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SXSW Band of the Day: Matrimony

Peter Blackstock

Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 27, 2014

Artist: Matrimony

From: Charlotte, N.C.

Online:Artist website: official SXSW page

SXSW showcases: 10 p.m. Thursday at Lamberts (401 W. Second St.); midnight Saturday at Palm Door on Sabine (401 Sabine St.)

About the artist

Matrimony puts a slight twist on the family-band lineup. Starting out as a husband-wife duo with a 2010 EP, Jimmy Brown and Ashlee Hardee Brown eventually expanded the lineup to include Ashlee’s brothers, Jordan and CJ.

Something about the kinship chemistry worked. Their most recent recordings drew the attention of Columbia Records, which issued the four-song “Montibello Drive” EP in 2013 in anticipation of a full-length release this year.

Matrimony’s energetic, trad-driven indie rock fits in with a lot of what’s making waves in contemporary pop , though their music seems less trend-driven than simply song-driven. The male-female vocals of the Browns play off each other perfectly on “Golden City,” trading lines in the first verse before joining in radiant harmony on the second. “Obey Your Guns” soars on an anthemic chorus, while “Giant” focuses its dramatic tension on Ashlee’s striking lead vocal.

Opening for the Gaslight Anthem last year in their hometown of Charlotte, the band showed the ability to transition from small clubs to larger stages. Though they rely heavily on acoustic instrumentation (including banjo and mandolin), they filled up a 2,000-capacity hall with a full sound. Bigger things beckon for this foursome created by familial and matrimonial ties.

Could share a bill with: Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, David Gray, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros