Music lovers, rejoice! South by Southwest is waiting in the wings to carry us into festival season with showcases scheduled day to night (March 17 – 22nd) around Austin. Before we indulge you with wardrobe ideas — we’re thinking: fringe and statement pants — allow us to take you on a tour of the noteworthy artists on our schedules. Click through now to bookmark each act, plus their standout tracks, and your earbuds will thank you.
A Michigan transplant living in a Los Angeles treehouse, BØRNS (shorthand for Garrett Borns) released his uber-catchy EP Candy last fall to eager ears. Energetic and sultry, one listen and you'll grant him a permanent spot on your Spotify queue.
Must-know track: "10,000 Emerald Pools"
Schedule Wednesday, March 18 @ 12:00AM, Parish Thursday, March 19 @ 10:00PM, Clive Bar
2. Tobias Jesso Jr.
With a sound as tall as he is, Vancouver-born singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. will pull at your heart strings through melancholic piano ballads chronicling love lost. Championed by Adele, the '70s-suggestive crooner is set to make a lasting impression at the release of his full-length album Goon on March 17th.
Must-know track: "How Could You Babe"
Schedule Friday, March 20 @ 8:30PM, Central Presbyterian Church
3. Tove Styrke
After finishing third on Swedish Idol in 2009, Tove Styrke used the show's momentum to launch her electropop career. Now 22, the seasoned artist is making a major stir under RCA Records with Robyn-reminiscent dance hits like "Borderline" and "Ego".
Must-know track: "Ego"
Schedule Friday, March 20 @ 7:45PM, St. David's Historic Sanctuary Saturday, March 21 @ 8:00PM, Hype Hotel
4. Run The Jewels
On the scene since 2013, hip hop duo Run The Jewels are touring on the heels of their smashing sophomore album, Run The Jewels 2. Equal parts explosive and explicit, this tag-team merges classic rap storytelling with a new-school sentiment.
Must-know track: "Blockbuster Night Part I"
Schedule Friday, March 20 @ 12:00AM, Cedar Street Courtyard
5. Courtney Barnett
Defined by a disobedient tone and stream-of-conscious lyrics, Aussie singer Courtney Barnett may be the perfect soundtrack to your '90s-grunge getups. Our plan? To complement lazy-girl locks and ripped jeans with her debut LP Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, slated for a March 24th release.
Must-know track: "Pedestrian At Best"
Schedule Wednesday, March 18 @ 9:50PM, Stubb's Thursday, March 19 @ 12:00AM, Cedar Street Courtyard
Singer Mandy Lee and her five misters deliver party-ready indie pop from the heart of New York City — sign us up!
Must-know track: "Hurricane"
Schedule Friday, March 20 @ 8:30PM, Stubb's
Just when we thought Zoe Kravitz couldn’t get any cooler (daughter of a rock star, muse to Alexander Wang), she brings us LOLAWOLF. Established in 2013, the three-piece band cite influences from TLC to Aaliyah and A Tribe Called Quest for a modern R&B result.
Must-know track: "Calm Down"
Schedule Wednesday, March 18 @ 8:00PM, The Gatsby Thursday, March 19 @ 9:00PM, Parish