Photo Diary /// Blacklist Royals do SXSW

BLR NatandRobLast year, we sent Kelsey Waldon to capture the musical chaos that is SXSW in photos; in between Townes Van Zandt tributes and margaritas she was able to tell a vibrant story through snapshots, and show us her cute mug a little, too (kinda like what she does with her songs – the vibrant story part, that is). This year, we had Nashville’s Blacklist Royals wield the iPhone camera as they traipsed their way through packed showcases, interviews and hang time with some of their favorite artists, including Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace and the Dum Dum Girls.

We first stumbled upon Blacklist Royals when they opened for Face to Face with Joshua Black Wilkins – it was Joshua’s gritty confessionals that lured us to this lineup, but it was hard to leave without a little comfortable scarring from the Royals, who make punk music that plays with an emotional urgency unafraid of going to the sensitive places, mixing acoustic slow-burners with all-out rock anthems. In fact, many songs start in the former and end with the latter, toying with expectations and crescendo and a perfect, measured build of energy through music. Maybe it’s the natural synchronicity that twins Nat and Rob Rufus are able to tap into through genetic ties – the same ties they are able to purposefully break for moments of controlled, sonic chaos. We especially appreciate the nods to Bruce Springteen, which makes us question whether or not these boys are in fact from New Jersey and not Nashville. Their next album, Die Young With Me, will be released this June.

As the band tells Lockeland Springsteen, “SXSW just wrapped up, and managed to kick our ass worse than a 3-month long tour!  Here are a few pictures to prove it (although, also like a 3-month tour, all the good ones have been burned).” Rightly so. Click through…

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Marissa is the editor of Lockeland Springsteen.

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