Austin’s SXSW music festival definitely upholds the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas” as this formerly modestly sized music festival has swelled into an impressive event attended by thousands and followed by tens of thousands listeners at home.
Given the overwhelming size of SXSW—The live shows! The BBQ! The after parties!—it’s hard to pinpoint which acts to prioritize as your must-see. Here’s a cheat sheet for five acts that have all of SXSW a-tizzy this year.
Angel Olsen. With a crackling appeal to her music and moody but rich voice, Angel Olsen has been gaining steady momentum since her 2012 debut album Half Way Home. Her Midwestern roots have a distinct presence in her music which is deeply heartfelt and unsuspectingly powerful. Her follow up album due out later in 2014 is already garnering promise and attention.
SXSW Performance Time: Friday, March 14th at 12:00AM. Red Eyed Fly, 715 Red River Street. Ages 18+.
Mobb Deep. A far 20 year cry from being new, New York’s hip hop duo Mobb Deep is considered one of the most active forces in rap music and their 1995 album The Infamous is praised as one of the all-time best examples of hardcore street-rap. Their appearance at SXSW this year is drumming up even more hopeful anticipation for 20th anniversary celebration.
SXSW Performance Time: Thursday, March 13th at 11:00PM. The Gatsby, 708 East 6th Street. Ages 21+.
Sophie. Dynamic, sticky and riddled with teasing drop beats, UK producer Sophie’s catchy club track, “Bipp” is pure fun. The allusive Sophie has yet to step forward into the spotlight and reveal his identity but will be DJ-ing a handful of shows and performing live on March 16th although details are scant.
SXSW Performance Time: TBA
The Melodic. Peppering folk music with inspired worldly elements, The Melodic creates a unique international folk sound that is deliciously melodious as the band name would suggest. The British band received immediate acclaim for their album Effra Parade and have been garnering even more attention stateside.
SXSW Performance Time: Thursday, March 13th at 8:00PM. Bungalow, 92 Rainey Street. Ages 21+.
Warpaint. Warpaint burst onto the music scene in 2012 with an impressive debut album The Fool, a collection of ethereal and hypnotic sounds. The LA band is back with a self-titled album that is a maturation of their alluring groove and soft sound, beautifully dark with ambient beats and tinged with an alluring undertone.
SXSW Performance Time: Friday, March 14th at 11:30PM. Mohawk Outdoor, 912 Red River Street. Open to all ages.