Editor’s note: This is the third post in a series covering the best talent at the fest. Listen to these artists-to-watch now, and get them on your festival schedule for March. This selection of must-see acts comes from @SXSWISLIFE.
Years & Years
Years & Years is an English electronica trio founded in London, England. Their music has been described as electro pop, R&B and ’90s house elements with Flying Lotus, Diplo, and Radiohead being their core influences. They have been crowned the winners of BBC’s “Sound of 2015”.
Girlpool is Los Angeles-based Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad. The two piece, avant-garde punk rock gals met as teenagers at a local DIY venue, and became fast friends. With just a electric guitar, a bass, and vocal harmonizing, their stripped down sound makes it easy to understand their message.
The daughter of Ethiopian parents, Kelela Mizanekristos is a singer based in Los Angeles. She sings futurist love songs and says her music is “not just weird, it’s deliberately off-putting.” Her sound is described as ’90s soul, RnB, and electronica.
The Philly-area-born duo, fueled by Samantha Gongol’s sultry, sensual voice, have something remarkably unique, mixing hard-hitting, minimal beats with the saxophone. If Ella Fitzgerald and James Blake somehow had a baby — that lovechild would be Marian Hill.
JPNSGRLS (pronounced “Japanese Girls”) are a punk rock band from Vancouver, Canada. “Our music is inspired by fun,” says drummer Graham Serl. “We have such a good time playing our songs loud and fast. We get sweaty and get people dancing.”
Kate Boy is an electro-pop trio (sometimes quartet) based in Stockholm, Sweden. With rumbling bass, pounding electro and bone-shaking vocals, the sound of Kate Boy is truly arriving. With comparisons to The Knife — and an album well on the way — 2015 will likely be the year for them.
Run The Jewels
Run the Jewels is an NYC-based hip hop duo, formed in 2013 by rapper & producer El-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike. “We’re a group comprised of two dudes who met at crossroads, who had come out of crossroads deciding to go out and hunt and kill,” says El-P. “When we met, we had both individually decided we were going to go for ours. Like, no more playing around.”
Meeting each other by chance within the Portland music scene, Electro-pop duo Priory uses a synonym for “monastery” as its name, but don’t assume that Brandon Rush and Kyle Sears are religious. Priory’s sound is a bit of honest vocal harmonies, a dash of dirty folk-rock, and a pinch of casiotone.
Raeen Roes Wilson, aka Angel Haze, is an American rapper and singer signed to Universal Republic and Island Records. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, and currently resides in Manhattan, New York. When she was asked her goal as a rapper, she replies, “I want to make people feel connected. I want to tell a story – everybody’s story”.
Ryn Weaver is an American Synth-pop singer-songwriter from San Diego, California. Her first single “Octahate” received acclaim from Charli XCX, Hayley Williams, and Jessie Ware. Her currently untitled debut full length is do out later this year — she is definitely one to watch.
You can hear all these ‘Must See Artists’ and many more here, and listen to the full playlist of festival artists here. For your partying needs, check out the #SXturnt playlist. Need help figuring out your festival party schedule? Sign up for RSVPster and we’ll handle RSVP’ing you to unofficial SX parties and events.