SXSW 2014: 50 Artists to Watch

The world’s biggest musical tastemakers, including Pitchfork, Spotify, Fader, HypeMachine, Soundcloud, MTV, NPR and PayPal (?), are all headed to SXSW 2014 in Austin next week hoping their music showcase will make the biggest splash in town (and get a big pat on the back from their advertisers).
The award for highest-profile showcase will most likely go to the iTunes Festival, which has recruited a little rock band from the U.K. known as Coldplay to headline. Unless the Fader Fort gets Jay-Z, or Perez Hilton brings out One Direction or Doritos can figure out a safe way for Lady Gaga to pop out of a six-story vending machine… Regardless, sometimes highest-profile does not always mean best, and SXSW is equally about discovering new acts.

What all this means for SXSW 2014 festival-goers is, of course, lots of music shows. I’m talking nonstop sponsored by RedBull. When I first saw the entire lineup I got a headache. Thankfully, the WillCall app has this cool feature that automatically RSVP’s you to a ton of showcases for free. For organizational purposes, I paid a mere $5 to, which curates all the unofficial events during SXSW 2014, tells you when and where all the artists will be playing and how to get in and let’s you create your personalized schedule.

Tools in place, I got a chance to sample a majority of the artists featured in these showcases before coming up with a plan of attack. Some interesting things about the SXSW 2014 lineup: Kelis (featured photo) and Charli XCX are all over the place this year. Seriously, they are hitting at least 3 showcases each.

Move over Icona Pop, Tove Lo will be 2014’s Swedish pop import we will all soon adore. Holychild, which Denys unkindly referred to as sounding like the band on “Freaky Friday,” is now label-mates with Phoenix and CHVRCHES so I expect some musical refinement from the young band.

Five SXSW 2014 artists were featured on the first season of Looking: St. Lucia, Robert DeLong, Jungle, Kauf and Goldroom. Betty Who has been handpicked by Andy Cohen to be the house band of Watch What Happens Live at SXSW 2014.

And folks who may be upset that Lana Del Rey, Lorde and Florence Welch are all noticeably absent this year, can check out London Grammar and HAERTS. Grimes fans should check out . No word yet on how many gay weddings will take place during Mary Lambert‘s showcase. And how can you go wrong with Blondie? Also, Jojo.

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PHANTOGRAM – “Black Out Days”
TOVE LO – “Habits”
TWIN SHADOW – “Old Love / New Love”
BANKS – “Brain”
HOLYCHILD – “Every Time I Fall”
MIAMI HORROR – “Real Slow”
BETTY WHO – “Heartbreak Dream”
PAINTED PALMS – “Spinning Sings”
CHARLI XCX – “Fancy” (Feat. Iggy Azalea)
RAC – “We Belong”
MØ – “Glass”
ST. LUCIA – “All Eyes on You” (Pacific Air Remix)
WET – “You’re the Best”
LITTLE DRAGON – “Ritual Union” (Polish Ambassador Remix)
TENNIS – “Origins”
THE PREATURES – “Is This How You Feel?”
LONDON GRAMMAR – “Metal & Dust”
TALIB KWELI – “Come Here”
SLEIGH BELLS – “You Don’t Get Me Twice”
CYRIL HAHN – “Breaking” Feat. Javeon
MARY LAMBERT – “She Keeps Me Warm”
GOLDROOM – “Embrace”
COLDPLAY – “Midnight”
DELOREAN – “Stay Close”
NEON HITCH – “Some Like It Hot”
KAUF – “The Closest”
JOJO – “Take Me Home”
THE JUAN MCLEAN – Remix of “The Big Crunch Theory” by Arrows
TOURIST – “I Can’t Keep Up”
DUM DUM GIRLS – “Coming Down”
MS MR – “Bones” (Charli XCX Remix)
JUNGLE – “Lucky I Got What I Want”
ST. VINCENT – “Birth in Reverse”
SOHN – “Bloodflows”
KELIS – “Jerk Ribs”
CHROMEO – “Over Your Shoulders”
MACHINEDRUM – “Sacred Frequency”
HEARTS – “Wings”
SAM SMITH – “Money on My Mind”
JETTA – “Start a Fire”
NOSAJ THING – “Eclipse/Blue”
ROBERT DELONG – “Basically, I”
LUCIUS – “Hey, Doreen”
TY DOLLA $IGN – “Oh Nah” (Feat. Whiz Khalifa)
BLONDIE – “Call Me”

Listen to all these songs on demand commercial free on HypeMachine.

Oscar Raymundo
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  • 10 Artists To Watch At South By Southwest / Queerty

    […] for Austin. If you’re attending SXSW this year and not planning on sleeping, check out my list of 50 artists to watch. Make sure you bring plenty of 5-Hour […]

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