With SXSW 2016 kicking off, we’ve rounded up some of the best new acts around and teamed up with data geniuses indify to take a look at who’s the buzziest going into this year’s festival.
In case you don’t know, SXSW is technically a “music conference”, but actually the greatest live music party on earth. Thousands of bands and hundreds of thousands of fans from all around the world flock to it every year, and this year – with Barack and Michelle Obama both rolling through town too – is the biggest in its three-decade history. The music part of festival officially starts on Wednesday, taking place at hundreds of venues right across Austin, and basically, if you’re in a new band and you want to make some serious headway this year you need to go there and storm it.
Previous bands who SX has helped ‘break’ include…
The White Stripes
…and many, many more. NME will be reporting direct from the festival with news and blogs here on NME.COM, as well as social media via our Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat channels.
Right now though, check out some of our new band tips going into the festival – and also take a look at what their social pick up has been over the past few weeks as the hype builds around them.
Who: Dr Dre’s protégé is one of R&B’s leading lights in 2016, with album Malibu a brilliantly diverse collection of slick tunes.
Key Track: Am I Wrong
Who: Cali surf-pop dude who’s EP’s on Fat Possum are essential listening.
Key Track: Drag
Sign up for the newsletter
Who: Smaltzy New Paltz duo who self-describe themselves as “two homies just making tunes and eggs on the regs”
Key Track: Dinner Date
Who: London’s new answer to Bowie and LCD at their funkiest.
Key Track: Love
Who: Spain’s most successful and coolest garage band in years.
Key Track: Chili Town
Who: A west London troubadour who, judging by his first track ‘Last Words’, is somehow able to evoke the spirit of Jeff Buckley and Elliott Smith.
Key Track: Last Words
Who: XL-signed Mersey singer who’s kind of a perfect cross between Adele and FKA Twigs.
Key Track: Love Is Blind
Who: An Athens, Georgia band with brilliantly deep lyrics and a fine, fine singer in Kristine Leschper.
Key Track: No Crying In Baseball
Who: New York via Norway chanteuse, with perhaps the most delicate voice on the planet.
Key Track: Damn, Gravity
Who: A sprightly New York-based pop duo, consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, who know their way around a mean-ass guitar riff when they stumble upon it.
Key Track: Drinkee
Find out more about indify at indify.io! Founded in 2015, indify is a data platform that uses a proprietary, predictive algorithm to discover emerging musicians. Using listener data, social metrics and online trends, indify ranks and analyzes up-and-coming artists in order to identify music icons far before they reach stardom.
Meanwhile, as if all that wasn’t enough, check out NME’s shows at SXSW if you’re attending.
South London grime collective Section Boyz and Formation are among the acts who will play our showcase on Saturday 19 March. Put on in association with UK Trade & Investment, we’re hosting a night of live performances from Section Boyz, Formation, Lusts, Barnes Courtney and Pumarosa, all performing at The British Music Embassy.
Check out the Facebook group for more info.
We’re putting on a Bloody Mary Morning brunch with our buddies at ACL too. That event takes place at CSD&M courtyard on Thursday March 17 from 10am, and features performances from:
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down