Now with the dust settled, we can take a step back and remember some of the exciting new talent we saw at SXSW 2015. After all, the annual South By Southwest music festival is supposed to be about new music, right? Yes, amidst the myriad rumors, celebrity guest appearances and marquee names that showed up, there was a ton of new bands that worked hard to show the music enthusiasts on hand that they deserved to be heard. Here are some of our favorites from this year’s festival.
1. Viet Cong Live at the SPIN Party Stubb’s BBQ
Canadian band Viet Cong rocked hard at an early set at the annual SPIN Party in spite of the fact that drummer Mike Wallace had what appeared to be a broken arm.
2. Torres Live at the House of Vans
Torres–fronted by singer/guitarist Mackenzie Scott–shrieked with the wild abandon of early 90’s alt rock.
3. Tink Live at The Fader Fort
Boosted by the appearance legendary producer Timbaland, Tink demonstrated at the Fader Fort why she’s a superstar in the making (much in the vein of previous Fader Fort alum Santigold).
4. Speedy Ortiz Live at the House of Vans
Massachusetts band Speedy Ortiz fronted by singer/guitarist Sadie Dupuis played alt rock and showed with precision how solid musicianship matters as much to that genre as any other.
5. The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band Live at The Fader Fort
At an early morning charity event for MyMusicRX, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band delighted with a honky tonk stomp form of Southern blues, pickin-n’-grinnin’ fun.
6. Marina and the Diamonds Live at the YouTube Copperbank
Welsh pop singer Marina and the Diamonds warmed up the crowd for The Weeknd at the YouTube Copperbank.
7. East India Youth Live at the Under the Radar party
One-man band East India Youth brought a trance-infused electro sound to the annual Under the Radar party.
8. Courtney Barnett Live at the SPIN Party
Aussie singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett might have had the most buzz of any artist this year. This is her playing amidst the rainy afternoon conditions on Friday.