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SXSW 2013 is over. This year, we may have outdone ourselves. For our 2013 coverage we reviewed a whopping 89 shows. That’s right, eight of us ran all around Austin for five days until we were all so tired we could barely stand. In this, our sixth time ranking the best acts we saw at SXSW 2013, we were powerfully reminded how the South by Southwest Music Festival is the best collection of music talent on Earth. In 2012 we picked Santigold as Best New Artist. In 2011, it was Odd Future who delivered the eye-opening goods. The Sleepy Sun blew us away in 2010. And in 2009, Akron/Family were the heart-warming center of the universe. This year, reality lived up to the hype and our team universally championed Haim as the best new act. The rest of our Best New Artist section is an impressive demonstration of stellar female-fronted rock bands. It’s safe to say the girls owned SXSW 2013. On the Best Established Artist side, two killer collaborations took us totally by surprise. One, the believable pairing of Amanda Palmer with Billy Bragg, the other a “WTF?” collaboration between The Afghan Whigs and Usher at the Fader Fort. Seeing was believing, and stepping up to prove their respective talent paid off tremendously for them all. Until next year, here are mxdwn’s Top 5 Best New Artists and Top 5 Established Artists of SXSW 2013.
Best New Artist
3. IO Echo
4. Icona Pop
Best Established Artist
The Joy Formidable, IO Echo, Bleeding Rainbow, Billy Bragg and Amanda Palmer, Usher and the Afghan Whigs, The Smashing Pumpkins and Yeah Yeah Yeahs photos by Raymond Flotat
Icona Pop and The Flaming Lips photos by April Siese