Never has a festival list been harder to piece together. The sheer volume of incredible music that is about to storm the already colorful streets of Austin, TX is unfathomable. That being said, I took an oath when I started this milky crater of a blog to jump into the thick of things and submerge myself neck deep in music to the point of mental breakdown and suffocation.
When I first sat down to make my SXSW list, I totalled just over 50 bands that I absolutely needed to include. A list of that size doesn’t help anyone, so I arbitrarily decided that I would cut it down to 15. I didn’t quite make the goal, but 17 is pretty close, and I truly couldn’t cut anyone else out and maintain my musical conscience.
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Big and fuzzy rock that calls upon the rock gods of old.
Gallant has more talent in his pinky that most people have in their collective extended family. The real deal with pipes to match.
3Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
Hip hop with an undeniably forward-looking bend.
The most interesting and addictive take on folk rock in recent memory.
5BJ The Chicago Kid
Church is arguably my favorite hip hop song of the moment.
An indie protege, this kid is only going to get bigger and bigger. The sky is only scratching the surface of the limit.
A singer-songwriter that knows how to spin a beatiful melody. He put on one of the best shows I have ever seen at Outside Lands a couple years back.
The most beautiful voice that finds its place wavering between strength and vulnerability.
Messy and distorted yet somehow perfectly pieced together, each song Autolux puts out is better than the last.
Sounds like wading through a kiddie pool, but not inappropriately. It’s an adult kiddie pool. (If that didn’t properly convey my love for Frankie Cosmos’ music, let this suffice – it’s understated perfection.)
Hip hop with a silky smooth flow.
Gritty and tripped out rock that isn’t afraid to get weird.
Thoughtful house music of the chiller variety. Do yourself a favor and dive on in.
Lyrically on point with a sedated flow. Can’t express my love for Earl’s music enough.
I only have one artist favorited on my Sonos speakers. It’s Honne.
Artfully crafted electronic music with choruses that explode.
Angsty indie rock with a country flair and a poetic edge.