This weekend, Texas’ annual autumn knees-up Austin City Limits begins. Over two weekends, the music world’s great and good will take to the stage, with a flock of exciting emerging artists sitting alongside some huge name headliners: Florence and the Machine, Drake and The Strokes. If you’re lucky enough to be heading out there, here are the eight acts you need to watch.
The Strokes like to keep you on your toes. Earlier this year, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr questioned the future of the band, stating that he thought these may be their final live shows. Then, this week, they confirmed that they were, in fact, back in the studio. Expect anything then – maybe even some new tracks?
Father John Misty:
Since the release of this year’s superlative LP ‘I Love You, Honeybear’, our holy Father John Misty has gone from cult hero to genuine star. Live, the former Fleet Fox is a mesmerising raconteur: melodramatic, hilarious and just a little bit arrogant (in a good way). If you like your singers served up with a side order of whiskey-soaked wry wit, then Misty’s your man.
He may not be able to feel his face when he’s with you, but he’ll undoubtedly be seeing a heaving crowd of them in Austin. With the recent release of third LP ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’, Abel Tesfaye cemented his place among the R&B elite, and it’d be foolish to bet against his set being one of the festival’s best received.
Newcomer and Radar star Alessia Cara may have only been around a short while, but the party-shunning lyrics and low-slung groove of breakout track ‘Here’ already suggests that she could be the next Lorde in waiting. That track’s already racked up nearly 9.5 million plays on YouTube. If even 0.01% of those people turn up in Austin, that’s still a pretty damn sizeable crowd.
Having spent nearly a decade being the quiet and unassuming nicest men in indie, The Maccabees are finally starting to get the big time success that they’re due. Recent LP ‘Marks To Prove It’ went to Number One and three nights at Brixton Academy await. In the US, however, they’re still working their way up: relish this chance to see them before the crowds get enormous.
Wolf Alice, meanwhile, just played the biggest sold-out show of their careers at the Brixton venue and are surely going to still be on a giddy high by the coming weekend. Debut ‘My Love Is Cool’ spits and soothes in equal measure, while the group have honed their live skills to joyous, exuberant perfection.
TV On The Radio:
Despite the brilliance of late 2014 LP ‘Seeds’, TV On The Radio were sorely missing from UK festival line-ups this summer. All the more reason to get your fix in the US then; having been around since 2004 debut ‘Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes’, they’re seasoned pros and a safe pair of hands to serve your festival well.
Ah, B-Flo. Now, there’s a man who knows how to work a crowd. Immaculately turned out and full of 80s synth-pop indebted nuggets, Brandon’s solo show is bound to be just as gloriously polished as his Killers day job. Current album ‘The Desired Effect’ has doubled his solo material, so he’s got a proper canon to draw from now. Come for the star power, stay for the party.