25 Austin Bands to Watch at SXSW 2014

With thousands of artists from all over the world heading to Austin to perform at South by Southwest from Tuesday, March 11th to Sunday, March 16th, 2014, planning which shows to attend can be incredibly overwhelming. Although you’ve likely already got some favorites you’re dying to see, here are some Austin acts you’ll be glad you added to your list.

If you want to see when and where they are playing during SXSW, you can click “Follow Artist” on any Band Page on Do512 to automatically have their shows added to your schedule. Follow the artist links provided below to start planning.




Dana Falconberry: Falconberry’s unique blend of folk, orchestral, and pop themes are more than beautiful. Her music is an instant pick me up, and is sure to have you smiling from the first note to the last.

Mother Falcon: With an ensemble of 17 members armed with classical instruments and the ambition to push boundaries, Mother Falcon never cease to amaze their audiences. The combinations of sounds and delicate attention to different textures created by individual instruments makes their live shows truly unique.

Shakey Graves: His one-man show has made him a hero in Austin, so much so that the Mayor of Austin gave Shakey his own local holiday. He captivates audiences with feverish finger picking and a dramatic vocal style, all while keeping time on a handmade kick drum.

Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys: Lead by Akina Adderley, the granddaughter of jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley, Akina Adderley & The Vintage Playboys reinvigorate soul, funk and R&B. Adderley’s killer onstage presence and smoky vocals are complemented perfectly by classic big band sounds.

The Octopus Project: Mixing performance art with experimental pop and rock riffs, The Octopus Project have written scores for film and played festivals like Coachella and Austin City Limits. Their live shows highlight their electronic and melodic prowess, making them a must see.

Emily Wolfe: She has spent the last year sharing stages with the likes of Bob Schneider, releasing a double-installment sophomore effort, playing sold out shows in Austin and New York City, and being hailed as one of Sundance Film Festival’s Artists to Watch. Wolfe’s versatility with both full band and acoustic aspects in her live show will keep you on your toes.

Wild Child: After being named Best Indie Band and Best Folk Band by The Austin Chronicle and working with Ben Kweller on their new album “The Runaround”, Wild Child is gearing up to take SXSW by storm. Folk Pop has never felt so right.

The Lonesome Heroes: “An institution of Austin’s psych-country scene,” The Lonesome Heroes came to life in a ‘78 Volkswagen van over the course of a 100,000 mile journey of music making across the country. Their passion for classic Country and Americana is as pervasive as their live performances are captivating.

The Eastern Sea: Originally a bedroom project of frontman Matthew Hines, The Eastern Sea has since evolved into a full band effort synonymous with beautifully crafted indie rock tunes. Their music is equal parts soothing, heart breaking and haunting, proving that beauty can come from the most painful of things.

Aisha Burns: As a violinist and singer-songwriter, Aisha Burns brings the beauty of the classical repertoire into her folk sound. Her voice is sugar sweet and her lyrics will shake you to the core.

Holy Wave: Hot off the heels of the release of their second full length album “Relax”, Holy Wave’s brand of warm, sun kissed psychedelic rock will transport you straight to chillville. Their live shows feature psychedelic oil projections provided by Pancho Vision to accompany their surf-psych sounds.

Hundred Visions: Austin indie rock quartet Hundred Visions continuously impress with engaging performances and well-crafted songs. These guys write such catchy tunes that you’ll find yourself singing along, even if you don’t know the words just yet.

The Gents: What do you get when three out of the four members of a band are actively writing songs? The equally sweet and diverse folk-rock sounds of The Gents. Their three part harmonies and energetic live show will make them an instant new favorite.

Growl: Their 2014 EP “No Years” has made Austin garage-pop newcomers Growl a band to watch. They’re not afraid to include longer interludes that hark back to classic rock, and their fearless attitude and brutally honest lyrics are sure to make a lasting impression.

Otis the Destroyer: If their two recorded releases “Lovebug” and “Gravity Something” are any indication of things to come, get ready for an all-out takeover of the Austin music scene by Otis the Destroyer.

Possessed by Paul James: A one-man folk machine with a heart of gold, Possessed by Paul James is more than just a musician. When he’s not winning over audiences with his charismatic and beautifully simple country/folk songs, you can find him teaching elementary school special education for children with intellectual disabilities. His innovative use of stringed instruments and absolute commitment to his live shows create a cathartic experience that you truly need to see for yourself.

Quiet Company: These guys have been increasingly busy in the last year. In 2013, they won a record-breaking 10 Austin Music Awards, performed at ACL Fest, and brought in a record number of fans to KGSR’s Blues on the Green. Lead by virtuoso Taylor Muse, Quiet Company is the real deal and you really should come see what all the fuss is about.

OBN III’s: The moment you hear the first note of any OBN III’s songs it becomes clear that these guys could’ve kicked as much ass in the 70’s as they do today. There are three guitarists, including a flying V. Rock and roll.

Not in the Face: While origins as a cover band might not sound like a recipe for success, Not In the Face’s debut album “Bikini” proves that if the music is great, nothing else matters. And the music, in this case, is exceptional. They have rocked ACL Fest and Fun Fun Fun Fest, and have a brand new EP produced by GGGarth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers.)

Ume: Led by the shredding guitar of Lauren Larson, power rock trio Ume has fully embraced the paradoxical nature of music to create their own colossal sound. The result is thrashing guitars, massive bass and drums, elegantly accompanied by exquisite vocal melodies.

American Sharks: Merging heavy metal with punk rock soul, American Sharks’ self-titled debut is an eardrum shattering wall of sound that provides the perfect soundtrack for bad decisions.

David Ramirez: This singer/songwriter writes unfiltered folk music that will make your heart swell. It is a testament to the simple yet eloquent power of a man and his guitar.

Amy Cook: Her latest album “Summer Skin” exemplifies her mastery of folk, rock, and pop melodies. Cook’s easy going, feel good music and powerful voice create an enveloping and stunning sound all her own.

East Cameron Folkcore: The organized madness of ten piece folk rock outfit East Cameron Folkcore blends creative energy with the ambition to make music that speaks to the masses. There is an intensity that burns throughout East Cameron Folkcore’s music that leaves a lasting and overwhelmingly positive impression.

Holiday Mountain: Living proof that unconventional sounds can move mountains. The psych-dub pop trio creates music that celebrates self-expression above all else. If those feel good vibes aren’t enough to catch your attention, their incomparable energy onstage is sure to do so.


Listen to our playlist on Spotify, which includes even more recommendations for Austin bands to watch at SXSW 2014.


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Contributed by Joseph Ovalle


4 Responses to 25 Austin Bands to Watch at SXSW 2014

  1. BJ says:

    Great list, I’ll throw four more out there. Black Pistol Fire (think Black Keys but slightly more raw), The Black and White Years (electro indie rock), Bright Light Social Hour (ok, everyone in town knows them), and The Zoltars (garage rock).

  2. Thanks for putting this list together! Always great to see our clients included on “bands to watch!” Recognizing Austin artists is great, especially when there are so many bands to choose from, so thank you!

  3. Jen says:

    In addition to the great run down you got, some worthy additions to the list are Hikes and Milezo.


    Both are SXSW official as well!

  4. […] 25 Austin Bands to Watch at SXSW 2014, including Shakey Graves, The Octopus Project, Wild Child, Hundred Visions, Growl and more. Click here to read more! […]

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