This week, thousands of music, film and tech specialists will be descending on Austin for this years South By Southwest (SXSW). The annual conglomerate of music, tech and film is an iconic global event. In the build up to SXSW, using online music scouting platform TalentAI, we are giving you our tips on the must-see artists playing at this years event.
SXSW 2017 featured over 2,000 artists, representing 63 countries, many of whom have gone on to have a very successful breakthrough year. The likes of Sigrid, Maggie Rogers and Sundara Karma passed through Austin last year, with Sigrid winning BBC Music Sound of 2018 Award.
Here are the 5 must-see female artists, selected by TalentAI.
Quirky art-pop outfit Superorganism broke the internet in early last year, when they leaked their debut single and... very little else. ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’ became one of the most hyped tracks of 2017, picking up over 7 million streams and 14 million playlist followers (TalentAI), despite no one knowing much about the supergroup. The band are made up of eight members including vocalist Orono, a 17-year-old Japanese woman from Maine. The rest of the band reside in the UK, where the band have set up base in an East-London flat, which doubles up as their recording studio.
In early January 2018, the band released “Everybody Wants To Be Famous”, before announcing their self-titled debut album, which was released Friday 2nd March. With unique glitchy samples, 90s soundscapes, pop choruses and a super flexible composition, the band have released one of the most DIY records of the year. They are playing headline dates in the UK prior to their trip to Austin, Texas.
Goat Girl have been touted as the revivalists of guitar rock south of the Thames. Having played within a tight-knit gig circle with bands like Shame, Fat White Family and Horsey, enjoying the expression and freedom it provided them with, the band started to think beyond the realms of comfort in terms of their recording.
The band are set to release their self-titled debut album later this year, produced by Dan Carey (Franz Ferdinand, Bat For Lashes, The Kills), who has helped the band tackle their goal to write and record in a raw-to-tape form. Lead single, ‘The Man’ is a sarcastic garage punk earworm, with a sing-along chorus and serious live potential. It has generated the band 716,000 artist playlist followers and 175,000 streams since it’s release (TalentAI). They play Seven Grand at SXSW on 14th March.
Liza Anne has kicked off 2018 by fighting her way to the top of the Talent AI charts. The Nashville-via-Georgia singer-songwriter has enjoyed features on Your Favourite Coffeehouse, Infinite Acoustic and Acoustic Love with ‘Small Talks’ and ‘I’m Tired, You’re Lonely’, pushing her total artist playlist followers to over 20 million (TalentAI).
An easy-listening indie-rock critique of dull connections and conversations, her third single Small Talks, is taken from her upcoming album ‘Fine But Dying’, out in March via Arts & Crafts. Lines like “the older I get the harder it gets / Maybe I’m fine, maybe I’m dying / I’m just tired, tired of trying” are examples of her smart lyricism. The album was recorded in Paris, co-produced alongside Zachary Dyke at La Frette studios. You can hear Liza play tracks from her new album at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop on 14th March.
Jade Bird is showing potential to be one of the most exciting lyricists in the UK. From Hexham and currently based in London, the singer-songwriter has enjoyed success with the release of ‘Lottery’, the follow up single to her critically acclaimed ‘Something American EP’.
“You used to tell me that / Love is a lottery / And you got your numbers / And you're betting on me”
A two and a half minute play on numbers, the single is a rugged and brash indie-rock affair, a style that Jade completely owns for the duration of the track. Following the release of Lottery, Jade is now featured on 66 Spotify playlists, giving her a total playlist following of over 12 million and direct following of 9,350, a 5% increase on last week (TalentAI).
With her debut album dropping by early 2019, Jade is an artist to keep tabs on and is well worth catching at Elysium on March 13th.
After scrapping the release of her sophomore album following the 2016 US Election, Natalie Prasshas returned this year, announcing a new official release date, alongside new single “Short Court Style”.
“I needed to make an album that was going to get me out of my funk, one that would hopefully lift other people out of theirs, too, because that's what music is all about,” Prass explained.
Her self-titled debut record captured hearts, but had a lot of Disney pop comparisons. New single “Short Court Style” steps away from that sound, showing off her distinctive tones, with a funked up romantic piece of easy listening pop. Since the release “Short Court Style” and the announcement of her new record, Prass’ has enjoyed a over 200,000 streams, generating 5.5 million track followers, with features on 24 playlists including New Music Friday (TalentAI).
Check back here throughout the week as we reveal our guide to the must-see acts at SXSW 2018.