Who should you see at SXSW? Who should you not bother with? Who is going to be the next big thing? Who knows! It's such an impossible-to-guess situation, but for fun, here are six acts that are poised to come out of the festival bigger than they went in.
Diet Cig is a duo that makes great pop songs. Oddly enough, their music isn't what's going to help them break out via SXSW — it's the energy and enthusiasm that stems from frontwoman Alex Luciano's stage antics (there's a lot of kicking and smiling and jumping and more smiling). She's infectious, and the more people that see her, the bigger the band will become.
March 18 at The Sidewinder
Bayonne (formerly known as Roger Sellers) is Austin's own electronic wizard, and everything is falling into place for him right now. He recently signed to Mom + Pop Music (home to Poliça, Courtney Barnett, and more); he's re-releasing his album Primitives on March 25; and he's playing Levitation festival this year. It's likely that SXSW will bring even more attention and opportunities his way.
March 17 at Barracuda
The fantastically named Tacocat just penned the new Powerpuff Girls theme song, and their upcoming album, Lost Time (due out April 1 via Hardly Art), is getting a lot of buzz. They've also got a back catalog full of really catchy songs that are easy to love. Expect to hear their name mentioned a lot during and after the festival (and not just because it's funny).
March 17 at Cheer Up Charlies
A Giant Dog
A Giant Dog has long been a favorite among show-goers in Austin. Now with the notoriety that comes from signing to Merge Record, SXSW is going to be a real springboard for the band. AGD's third album, Pile, is hotly anticipated and due out May 6.
March 17 at Tap Room at the Market
Julien Baker is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter who put out what was arguably 2015's saddest album, Sprained Ankle. Sure, her intimate sound doesn't quite fit into the loud and fast aesthetic that usually plays best at SXSW, but Baker is a can't-miss talent who has a real chance to own the festival.
March 17 at Parish
Car Seat Headrest
A fairly recent addition to Matador Records' roster, Car Seat Headrest is an indie rock act led by a 23-year-old named Will Toledo. He's brainy; knows how to write a good hook; and his upcoming album, Teens of Denial, looks like it'll be one of the year's best efforts. It'll be a surprise if his bandwagon isn't packed by the time the festival wraps.
March 16 at Central Presbyterian Church