Another SXSW has come and gone. Thousands of bands traveled thousands of miles to play short, roughly mixed, 30-minute sets to music fans drunkenly bustling about town checking off their to-do lists in between stuffing their faces with breakfast tacos and Texas BBQ.
So now it's time to reflect on the wild week that was SXSW 2016 and share with the world all the amazing artists that everyone got a chance to see (or didn't see). After all, even without all the corporate inclusion, SXSW is still about discovering new bands, right? Here are some of the top acts we saw throughout the week that you should definitely be adding to your playlists as we enter festival eason.
Entourage actor Adrian Grenier's threw an exclusive party at Arlyn Recording Studios on Friday, which showcased some of his Wreckroom alumni artists playing to industry personnel and friends. The highlight of the evening came when NYC rock band The Skins played their non-stop energy driven set to a fully packed venue. The band, also managed by Grenier, has been working closely with Rick Rubin on their debut album, which comes as no surprise that they've successfully mixed rock and hip-hop to make for a sound that pop music hasn't experienced since the early days of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine.
Another New York band that's recently coming out of hiding, these pop-rockers falls somewhere between CHVRCHES and St. Lucia with their mix of dance and modern sounding rock songs. They played a handful of set throughout the week, but their set at Baeble Music's day party at Empire Garage was enough to convince all those in attendance that the band will be the perfect fit opening for X Ambassadors on their upcoming tour.
This power-rock duo from Los Angeles is currently on tour opening for Wolfmother. That's really all you should need to know about their ability to bring the noise and the attitude the two girls produce. They're sexy, but they're not selling themselves out like teenage pop stars- they let the raunchy, octave fuzz pedals and bluesy riffs do that for them. If Joan Jett had a music baby with Jack White, you'd have this fantastic rock band who will be releasing their sophomore LP very soon hopefully. In the mean time get a look and a listen with their latest single, "Royal Jelly".
About as good as it gets @deapvally #sxsw #sxsw2016 #austin A photo posted by Music Times (@themusictimes) on Mar 16, 2016 at 11:11am PDT
Capyac is a dance band from Texas whose set could go from ambient electronic to full-on disco-style party at the drop of a beat. While they seem young, it's their blend of genres into their unique style that mixes jazz and soul into their mix of funky sounding dance music that makes them seem years beyond their age. What really catches the eyes and ears with this group is their very casual, and confident persona the band portrays on stage, letting their music do the talking for them. At least that's the way it seemed at the epic dance party they were throwing at the Empire Garage on Tuesday night.
This trip-hop sounding electronic trio had more than just a few shows to celebrate during their time in Austin. The band released their first album on Matador Records on Friday and celebrated by playing a fantastic set at the Baeble day party. You could compare them to similar acts like Jungle or Brolin, but Haelos' sound carries a slower, more intimate feel to it.
We caught Miya Folick early on Wednesday at the Wild Honey Pie/Bumble day party and were blown away by the energy and power from a smaller bodied girl. Her recorded music puts her into the same category with contemporaries such as Julien Baker or WET, but her live show was more of a throwback to the female-lead garage rock bands of the 90s like The Innocence Mission, The Martinis, or The Breeders. In other words they'd fit right in perfectly on the Empire Records soundtrack circa 2016.
Hunter Sharpe and his band kind of resemble what One Direction could've have been in another lifetime. The band blew the doors off The Sidewinder on Tuesday night, proving that teenage (yes, the band's lead guitar player is only 16) boys should never fail to surprise fans when handed a guitar, a distortion pedal, and teenage angst. This band has everything a label would love in a band- powerful and edgy garage rock songs, charisma, marketability and, of course, hair.