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.

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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.

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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.

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