Waves Vienna 2012: Preview

It’s autumn, and festival season is close to being over. After all, who wants to freeze to death while waiting for a band to come on stage? For the music industry, it’s now showcase season: with conferences, speed meetings and interviews, and special shows sometimes in bizarre locations, the atmosphere tends to be more relaxed than at outdoor festivals where the masses assemble. People meet and mingle, exchange business cards, and sometimes (more often than not) get drunk together with a semi-unknown Polish electro-band playing in the background. This year is also the very first year I’ll attend a conference not only as a visitor genuinely interested in what the music business has to offer, but also as a panel participant on behalf of the 405, discussing the importance of Music Blogs with other like-minded people. With that in mind, as well as the knowledge that I’ve already attended a couple of showcase festivals and know what to expect and the anticipation of club-hopping through Vienna, I’ve scanned through the list of bands that will be playing at Waves Vienna and selected a couple of must-sees. I’ve left out a couple of the obvious (Gold Panda, Team Me, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Tu Fawning) to focus on smaller bands; this year is centered around Polish and French music, so you’ll be sure to discover a couple of musicians you might not have heard of before.


Meet a band from Poland that will surprise you beyond all expectations with its folky, dreamy melodies.

Agent Side Grinder
With a voice reminiscent of the late Ian Curtis and an industrial, synth-laden sound, this Swedish band will make your dark, dark soul dance.

Me And My Drummer
A girl and a drummer who make pretty lovely contemporary pop music, with beautiful piano to accompany the female vocals.


A self-taught “metalhead” who has found his true calling in quiet folk music coming straight from the heart.

This dj/graphic designer from Moscow is just really, really great at combining layered acoustic melodies with hip-hop beats and glitchy electro.

Sera Cahoone
She pretty much grew up in Colorado’s dive bars and her whole repertoire sounds like a walk in the woods accompanied by a banjo.

Sun Glitters
Sun Glitters is a one-man glitchy, crisp-winter-morning-covered-in-snow act from Luxembourg that has been on my radar for a little while now; he’s very likely to charm his audience on the small Badeschiff stage Friday evening.


Their play on words and French Rock style – or maybe they’re punk chansons? – feel as authentic as Noir D├ęsir in the 90s.

Sex Jams
this band just rocks live, full stop. If you don’t go, you’re missing out on an explosive Sonic-Youth-meets-Bikini-Kill show.

Multi-instrumentalist Nick Talbot’s atmospheric music has been praised by many as a cross between Nick Drake and Brian Eno, with an amazing live show to back up his latest effort. Time (and Waves) will tell if he measures up to the comparison.

Waves Vienna Showcase Festival is a young, budding showcase fest which takes place every year in Austria’s capital, making use of the many clubs scattered around the city center in the region of the Danube channel. Since this year, Waves also has an app available for both iPhone and android, making it easier to get on top of things and see which bands are playing where, in real-time. Joy!

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