I do a lot of griping about SXSW, from the lines, to the crowds, to the overall hyper-marketed aspects that you have to navigate, but in all honesty, it truly is a pretty amazing chance to see all of the acts you’ve been hearing about on blogs like this one all year in one place. Here are a few I’m going to try to hit myself. I probably won’t get into all of them, but I’m going to try, and isn’t that what really matters? Check out the full schedule to see where everyone is playing here.
Mississippi’s Cole Furlow churns together a fuzzy mix of garage filtered through heavy layers of sound, with a beating pop heart just obscured under the dirt. Listen here.
The British starlet not only featured on one of my favorite songs of last year, Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” but on her most recent track “You (Ha Ha Ha)” she sings over the loop from my favorite song from the year before, Gold Panda’s “You.” Clearly she has great taste. Listen here.
This Los Angeles brother and sister duo, Bruce and Erica Driscoll, split the difference between indie-pop and electronic, on ghostly-romantic tracks like their latest “Where The Kids Are.” Listen here.
This Boston dark synthwave producer digs deep into the corners of the club, and the heart, for pulsing, vaguely threatening, but entirely tune-oriented electronic sketches. Listen here.
Oh weird, NYC’s Skaters were one of my picks to check out at CMJ earlier this year, except, woops, everyone else had the same idea so I missed them. “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)” is just that much of a brain-melting, toss yourself around the club dance jam. In the meantime they got signed to Warner Bros. and have blown up even more, so I have a feeling I’m going to go home disappointed again. Thanks a lot, Skaters. Listen here.
The LA experimental laptop hip-hop producer alternates between hard stepping glitch on tracks like “Candy Cainer,” and blissed-out, but still heady sound excursions, on “lamentedmix.” For when you’ve had a long day of going hard, but aren’t quite ready to completely give in to the come down just yet. Listen here.
From on the streets to rapping on two of the biggest crossover electronic hits of the year, Skrillex’s “Bangarang” and “Kyoto,” LA’s Sirah has taken off on her own more recently on her melodic, hip hop swag wave realness. Listen here.
S/O to Austin! Local girls make good this year, with their epic, gloomy, melodrama synth, like the recent “Land of the Innocent.” Listen here.
One of the most on-point remixers and producers in the game, Shlohmo, from LA’s Low End Theory party, brought his unique avant-skills to a couple of our favorite, and most sensual tracks of the year, like Jeremih’s “Fuck U All the Time,” and his collab with How to Dress Well “Don’t Say No.” He’ll be at our party pick of the week, Boiler Room, on Saturday. Listen here.
Woops, everyone on here is from LA, it seems. Good job, LA! Sister duo Bleached put the fun back in garage rock, which was kind of getting to be a little bit of a bummer there for a minute, on tracks like their hyper-exuberant “Next Stop.” Listen here.