Established in 1986 as a platform for local upcoming talent, Austin’s South by Southwest festival is today the world’s biggest festival of its type. Over the years, the festival has become famous for providing an international stage for up-and-coming acts from Austin and across the world to showcase their talent. From The Strokes and John Mayer to Courtney Barnett and HAIM, the festival has marked a stepping stone in the careers of some of music’s biggest names.
Ahead of this year’s festival, Coggles offers our guide to the five best new acts appearing at SXSW we expect to storm to success in 2017. Whether you’re fortunate enough to make the trip yourself or will be watching at home via the festival’s live stream, here are the five gigs you won’t want to miss.
Hailing from Buffalo, New York, American wanderer Julie Byrne is quickly joining a tradition of female troubadours stretching from Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith to contemporary such artists as Laura Marling and Marika Hackmann. Her second studio album, Not Even Happiness, was released to great critical and popular acclaim earlier this year and has established its author as one of the most exciting artists working in the industry today.
Where? Mazda Studio at Empire Garage
When? Tuesday 14th March, 10pm
The Lemon Twigs
Fronted by multi-instrumentalist brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, The Lemon Twigs were founded in 2015 and released their debut album, Do Hollywood, in late 2016. Having produced their album, Foxygen’s Jonathon Rado described Brian and Michael as “two of the best musicians I’ve ever met”, and the band has since received praise from iconic musical names including Elton John, Boy George and Laura Marling.
Where? Mohawk Outdoor
When? Friday 17th March, 12:00am-12:40am
The Vryll Society
Cultivated by late Deltasonic boss Alan Wills (the man who launched the careers of The Coral & The Zutons), The Vryll Society are the latest hot new act to come out of Liverpool. Having toured with Blossoms in 2016 and recently gaining much BBC airplay thanks to Steve Lemacq, SXSW will mark the psychedelic-pop group’s first shows outside of the UK.
Where? Latitude 30
When? Friday 17th March, 10pm
Formed in 2012, Priests make electric punk music alongside running their own record label Sister Polygon Records. The group’s first full LP, Nothing Feel Natural, was released to widespread critical acclaim in the US and internationally in January this year, with Pitchfork claiming that “there hasn’t been a punk debut this certain and poised since Savages’ Silence Yourself”. The band’s album was released prior to the election of Donald Trump, and the message of resistance has become increasingly urgent since then. Priests demonstrate the vital powers of punk to resist social and political change.
Where? Cheer Up Charlie’s
When? Friday 17th March, 12am—12:40am
A three-piece rock’n’roll band from Edmonton, Canada, The Velveteins formed in 2015 and released their first EP in 2015 in the home studio of Cage the Elephant’s Lincoln Parish. The band has gained a cult following in their home country thanks to their infectious melodies and vintage vibe.
Where? Swan Dive
When? Thursday 16th March, 12:00am-12:40am
Header Image Credit: Sunflower Bean at SXSW Music 2016 photo by Brynn Osborn