Featured track: "The Natural World," from The Age Of Fracture
City of origin: London, England
In one sentence: Reminiscent of '80s synth-pop but with smart, modern ideas.
Why we chose them: At SXSW, the worst move an attendee can make is failing to mix up genres. Even for fans of folk or jazz, adding danceable moments to your schedule creates needed levity in the music discovery process. London's CYMBALS should provide this during their U.S. debut at SXSW 2014. The band crafts dance music that recalls everything from Kraftwerk to Giorgio Moroder, but production from Dreamtrak (Hot Chip) gives it a decidedly modern sound. The group cites books by Thomas Mann and Daniel T. Rodgers among its influences, so expect thoughtful (if spare) lyrics meshed with the electronics. This is arty, make no mistake, but the slow build of the record ultimately proves successful. Turn up, dance, and allow this band 45 minutes of your time.
SXSW official showcase: CYMBALS play two official showcases: Wednesday, March 12 at midnight at Maggie Mae's, and Thursday, March 13 at 1:15 am at Cheer Up Charlie's.