There is no shortage of musical discoveries at SXSW. When it comes to the festival, that’s been the whole point since the beginning. For every Lady Gaga or Jay-Z, you have 10 times as many indie artists, rising stars on the verge of their big break. And with the kind of exposure that SXSW offers, the right gig in front of the right people is all it takes to push an artist’s career to the next level.
As someone who’s experienced more SXSW festivals than I can remember, one thing I trust every time is discovering new musicians to follow. Some have been local, but most from overseas. This year, one of those was Prairie WWWW from Taiwan, comprised of White (drums), A-Lung (guitarist), Apple (bassist), Yi-Zhi (drums, programming), and Sean (guitar and keys). Prairie WWWW is an experimental folk band whose members concoct music fused from sounds they perform with field-recordings they’ve taken high in the mountains. It’s the kind of ambient music Björk, one of the band’s inspirations, would have as a ringtone.
Prairie WWWW operates in their own universe, where the soil beneath their feet is as much a part of their artistic DNA as it is in their poetry, expressed in specific frequencies. I met up with the band at SXSW for a brief interview ahead of their debut at Taiwan Beats to talk about their origins and what it is they hope to convey about their motherland through their unique approach to music.
Look out for Prairie WWWW’s fifth album later in 2018. They also have their eyes set on performing at Fuji Rock Festival in late July, so if you want to see them there you can vote for them here.