Mobley, Shy Beast, Swimming with Bears & The Texas KGB Discuss Musical Influences at NORTHSIDE Amplified Shows
The Austin bands came together with artist-centric nonprofit Black Fret to throw a street party in the heart of Domain NORTHSIDE
By Cassie LaMere
Photographs by Warren Chang & Julia Keim/Giant Noise
On what may have been the first true fall night in Austin, residents had listening parties on their balconies and fans congregated in front of NORTHSIDE Amplified’s two main stages last week to see renowned local bands Mobley, Swimming with Bears, Shy Beast, and The Texas KGB.
Surrounded by one of the city’s top entertainment districts, audiences enjoyed a free festival in the heart of Domain NORTHSIDE that showcased a new wave of talent hailing from the Live Music Capital of the World.
Although each artist had a distinctly different sound, they all sang a similar tune, praising the sense of community they felt being an Austin musician. That camaraderie was clear, with band members spotted catching friends’ sets in between their featured timeslot.
During a preshow meet-and-greet at Capital One Café, each spoke of their appreciation for other local musicians and Austin’s passionate fans. A big part of the artist community is Black Fret, the artist-centric nonprofit providing grants, along with a network of collaborators and industry mentors, to local musicians.
Each of the bands at NORTHSIDE Amplified were previous recipients of prestigious Black Fret honors and spoke about how working in Austin has helped create their sound.
For The Texas KGB, the city offers “an eclectic melting pot of music and diverse genres” that has helped them hone their sound. The band’s trajectory has soared since making Austin their home base. Gordy Quist of The Band of Heathens took notice, collaborating with the group to produce their latest album, set for release next month.
Shy Beast front woman Mariclaire Glaeser credits their genre-bending music to the band evolving along with the city, noting growth within the Austin industry provided them the opportunity to explore their distinctive sound. When asked about favorite places in Austin, Glaeser shared her love of the peacock sanctuary in Mayfield Park, which may come as no surprise to anyone familiar with her showmanship and on-stage style.
Looking back to a ‘90s childhood is key to Swimming with Bears’ signature sound. Being from the “most nostalgic era,” they find those sources of inspiration comforting after witnessing rapid change and innovation in their lifetime.
For an artist who put it all on the line to pursue music, Mobley’s set at NORTHSIDE Amplified punctuated a month of career highlights, including an ACL Late Night Show, Voodoo Fest and tour with Cold War Kids. As he shared with fans, he just completed his latest album.
When asked what he hopes for the future of the Austin music industry, Mobley spoke of his desire for the city to continue prioritizing inclusivity and access for local talent.
NORTHSIDE Amplified festival and its partners achieved that vision, giving audiences the opportunity to gather for a night of free music that reminded us all the power a community has to ignite a fan base, foster growth and band together. It is clearly a lasting spirit that lives deep in the heart of Texas