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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Three acts to be sure to watch at Austin’s South by Southwest

    South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, is one of the premier music festivals of the year, where new names go to either blossom or die at the center of a white-hot spotlight that can fade away as quickly as it appeared. Out of the crop of bands that flock to Austin every year, some beat the 15 seconds of fame and rise out of obscurity and others also revive their careers by pandering to a crowd of eager listeners. This year, we’re lucky to have bands that will do both. If you’re going to keep your eye on a few bands in this massive musical foray, these are the three artists to watch for:

    Races

    Races’ expansive sound delves into chillwave, folk and pop — and the band looks great while doing it with a new indie hottie. Sonically, the Los Angeles six-piece is a hipster’s wet dream and the claustrophobia-inducing video for the first single “Big Broom” is a spectacle that’s simply fun to watch (and the blogosphere noticed). Incorporating striking visuals with Wade Ryff’s distinct vocal qualities will help Races to leave a mark in a field saturated with indie bands.

    FIDLAR

    Equal elements punk and surf, FIDLAR’s bouncy and raw sound helps the band shine brightly in a usually subdued mix of artists. FIDLAR’s reputation for violent live shows is sure to cause a stir among a SXSW crowd chock-full of industry representatives. But the lyrical content is infinitely catchy while being simple and burned-out, ploying for the skater-stoner-drunkard crowd. The band embodies an R-rated carefree nature. Right now Los Angeles is eagerly awaiting its full length follow-up to its DIYDUI EP, but with its SXSW debut, the rest of the country should soon be as well.

    John Mayer

    It’s been three full years since Mayer’s “Battle Studies,” in which he changed his musical direction to a fusion between his pop roots and a blues-inspired sound. This year marks Mayer’s first showcase at SXSW in 12 years, a marker of the artist’s devout tendency to switch his sound up with every album when the public seemingly has him pigeonholed. Based on recent interviews and the release of his latest single “Shadow Days,” the guitar god is devolving in the best way he can. Freeing up instrumentation, placing vocals higher in his mixes, and incorporating slide guitar and an organ into his first single denote a shift to a down-home axiom rather than deliver another batch of polished pop songs.

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