As every music blog and website is compiling their SXSW primers (NPR and Paste magazine are good places to start), I figured I would give my crack at five artists to watch out for at this year's South by Southwest.
This indie rock duo from California have made big waves recently as their sets at CMJ have catapulted them into a new level of success. Their song "San Francisco" was featured on the NPR sampler, and check out "Shuggie" off their latest album, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, below:
2. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers:
This quintet made serious noise when she was featured in the Gap campaign, as well as their video series where they covered other artists while in their van. This folksy rock group has all the makings of being one of the next -big -things, and check out the video that got them in this conversation, a cover of Hall and Oates' "I Can't Go For That" from inside their tour van:
Another act featured on NPR's sampler, this English rock band has blown up since their inception in 2007. The group recently released their debut album, An Awesome Wave, late in 2012 in the United States. The album netted earned them a British Mercury Prize , as well as beingand got them named BBC Radio 6 Music's Best Album of the Year. Check out this KEXP full-set performance to get a taste of their remarkable live sound:
4. Big K.R.I.T.:
This wouldn't be a complete list without a hip-hop act, and Big K.R.I.T. fits the bill. With a number of higher profile hip-hop artists dotting this year's lineup, Big K.R.I.T. looks to make a big impression on audiences as this Mississippi born rapper has electrified audiences with his remarkable performances night in and night out. He too is featured on NPR's sampler and check out "The Vent" below:
5. Toro y Moi:
This self-described "chillwave" artist has been on the rise ever since he began in 2007. He recently released his third album, Anything in Return earlier this year, which topped the US Dance/Electronic Albums chart. Check out "So Many Details" below:
One of the best parts about SXSW is that you just never know who will be the next big thing, and with a keen eye, you may be able to find the next Gary Clark Jr. or Alabama Shakes.