Formed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2009, Turtle Giant already made a big geographic leap when they moved to their current base of Macau, China, but they’ve made another cross-continental journey to play SXSW this year. The trio’s music incorporates traces of ‘00s indie rock (jangling guitar, shimmering reverb-soaked tones) into a massive, harmonious sound that moves like their large, reptilian namesake. Turtle Giant were originally scheduled to play KEXP’s broadcast from CMJ last fall, but a band member’s injury prevented them from traveling at the last minute, so they promised to come back as soon as possible. Nearly five months later, Frederico Ritchie, António Conceição, and Beto Ritchie have followed through on that promise, and now they’re in North America with a new song to complement the ones from their two EPs.
Their set at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop closed our Friday broadcast with a loose performance that always seemed to find an undeniable groove. As Federico and António traded vocals and guitar/bass melodies, Beto wailed on the drum kit, causing a few mechanical failures that added even more to the raw intensity of the songs. It’s not easy to classify their dynamic songs, and no amount of writing will likely cover the influences and nuance they add to their mostly indie rock oriented mix, but they are certainly a band you do not want to miss when you get the chance to see them live.