For the new year Epitonic has been offering up monthly themes in addition to its usual steady supply of downloadable tracks and new music. The Start helped us ring in the new year with playlists and articles all about new beginnings and we've kept our over arching themes going each month -- allowing them to inform, enhance and make Epitonic a more cohesive and totally awesome site to browse.

In February we expanded our musical horizons and took things international. Alongside our daily supply of new tracks, Wingnut Records helped us explore the diversity and innovation of Ireland's music scene with an all Irish guest playlist. Label owner, musician and well traveled art lover Julien Fernandez talked to us about life and music while offering up the premiere of Papier Tigre's "Afternoons" off Recreations on Julien's Africantape. We heard some Canadian tracks, put together some political songs to help out with that whole revolution thing in Egypt, and took a look at the unique business model and wide international reach of Fluttery Records. All in all we crossed the pond and made Epitonic a pompous European backpacker for a month.

This month we're bringing things back home, more specifically, to Austin, Texas for the 2012 South by Southwest festival. The month of March will be about the chaos, excess, and overall celebration of the one of the biggest and most exciting music festivals in the world. SXSW is all about the discovery of new artists, the thrill of seeing established ones and the musical appreciation that resonates through the city of Austin. We'll have playlists with some of the best SXSW bands, features from editors attending the festival and an over arching theme providing everything SXSW related.

As a horrible, disgraceful music fan I've never actually attended the festival. However, my deep love for new, unknown bands bringing down the house amongst ten beers and drunk Texas boys is as a tangible as perhaps actually paying ten dollars for water. Despite my yearly absence, bands who have made their mark there year after year -- and those destined to kill it at some tiny Austin dive -- hits every romantic note in my body. That said, let's kick off our SXSW month with songs from bands who gave unforgettable performances in the years past, and a few lesser known talents that are sure to make a notable splash at this year's event.