SXSW 2017 is upon us. There are some changes from last year’s festivities including a lower amount of high profile showcases (No Spotify House, Fader Fort, Hype Hotel, etc), but also some really amazing announcements of awesome artists like Ryan Adams, Spoon, Jimmy Eat World and big Hip Hop artists like Lil Wayne.
Regardless of the change in pace for SXSW this year, it is still ripe with talented bands from around the world. It is almost impossible to preview every single artist that is chosen for a showcase at the week long festival so we are not proclaiming we have done that. We have however, been covering a lot of these artists already and here they are chosen to attend the largest music festival in the world. Here are 20 bands/artists we would put in your “must highly consider seeing live” bucket as they are all talented and on the rise in terms of their blossoming careers. Who are you excited to see this year?
We have linked their names to their SXSW bio, which also includes the info regarding where and when they will be playing. Check back all this week for daily schedule suggestions and of course our post coverage in the coming weeks. We hope everyone out and about stays safe this year and has a blast discovering upcoming and talented bands at the festival this year.
!!! (Chk Chk Chk) (Brooklyn, NY)
- Long-time dance-punk, experimentalists are back. Will they treat fans to sweat-inducing beats and rhythms or head in a new, thrilling direction?
Annabel Allum (Guildford, England)
- A rising artist in the UK, whose heavy songwriting is only matched by her brilliant mix of rock and pop. She’s a future star.
Billie Eilish (Highland Park, CA)
- The young Californian rose quickly in 2016 with her sultry vocals and intimate songwriting. Comparisons to BANKS have been inevitable, but she’s carving out her own niche as a captivating singer-songwriter.
The Drums (New York, NY)
- For Jonny Pierce, returning to SXSW is like starting over. In many ways, he is with a new sound, new label (signed to Anti), and new stories that reflect his experiences of the past couple of years. Seeing The Drums will be nothing short of cathartic.
False Advertising (Manchester, England)
- They’re a long-time favorite of ours, as their alt-rock sound is right out of the ’90s. Think Bleached mixed with Hole, and you get a trio that will completely blow your mind when you see them.
The Fontaines (Los Angeles, CA)
- Sibling duo The Fontaines are channeling the luxurious and cinematic sounds of the ’80s and ’90s, which means their showcases will be full of dancing. And by the end of the night, you’ll be singing along to their catchy songs despite just discovering them.
Gutxi Bibang (Bilbao, Spain)
- There’s only one way to describe Gutxi Bibang – he’s the next Lenny Kravitz. Seriously, go see him and be astonished by his funk, soul, rock combination.
Hockey Dad (Wallongong, Australia)
- By the end of SXSW, these two surfers will be one of the most talked about duos at the festival because their live shows are frenetic and a complete blast. So whether you need an adrenaline rush in the early afternoon or the wee hours of the morning and they’re playing, go see them!
Marika Hackman (London, England)
- Marika Hackman swooned listeners with her gorgeous debut LP, We Slept At Last, but she’s turning a new page for her new album, I’m Not Your Man, that comes out June 2nd. Get a sneak peek at what this London star has in store.
The Molochs (Los Angeles, CA)
- A way to describe The Molochs is scrappy because this DIY band have long been scrapping their way to being one of LA’s finest bands. Blues rock, old-school rock ‘n roll, and modern-day garage-rock – this band will amaze.
New Portals (Belfast, Ireland)
- There’s is more to Ireland than U2, pop bands, and bar duos. New Portals are part of a new wave in Irish music, offering electronic music that will tantalize your mind while causing your body to involuntarily move.
Poliça (Minneapolis, MN)
- One of the great indie bands of our time is Poliça, whose cinematic approach to indietronica rivals that of great bands like Archive. But they are also known to throw in a dance number to keep things interesting.
The Regrettes (Los Angeles, CA)
- Are these teenagers even allowed in any of the venues? They might be 15 and 16 years old, but The Regrettes make pop-rock music right out of the ’60s and ’70s, and their lyrics are clever and wiser beyond their years. Their debut album got us excited about their future.
Sammy Brue (Ogden, UT)
- We’ve followed Sammy since he was 12 years old. Like The Regrettes, he’s not old enough to drink, but his music and sound will make you immediately think you are watching a young Bob Dylan at work. The young man’s potential is off the charts.
San Fermin (Brooklyn, NY)
- The multi-talented and multi-instrumental band San Fermin are embarking on a new path with their new album, Belong. Hear some of the new songs ahead of its release later this month while also expect to hear some of their classic, orchestral-pop. Maybe John Brandon will be jumping on tables and blasting his trumpet.
Sarah Bethe Nelson (San Francisco, CA)
- If we had to anoint a sweetheart of indie music, it would be Sarah Bethe Nelson. Her sugary, whispery vocals are mesmerizing, her psychedelic-pop approach is hypnotizing, and her stories are intimate and unabashedly honest. She’s signed to Burger Records, so you know she’s the real deal (and her new album, Oh, Evolution, is fantastic).
Sundara Karma (Reading, England)
- One of England’s fastest-rising indie bands finally take their act to North America. Sundara Karma have long wowed us with their anthemic indie pop-rock and songwriting that is unexpectedly powerful. SXSW could be their North American breakthrough (which we’ve been predicting for a very long time).
S U R V I V E (Austin, TX)
- It is only fitting that one of S U R V I V E’s shows is at Levitation because their electronic music is spellbinding. Cinematic, engrossing, dreamlike, whatever you want to say, their songs will send chills down your spine and occasionally make you think you’re having an out-of-body experience.
The Vryll Society (Liverpool, England)
- If you like your psychedelic rock (and we certainly do!), then get in line early to see The Vryll Society. They’re a mix of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels, and Temples – so basically a wonderful cocktail of psych-rock that will blow your mind while taking you down the rabbit hole.
Woodes (Melbourne, Australia)
- In Australia, Woodes is a rising talent whose popularity is expanding with her sincere and personal electro-pop. While some may compare her to BANKS and London Grammar, her songwriting is more akin to that of Liz Phair, Ani DiFranco, and even Joan Baez. In other words, she’s a folk songwriter making electro-pop music, and she’ll amaze SXSW goers with her hard-hitting lyrics and sultry sounds.
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