The annual South by Southwest music festival isn't always kind to the folks who play there. Wildly variable sound quality, noise pollution from all sides, unreliable weather and audiences itching to move on face even the most seasoned performers. When Swiss/German duo BOY played a set on Austin's Congress Avenue during the 2013 festival, 12 days into their first U.S. tour, they hit every SXSW pothole imaginable. Their instruments failed, their amps were ruined and the crowd was thinning.
But then they stepped away from their popping mics, headed out to the street and started singing. With keyboards and drum machines, Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass create upbeat indie fun. With one unplugged acoustic guitar and their quiet, unadorned voices aimed at the 15 people who stayed, they were chemically irresistible. The pair's new single, the title track from forthcoming sophomore album We Were Here, has warmth, breezy effervescence and lyrics shot through with the deeply human desire to be remembered and cherished. In 2013, it didn't seem BOY could top the underdog charm offensive they launched in Austin. With "We Were Here," they have.
We Were Here is out on Groenland Records Aug. 21.
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