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15 Hidden Gem Artists at SXSW 2018

The ethos of SXSW has always been about the band/artist who has yet to be discovered. However with the all of the noise surrounding the fest and the deluge of music that seemingly has no end - it can be extremely difficult keeping your head above water and actually discover new music. Here is a tasting board of some bands/artists that you may not recognize, but their sound proves them to be worth your while.

United Ghosts:

Los Angeles band United Ghosts blends a seemingly dizzying collection of influences (Dreampop, Psychedelia, Electronica, Krautrock) into a cohesive, hypnotic sound that celebrates its influences, while keeping one eye firmly set towards the future.

U.S. Girls:

This year marks a significant anniversary for U.S. Girls, the protean musical enterprise of multi-disciplinary artist, Meg Remy. 10 years ago Remy first used a 4-track recorder and a microphone to self-produce a series of spontaneous, starkly musical, ‘instant expressions’.

Thandi Phoenix:

At just 24, the Sydney singer-songwriter has been touted as "one of Australia's most promising up and comers" (The AU Review), with songs that blend pop with electronica and raw, honest storytelling.


MNKYBSNSS is an electronic music duo conformed by Mono Urina and Kike Vélez, from Barranquilla, Colombia. The group originated in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the year 2013, where both members were studying music and music production.

Altre Di B:

Since 2005 Altre di B has played hundreds of gigs all over Europe, carrying around a lively and energetic sound inspired by bands such as TV on the Radio and the Vines.


After the release of his second EP, Draper acquired many high-profile remixes, including Twin Atlantic, Passion Pit and Ellie Goulding. His remix for Goulding appeared on her Tesco exclusive edition of her album Halcyon.[7] After graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a 1st class honours degree in Media Technology, Draper was invited to DJ for Rita Ora at the Capital Summertime Ball 2012.


BbyMutha’s gaining a foothold in the rap game alongside many other female artists thanks to a raw honesty, a refusal to be anyone but herself. Others try to box her in as the mom of rap, but she won’t become a gimmick, putting the totality of her life on display – an attitude which extends equally to the production that she chooses. The hyperactive retro house of “Beautiful Ratchet” and the gritty, smoldering “Rules” that just went viral on Twitter recently, manage to feel united despite their vast differences, her laconic flow and smirking charm tieing everything together.

Champagne Superchillin:

Let the bubbles take control! That was the lyrical takeaway (sung in French, subtitled in English) from the music video announcing Champagne Superchillin’s first album, Destino. The album is an invitation to an artsy cult with champagne and vibey dance parties instead of Kool-aid and total bummers. Let the bubbles take control... seriously.


Bambara is a Brooklyn-based dark, noise/punk band with a Western slant. The trio, consisting of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and childhood friend William Brookshire, formed in Athens, GA. Their 3rd LP SHADOW ON EVERYTHING, Bambara's first release on Wharf Cat Records, comes out on April 6th.


In 2016, DUCKWRTH took the energy he developed in New York back to Los Angeles where he created and released his critically acclaimed debut LP, I’M UUGLY. IM UUGLY was a project that merged the most unique parts of DUCKWRTH’s personality and talents to create a sound and visual palette that indicated he had not only grown as an artist but well on his way to being a music icon and visionary for his generation.

Totally Mild:

Melbourne’s Totally Mild write songs that are lush and luxurious, polished to sparkle. Her, the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album, is full of narrative heart, but with a Stepford sheen. Teasing out a thematic tension between the loving and the lacklustre, the domestic and the deluxe, vocalist/guitarist and songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell’s voice is crystal clear.


Mike Sharp and Joel Roberts are East Anglia-bred, London-based duo Otzeki, part of the burgeoning electronic/rock/pop genre sweeping Britain at the moment. The pair initially turned heads with their 2016 debut EP Falling Out, featuring the uber-catchy “Hope in Hell,” successfully combining vocals oozing beautiful desolation with a driving beat. Singles such as “True Love” and “All This Time” and EP Sun is Rising followed, showing their aptitude in fusing irrepressible electronic beats, R&B infused vocals, and alt-rock guitar into something truly intriguing.

Great Good Fine OK:

Brooklyn synthpop duo Great Good Fine OK met one evening in 2013 and by the next morning had written their first song together, “You’re the One for Me,” a gauzy, heart-thumping anthem that hit #1 on Hype Machine twice in one month and instantly established the group’s sound with Jon Sandler’s dancefloor falsetto soaring over Luke Moellman’s lush post-Space Age production, the perfect soundtrack for retrofuturism.

Wake Island:

Wake Island is a Montreal electronic duo, deftly manoeuvring between genres, crafting songs that mix minimal techno beats with 90s rock/pop influences. The band is comprised of Philippe Manasseh and Nadim Maghzal, both Lebanese immigrants who met while studying in Montreal in the early 2000s.

Hot flash Heat Wave:

San Francisco rock quartet Hot Flash Heat Wave rose to prominence in the Bay Area music scene in 2015. Their versatile sound, at times reminiscent of golden 60s, power pop, dream pop, post-punk and indie rock, demonstrates a dynamic range of songwriting prowess centered around consistently infectious, sun-soaked melodies and guitar hooks.


10 Austin SXSW Artists That Are Going To Make 2018 Their Year

Bursting at the seams with talent and energy, these Austin artists have bright futures as they play their way through the meat grinder that is SXSW.

The Lagoons: Their now-signature blend of synth-pop, jazz, soul and electronica was first heard on their Summer 2016 single 'California' and was followed up by their Spring 2017 "Gems EP". These guys define ambient chill-tronica

Los Coast is the brainchild of Trey Privott and John Courtney and is completed by Megan Hartman on bass, Damien Llanes on drumkit, and Nat Wright on keys. Together, their music is a punchy, psych-tinged, lyrical variety of rock and soul.

 Capyac is a surreal dance act made up of one half swamp baby (P. Sugz), one half mechanical trash diva (Potion). Their freakish dance music is as addictive as it is out there.


 Mélat is the eclectic soul of modern RnB. Mélat tells a story that is both challenging and inspiring crafted from her very own life experiences. It is a pure and honest reflection of her soul. From love, lust, success, to failure Mélat sings of what it means to be a human being simply longing to "be".


Annabelle Chairlegs live in a microdose of psychedelia. A cyclone of energy, these guys aren’t out to break down the walls of psych rock, they’re just trying to break down your living room walls. Vocalist and chief songwriter Lindsey Mackin’s surreal set of pipes can whip and growl in a single breath that bites like Janis and floats like Debbie Harry.

Kalu & The Electric Joint: This musical chemistry comes from the bond forged by frontman Kalu James, who emigrated from Nigeria at age 18 to claim Austin as his new home, and guitarist Jonathan “JT” Holt, who adds a touch of American soul to Kalu’s West African heritage.


Hovvdy: Based in Austin, Texas, Hovvdy (pronounced "howdy") is the writing and recording project of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor. Hovvdy has found a unique identity in rhythmic, down-tempo pop songs that are hopeful, yet melancholy; relatable, yet distinguishable.

 GO FEVER is Australian ex-pat Acey Monaro, Jim Campo (keys), Benjamin Burdick (bass), Keith Lough (guitar) and Josh Merry (drums). Their sound evokes all the best music from the second half of the last century, drawing on late 70's pub rock, new wave, girl groups and rock and roll.

Mr. Kitty: A duo that does Gothtronica mixed with electroclash offers one of the most exhilarating live shows at SXSW. Crystal Castles, HEALTH, and witch house music can all be detected in the melancholic electro-banging of Mr. Kitty

Greyhounds: Anthony Farrell and Andrew Trube are a musical duo that oozes with passion and soul. Combining some Motown vibes with their jazz/soul instrumentation makes these guys one of the most powerful live performances to put on your schedule for SXSW.


Walker Lukens plays SX tomorrow (03.13) + talks about gear on Delicious Audio

One of the most creative singer/songwriters to claim Texas as home, Walker Lukens has put in the time to get where he is.  Eclectic pop ditties exude from his pores, and at the recent Float Fest he proved to have one of the hottest live shows in the Austin music scene. Walker Lukens will perform at SXSW tomorrow (03.13) at Cheer Up Charlies. Check out this interview he gave to our sister blog Delicious Audio about gear and the creative process. - Lee Ackerley

Austin Music Awards and Industry Awards Honor the New and Established

Nothing feels better than finding yourself in a crowded room of people who share the exact same passion. The Austin Music Awards and Austin Music Industry Awards are two annual events that serve to honor the accomplishments of both sides of the music industry, but the main purpose is to get everyone under the same roof to share in the rock and roll spirit for at least one night a year. People and businesses like photographers, sound techs, and equipment rental companies, who are usually relegated to the dark alleyways of music industry, finally get some time in the sun at the Industry Awards. While exceptional bands who stand out amongst the thousands of Austin bands get recognized for their various categories. Special guests, local celebrities, and tenured folk heroes all coalesce into a crowd at the AMAs that is no different than an Austin Grammys ceremony. While the Industry Awards are much more scaled down than the AMAs, it makes up for its production deificit with charm and humor. Emcee, Kevin Curtin, was an absolute riot, introducing presenters with gusto, and bombing on as many jokes as he hit. The house band, the former Berkshire Hounds, is led by Jim Campo who curates each intro song to the winner in a comedic way. Businesses like Antones, Mohawk, and South Austin Music accepted their awards in large groups while Michael Corcoran, Trish Connelly, and Katrina Barber and won their singular awards in style. The highlight of the night was Craig Stewart accepting his Music Industry Hall of Fame award with his partner King Coffey. Here is a full list of the winners: https://www.austinchronicle.com/austin-music-awards/year:2017/category:industry-awards/ The AMAs are a much more formal affair than the Industry awards and take place at ACL Live. A variety of artists all took home awards like Trouble in the Streets, Jimmy LaFave, Shinyribs, and many more. Mayor Adler was present to lend his political capital to the Live Music Capital of the World. Individual musicians received awards for their musical technical prowess, while bands like A Giant Dog had more fun with it - i.e. a friend of AGD came out in drag and pretended to be front woman, Sabrina Ellis, by making out with other band members. The best part of the AMAs, as most attendees will tell you, are the performances which run the gamut as far as different genres represented. Yet the main highlight came with Fiona Apple seemingly appearing out of nowhere to perform for the Austin crowd. Here are a list of the AMA winners: http://ama2018.com/2017-winners/ While some might scorn awards ceremonies for the glad-handing and ego-stroking involved, the AMAs and Industry awards feel like community above all else. As institutions that continue to evolve, both awards shows are a necessary glue that serves an annual holiday to keep the extended family of Austin music people cohesive and strong. http://slackerlee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DSC_1291-1.jpg Fiona Apple http://slackerlee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DSC_1063-1.jpg http://slackerlee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DSC_1055-1.jpg Andy Langer at the AMA http://slackerlee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DSC_0945-1.jpg Michael Corcoran http://slackerlee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DSC_0827-1.jpg


5 Austin Hip-Hop Acts Worth Seeing At SXSW

1. Abhi The Nomad

Well-traveled and rhymes on point, Abhi is one of the brighter lights emerging from the underrated Austin hip-hop scene. His lyrical flows are stimulating while his mellow vibes keep his addictive music on a palatable frequency.



2. Magna Carda

Megz Kelli and Dougie Do have been on a mission in Austin to drop invigorating tracks that continue to evolve and progress. Ingenious beats with enviable flows, Magna Carda needs to be witnessed live.





3. Riders Against the Storm

This wife and husband hip-hop duo continue to fuse funk, hip-hop and R&B into inventive and catchy tracks. Politics, race, and activism is on the menu as these two continue to tap into higher consciousness with earworm beats and hook-filled flows.




4. Blackillac

Zeale, Phranchyze, and Gary Clark Jr have created a super group that is straight out of Austin and no gimmicks. The all-star lineup doesn't disappoint with rapid fire bars and hard-hitting beats.


5. Blastfamous USA

Austin's own response to Run The Jewels,Blastfamous USA is a collaboration between Zeale and the production duo NGHT HCKLRS. While they might not be an official SXSW artist, they more than deserve your audience since their aggressive rhymes and beats are bound to turn heads in 2018.



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