By providing Austin artists an avenue to share their music, South By Southwest maintains its reputation as the premier way to discover the best and brightest the city has to offer. This year is no different, with hundreds of Austinites on the Showcase bill. Here’s a list of some of the best performers and up-and-coming local musicians showcasing at SXSW this year.
This Austin-based rock quartet looks to bring their recent momentum into this year’s SXSW festival. With their new album, Mise En Place, coming up on the horizon, the band is looking to evolve their guitar-centric music into something more arrangement-oriented to create an unforgettable, multidimensional experience. SXSW will be a first look at their new album and a well-deserved refresher for one of the biggest up-and-comers in Austin.
Aaron Sinclair is no foreigner to the SXSW scene, returning for a second year in a row for the music festival with his eclectic indie-rock sound. His music feels nervous, placing the listener on edge with a punky attitude, tension-forming riffs and vocals that come straight from the gut. Sinclair embodies the Austin DIY style with his raw approach to music and performance, making him an act worth seeing.
One of the premier dance/electronic acts hailing from Austin, Capyac found their groove touring through UT co-op houses and local venues until their online breakout in 2015 with their EP, Movement Swallows Us. Since then, they’ve created a fashion line and focused on developing their image, but their music still takes top priority. With their live shows rooted in improvisation and heavy-handed jams, Capyac’s SXSW performance will be a must-watch for music fans of all walks of life.
As Austin’s resident resonator guitar expert, Jeff Plankenhorn finds himself playing with some of the great Southern singer-songwriters of Austin quite often. Mixing soul with roots-rock, Plankenhorn hit his stride singing night after night throughout the bars of Austin and eventually found himself touring the country and the world.
With their wide-ranging instrumentation and collaborative style, Mother Falcon acts as more of a collective rather than a band. The symphonic rock group entered the Austin limelight in 2013 with the release of their sophomore ralbum You Knew and began touring throughout the nation. Now, they’ve written an original score for the upcoming Glass Half Full Theater production of “Petra and the Wolf" and continue to work on refining their music and style. If you’re looking for a break from the many loud rock and electronic acts of SXSW, Mother Falcon is the perfect band to see.
For those seeking fresh energy or a twist in the typical garage act, look no further. Taking garage rock by storm, Sailor Poon’s message is one of empowerment and feminism, satirizing garage and punk rock’s heavily male-dominated scene. Their style is slightly more subdued compared to other garage acts, taking influence from surf and psychedelic rock, but their performances are an energetic sight to behold with a variety of weird props accompanying the band’s image.
In case you haven’t heard of Spoon already, the band formed in 1993 and has since become the most recognizable Austin band in the past 25 years. With hits galore, Spoon is an international indie-rock band that found its breakout moment in 2007 after the release of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and they haven’t looked back since. With their newest record, Hot Thoughts, right around the corner, look for the band to debut some new songs at SXSW and pull out all the stops for their hometown audience.
S U R V I V E
Known for their inclusion on the “Stranger Things” soundtrack, S U R V I V E has been producing horror-themed synth music for nearly a decade. Using analog instruments to create their dark sound, the band settled into their niche with their 2012 full-length album Mnq026 and has since seen national success and recognition with their second full-length album RR7349. Look for the group to attract a large audience with a subdued and introspective show.