Last month, Paste worked with bands not just in our home studio in New York City, but also in Austin during South by Southwest 2017. We recorded nearly 40 bands at SXSW, and our regularly monthly output still included a couple dozen sessions. After polling our New York office staff, here are five of our favorite sessions from NYC and ATX this past March.
This New Jersey band topped many of our Best of 2016 lists, so it was an honor to welcome Evan Stephens Hall and Sam Skinner to our Manhattan studio. As a duo, they debuted a brand new song, “Easy Enough, revisited an old track called “Mather Knoll,” and—due to popular request—played “Aphasia” from their lauded LP Cardinal.
2. Patrick Watson
Canadian singer/songwriter Patrick Watson comes across like more of a folksinger in much of his studio work. But live in the Paste Studio last month, the deep bass riffs and blend of acoustic and synthesized sounds created a brooding, almost funky effort for songs like the title track of his last LP, Love Songs for Robots.
3. Tim Kasher
Tim Kasher, frontman of bands like Cursive and The Good Life, released his latest solo effort No Resolution in March. When he stopped by the office before his New York City tour date, Kasher delivered heartfelt solo-acoustic versions of songs off that new album, which is available now.
4. Rodney Crowell
is a legend. Maybe you don’t him by name, but his work and influence is absolutely omnipresent through Nashville and the country music scene. Leading up to the release of his new self-reflective album Close Ties, Crowell played a few of those songs for Paste listeners, while regaling us with stories from his storied life.
5. Diet Cig
Watching Diet Cit frontwoman Alex Luciano made me want to pursue a music career where I, too, could jump around on stage and sing songs about girl power and how, “it’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt.” Between Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman, Diet Cig’s music is playful, upbeat and addictive. The New Paltz duo’s debut album, Swear I’m Good At This isn’t even out, yet, but they’ve already made a name for themselves at SXSW and even beforehand. If you have a chance to see Diet Cig live, do it. Drop whatever you have planned, and do it. —Annie Black