*Photo by Makaila Heifner
Amyl and the Sniffers, Durand Jones, Allah-Las & more delivered trippy sonic magic in Austin, TX
LEVITATION Festival returned to Austin, Texas and delivered a wide array of performances, genres, and Halloween festivites. Originally conceived by members of Austin’s very own The Black Angels and friends, the event pays homage to Austin’s psychedelic rock pioneers, The 13th Floor Elevators. Since then, the festival has undergone a transformative journey, and now features a city-wide takeover that spans over 9 venues across town.
From industry veterans to new-comers, check out our favorite sets of the weekend:
Amyl and the Sniffers
Fronted by the electrifying Amy Taylor, Amyl and the Sniffers are a relentless force of nonstop punk energy. The band brings a raw, unapologetic attitude to their music, delivering a sonic punch that feels both nostalgic and refreshingly rebellious. Their live performance lived up to expectations set by their first two albums. Amyl and the Sniffers are a sonic revelation, injecting a much-needed dose of ferocity into the contemporary punk scene.
Altın Gün took the Sunday night audience through a set of traditional Turkish folk with a modern psychedelic twist. Their fusion of Anatolian melodies, hypnotic rhythms, and innovative instrumentation creates an immersive experience that transcends cultural boundaries. The seamless marriage of Eastern and Western music elements makes Altın Gün a trailblazing force in the global music landscape, inviting listeners to dance, reflect, and celebrate the beauty of cultural interconnectedness.
SHE SHE SHE
SHE SHE SHE emerges as an enigmatic force in the music scene, weaving a sonic tapestry that defies easy categorization. Blending dream pop, indie rock, and hints of electronica, this mysterious trio crafts ethereal soundscapes that envelop the listener. The delicate yet powerful vocals, coupled with intricate instrumentation, create an otherworldly atmosphere that lingers long after the music fades. SHE SHE SHE’s ability to balance excellent lyricism with a unique musical palette resulted in an entrancing listening experience.
Another Austin favorite was punk quartet Die Spitz. Die Spitz stands out as a dynamic force in the music scene, infusing their sound with a high-energy blend of punk rock and alternative. With infectious hooks, driving rhythms, and lyrics that resonate with a rebellious spirit, Die Spitz captures the essence of youthful exuberance and the unapologetic pursuit of self-expression. Their live performances are a testament to their electrifying stage presence, creating an atmosphere where the audience can’t help but be swept up in an adrenaline-fueled intensity.
Austin local Grandmaster is equal parts music, cult, and theatrical experience. Most of the band’s performance is dedicated to the “Grandmaster” – a seven foot tall being with glowing eyes who walks around the crowd attempting to gain new and loyal followers, also known as “Zealots.” Aside from the theatrics, Grandmaster features a 9-person band that delivers funky tunes that seamlessly mix psychedelia, jazz, funk, and pop.
Tanukichan, the musical project of Hannah van Loon blens elements of shoegaze, dream pop, and indie rock. With her debut album Sundays and subsequent releases, van Loon showcases a mastery of atmospheric textures and introspective lyricism. The hazy guitars, coupled with her velvety vocals, create a haze that feels both nostalgic and refreshingly contemporary. With each track, Tanukichan proves to be an alchemist, mixing genres and musical elements to craft a unique and immersive listening experience that lingers in the mind long after the music fades.
Durand Jones has recently embarked on a solo journey from his project Durand Jones and The Indications. This change marks a deeply personal embark for Jones – his debut solo album features spoken word tracks, reflections on the world around him, and his signature sound that feels like it could be straight off a record from the ’60s. His performance in Austin brought an infectious energy that had the whole crowd dancing for the entirety of his performance and breathed life to his solo work. If you had any trepidations about Jones’ new solo work, don’t be – he’s at the top of his game.
The Allah-Las transport listeners on a sun-soaked journey, effortlessly capturing the essence of retro cool. Hailing from Los Angeles, this quartet exudes a timeless charm that echoes the golden era of garage and surf rock. The Allah-Las’ ability to infuse their music with a vintage allure while maintaining a contemporary relevance made them a standout act in the LEVITATION landscape.