Our annual pilgrimage to Austin for the SXSW Music Conference is always an exciting adventure for us, made more exciting by the fact that we get to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite bands. All of the bands appearing on our lineup this year have exciting new music, released recently or forthcoming.
Also, interestingly enough, there are two sibling-led bands, two groups from Australia, and two young artists from the UK that we think are really promising. Can you guess which ones??
Without further ado, here is what we have planned. Join us if you will be in Austin! (Check out our Spotify sampler)
KCRW Showcases at SXSW
Wednesday, March 13 – DAY
3-6pm – Convention Center (Radio Day Stage)
Devendra Banhart ** Jake Bugg ** BOY
Wednesday, March 13 – NIGHT
8pm-2am – Haven
Toro y Moi * Atlas Genius* Ra Ra Riot
Flight Facilities * Tom Odell* Wild Belle
**These are official showcases open to anyone with a festival badge or wristband.**
On Wed, March 13 KCRW takes over the Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center, which has some of the best sound in the city, from 3-6pm.
Singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart returns with his 8th studio album (his first for Nonesuch), out the day before the showcase. His gypsy-folk sound and always intriguing lyrics are intact on the two tracks we’ve heard so far, including “Never Seen Such Good Things”.
UK sensation Jake Bugg will be making his Morning Becomes Eclectic debut on February 20 and we have high hopes for this young singer. DJ Travis Holcombe says he has the “nasal-toned twang of Woody Guthrie and pop sensibility of Donovan“.
German duo BOY — Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass — will be touring the U.S. for the first time this year and a handful of their shows are already sold out! This will be their SXSW debut. They specialize in heartfelt pop.
On Wednesday night, we return to Haven for a night of KCRW favorites, including the most played artist at the station right now, Toro y Moi, who continues to produce beat-driven compositions that are rife with emotion. As DJ Garth Trinidad says, “we really dig his sound. It’s evolving, it’s never stagnant and its really beautiful. He’s adept at melody and composition that is really evocative.”
Brother-led Aussie band Atlas Genius burst on the scene with the pop hit “Trojans” and really impressed us with their live performance on MBE. Danceable pop!
Indie stalwarts Ra Ra Riot have shifted gears on their new album “Beta Love”, full of songs with a soulful electronic R&B pulse. They’ll join us on MBE for a Valentine’s Day set
UK newcomer Tom Odell is a powerful singer who’s getting early comparisons to Chris Martins of Coldplay. He’s set to release his debut in early April and we’ll get a peek at what’s to come in Austin.
Chicago-based siblings Wild Belle make expertly crafted, groovy dream-pop. We’re excited for their debut, out the day before our showcase. They’re touring the U.S. with Toro y Moi this month!
Australian indie electro duo Flight Facilities will be joined by a special live vocalist and will close the evening with a dance party. We’re big fans of the songs we’ve heard so far and look forward to their forthcoming release on Glassnote Music, the label home of Phoenix, Mumford and Sons, and Two Door Cinema Club.
KCRW is also sponsoring Filter Magazine’s Showdown at Cedar Street showcases, which are open to the public. RSVP here and GET THERE EARLY!