skin. The new LP is titled Bigger Than Life and it will be out on October 25th! There is also a scheduled tour date at Austin’s Levitation festival too!
Levitation has made all of our days here in Austin with the announcement of the first wave of artists for the 2019 edition of the spectacular festival. We’re no strangers to the festival, as it’s become one of our favorite excuses to run around town seeing incredible bands, both local and national. Now a fall festival (Nov 7-10), we’ll be treated to the likes of Angel Olsen, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Holy Wave, Death Valley Girls, Allah Las, Chelsea Wolfe, Dinosaur Jr., Devendra Banhart, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and so many more. Tickets for individual shows and four day passes are on sale now. I suggest you go scoop some tickets now as this ‘first wave’ announcement is enough to warrant a four day already–get hyped for the fall with their official Spotify playlist below!
Levitation 2018 was not really a festival; it was a series of curated shows that happened to be on the same weekend. The environmental experience of marching across fields and pivoting from stage to stage was removed for ticketed shows at established venues. Hopefully, this will be a one time thing to keep the concept of Levitation alive. There was a time when it was the most unique fest going, whether in a power plant and by the river…
Anyway, when the lineup was announced, I was down for the deconstructed Animal Collective show with Panda Bear and Geologist at Mohawk. My interest increased when Lou Rebecca was added as an opener. It has been some time since our friends move out west to LA and there have been several mini-tours taken. How has the live set progressed and how do the new songs land?
When ACL cancelled a day of the festival a few years back, we were flooded by a series of pop-up shows to keep visiting artists busy. When the press release landed cancelling the entire festival, I emailed Team ATH to keep an eye out and put an ear to the street. One of the first big acts to land a venue was Animal Collective. The show at Emo’s sold out in two minutes. In fact, most pop-up shows sold out in a ridiculously short time, but I think this one was the fastest by far.
If you were at Scoot Inn or Hotel Vegas, get ready for notes and pics from the big show that featured Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith as the open…
Saturday is THE day. No days are bad, but Saturday is chock-full of ridiculous talent. Ultimate Painting and Parquet Courts have been covered and talked about til the Internet was blue in the face…and apparently this Brian Wilson guy is a big deal. Plus, you’ve got perennial indie rock powerhouses in Animal Collective and Black Mountain, but let me point you in the right direction, a little off the beaten path, perhaps. Read more