SXSW 2017 Grulke Prize win­ners: Lemon Twigs, Jain, Robyn Hitch­cock

Austin American-Statesman - - THE PLANNER - By Peter Black­stock pblack­

An­other South by South­west is in the books, and the con­fer­ence has an­nounced this year’s win­ners of the Grulke Prize: Lemon Twigs, Jain and Robyn Hitch­cock.

The Grulke Prize was cre­ated in 2013 in honor of long­time SXSW cre­ative di­rec­tor Brent Grulke af­ter his death in 2012. It rec­og­nizes de­vel­op­ing acts (one national, one in­ter­na­tional) “who are break­ing new ground with their cre­ativ­ity and show the most prom­ise in achiev­ing their ca­reer goals. A third Ca­reer Act prize goes to an es­tab­lished per­former “who ap­peared at SXSW to rein­vent them­selves or launch a new project.”

Here’s the of­fi­cial state­ment from SXSW on this year’s three win­ners:

The Grulke Prize win­ner for De­vel­op­ing U.S. Act is the Lemon Twigs. This Long Is­land duo’s 4AD de­but is earn­ing raves, but it’s their live per­for­mances that had ev­ery­one at SXSW talk­ing. Broth­ers Brian and Michael D’Ad­dario were born into a mu­si­cal fam­ily and have been har­mo­niz­ing since they were kids. Pro­ducer Jonathan Rado, who dis­cov­ered the band, said, “As teenagers, they work like stu­dio vets. Brian can play any­thing you hand him — he played all the strings and horns on the record — and Michael is the most cap­ti­vat­ing drum­mer I’ve ever seen. There’s noth­ing they can’t do.”

The Grulke Prize win­ner for De­vel­op­ing Non-U.S. Act is Jain. A cap­ti­vat­ing French singer-song­writer, Jain has al­ready reached plat­inum sta­tus with her al­bum “Zanaka.” Her unique sounds draw lis­ten­ers in with their daz­zling in­ter­na­tional fla­vor and mag­netic hooks. Though suc­cess has been quick in Europe, she’s been work­ing on her music since she was a teenager mov­ing around the world with stops in the Congo, Abu Dhabi and Paris.

The Grulke Prize win­ner for Ca­reer Act is Robyn Hitch­cock. As the man him­self de­scribes his new, self-ti­tled al­bum, which will be re­leased next mont honYepRoc, “It’s in­tro­duc­ing Robyn Hitch­cock. Think of me as a new act — I’m only 63.” Four decades as band­leader, singer and song­writer have seen Hitch­cock em­ploy­ing and de­con­struct­ing the stan­dard model of two gui­tars, bass, drums, and har­monies to veer be­tween sonic styles and over­all ap­proaches, from the Soft Boys’ proto-psych-punk and the Egyp­tians’ Dadaist pop to acous­ticbuilt ap­proaches.

Ju­rors for the Grulke Prize in­clude music crit­ics, in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als a ndSXSWstaff,many­ofwhom knew and worked with Grulke over the years.

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