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SXSW Band of the Day: Twin Forks

Eric Webb

Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 19, 2014

Update, Feb. 27: Twin Forks has cancelled their trip to SXSW, according to KGSR DJ Kristen Kurtis.

Artist: Twin Forks

From: Boca Raton, Fla.; official SXSW page

SXSW shows: Wedneday, March 12 at Bungalow (92 Rainey St.)

About the artist

Hands down, Twin Forks will get festgoers of a certain generation excited. (See what we did there?) Prolific frontman Chris Carraba is somewhat of a patron saint to the early- to -mid-2000s emo era — or rather emo-pop, lest any genre purists wearing worn-out Sunny Day Real Estate shirts write us angry emails. As the leader of Dashboard Confessional, Carraba was the soundtrack to many a twentysomething’s furious journal scrawling and Converse lacing. Even casual music fans are aware of albums like “The Swiss Army Romance” and “A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar.” (Carraba also fronts the indie rock flavored band-of-Christians-but-not-a-Christian-band Further Seems Forever.)

Twin Forks, the singer’s latest project, has generated a fair amount of buzz since a debut self-titled EP dropped last year. If you’re afraid that you won’t find any acoustic guitar here, fear not: the band is the kind of alt-folk venture that the post-Mumford zeitgeist demands. Some festgoers may remember that Twin Forks played ACL Fest this past year. Don’t think Mumford, however: Carraba says the influences that seep into Twin Forks’ output include rootsy singer-songwriters like Cat Stevens, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Filter those influences through Carraba’s raspy but pleasingly nasal style of soul-baring, and you’ll get a pretty close approximation to the band’s sound.

You can tell on mandolin-heavy songs like “Back To You” that this band isn’t just Carraba’s stylistic lark — it’s got all the earnest genre crossing of a music fan trying something fresh. Twin Forks’ first full-length is set to release this year, but if joints like the Irish-pub-rollicker “Scraping Up the Pieces” and their way-too-good cover of Taylor Swift’s “Mean” are any indication, the band could be more than a sidenote in Carraba’s career.

Could share a bill with: The Decemberists, Ivan & Alyosha, Bronze Radio Return, The Wild Feathers

Can’t see them at SXSW? Twin Forks comes back to Austin with Augustana on April 23 at Emo’s East.