RRREPEAT SXSW 2018 Preview

It’s no secret that SXSW is our favorite week of the year. The parties, sponsors and secret shows may come and go, but as always there is an incredible roster of up and coming artists. While SXSW officially has nearly 1500 showcasing artists, we have painstakingly whittled this list down to 90 artists. Below, we’ve got 20 artists that we certify as absolute Must See up and coming acts.

Check out our master playlist with over 75 more artists including Billie Eilish, Hinds, Kelela, La Luz, Natalie Prass, Porches, Sports, Wye Oak and Yoke Lore.

  • Barrie

    This Brooklyn chillwave band comes to us with a very limited catalog of exactly 1 song, called “Canyons,” but thats what makes SXSW so great. You come across a band like Barrie that impresses you so much with one song that you have to see them.

  • Boy Harsher

    This electronic duo makes a brand of music called “coldwave.” Who knows what that means, but I can tell you that its deeply dark and affecting electronic music. Listening to the song “Motion” is haunting experience yet head-bob-inducing all at the same time and should translate pretty well to a live show.

  • Charles Fauna

    We’ve heard only a few songs from Brooklyn solo act Charles Fauna, most notably the spacey, moody “Abandon.” His vocals are disarming and embracing all at once, and his production is even better.

  • Dizzy

    This Canadian quartet is a relative mystery to us with only 2 recorded songs, but we’ve been super into what we’ve heard so far. Their newest single “Swim” is a pop jam reminiscent of Sylvan Esso or Chvrches.

  • Faye Webster

    We could not be more excited to see Faye Webster, who floored us with her 2017 country meets indie self-title album. Faye’s entrancing voice is complimented perfectly by very traditional country ballad instrumentals to make some breathtakingly refreshing indie music.

  • Forever

    Percussion-driven glam pop of yesteryear meets glitzy vocals from Canadian solo artist Forever. We keep coming back to her groovy, sensual single “Fallen.”

  • Helena Deland

    It is so difficult for me to pin down exactly what kind of music Helena Deland makes. Is it shoegaze? Is it folk? Is it psych? Its a combination of all three that I'm not really sure has a name yet. You could listen to her spacey track "Take it All" and then listen to her newest single "There are a Thousand" and not even realize it was the same artist.

  • Hembree

    Theres an urgency to Hembrees brand of indie pop rock that breathes life into their music. They remind us a lot of Foals but at times they have a playfulness that bands like Young the Giant or Walk the Moon have. We’re super into the title track off their 2017 EP release “Had it All.”

  • Jerry Williams

    The Brits always impress at SXSW and this year is no exception. Jerry Williams creates some of the catchiest indie pop we’ve heard in our SXSW discovery this year. Her most popular single “Mother” is so infectiously charming that it hurts.

  • Knox Fortune

    Knox Fortune, producer turned solo artist, has been making tracks for some of Chicagos best rappers like Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa for the last few years. He is a formidable solo act though and with the song "Lil Thing" he weaves a breathtaking beat with silky almost fragile vocals. He's the artist I might be most intrigued to see live.

  • Men I Trust

    This band reminds me of one of our favorite artists TOPS in all the best ways. Their retro-tinged melodies are the perfect companion to the sleepy, seductive vocals. But dat bass doh; their single “Tailwhip,” has the funkiest, smoothest bass line you’ll hear at the fest this year.

  • Nilufer Yanya

    Jazzy, melancholy melodies back this British singers hauntingly gorgeous voice. We love her song “The Florist” for its minimalist guitar and beats that give way to her vocals and beautiful lyrics.

  • Pale Waves

    Pale Waves is already immensely popular in England and it is only a matter of time before they’re known worldwide. There isn’t a band more destined to fill arenas on the lineup this year. Powerful, defiant and bright define Pale Waves pure pop aesthetic. Listen to “There’s a Honey” and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about

  • Plastic Picnic

    Plastic Picnic floored me with their powerful and emotive hit "Bite" off their self titled EP. They definitely have a sound fit for an arena helped a lot by a lead singer that sounds a bit like the legendary Don Henley. They've got that silky indie vibe down though, and I'm positive they'll be a crowd favorite this year.

  • Salt Cathedral

    This duo runs with a super eclectic brand of electronic music. Lead singer Juliana Ronderos is the perfect companion to producer Nicolas Losadas worldly beats. You might've heard their single "Always There When I Need You" on any number of Spotify curated playlists.

  • slenderbodies

    I always found Alt J to be a little too abrasive sometimes, which is why I love slenderbodies so much. The vocals reflect Alt J to a point, with whispered lyrics and interesting inflections, but its more relaxing than it is in your face. Its a very unique indie sound, most exemplified in their ultra-catchy single “anemone.”

  • Soccer Mommy

    It is going to be impossible for Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy to escape the spotlight this year at SXSW. Her new album Clean is incredible, critically lauded and is easily our favorite album of the year so far. We can't wait to see her play "Your Dog" live.

  • Suburban Living

    It is crazy to me how little known Suburban Living, a dream pop quartet out of Philly, still is. Their music, with shimmering guitars and brilliant synths, is ripe for the radio or at least bigger venues. I love their triumphant song "Come True" and hope to hear some new tunes for the first time in a couple years.

  • U.S. Girls

    U.S. Girls breakthrough album In a Poem Unlimited is one of our favorite albums of 2018 so far. Mixing funk, jazz and punk rock with a lead singer who’s vocals recall Dolly Parton might sound like a bad combo but it is anything but. Its hard for me to recommend anything but listening to Poem all the way through, but I'd listen to "Window Shades" from her 2015 album Half Free to get a good feel.