13 Bands to Check Out From South by Southwest

Acts that justified their hype live, and acts that created new hype at the festival

From bluesy rock to tweaked electro-pop, these acts justified their buzz—or sparked some.

grimes flickr 615 magerleagues.jpg

Flickr user magerleagues

Among the hundreds of bands who head to South by Southwest in Austin each year, many are looking to get "discovered" by tastemakers and record labels.

That's a tough task if for no other reason than the sheer amount of competition for attention. Nearly as tough, though, is the job of bands who have already gained some hype on the strength of a few songs or records and who now, in a flurry of back-to-back concerts, must prove they've got the goods live to justify their acclaim.

We'd heard of some of the bands listed below and were impressed by them, when we saw them this past week. Others were entirely new. All are worth a listen.

Presented by

Caitlin Curran is a journalist based in New York. She has worked for The AtlanticWNYC, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Phoenix, and has written for Spin, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor.

Spencer Kornhaber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers pop culture and music. He was previously an editor at Patch.com and a staff writer at OC Weekly. He has written for Spin, The AV Club, and RollingStone.com.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

Just In