SXSW 2022 Recap: Day 2

Things are really starting to ramp up! Day 2 of SXSW brought even more excellent music to downtown Austin.

During the official SXSW opening festivities, we caught a set from CIFIKA, a Korean electro-pop singer and producer. Her style blends various kinds of electronic music, including house, techno, IDM, and glitch. Her movements were as fluid as her voice, and the presentation of her performance accented the ephemeral focus of her artistry.

Chicago singer-songwriter Circuit des Yeux played a hauntingly beautiful performance in the sanctuary of St. David’s Episcopal Church, featuring songs from her newest album, -io. The range of her voice was incredible; not only could she be soft and delicate, she could physically shake the entire room when each song hit its climax. Wielding a twelve string Gibson guitar, her finger-plucked folk style perfectly complemented her voice throughout most of the set, with her last song forgoing the guitar in favor of the church’s pipe organ.

Tampa, Florida’s own Glove made an appearance at Cheer Up Charlie’s ahead of their debut album, which releases this Friday. Having made a name for themselves touring with artists like Wavves (including a show in Tallahassee back in October), Glove’s sound pays homage to 80s new wave and post punk greats like New Order while putting their own uniquely modern spin on the genre. 

From there, we made our way to the British Music Embassy at Cedar Street Courtyard, just in time for a set from up and coming post-punk outfit Yard Act. Their debut album The Overload came out in January, and in the wake of the album’s release along with several singles receiving airplay on BBC’s Radio 6, they’re one of the fastest growing bands in Britain. Vocalist James Smith stumbled around the stage while spitting out verse after verse in his spoken word style while the band maintained a flawless groove behind him.

Immediately following Yard Act, pan-continental London based surf rockers Los Bitchos made their American debut here at SXSW. Originally having met over their shared love of cumbia, the band incorporates Latin American and other musical styles from around the world into their music, including Turkish psych, Peruvian chica, and, of course, cumbia. Lead guitarist Serra Petale shredded the night away, working the fretboard of her guitar like it was nothing. The band finished their set with a cover of The Champs’ “Tequila” while taking swigs from a bottle of the eponymous spirit. Los Bitchos’ set marked a fantastic end to another exciting day of musical performances.