SXSW 2019: The Most​ Promising

Austin is live, and these are the ones not to miss!

South By Southwest music festival kicks off, and with the World’s most exciting alternative music festival starting its concerts today we’ve been looking for hours at what seems to be the richest lineup ever, both in diversity and talent. So, we’ve wanted to put “on paper” the ones we feel more eager to see live at Austin. So here they are, on alphabetic order (’cause other order would be impossible to figure out):

Angie McMahon

Dope vocals, and an acoustic-electric guitar to make everything more deep and powerful. That’s Angie McMahon in a nutshell. And if you think that formula is one that won’t surprise you, that’s because you’re not familiar with Angie. Capable of both an intimistic slower set, or a surprisingly powerful one, you never really know what you gonna get. But either way, you’ll be amazed.

ANGIE MCMAHON AT AUGUSTINE: Mar 11, 9:00pm
ANGIE MCMAHON AT ST DAVID’S HISTORIC SANCTUARY: Mar 15, 10:20pm ANGIE MCMAHON AT CONTINENTAL CLUB: Mar 16, 20:00am

Bedouine

Performing under the stage name Bedouine, Azniv Korkejian makes music that plunges itself straight and deep into your bones. A riff on bedouin, the nomad, the wanderer, Korkejian’s songs are spare, acoustic gems; laden with aching string tracks and anchored in Americana folk, but traverse lots of different terrains. Her voice has a beautiful, darkly haunting quality that flexes between whispered hushes, gently upward lilts and a husky low-timbre.

Bedouine at Bangers Basement: Mar 11, 9:00 pm 
Bedouine at Antone’s: Mar 12, 12:00 am 
Bedouine at Palm Door on Sixth: Mar 13, 9:00 pm

Billie Eilish

Probably the biggest indie phenomenon of the last 5 years, Billie Eilish is now already worldwide superstar that sells all concert tickets in a matter of hours. With a one and only date at Austin, the first ones to get there will be the lucky ones to see this dark-pop wonder. Or as we’ve described her two years ago when she was once a secret: incredible, emotionally heart-wrenching, built on atmospheric, soft instrumental background and spiced up with key moments and angelical vocals”

BILLIE EILISH AT UBER EATS HOUSE: Mar 16, 10:00pm

Cautious Clay

In one year we’ve posted three times about Cautious Clay (here, here and here). And like we, many many other blogs have focused their attention on him. We’ve collected descriptions that relate his music to the merge of several well-known genres in an original new one: “magic merge of soul, electronic and je ne sais quoi. The vocal sensibility and reach and the natural way everything sounds both easy going and exciting will conquer all audiences in Austin. And for sure even the saxophone will be there, doing his magic.

CAUTIOUS CLAY AT AUGUSTINE: Mar 11, 11:00pm
CAUTIOUS CLAY AT ELYSIUM: Mar 12, 12:00am
CAUTIOUS CLAY AT MOHAWK INDOOR: Mar 13, 4:00pm
CAUTIOUS CLAY AT LUSTRE PEARL: Mar 14, 11:00pm
CAUTIOUS CLAY AT RADIO DAY STAGE AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER: Mar 15, 5:00pm

Celeste

Merging Soul with RnB like probably no other at the festival, Celeste engaging and contemplative vocals are sharped around the corners and filled with celestial hooks (pun intended). With nothing to prove to anyone, but with 5 concerts to wonder everyone, just show up to one if you feel like proper heart-aching.

CELESTE AT MOHAWK INDOOR: Mar 13, 1:00pm
CELESTE AT BARRACUDA: Mar 14, 10:30pm
CELESTE AT ST DAVID’S HISTORIC SANCTUARY: Mar 15, 8:40pm
CELESTE AT RADIO DAY STAGE AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER: Mar 16, 12:00pm
CELESTE AT BRITISH MUSIC EMBASSY @ LATITUDE 30: Mar 16, 11:00pm

Charlie Belle

With just a set of guitars and playing unplugged, or with a full instrumental backup, Austin-own Charlie Belle’s first three years of a career are unmistakably solid also because of their gorgeous live sets. This still (almost) teenager band sounds more matured and born to chill every time we see them. So, if you’re looking for an old-style striped soulful-pop set of songs to which you can chill and dream: this is it.

CHARLIE BELLE AT BD RILEY’S: Mar 12, 12:00am
CHARLIE BELLE AT SHERATON BACKYARD: Mar 14, 9:00pm

Collapsing Stars

Twin Cities based Collapsing Stars blend folk, blues, and Americana sounds within a fresh sound that can nimbly cut across many other genres. Their debut record “2012” came out in 2018 and is a mix of intricate acoustic guitar picking, sweet melodies, and edgier hard-rock tinged bangers. 

Collapsing Stars at Cooper’s BBQ: Mar 16, 9:00 pm

Da Chick

Looking to go back in time to that disco and funk gold-times where every beat and vocals would make you dance around? Search no more. Da Chick will play an unmissable set in Austin at the 14th of March. Combining even New Wave and Hip-Hop bits in an eclectic music-making, and specialist on fully involving the crowd on her live sets, you will even be surprised by her vocal power. Show up and dance, this is a one time only opportuinity.

DA CHICK AT THE IRON BEAR: Mar 14, 9:00pm

Donna Missal

Probably the one from this list we look forward the most. Yes, from all the great acts at Austin, Donna Missal vocal capabilities, overall sexiness, and jaw-dropping power just thicks all the boxes and always leaves waiting for one more song. And we are not just saying, we’ve written about it too: “captivating as perplexing and we can’t get it off our heads“; stripped down, raw and pure expression of hurt and fright for the world“; “sultry, seductive vocals whilst a raspy electro beat“. She just has it all. You’ll have three chances, make all three count.

DONNA MISSAL AT LUSTRE PEARL: Mar 11, 10:00pm
DONNA MISSAL AT EMPIRE GARAGE: Mar 13, 10:00pm
DONNA MISSAL AT PALM DOOR ON SIXTH PATIO: Mar 14, 10:30pm

Elderbrook

“Four minutes that sound like an instant. A very slow progression that works like a very fast bang.“. We’ve said it about Elderbrook’s Closer, but we could repeat it over and over again for all his indietronic formulas. In his genesis an experimental both in terms of process and sonority, his sound is actually pretty involving and hard to resist from dancing around to. And even the deepd echoed vocals sound always spot on perfect.

ELDERBROOK AT ELYSIUM: Mar 12, 1:00am
ELDERBROOK AT BUNGALOW: Mar 15, 1:00am

Geowulf

If you’re looking for that indie-duo that sounds both pop and alternative you’re probably searching for Geowulf. Star Kendrick and Toma Banjanin beach-pop vibe it’s among the easiest sonorities to listen to in the festival and you get those sunny vibes you’ll need to calm down from all SXSW rushiness. 

GEOWULF AT AUGUSTINE: Mar 11, 1:00am
GEOWULF AT MAGGIE MAE’S ROOFTOP: Mar 12, 1:00am
GEOWULF AT LUCILLE: Mar 14, 10:00pm
GEOWULF AT CLIVE BAR: Mar 15, 5:00pm

Ghostly Kisses

To be honest, the first time we heard Ghostly Kisses was just a few months ago when we talked about the hauntingly beautiful Touch. Since then, we’ve been kind of obsessed about it. The way her vocals always seem to hit us right in the soul is probably among the most indescribable phenomena. Paced down, letting the heart sorrow, sad but engaging and overwhelming. And there is even the violin on some of the tracks. If you want to feel souly fulfilled you’ll only get one chance to see Ghostly Kisses live.

GHOSTLY KISSES AT SWAN DIVE PATIO: Mar 15, 8:00pm 

Golden Vessel

If you scroll through YouTube you won’t find a proper live video of Golden Vessel. Don’t worry, he is quite recent. But the way he combines electronic into a Chet Faker like sonority, and the way he can push songs further into electronic until they become an absolute pop dream is out of this World. And that should be more than enough for all of you to find the two magical places he will play around Austin. You’ll be among the first fortunate people to experience it live.

GOLDEN VESSEL AT SCRATCHOUSE BACKYARD: Mar 14, 11:00pm
GOLDEN VESSEL AT BUNGALOW: Mar 15, 12:00am

ISLAND

We are crazy for ISLAND guitar sonority. The 3 guitars 1 drum band are kings on making new rock sound catchy and involving, and should be the object of a study into how to properly combine raw vocals with so much sonority and still sounding like everything was born from the same place. Probably these guys will be the ones that will more easily fill every one of the 3 shows as few passersby wil resist them.

ISLAND AT SEVEN GRAND: Mar 12, 11:50pm
ISLAND AT THE TOWNSEND: Mar 14, 1:00am
ISLAND AT BRITISH MUSIC EMBASSY @ LATITUDE 30: Mar 16, 3:50pm

Ivy Sole

Blend mainstream R&B, the 90s- and 2000s-era Brand Nubian-style hip-hop, a rich voice reminiscent of Indie. Arie, and sonic traces of both the Philly sound where she lives now and the gospel and soul afforded by her upbringing in Charlotte, NC, and you get a sense for Ivy Soul’s warm soundscape and easy flow. She released her first EP three years ago at age 22 and has been building her sound, her following, and her chops to her full-length studio album release, OVERGROWN, which dropped in September 2018.

Ivy Sole at Pour Choices: Mar 13, 12:00am
Ivy Sole at Empire Control Room: Mar 14, 10:00pm
Ivy Sole at Nuevo Leon: Mar 15, 4:00pm

Haulm

How many overwhelming indietronic songs can you produce in one year? For Haulm the answer is 5. It’s been less than one year since this RnB-electronic duet released their debut single, and every single track they’ve put out, sounds like a masterpiece that combines RnB elements with slow progression electronics and bits of ambiance. Two shows to contemplate and let yourself go.

HAULM AT MAGGIE MAE’S: Mar 12, 9:00pm
HAULM AT PLUSH: Mar 15, 8:00pm

Laura Jean Anderson

We’ve been talking about you: Laura Jean Anderson. Since we’ve listened to your crazy vocal melodies. Rock-infused and vocally distinctive and enchanting, Laura’s capability to lullaby a crow is as natural as the stars. So much, a simple guitar in the back (or in her front) will suffice. It’s all about her voice. Strong, strong voice.

LAURA JEAN ANDERSON AT JAVELINA: Mar 15, 9:00pm

New Fame

An explosive, self-proclaimed “full-time touring lady hip-hop/soul duo” originally from New York but splitting time in Vietnam, New Fame is as much a way of life and being as it is a musical group. Their music is a potent, high-energy mix of heavy beats, raw lyrics, rapid-fire rhymes, and the soulful voice of lead vocalist Adrienne Mack-Davis. Absolutely not to be missed live; they bring it every single time they touch the stage. 

New Fame at The Main II: Mar 16, 10:00 pm

Novo Amor

With our favorite band name from the rest, Novo Amor (means new love in Portuguese) will present you with the most intimal concert. Be it on the piano or on the guitar, Ali Lacey constant-falsetto might instantly (and intensely) make you silent and attentive to every little detail. And anywhere you look and everything you hear will sound flawless. Two shows to close your eyes and feel yourself levitate.

NOVO AMOR AT AUGUSTINE: Mar 11, 8:00pm
NOVO AMOR AT ST DAVID’S HISTORIC SANCTUARY: Mar 15, 7:00pm

Oscar Jerome

Oscar Jerome is the name to go when wanting to hear what modern Jazz sounds like. And also dance around to it. The paced wording, sometimes almost spoken-word, others funky, and always impossible to resist and to stay still. The Londoner plays a show everyday from the 13th to the 16th collecting sanctuaries and bungalows among them. Should be massive.

OSCAR JEROME AT SCRATCHOUSE: Mar 13, 9:00pm
OSCAR JEROME AT ST DAVID’S HISTORIC SANCTUARY: Mar 14, 8:40pm
OSCAR JEROME AT BUNGALOW: Mar 15, 11:00pm
OSCAR JEROME AT RADIO DAY STAGE AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER: Mar 16, 2:30pm

Run River North

Probably the greatest thing about Run River North is the duality between powerful songs and songs that give you space to breathe while still bouncing your head Arcade Fire style. The indie-rock trio will surprise a lot of people who never saw them live, as their 8 years in the business translate in a brutal engagement that overflows the band members.

RUN RIVER NORTH AT MAGGIE MAE’S: Mar 12, 8:00pm
RUN RIVER NORTH AT ESTHER’S FOLLIES: Mar 14, 11:00pm

Sam Fender

Properly highlighted by the BRITs, Sam Fender plays an energetic, well-oiled and almost classical pop-rock with electrical-folk bits that make him bounce between Bruce Springsteen, The Foals and Joy Division. Of course, that is a crazy legendary and surreal way to describe someones’ sonority. But Sam Fender is so good that he does not fell short of any of those names. Hook on one of his shows for the sake of you.

SAM FENDER AT BRITISH MUSIC EMBASSY @ LATITUDE 30: Mar 13, 11:00pm
SAM FENDER AT NUEVO LEON: Mar 14, 5:30pm
SAM FENDER AT LUSTRE PEARL: Mar 14, 10:00pm
SAM FENDER AT LUCILLE: Mar 15, 9:00pm

Vaarwell

The biggest name from Portugal, Vaarwell indie-folk is supported first on the ethereal, beautiful vocals of Margarida Falcão. Both dreamy and melancholic they are filled with twists and melodies that always make us bounce with our eyes closed. Of course the deep and clever electric and bass guitar elements and the surprising electric elements and beats push everything to outer space. Don’t miss out! 

VAARWELL AT BD RILEY’S: Mar 12, 7:00pm
VAARWELL AT THE IRON BEAR: Mar 13, 9:00pm 

Your Smith

“There is not a single way to go wrong about Your Smith”. We said just a couple of months ago. We also compared Your Smith to Sheryl Crow, and that was intentional too. Less electric guitar, more acoustic, and a beyond contagious melodies and lyrics. If you manage to keep still in one of her shows you’re pratically a hero.

YOUR SMITH AT EMPIRE CONTROL ROOM: Mar 13, 10:30 pm
YOUR SMITH AT CLIVE BAR: Mar 15, 6:00 pm

See you around in Austin!
Love, WtMM.

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