The South by Southwest Conference and Festivals announced the winners for this year’s Grulke Prize. Yard Act took home the Grulke Prize winner for Developing Non-U.S. Act. Other winners include Horse Girl (winner for Developing U.S. Act) and Dolly Parton (winner for Career Act).
Regarding Yard Act’s win, SXSW wrote, “Yard Act formed in Leeds in September 2019. Settling into a system of programming, looping and layering, the alchemy between the two created a base from which to build their complex and ever expanding narrative world. Now expanded to a four-piece, their debut album The Overload was released in January 2022.”
The award, now in its eighth year, was developed in honor of SXSW friend and colleague Creative Director Brent Grulke, who passed away on August 13, 2012.
Brent’s love of music and the spirit of the festival is reflected in the three prize categories: Developing U.S. Act, Developing Non-U.S. Act, and Career Act.
The Developing Act Prizes are for artists who are breaking new ground with their creativity and show the most promise in achieving their career goals. The Career Act Prize is for an established artist who appeared at SXSW to reinvent themselves or launch a new project.
Past winners have included Leon Bridges, Courtney Barnett, Haim, Chvrches, Jade Bird, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Pink Sweat$, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, Spoon, The Chills, and The Flaming Lips.
It’s been an exciting time for Yard Act. The group joined Elton John for his ‘Rocket Hour’ on Apple Music 1 in January. The band discussed their journey to date, plus Elton shared his admiration for their unique sound, telling the band they’re “a breath of fresh air.”
Yard Act recently covered Elton John’s classic song, “Tiny Dancer.” Speaking about their version of the song with NME, frontman James Smith said: “We did “Tiny Dancer” ‘cause our new best pal Elton has been so kind about us in the press recently.