Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 7:30 am
The Wytches' furious, hair-flinging psych-rock isn't the stuff of back-porch acoustic sessions: Both live and on the English band's singles, the energy is so intense, it can barely be contained. But when NPR Music arranged a Wytches session during SXSW — held in the charming backyard setting of Friends & Neighbors in east Austin — singer-guitarist Kristian Bell stood in for the whole band, with just his voice and an acoustic guitar.
In these three songs from the forthcoming Annabel Dream Reader — due out this summer — Bell splits the difference between The Wytches' wiry raggedness and the gentler side dictated by both the setting and his instrument. Surrounded by a small throng of locals and their kids, Bell proved worthy of the most bucolic setting he's likely to play this year.
Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Becky Harlan, Olivia Merrion, A.J. Wilhelm; Production Coordinator: Kate Kittredge; Special Thanks: Friends & Neighbors; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann