2018 SXSW Showcase


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The debut EP from SUR, Savage Beast came to life during a nomadic journey through some of California’s most wild spaces. Frustrated by the confines of Los Angeles, Northern California-bred musician/producer Zack Arnett built a makeshift studio in the back of an RV and set out on a two-month-long journey. While out on the road, Arnett began creating a sound both gritty and melodic, nuanced and volatile, reflective and deeply life-affirming.

Throughout Savage Beast, SUR builds a powerful dynamic by fusing inventive electronic elements with visceral rhythms rooted in native drum patterns. On the soulful lead single “Lean Back,” for instance, fuzzed-out guitar riffs meet with heavy beats and chant-like vocals. Instilling raw emotion into each track, Savage Beast also offers the seductive, shimmering intensity of “Ball N Chain” and the sweeping grandeur of “Stix + Stones.” And on “Restless Heart,” the EP delivers a folk-infused and quietly rousing anthem that mirrors the majestic beauty of SUR’s namesake. “‘Restless Heart’ was directly influenced by Big Sur and the experience of just being there, with the Redwoods and the raging Pacific and everything else in between,” Arnett explains. With its potent yet poetic use of imagery, Savage Beast bears a cinematic quality that has much to do with Arnett’s visually focused approach to song craft.