SXSW Music Festival 2013: Five Acts To Watch

While it feels like festival season has only recently come to a close with the end of CMJ in New York City, this week the SXSW Music Festival announced the first wave of invited acts who will perform during the weeklong extravaganza, running from Tuesday, March 12 to Sunday, March 17, 2013.

SXSW is always a fantastic event, with tons of great acts playing all over Austin, TX, from gas stations to the Moody Theater (where they tape the much-beloved PBS show “Austin City Limits”), and everything in between. For example, last year Fiona Apple played in a tiny church with Purity Ring and Charli XCX following, all while Alabama Shakes tore through their set at the Hype Hotel off 6th Street and Michael Kiwanuka charmed the crowd with a backyard acoustic set in the midday sun. It’s a week of joyous celebration of music, and often it’s this festival where bands truly break, and so it’s always a privilege to see them in such fantastically intimate settings.

Here are five acts that we at Glide Magazine are super thrilled to see at SXSW 2013. A full list of the first round of invited bands is listed below. For more information about SXSW, visit their music festival website.

ATLAS GENIUS

This band, which hails from Australia, has already caused quite a bit of buzz over the last year, initially from the release of their single “Trojans” on Neon Gold, but more recently in the wake of a strong first US tour and excellent EP, Through The Glass, which was released earlier this year. They’re in the process of finishing their debut album, which will come out in early 2013 via Warner Bros Records. Be sure to check out the way they mix electronic elements with their acoustic-pop flourishes.

Playlist: “Trojans” (from 2012’s Through The Glass EP)

ALT-J

This British-based band has been in the headlines a lot recently, mostly for winning the prestigious Mercury Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave. It’s a somewhat dense collection of songs, but the band knows how to weave together dissonance and the cinematic, resulting in a collection of songs that really force the listener to sit down and listen. If their debut is any indication, this band has a lot of fantastic ideas for how to challenge indie alt-pop and raise it to a more intellectual level than maybe has been seen in recent years.

Playlist: “Breezeblocks” (from 2012’s Mercury Prize-winning An Awesome Wave LP)

SARAH JAFFE

At first glance, Sarah Jaffe appears to be another in the line of folk-leaning female singer-songwriters to break over the last three years– artists like Lissie, Ellie Goulding, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Sharon Van Etten, for example– but there is a lot of depth and substance that lurks beneath that categorization. Jaffe proved her hand at crafting heartbreaking and gorgeously poetic folk music with 2010’s Suburban Nature, but her recent release, 2012’s The Body Wins, is a full-on love affair with the intersection of acoustic and dance music. With John Congleton (Wye Oak, Amanda Palmer, St. Vincent) at the producer helm, Jaffe’s offered a stirring, engaging collection of songs that expand on her already impressive catalogue, offering a thrilling stylistic shift.

Playlist: “Clementine” (from 2010’s Suburban Nature LP)

HAIM

In our recent feature interview with the three sisters of Southern California’s wildly talented up-and-coming band HAIM, they hinted at forthcoming full-length album in 2013, but so far there’s only been one EP and a few other tracks released in an official capacity. Still, they’ve caused a lot of buzz already because, despite the Wilson Phillips comparisons, they write compelling, infectious and emotionally intense music that in no way sounds amateurish. Be sure to catch these girls as they perform around Austin, because their pop/rock chemistry that just drips with Laurel Canyon warmth will surely fire up their audiences.

Playlist: “Forever” (from 2011’s Forever EP)

SUUNS

Minimalism is something often embraced by indie noir, but frequently it falls short because there’s a separation of emotion from the compositions, which then makes the songs feel hollow and, in many ways, robotic. Suuns walks that line carefully, but on their debut album and subsequent singles have proved that they understand dynamics by employing carefully used catharsis and moments of space in their dissonant, dark art-rock sound. They’re certainly less lyrically focused than the other bands here, but their shows are sure to be a fantastic trip into the surreal for SXSW festivalgoers.

Playlist: “Arena” (from 2010’s Zeroes QC LP)

SXSW MUSIC FESTIVAL 2013: Invited Acts (First Round)

Akron/Family (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Albatross (Kathmandu, Nepal )
Alt-J (Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Lauren Aquilina (Bristol, United Kingdom)
Atlas Genius (Adelaide, South Africa)
Attomica (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Authorities (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Autosalvage (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
The Away Days (Turkey)
Daniel Bachman (Fredericksburg, Va.)
BADBADNOTGOOD (Toronto, Ontario)
Baishui (China)
Bastille (London, United Kingdom)
Battleme (Portland, Ore.)
Bernhoft (Nittedal, Norway)
The Black and White Years (Austin, Texas)
The Blackout (Cardiff, United Kingdom)
Black Pistol Fire (Austin, Texas)
Blackstone Rangers (Dallas, Texas)
The Blue Van (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers (San Francisco, Calif.)
BNegão & Seletores de Frequência (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Boats (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
The Boxing Lesson (Austin, Texas)
Jesse Boykins III (New York, N.Y.)
Brendan Benson (Nashville, Tenn.)
Broncho (Norman, Okla.)
Brothers In Law (Pesaro, Italy)
Brutality Will Prevail (Cardiff, United Kingdom)
Brutal Juice (Austin, Texas)
Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown (Nashville, Tenn.)
Buck 65 (Toronto, Ontario)
The Bug (London, United Kingdom)
Eric Burdon (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Tego Calderon (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
The Calm Blue Sea (Austin, Texas)
Campo (Montevideo, Uruguay)
Cave Painting (Brighton, United Kingdom)
Cayucas (San Luis Obisbo, Calif.)
Cello Fury (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Cheers Elephant (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Chevelles (North Fremantle, Wash.)
Charlotte Church (United Kingdom)
Churchill (Denver, Colo.)
CINE (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Civil Twilight (Cape Town South Africa)
Chris Cohen (Shaftsbury, Vt.)
Coldcut (London, United Kingdom)
Congo Natty (London, United Kingdom)
The Congregation (Chicago, Ill.)
Constantina (Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
John Cooper Clarke (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Crooks (Austin, Texas)
Current Swell (Victoria, British Columbia)
Dash Rip Rock (New Orleans, La.)
Sammy Decoster (Grenoble, France)
Dels (London, United Kingdom)
Mac DeMarco (Montreal, Quebec)
Luther Dickinson (Hernando, Miss.)
DJ Edu (London, United Kingdom)
Dolores Boys (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Doyle (San Antonio, Texas)
Driver Friendly (Austin, Texas)
Drop The Lime (New York, N.Y.)
Ben Dukes (Hollywood, Calif.)
The Dunwells (Leeds, United Kingdom)
Dusted (Toronto, Ontario)
Eagulls (Leeds, United Kingdom)
Tim Easton (Nashville, Tenn.)
Elias Haslanger (Austin, Texas)
Ronnie Fauss (Dallas, Texas)
Fear Of Men (Brighton, United Kingdom)
Fister (St Louis, Mo.)
Follakzoid (Santiago, Chile)
fo/mo/deep (Columbus, Ohio)
Forests (Taipei, Taiwan)
Fredda (Paris, France)
Funeral Suits (Dublin, Ireland)
Ezra Furman (San Francisco, Calif.)
Galaxy Express (Seoul, South Korea)
Gallows (Watford, United Kingdom)
Gato 6 (Austin, Texas)
Ghost to Falco (Portland, Ore.)
GHXST (New York, N.Y.)
Colin Gilmore (Austin, Texas)
Gliss (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Gold Fields (Ballarat, Australia)
Jenn Grant (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Guards (New York, N.Y.)
Haim (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Hashback Hashish (New Delhi, India)
Hawthorne Heights (Dayton, Ohio)
Heidi Happy (Luzern, Switzerland)
Ryan Hemsworth (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Hexvessel (Helsinki, Finland)
Highasakite (Oslo, Norway)
Hiss Golden Messenger (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
The Holydrug Couple (Santiago, Chile)
Holy Esque (Glasgow, Scotland)
HolySexyBastards (Valencia, Venezuela)
Howling Brothers (Nashville, Tenn.)
Peggy Hsu (Taipei, Taiwan)
Huehuetl (Tonala, Guadalajara, Mexico)
Humans (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Il Pan del Diavolo (San Lorenzo Colli, Italy)
Immanu El (Gothenburg, Sweden)
In-Flight Safety (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Tiago Iorc (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Islet (Cardiff, United Kingdom)
ITAL (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Sarah Jaffe (Denton, Texas)
Jonathan Toubin (New York, N.Y.)
Matthew Perryman Jones (Nashville, Tenn.)
Jung People (Calgary, Alberta)
Grace Kelly (Brookline, Mass.)
Klaxons (London, United Kingdom)
Jess Klein (Austin, Texas)
La Chiva Gantiva (Brussels, Belgium)
La Cuneta Son Machín (Managua, Nicaragua)
Language Room (Austin, Texas)
Marit Larsen (Oslo, Norway)
The Last Bison (Chesapeake, Va.)
League of Extraordinary G’z (Austin, Texas)
Lecrae (Atlanta, Ga.)
Les Mentettes (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
The Linus Pauling Quartet (Houston, Texas)
Los Bunkers (Concepcion, Chile)
the Lost Maples (Nashville, Tenn.)
Emma Louise (Toowong, Austraila)
Lu Horta (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Luke Sital-Singh (London, United Kingdom)
Mahogany (Chicago, Ill.)
Massive Scar Era (Cairo, Egypt)
Mavin All Stars (Lagos, Nigeria)
Mike and the Moonpies (Austin, Texas)
Andy Mineo (New York, N.Y.)
Derek Minor (Nashville, Tenn.)
Modestep (London, United Kingdom)
Mompox (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Monster Cat (Singapore, China)
Ian Moore (Seattle, Wash.)
Thurston Moore (Northampton, Mass.)
Daniel Mustard (New York, N.Y.)
Muthoni The Drummer Queen (Nairobi, Kenya)
My Education (Austin, Texas)
My Jerusalem (Austin, Texas)
Nerves Junior (Louisville, Ky.)
NO CEREMONY/// (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Nubes en mi Casa (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Of Mice & Men (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Pacific Air (San Diego, Calif.)
PAJARO (Gelves, Spain)
Doe Paoro (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Paper Lions (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
Triana Park (Riga, Latvia)
Peterson Brothers Band (Bastrop, Texas)
Pokey LaFarge (Ballwin, Mo.)
The Postelles (New York, N.Y.)
Promise (Toronto, Ontario)
Pumcayo (Guadalajara, Mexico)
Quiet Company (Austin, Texas)
David Ramirez (Austin, Texas)
The Relatives (Dallas, Texas)
Remate (Madrid, Spain)
Reptile Youth (Copenhagen, Denmark)
The Rocketboys (Austin, Texas)
Roge (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
Said The Whale (Vancouver, B.C.)
The Sam Willows (Singapore, China)
San Cisco (Fremantle, Wa.)
Satchel Grande (Omaha, Neb.)
Danny Schmidt (Austin, Texas)
Seth Sentry (Melbourne, Australia)
Shakey Graves (Austin, Texas)
Silencio (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Six60 (Dunedin, New Zealand)
Sizarr (Mannheim, Germany)
Small Black (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Sahara Smith (Wimberley, Texas)
Smoosh (Chaos Chaos) (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Social Studies (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Soley (Reykjavik, Iceland)
Somebody’s Darling (Dallas, Texas)
The Sour Notes (Austin, Texas)
Spain (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Spindrift (Los Angeles, Calif.)
The Spring Standards (New York, N.Y.)
Star & Micey (Memphis, Tenn.)
The Staves (London, United Kingdom)
Marnie Stern (New York, N.Y.)
Jake Stone Garage (Tokyo, Japan)
Suie Paparude (Bucharest, Romania)
Supersubmarina (Madrid, Spain)
Suuns (Montreal, Quebec)
Swamp Cabbage (Savannah, Ga.)
Swim Deep (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Tako Lako (Copenhagen, Denmark)
TAM (Plateau Mont-Royal, Quebec)
Hudson Taylor (London, United Kingdom)
Tedashii (Dallas, Texas)
Kristian Terzic Band (Rovinj, Croatia)
Tesoro (Tucson, Ariz.)
The Harlequins (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic (Richmond, Calif.)
Thi’sl (St Louis, Mo.)
Tipo Uísque (Brazil)
Amon Tobin (San Francisco, Calif.)
Toddla T (Sheffield, United Kingdom)
The Trews (Toronto, Ontario)
Truth Universal (New Orleans, La.)
Turbina (Mexico City, Mexico)
Turbo Fruits (Nashville, Tenn.)
Two Hours Traffic (Charlottetown, Ontario)
Vaudeville Smash (Melbourne, Australia)
The Vespers (Nashville, Tenn.)
Virals (Worcester, United Kingdom)
Zak Waters (Los Angeles, Calif.)
While She Sleeps (Sheffiled, United Kingdom)
Glenn White (New York, N.Y.)
White Lung (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Why? (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Wild Cub (Nashville, Tenn.)
Wizkid (Lagos, Nigeria)
Carolyn Wonderland (Austin, Texas)
WonFu (Taipei, Taiwan)
Woodpigeon (Vienna, Alberta)
Young Von (Houston, Texas)
The Zombies (St. Albans, United Kingdom)

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