SXSW in Austin, Texas is a hotbed of new bands, each playing approximately 6 million showcases everywhere from tiny living rooms, to street corners, to - occasionally - proper venues with sticky floors and the lingering smell of stale beer. This year, Matt Wilkinson from Beats 1 dived in head-first to produce this here list of his fave up-and-comers from the week-long event.
Punk won out in Austin this year, and Amyl & The Sniffers were easily among the best bands from that world. There aren't really any egos in that band - it's all very pure, which is really refreshing. And Amy, the singer, is an absolute star in waiting...
Song: Monsoon Rock
The Dubliners played a bunch of 1am sweatfest gigs that were good enough to make even the most hardened SXSW veteran leave open-mouthed. Best of the bunch was at the Music From Ireland showcase, which was the most drunken and raucous party I saw all week.
These Australian newcomers have a way with three-part harmonies and nifty choruses. They've got that gang mentality where you never really know which direction they're gonna go, and by the end of the week their profile had risen hugely.
Speaking of harmonies, I was seriously impressed with the show I saw Barrie play at the Scoot Inn. While the other acts in this list are all about guitars which scream and howl, there's something a little more reserved about the Brooklyn collective. But their way with a melody is second to none.
One year after being signed by Heavenly at SXSW 2018, the Japanese fourpiece truly went overground in Austin in 2019. It seemed like everybody out there was trying to see them, and those who did weren't disappointed. They're one of the most infectious bands on the planet.
Song: Great Job