This year as Austin, Texas host their 32nd annual South By Southwest festival honoring its interactive media on film, music, and conferences. B-Sides highlights the rising new artists performing this week at the main event! Whether you’re there or not you can still discover new music for 2019!
The Bright Light Social Hour
First on our list, The Bright Light Social Hour are no strangers from Texas. They’re actually Austin natives who have played in other big name festivals like Lollapalooza and ACL. They’ve become a local favorite with their psychedelic rock sound with a modern 60s/70s flare.
This Australian band gets the crowd dancing with their enormous energy! Recently toured with Big Data and Magic Giant, Castlecomer are soon to have their own musical kingdom with their growing recognition!
L.A trio Cherry Glazer have been active in the music scene in various cities. Founder and singer/guitarist Clementine Creevy has put all her angst and confusion into her songwriting and conjuring thirty songs for their new record Stuffed & Ready. Music fans have embraced their grunge punk attitude music.
Our former San Francisco native friend Claire George makes an appearance at SXSW! She recently released her debut EP Bodies of Water, which has received positive reviews.. Her performances are unique and a can’t miss at the festival!
Taiwanese trio Elephant Gym (KT Chang, Tell Chang, and Chia-Chin Tu) are a math rock band incorporating jazz instrumental elements into their irregular rhythms, odd time signatures, and constant changing beats.. The complexity in their music helped them capture the Best Style Award for the 5th Golden Sound Award in 2014.
Detroit singer Jax Anderson aka Flint Eastwood is building international success in Australia. Her modern take on pop with R&B notes has got her compared to Lana Del Rey, Sia and Florence and the Machine.
The Swedish- American duo (Shpresa Lleshaj and Cole Randall) have been charting with their single “You’re Somebody Else” and garnered them musical guest spots on TV. flora cash met after commenting back and forth to each other on SoundCloud, which led to forming the band. After their SXSW gig, they plan on touring with another newly successful act, lovelytheband.
As St. Patty’s Day approaches, this Irish punk- alt band gets to celebrate early as they play one of the biggest national festivals. Fontaines D.C have already received attention from Stereogum, Rolling Stone, and KEXP as they’ve been touring in Europe and selling out shows.
Canadian rockers Goodbye Honolulu have toured with other newer acts in the U.S like SWMRS, Hinds, Kate Nash, and so forth. The band makes catchy indie rock n roll that makes you want to bob your head. Let’s not forget that Selena Gomez is a fan of them!
Another trio hailing from the great Australia, Haiku Hands are a genre bending band. Their influences range from hip hop, electronica, and disco making fans explode onto the dance floor like a rave. Their performances are something worth buzzing about.
I Know Leopard
I Know Leopard originates from Sydney and emits a vibe of a reincarnated ABBA group shimmering in 70s synth-pop. Recently charting on Triple J radio and soon to be charting on many personal playlists!
Despite the plural band name, Illuminati Hotties is composed of solo L.A singer/producer Sarah Tudzin. Don’t let the one woman act fool you as her musical capabilities fills the stage. She releases her emotional energy and audiences project it back. If you like Alvvays and Courtney Barnett then you’ll enjoy Illuminati Hotties.
Canadian composer and poet Jesse Taylor of In Mirrors released his debut album Escape From Berlin as it’s a musical texture of minimal wave, spoken word, & krautrock. His unique sound can be heard live with a band as they put audiences in a trance state.
British quartet ISLAND have all been friends as teenagers just playing music in the bedroom until they found a windowless practice room. Over the years, they settled with their dark instrumentals over sweet melodic songwriting to their music.
Talk about selling out shows, Japanese Breakfast aka Michelle Zauner brings indie rock and fantasy to her music.. Almost quitting music after her mother died, her music has been a healing process for Michelle and resonated with her fans and a growing fan base.
Her androgynous stage name was one reason to listen to her, but it was her queer love song “1950” that played on the radio was another reason to hear more from Mikaela Straus. The Brooklyn singer whose song got tweeted by Harry Styles reached even more followers. Just her harmonic vocals in the song brings a chill and has created an excitement around this new artist to watch for 2019.
No stranger from Texas either is Marfa Crush. The Austin natives are ready to blow audiences with their rock n roll sound with electronic mix. Expect some spacy intros/outros with heavy guitar arrangements!
Nashville singer Morgan Carr relocated to L.A with practically nothing in order to pursue his music dream. After meeting the right people and supporting charitable causes, he broke out with his hit “Home” inspired by the Covenant House. He got to debut the song with Nick Petricca of Walk The Moon at Lollapalooza before they officially recorded it.
Canadian twin brothers (Kyle and Myles Mendes) found a new home in Texas for their 80s driven music of retro synths and guitar hooks. The dynamic duo of NITE has been compared to Tears for Fears with their dream pop noise and drum machines. They’ve shared the stage with 80s legends like A Flock of Seagulls, Men Without Hats, The Alarm, and Modern English. Their third album Sleepless, on Cleopatra will be out this spring.
Pennsylvania shoegaze dream pop band NOTHING released their third album Dance on the Blacktop featuring the ballad, “The Carpentar’s Son”, a seven minute song that feels just as relaxing like a lullaby. After hearing this, your ears will crave NOTHING.
Oregon band Soft Kill has a gloomy sound but at the same time has a charming new wave pop into the mix. Ironically, Soft Kill describes their style as “Sad Rock” but no worries because their music will still have the crowd swaying.
San Francisco band who have become a local sensation in the Bay Area. Performing at well-established SF venues, Spooky Mansion branches outside of California showing that there are still good bands from the East Bay.
Michigan singer Stef Chura gained even more exposure after touring with The Drums back in 2017 after releasing her first record Messes. After the death of a close friend, she realized what she wanted to do before she died— release music. Her next album Midnight will be out this summer.
New Zealand four-piece band with their signature sound of guitar pop. Their song “Happy Unhappy” was featured on Rolling Stone as ‘Song of the Summer’. Now they’ll be the band to remember this spring.
The Elwins are another Canadian rock band and not new to the music scene. Their song “Hey! Ya, You” off their third album Beauty Community reached #10 on Canadian Alt radio charts and even briefly toured with Dashboard Confessional.
Ohio is for lovers as this all-girl band hail from that state. The Ophelias all met in high school while being the “token girl” for other dude bands. It was time for a change. They gathered their musical backgrounds of garage, surf rock, & opera thus The Ophelias were born.
The Ramona Flowers
UK band The Ramona Flowers named after the character from Scott Pilgrim vs the World have been a band quite some time. Their previous two albums Part Time Spies and Strangers are evidence that The Ramona Flowers are heavily influenced by the early sounds of the 80s.
Why we love Australia so much is because they keep recognizing new talent like VACATIONS! Their unique blend of indie rock, jazz, and shoegaze helped them explode their fanbase. Last year, they released their debut album Changes.
Our dear Australian-Muslim friend Wafia Al-Rikabi gained recognition after posting a cover of Mario’s “Let Me Love You” online. Her music covers personal experiences as well as themes from transparency, necessity, and simplicity off her EP VIII. Before music, she considered in becoming doctor.
Wolf & Moon
German storytelling duo with their dreamy indie folk and electronic style is why Wolf & Moon made it on this list. The duo recorded their debut album Before It Gets Dark in Sweden over the summer and have been touring in Europe ever since. They’re very inspired by Angus & Julia Stone and Beach House.