SXSW 2014 Top 10 Must-See Artists

So it’s been a few weeks of combing Soundcloud, Pandora and Spotify playlists for what I consider to be the “must see” bands of South By Southwest this year. As it’s the first year I’ll be attending (after wanting to go for about eight) I think the pressure is even greater to make it count, get the most out of my free ticket as possible. Who knows when I’ll be able to afford to go again? (wishful thinking/potential goal: every year!)

Even if you’re not going it’s a great opportunity to find out about stellar up and coming acts you might not have heard yet. For me, it’s a 50/50 mix of never-before-heards and dear friends 🙂 I’ve put together a playlist of my favorite tracks from this year’s roster of talent announced so far –  so let it stream while you browse my list! If you like what you hear, please return the favor with a follow on Soundcloud or a comment.

1) Little Dragon Little-Dragon

I feel like LD are probably a bit too well-known to be a “must-see” but the sheer fact of their songwriting brilliance and powerful live show means they are an act I would happily see again and again. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to want to see them too.  I will probably be lining up for this show early!

See Little Dragon’s SXSW Schedule  (TBA)

shygirls2) Shy Girls

kinda love it when white boys kick out the slow jams like 90’s R&B crooners. Call it nolstagia, call it cheese-ball. I love the dreamy synth pads and delayed snares and jazz guitar solos. Sexay.

See Shy Girls’ SXSW Schedule

bellegame3) The Belle Game

The Belle Game are a 5-piece indie rock group from Vancouver, BC whose enchanting, lush vocals and multi-layered guitars and keys will alternately lull and energize. With a full-length debut coming out in April, they already are buzzing quite a bit, winning coveted opening slots for artists such as Gotye, Hannah Georgas and Bear Mountain.

See The Belle Game’s SXSW Schedule

965685_557847740952413_2040398592_o4) Vancouver Sleep Clinic

So 2014 is officially the year of the wunderkind upstart artist. This Aussie dream-core solo act is only seventeen (17!) Holy heck. Way to make the rest of us feel ANICENT. Also, so very very rad.

See V.S.C.’s SXSW Schedule 

bigphony5) Big Phony

This American-Korean transplant kind of came out of nowhere for me and since has been blowing up Hype Machine and Spotify like crazy. His lo-fi cutesy pop is infectious and just a little bit sad, no?

See Big Phony’s SXSW Schedule

Blackbear6) Blackbear

I like to describe Blackbear as “Emo meets PBR&B”, complete with sex and drug-fueled lyrics like The Weeknd but whiter and with more tattoos/live instruments. I’m kinda curious to see him live. he’s definitely got some bangers to break out and I dig his style.

See Blackbear’s SXSW Schedule

BSimages7) Bipolar Sunshine

Hailing from Manchester, Bipolar has the stand-out track of the year so far with “Love More Worry Less”. It’s that perfect blend of inspirational sing-along pop anthem with a chorus refrain that just won’t get out of your head.

See Bipolar Sunshine’s SXSW Schedule

Arthur-Beatrice-0068) Arthur Beatrice

Moody, dark indie-rock with poppy new wave inflections and thoroughly singable choruses. Part of the Brit Invasion this year!

See Arthur Beatrice’s SXSW Schedule

9) The Darcysdarcys

I saw The Darcys a few months ago in my hometown of Vancouver, and even though I had heard their name before, I had no idea just how amazingly excellent players and songwriters these guys are. They totally blew me away, and I think they will do it again at SXSW.

See The Darcys Mar 12 | Canada Blast BBQ @ Brush Square Park (4PM)

Mar 12 | Paradigm Showcase @ Holy Mountain (8PM)

Mar 12  | A&C Showcase @ Swan Dive (10:30PM)

bbbestie10) BESTiE

With their tropical indie flavour and upbeat westcoast dance vibes BESTiE are four rad dudes who bring the sunshine where ever they go. Sure to produce stage crashers, inflatable cacti and non-ironic conga lines at every gig.

See BESTiE’s SXSW Schedule




Sex Party were added to the SXSW official billing literally seconds after I hit “publish” on this blog. for shame! I’ve been following their antics online and waiting to see these guys for over a year now. So stoked to finally get to do some pussy poppin in Austin with these bb’s!

See Sex Party’s SXSW Schedule

That’s all folks! See you in Austin!! xo


One Response to “SXSW 2014 Top 10 Must-See Artists”

  1. hey hey – i know it’s impossible to cover all genres and flavors, but wanted to point you to an awesome unofficial event on March 15th – lotsa rockabilly type stuff – i’ll be there :

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