SXSW 2018: (Some Of) The Best Artists You Missed
March 20, 2018
This year’s South by Southwest Music Festival showcased a number of incredible artists, newcomers and veterans alike. With overlapping shows and various unofficial SXSW events occuring throughout Austin, it was impossible for attendees to witness all of the talent that took the stage. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of artists who performed at the various showcases — both official and unofficial — during SXSW for you to check out.
NYU’s own Sophie Allison played this year’s SXSW Music Festival following her “Best New Music” Pitchfork review earlier this month. Audiences definitely vibed with her songs like “Your Dog,” which, in a soft-yet-firm indie fashion refrains, “I don’t want to be your f-cking dog, that you drag around, a collar on my neck tied to a pole.” “Clean,” her second record, is quickly gaining traction in the indie arena, and for good reason.
Londonite Jade Bird released her debut extended play, “Something American,” last year. The title alone signifies something about Bird’s sound, which lives somewhere in between the spirit of Americana and sound of Mumford & Sons indie folk. Bird’s new music is that kind of hit-worthy material that fares well on mainstream pop, country and indie charts. Last week, Bird played everywhere from Austin’s Mix 94.7 free concert to Willie Nelson’s exclusive Luck Reunion. Be sure to check out Bird’s recent single,“Lottery,” and get hooked on some great music.
Brooklyn-based psychedelic indie band Crumb played this year’s SXSW, and despite their somewhat-sleepy sound, is not to be slept on. Led by casual, cool frontwoman Lila Ramini, the band’s easy listening vibe plays as anything but tired, providing a unique, trippy sound perfect for Sunday night baths or Friday nights chilling with friends. Check out “Locket” from their 2017 EP of the same name.
Lucy is a singer-songwriter from Richmond, Virginia whose new album, “Historian,” is one with a level of artistry that makes listeners remember what they love about music. A strong stage presence with lyrics both affronting and poetic like, “The first time I tasted somebody else’s spit, I had a coughing fit. I mistakenly called them by your name. I was let down, it wasn’t the same,” Dacus is definitely worth a listen.
The Canadian post-punk band, hailing from Montreal, got some buzz in 2015 when it played the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and Sasquatch! in Washington. Now, Ought is back on the festival circuit with their new album, “Room Inside the World.” The song “Disgraced in America,” makes for a good introduction to Ought, but they’re better live, so try and make it to their April 6 show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
The bizarre eight-piece hailing from the London, South Korea and New Zealand played a few eye-popping showcases this past week in Austin. At center stage, a 17-year-old vocalist, who looks closer to 12, was surrounded by other members flaunting costumes of glitter and raincoats. Their set included carefully choreographed dances with oranges and detailed animations dancing across a screen in the back. Not only does Superorganism have an incredibly unique, futuristic indie pop sound, but they also possess simultaneously intelligent lyrics. You just can’t take your eyes off the dynamics of Superorganism.
Jared Lee is Duckwrth. From South Central Los Angeles, Lee tells stories by infusing funk and danceable beats into songs like”‘MICHUUL.” and “I’M DEAD.” Lee is the not only the artistic mastermind behind his lyrics, but also does all of the graphics and artwork needed for concerts and leads creative direction for his music videos. As far as SXSW hip-hop goes, Duckwrth is a standout among the names you’ll soon hear if you haven’t already.
Email Natalie Whalen at [email protected]