Press Release: The Last Year Adds Second Show at SXSW





The Last Year Featured In NPR Music’s “Austin 100” As One Of The Artists To Discover At SXSW 2015


March 9, 2015 (Baltimore, MD) – The Last Year is kicking off quite a memorable spring as they make their South By Southwest debut with two official showcases on Tuesday, March 17 at 1 AM at Red Eyed Fly (715 Red River St. Austin, TX) and Thursday, March 19 at 8 PM at Buffalo Billiards (201 E. 6th St. Austin, TX). These much anticipated shows are already being hailed by critics as two of the performances to see after NPR Music’s “Austin 100” included The Last Year in its annual SXSW playlist, which highlights the top artists to discover each year.

These exciting shows will also serve as the catalyst for a remarkable few months for the female-fronted alternative rock band as the group will then join Sick of Sarah for the East Coast leg of their tour as the supporting act, starting April 5.

The brainchild of lead vocalist Niki Barr and bassist Scott Ensign, The Last Year has enjoyed a successful few years already, thanks to the industry’s embracement of its first single “Sugar”. Under the previous direction of CO 5 Music, “Sugar” received spins at 14 radio stations, including WWDC 101, WLUM, SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, KWSS, WWWX and many more, across the U.S. and is continuously being added to alternative and rock stations with each and every performance.

Now, with the release of their second single “Mania” off of their upcoming album Static Automatic, which is scheduled for an April release, The Last Year is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform at such high-profile events, including SXSW and the Sick of Sarah tour.

“The SXSW showcases and Sick of Sarah tour couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Mike Marucci of Marucci artists. “These are the perfect opportunities for The Last Year to get their new music heard and get live feedback from the fans.”

While SXSW and the Sick of Sarah tour are new ventures for The Last Year, the band are certainly no strangers to the stage. In fact, Barr, Ensign and drummer BJ Kerwin have toured over 30 countries on three continents and have performed 12 international tours for the Armed Forces Entertainment in five years, performing for the Troops in the Middle East, Japan, UK, and many other countries throughout Europe and Southeast Asia.

So how is it that an indie band like The Last Year has grown so big so fast? According to fans and critics alike, it’s all thanks to Barr’s energizing stage presence and airy vocals that she expertly transforms into powerful melodic hooks. It also helps that her charismatic personality amasses a following wherever she goes. This is only complemented by Griffith’s “Edge-like” guitar playing, Kerwin’s diverse drumming style that ranges from thrashing beats to cool, simple tempos, and Ensign’s effortless transitions between beautifully-crafted synth melodies to driving bass lines. In essence, The Last Year flawlessly backs Barr up with its perfectly executed performances that only a group that has toured together for so long can do. 


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About The Last Year

Hailing from Baltimore, The Last Year is an alternative rock band. The act stems from an idea of front-girl Niki Barr, on vocals, and Scott Ensign, playing bass and synth. The pair, complemented by drummer, BJ Kerwin, and guitarist, Scott Griffith, approach their music with diverse influences, ranging from the hook heavy hits of The Cars to the spacey, hypnotic sounds of the late 80’s to early 90’s acts, like The Cure and Portishead. The band has managed to mix retro influences with modern appeal and it’s magical. Having toured over 30 countries on three continents, The Last Year is no stranger to the stage. Guided by Barr’s coy, airy, yet powerful melodies and slinky body language, blended with the band’s array of synth growls, driving rhythm and swirling guitar sounds, the show is a spectacle and a must-see.
The Last Year teamed up with Shanachie Entertainment to release their debut EP, which was described as “limitless” with “everything from buzz saw synth to airy atmospheric ambience to 80s drum sequence loops”. The EP was warmly received by fans and critics alike, especially its lead single “Sugar”, a tune that bridges the gap between The Smiths and the infectious, radio-friendly indie rock hooks of bands like Metric; spicing it all up with female leading vocals that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Garbage record.
Under the previous direction of CO 5 Music, “Sugar” was spun at more than 14 radio stations, including SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, WWDC 101, WLUM, KWSS, WWWX and many more, across the U.S. and is continuously being added to alternative and rock stations with each and every performance.
The band spent 2014 building a national following, supporting acts like Phantogram, Tove Lo, Nico Vega, Paramore, SomeKindaWonderful, Ben Kenney, Semi Precious Weapons, and Neon Hitch. The band will hit the road this spring to play Austin’s legendary SXSW, followed by an extensive tour as supporting act for Sick of Sarah.