After a whirlwind of a week in Austin we return to Cleveland feeling excited and humbled— from the endless art we witnessed and shared, to the many connections and opportunities that blossomed throughout our trip. We want to share with you some of our favorite memories, highlights, accomplishments, and photos. Our family here in Cleveland and around the world truly rallied together in support of this experience and we genuinely could not have done it without you.
On March 12th we received a generous donation that put us over our GoFundMe goal of $6000! With this funding, we were able to purchase our airfare ($2100), rent an AirBnb for our whole band ($2092), rent 2 vehicles ($1200), and pay for our daily food, parking, and expenses ($2400).
Thank you, to the 145 people who donated money to our band for this trip and to the countless others who have supported us by listening to our music, coming to our shows, and showing love to our collective over the past few years. We love you all.
Here are 9 highlights we want to share with you!
NPR Music’s #Austin100 List
Before we left Cleveland we were included in NPR Music’s list of bands to watch at SXSW! We were honored to be on their #Austin100 Mixtape alongside so many other beautiful artists. Check out the list and mixtape here.
Experiencing (and discovering) some of our favorite artists
We played 4 shows at SXSW— one each night of our trip, and fortunately still had ample time to check out tons bands that we love. Here’s each band member’s favorite:
Connecting with bands from around the globe
With thousands of bands coming to Austin from all over the planet, we were thrilled by how many artists we got to meet, play with, and watch perform. We got to see CHAI from Japan, Combo Chimbita from Columbia via New York, Amyl & the Sniffers from Melbourne, Australia, Har Mar Superstar from Minneapolis, Open Mike Eagle from Chicago, Saint Pé from Nashville, Haiku Hands from Sydney, Australia, Theodore from Athens, Greece. Minke from London, UK, and so many more.
Connecting w/ agents, routing tours!
One of our priorities in attending SXSW was to connect with agents and bands routing tours for the next year. We laid some exciting groundwork and can’t wait to bring our art to communities and regions of the world that we’ve yet to visit ASAP. This was a huge success for us; we’re thrilled to soon share some of these upcoming opportunities.
Growing our online listening community
When we left for SXSW we had several hundred followers and active listeners on our Spotify channel. When we checked it on the way home we noticed we’d gained THOUSANDS of new listeners and hundreds of followers. This was really exciting for us as we prepare to release our next record, “Reckoning,” on May 10, 2019.
Feel free to check out our Spotify Profile and follow us here.
NPR highlighted us as a "Wow Moment" from SXSW
After our first full day in Austin, we played the Don Giovanni Records Showcase. We were told there were some notable press folks in attendance, including Stephen Thompson from NPR Music’s All Songs Considered. He tweeted about us during the performance and later included us in his recap of SXSW “Wow Moments” which you can read/listen to here.
“I kind of had a string of stuff I liked just one after the other. A band from Cleveland called Mourning [A] BLKstar. Just a mix of SO many genres smashed together at once —soul and jazz and kind of avant garde music coupled with just a really strong point of view about social justice in America. Very powerful performance.”
7. Getting added to a range of playlists
During our trip we got word that we were added to a number of playlists! We found our songs popping up on Apple Music playlists of Dreamy Indie music, and Spotify Playlists of SXSW Highlights.
8. Traveling as a Unit
Touring as a collective is always a gift, but this trip brought us to new heights. We ditched the van for the first time and winged it through the air. We cooked some big family meals at the AirBnB and took time to explore Austin and its many neighborhoods— most exploration involved tacos & BBQ. Some photos of our fave moments:
9. Supporting Other Cleveland Bands
While we saw Cleveland friends like OBNOX and MellowXZACT throughout the week, we were thrilled to link at the SXSW finale, Chili Dog Fest, on our final day of the trip. We played alongside Herzog and spent our day with Bim Thomas, A-Live, MellowXZACT, Mike Mike, Steve Mehlman, James Carol, Rachel Hunt, and more. We couldn’t wrangle everyone for a group photo but here’s a few of us:
Thank you to each of you for being such a beautiful part of this experience. Your constant love and support mean the world to us and we can’t wait to share with you and the rest of the world this art that we love so much.