Festival Envy: What We're Excited For This SXSW

SXSW 2014 has arrived. This year, we’re stoked to see so many Ones To Watch featured artists out there, including Echosmith, Cherub, Jetta, Iggy Azalea, Basecamp, Ryan Hemsworth, Wet, and The Griswolds. While you await our live updates, we’ve got a list of the acts on the top of our radar. Read on below for the scoop. We’ve also made a playlist for all things SXSW music that you can check out in the meantime. 


James Supercave 

For fans of Youth Lagoon, MGMT

From: Los Angeles

Why we’re watching: His oddly futuristic ballads hang from his guitar by their most hypnotizing feature: Supercave’s whimsical, definitive hum. Such a name invites an inquisitive listener, naturally. 

Stream: James Supercave - “The Right Thing” 


The Preatures 

For fans of Haim, Fleetwood Mac 

From: Sydney,Australia

Why we’re watching: This Aussie quintet can back the zesty, hooky pop of the late 70s and 80s with an aptly modern vibe. Not only could and does their EP stand alone as dance music for the past three decades, respectively, it’s also the hooky dream stuff remixes are born from today.

Stream: The Preatures - “Is This How You Feel?”



For fans of Prince, Blood Orange 

From: UK

Why we’re watching: The band sports a Madagascar-themed profile pic and funky, simmering hooks of the best kind. They may only have less than 15,000 fans on Facebook, but their songs and videos are making impressive laps round the Internet as we speak.

Watch their video for “Busy Earnin’” 



For fans of alt-j, Foals 

From: UK

Why we’re watching: Like walking a tightrope - that is Kins on musicianship. It’s those intense details of the spectacle that suck you in immediately, and soon enough it’s a total eclipse. Needless to say, this is a band heavily invested in their live craft. Frontman Thom Savage’s voice is also one that’s hard to erase from your head if you’ve listened to it long enough.

Stream: Kins - “Mokasin’s”


De Lux 

For fans of Daft Punk, Hot Chip

From: Los Angeles

Why we’re watching: Sean Guerin’s and Isaac Franco’s appreciation of disco-era nuances played out heavily in an eye-catching, ear-hugging debut EP last November. The team played all of the instruments themselves, foreshadowing excellent live shows. 

Stream De Lux’s self-titled EP below. 



For fans of Classixx, AlunaGeorge 

From: Los Angeles

Why we’re watching: Producer Josh Legg has a string of singles and remixes that mark him as a young wizard of coaxing feel-good music to its ethereal potential. That is, his weightless songs makes you feel as though you’re shopping on a beach somewhere tropical and warm. 

Stream: Goldroom - “Embrace”


Photo: Robin Murray

Glass Animals

For fans of Rhye, Django Django 

From: UK

Why we’re watching: What happens when a pre-med student who’s spent a lot of time poring over science textbooks decides to make music? Something quite like Glass Animals. The band has released a feast of subliminal, richly weird singles tinged with a weirdly tropical feel.

Watch Glass Animals - “Psylla”


Great Good Fine Ok

For fans of How To Dress Well, Autre Ne Veut 

From: Brooklyn

Why we’re watching: The mysterious team behind last year’s unmistakable single “You’re The One For Me” is making their SXSW debut this year - and we’ve got the scoop later this week. 

Watch: Great Good Fine OK - “You’re The One For Me” 


Future Islands

For fans of New Order, The Dismemberment Plan 

From: Baltimore

Why we’re watching: The group swiveled all of late night nation’s attention upon itself last week with their epic debut on Letterman, which gave rise to an equally epic meme. This is all a sidenote to the band’s excellent live show which they’ve spent years perfecting. 

Watch the Letterman performance



For fans of The National

From: Los Angeles

Why we’re watching: because any band that remotely reminds us of The National and pays homage to their hometown music joints in music videos deserves a nod of approval. 

Watch: NO - “Leave The Door Wide Open” 

NO - Leave The Door Wide Open [Official Video] from Arts & Crafts on Vimeo.


The Orwells

For fans of Cloud Nothings, Ty Segall Band

From: Chicago

Why we’re watching: Because these barely legal teens (they just graduated from high school last year) have the force of TV On The Radio’s Dave Siteck with them and are already a touch rock-god famous for their Letterman appearance.

Watch: The Orwells Perform “Who Needs You” on David Letterman


Panama Wedding

For fans of Passion Pit

From: NYC

Why we’re watching: because we legitimately can’t get enough of “All Of the People,” the faultless pop single that vaulted itself onto the top of the Hype chart last year. The New York-based producer, born Peter Kirk, presents himself in the vein of RAC and Dan Croll, who he will be touring with this spring. 

Stream: Panama Wedding - “All Of The People”  

Listen to our Ones To Watch: SXSW 2014 playlist below for acts we’ll be watching this week.