10 Artists to Watch from SXSW 2017

There are over 15oo bands that played SXSW 2017, and while we tried mightily to see all of them, we’re not super humans. We did see a ton of great bands, though, so many that it was a struggle to narrow down our very favorites. These ten are the ones that we’re sure you’ll be hearing about long after the hangovers subside and the sleep we missed is made up. Check out our 10 favorite new artists from SXSW 2017 below and be sure to see them whenever they play a club near you.



Disregarding the fact that Overcoats are churning out some pretty incredible recorded material, their live rapport and stage presence probably would have won me over either way. As they charge through one catchy pop track after another, employing synchronized dance moves along the way, it’s clear that they both a) like each other and b) have a blast performing together. That genuine display of fun and excitement is infectious, and I couldn’t turn away. — Lauren McKinney

Otoboke Beaver

Japanese punk rockers Otoboke Beaver put on one of the most energetic, surprising shows at SXSW. Playing to a packed crowd at Maggie Mae’s the trio bursted with energy and viciousness that made the bar feel like an arena. It was hands down one of the most fun sets that I witnessed. — Hannah Angst

Jay Som

It was a given going in that Jay Som would come out of SXSW as one of the winners. The exceptional album Everybody Wants is a great base to start on, but the real reason that the new artist came out of Austin as one of the most talked about new talents was because of how engaging her shows were. It’s hard to rise above the noise, but Jay Som soared above it. — Hannah Angst


The two times I saw Vagabon, she was plagued with sound issues. It’s not a rare occurrence in Austin, though it normally is enough to throw even the most veteran performer off their guard. Vagabon handled it all like a seasoned pro – continuing to deliver her emotionally resonant and powerful songs. — Hannah Angst

Jamila Woods

Jamila Woods is one of the most soulful, natural performers I’ve seen in a long, long while. She lit up the Pitchfork Day party, turning the sun doused lawn into a steamy club. Her songs have a bite and darkness to them that can be betrayed by the show, but for those who are really listening, it’s an exceptional experience. — Hannah Angst

Snail Mail

There’s a lot of lo-fi, jangling rock in the world right now but not much of it is as good as Snail Mail. The band’s secret weapon is the voice and songwriting of lead singer Lindsey Jordan, who is younger than 20 but sounds much, much more mature. Snail Mail is sure to be one of the biggest breakouts of SXSW ’17. — Hannah Angst

Middle Kids

Middle Kids were on a short list of bands that I absolutely needed to catch while in Austin — it turns out that was for very good reason. Their deeply honest songwriting and steady-handed energy are beautifully apparent on stage, and the richness of their self-titled EP managed to shine through (even with the rush of a shitty SXSW-style soundcheck). — Lauren


I’m pretty sure that SXSW wasn’t the optimal time to experience a Noname set. The crowd’s lackadaisical approach, slowed by a potentially drunk or hungover stupor, didn’t come close to matching the energy coming from the stage. Or talent. Or charisma. Her willingness to try, though — to at least call out the people too cool to play along — was a breath of fresh air. I can’t wait to see her again. — Lauren McKinney

Maggie Rodgers

There’s no denying that Maggie Roggers has churned out some impressive tracks recently. Going into SXSW, though, I was curious whether that would translate well live — the electronics might fall flat, the catchiness of the songs lost in a haze of poor production (not saying that would necessarily be her fault). Thankfully, though, that wasn’t the case. The songs, which I already loved, sounded great and were a blast to see live. — Lauren McKinney


Hiccup are, to put it simply, a damn fun band to watch. Listening to the songs feels like tumbling down a rabbit hole into pop punk euphoria. It’s dizzying, it’s exciting and it leaves you wondering where the hell you are. Not a bad form of escapism after a long day. — Lauren McKinney

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