SXSW is right around the corner. And if you're lucky enough to be attending this glorious amalgamation of live music, cinema, art and copious booze consumption, then you should at least be prepared. The lineup can be overwhelming, so to ease the anxiety ridden planning process, we've compiled a list of the most necessary acts. You're welcome. And if didn't get your bracelets this year, some of these artists will be performing at ourBaeble Music Day Party, open to ALL!
Composed of three multi-instrumentalists, Mansionair are as talented as they are ambitious. They create downtempo electronica that, while akin to a lot of the other acts that blend acoustic and electronic sounds, sounds fresh and exciting. Ethereal, ambient, super chill, and freshly signed to Glassnote
, these guys are undoubtedly worth checking out. Catch Mansionair at the Baeble Music Day Party
Their EP Love Songs Drug Songs
was co-produced by Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, who they also toured with. They have polished pop sensibilities with angsty alt-rock and electronic elements, and the drummer clearly loves bass drums. Catch X Ambassadors at the Baeble Music Day Party
"Weekend" is an anthemic ode to human kind's favorite two days of the week. All of their electropop is just as fun, evoking dance parties with friends and carefree days. They're set to play Governors Ball this June, and then head out on tour with Kaiser Chiefs in January. Listen to our Midweek Mixtape
curated by the boys, and catch Priory at the Baeble Music Day Party
dares you not to get up and dance with tracks like "Dreaming" and "Karaoke." Lush synth and thick grooves propel this catchy indie synth pop crew. You can get acquainted with Smallpools at the Baeble Music Day Party
Co-founder and former member of Das Racist
, Heems holds human rights close to his heart and his music. The Indian-American rapper creates hip hop focused in on the racial inequality and injustice where it pervades. You can catch Heems drop his truths at the Baeble Music Day Party
As well as never hesitating to call bullsh!t on some major musical injustice
, this Brooklyn duo creates tracks ranging from dance-oriented synth bangers to darker alt-rock tunes. Quite the dichotomy, right? Critically well-received and super talented, this is a major group to watch. Full disclosure, we're not paying Ex-cops to play the Baeble Music Day Party
, but we're working together to put out a great concert capture, and guaranteeing press and exposure, plus if we were worth 90 billion dollars you can bet we'd be shelling out the dough for this talented line-up.
The closest thing to the Wu-Tang Clan in years (if only in the size of their solo artist crew,) Doomtree are a ruthless group of lyrical assassins setting their crosshairs on mainstream hip hop. They take a technical approach to rap, crafting intelligent verses and exhibiting dangerously complex flow. Doomtree will be at the Baeble Music Day Party
Night Terrors of 1927
Rilo Kiley's Blake Sennett and Jarrod Gorbel (The Honorary Title) produce powerful indie pop as Night Terrors of 1927. Their music is deeply emotional, filled with chanting gang vocals and deep, stadium anthem sensibility. The Night Terrors of 1927 will be haunting the Baeble Music Day Party
Yes, Cody Simpson is a stereotypical pop pretty boy, but that doesn't mean that his music is bad. Cody's taking a tip from Hannah Montana and moving away from teen idol status and into the strange plasma of young artist. He's a talented actor, musician and dancer, and he'll be serenading, or shocking, his adoring fans with his pleasant, soulful voice at the Baeble Music Day Party
The Mowgli's seem like they'd be insanely fun to hang out with. Their video for "The Great Divide" is one gigantic California party with a saccharine indie synth-pop soundtrack. They're a big group with a big sound sure to put a smile on your face, and they can be found at Baeble Music Day Party
"Archie, Marry Me" is so catchy it's disturbing. All it takes is one listen and the chorus will echo in your head for at least the rest of the day. The Canadian indie pop quartet behind this madness will win you over with their simple, lo-fi sound and pretty melodies.
Kaioyote sounds like a tortured blues crooner from a bygone era crossed with a contemporary pop diva. Her music is refreshingly deep and complex, and we can't wait to hear more from this budding artist.
Torres' voice evoke's fire and brimstone, achingly honest about pain and other basic human emotions. She's collaborated with Sharon Van Etten
and The War on Drugs
, and is sure to put on a powerful performance at SXSW.
Watch our session with MisterWives above and you will fall in love. Guaranteed. Lead singer Mandy Lee's voice is transcendent, radiating triumphantly and seducing you at the same time, and her band exhibits a delicate feel seldom heard in the contemporary indie pop scene.
Reptar are eccentric in all of the right ways. Their drum/percussion section creates complex, layered grooves that you can really get lost in. Their energetic live show is electric, propelled by lead singer Graham Ulicny's one-off vocals and the unique composition of their songs. Reptar's music is fun and intensely refreshing.
Blazing drums, gritty power chords and driving bass lines characterize these Chicago rockers. They're high energy and hard-edged, producing perfect tracks to slam brews in a basement to.
Seinabo Sey manages to be both innovative and inspirational. "There's a way to get your dreams without falling asleep," she preaches emphatically in "Younger." Her soulful electronic sound is truly in a class by itself, and her live performance at SXSW should not be missed.
If you don't already know about James Bay, it's time for you to do some research. This U.K. powerhouse is the latest frighteningly talented artist to emerge from across the pond. He's got a great look and an even better sound, and we're sure to be hearing a lot more from him in the coming months.
Hailing from Franklin, Tennessee, Colony House combines electronic drums, ambient keyboards, sweet guitar picking and beautiful vocals. Their harmonies are absolutely gorgeous and messages of love and human frailty are universal.
It's not terribly easy to categorize Rubblebucket's sound. However, there's really no reason to label it, because whatever it is, it's fantastic. Seven pieces strong and combining rock, electro, indie and experimental genres, this band is innovative and captivating. Their live performances are passionate and polished, with just the right amount of grit. Check out our exclusive concert capture with the band above, and click here for our interview with them
Robert De Long
And to round out our SXSW watch list we have Robert De Long, an improbably innovative percussionist/singer/producer/performer with a live act unlike anything you've ever seen. De Long uses a myriad of effects processors combined with homemade synthesizers and other musical gadgets to produce groove-centric electronica, for lack of a more all-encompassing term. You really cannot afford to skip his live show; it's truly one of a kind. Watch our exclusive session with Robert above, and check out our interview with him here
To see where and when your favorite artists are performing visit the SXSW Showcase page
, and don't forget to RSVP for the Baeble Music Day Party