SXSW 2015: Five Artists To Watch

SXSW Music kicks off in a few days and marks the festival’s 28th year running. Over the last decade we’ve all seen the festival surge to massive numbers of attendees and performers. As always, there’s tons of acts, both new and established, coming to town to hear and be heard. Here’s five buzzing artists to watch that are sure to breakout in the year ahead.


Kevin Garrett

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Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Kevin Garrett possesses a sage sophistication beyond his 23 years. His arresting singles “Coloring” and “Control” emanate a discerning vulnerability paired with gauzy instrumentals. Garrett’s already shared the stage with James Vincent McMorrow, Emily King, Norah Jones, Maps & Atlases and more. “Coloring,” charted on Spotifyʼs Viral 50 list and the singer is one of this year’s New Music Seminar’s ‘Artist On The Verge’ Top 100 chart. Oh and he hasn’t even released his debut EP yet. Just wait until he does.

Kevin Garrett performs at ASCAP’s The Tipping Point showcase on March 20th at The Victorian Room of The Driskill Hotel.


Sunflower Bean

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Dreamy lo-fi trio Sunflower Bean are on a crusade to revitalize rock ‘n’ roll. Clearly these New Yorker’s aren’t afraid of a challenge. While computerized music and streams continue to rise, Sunflower Bean savors doing things the old-fashioned way as evident in their raw, edgy sound. The band’s influences run the gamut ranging from Black Sabbath to Tame Impala (they even named a song after the guys). In fact, “Tame Impala” is included in NPR’s 100 Songs By Artists To Discover at SXSW 2015

Lead singer Julia Cumming turns heads for her lustrous vocals and her striking look – designer Hedi Slimane made her the face of Saint Laurent. With the release of their debut EP Show Me Your Seven Secrets at the start of this year, expect to see Cumming and Sunflower Bean’s faces a lot more.

Keep an eye on Sunflower Bean’s Facebook for SXSW show announcements.


Meg Mac

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Combining blues and pop, Australian singer Meg Mac creates a mesmerizing sound. Inspired by Motown, Mac’s powerful ballads sound simultaneously timeless and invigoratingly fresh. Think Adele meets Lucius.

More than being one to watch, Meg Mac is a force to be reckoned with. Her adept lyricism emanates on the gut-wrenching “Every Lie” and the steadfast “Roll Up Your Sleeves.” Mac’s received an overwhelming response to the singles and she has yet to release an EP, but that’s about to change.

Meg Mac just signed a record deal with 300 Entertainment. She’s the latest recipient of the Triple J Unearthed award and is nominated for the Rolling Stone Awards ‘Best New Talent.’ So yeah, you could say Meg Mac is one to watch.

See where she’ll be during SXSW here.


The Delta Riggs

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The Delta Riggs produce infectious rock ‘n’ roll just as it should be. Blending blues and psychedelic influences, the Aussies’ big, bold sound has loads of soul and swagger. Not only is their sound down pat, they ‘ve got style to boot. To see what I mean check out their amazing cover of “Gooey” by Glass Animals on Triple J’s Like A Version.

Crowned the Live Act of The Year by Rolling Stone Australia’s, The Delta Riggs are one band you’ll want to see in action. Catch them at these SXSW events.


Jacco Gardner

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“Find yourself now, in the shade” with the lush sounds of Jacco Gardner. The singer’s sunny, mystical lead single “Find Yourself,” begs for repeat listens while gazing at the sky in a meditative daydream.

Sending listeners into a trance is exactly what the Dutch singer intends on his new LP Hypnophobia, out May 4th. As his press release states, “Gardner’s all set to cast a majestic and vibrant psychedelic spell that will hypnotize listeners at the point dreams and reality meet.”

Find yourself hypnotized by Gardner when he takes over SXSW with over 10 showcases scheduled.


Written for and reposted from Citygram’s SXSW March 2015 issue. Gillian Driscoll is Citygram’s Music Correspondent. 

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