SXSW Preview 2015: 15(-ish) New(-ish) Bands We Want to See While in Austin

Hey, folks — I’m headed to SXSW this week, and I wanted to give a quick rundown of the 15 new-by-newish bands I can’t wait to see at SXSW. They’re in alphabetical order, with very short descriptions of each and a video that you should watch to decide for yourself:

1. ASTR
Sexy, sexy female/male New York dance-pop band with catchy melodies and and a rave dance beat.


 

2. Bee Caves
My favorite new band, and lucky for me, they’re from Austin. I think the sky is the limit for these guys and their reverb-tinged, note-perfect melding of Britpop and Americana.


 

3. Black Rivers
Two-thirds of the 2000s British band Doves, these guys do similar swooning melancholy melodies, with nods to Love and Rockets, Supergrass, and naturally Tame Impala, who seem to be the band of the moment.


 

4. Leon Bridges
I already caught his retro-soul — think Sam Cooke, although I’d imagine he’s tired of hearing that comparison by now — act at The Continental Club, but if you didn’t, better take your shot at SXSW.


 

5. Cathedrals
Another sexy two-piece female/male dance-pop band, but this time from San Francisco.


 

6. Dry the River
They aren’t brand new, but they’ve only been to Texas once, as far as I know. I love their sound, which for me is a little like Shearwater meets Manchester Orchestra. They put out my favorite album of 2012, Shallow Bed, and I finally get to see them in person.


 

7. Fabryka
Italian band with a female vocalist somewhere in the vicinity of the style of The Cardigans and The Sundays. What are the chances of ever getting to see them again?


 

8. Gateway Drugs
Somehow these guys bridge the divide between power-pop elements used by bands like The Posies and more Britpop elements employed by Ride, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Lucy Show, along with the harmonies that many bands of the early ’90s used to use.


 

9. Holychild
Last year, I picked Misterwives for SXSW’s must-see dance/rock band. Now they’re selling out Fitz. This year, it’s Holychild I’m looking to to get my “brat pop” (their words, not mine) fix.


 

10. Mini Mansions
I fully expect to get to the end of the year with Mini Mansions near the top of my “Albums of 2015” list. They play a slightly psychedic brand of pop, with influences like MGMT, Queens of the Stone Age (the drummer plays bass for QOTSA), and again, Tame Impala.


 

OK, so I only got up to “M” before I ran out of time… So, here are five more acts at SXSW this year that I’d highly recommend:

11. Moon Honey

 

12. Speak

 

13. Talk in Tongues

 

14. Whitehorse (if you can get over the “Time of the Season” ripoff, it’s pretty great)

 

15. Alex Winston


Live review by . Live review posted Tuesday, March 17th, 2015. Filed under Features, Live Reviews.

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