New Music from the Best Bands I Saw at SXSW 2024

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    New Music from the Best Bands I Saw at SXSW 2024
    Published: March 22, 2024

    The Vices from the Netherlands. Featuring genuine vintage 1973 Stratocaster.

    SXSW was a great experience for me, in a lot of different ways. One huge part of that, before I get to my main review of the week, was all the new artists I discovered. A lot of those artists had just released music during their time at SXSW. Every time a good band mentioned having new music, I wrote it down. I’ve gathered all of that here, and will be including these on our New Music Radar Spotify Playlist update this week.

    Of course, there are also some artists you may have heard of in here. Especially Faye Webster, who was rad as expected. I’ve put them in alphabetical order, along with a brief introduction to each artist.

    SXSW is a lot to capture in just one article, so I figured I’d try my best to split it up. This is the musical prelude to my personal point of view story, which will arrive when I finish writing it. I didn’t add any photos because, A. I’m not a good photographer and B. I haven’t gone through the pics I did take yet.

    Anyway, enjoy some tunes!

    P.S. – Also check out the notes I took during the festival on our forum.

    Alec Meza – “PAPERBOY!”

    Alec Meza came highly recommended from my friend Gab Natali who works for BMI. He performed at the BMI showcase at the Yeti Store just across the river in the middle of the day, in a retail store, and he was still one of my favorite acts I saw. He’s an excellent frontman, in character the whole time, he managed to fully engage the sober midday audience. This new track “PAPERBOY!” dropped on the day of that SXSW set.

    BODEGA – “Cultural Consumer III”

    Band from NYC. I talked to this group as well and the singer/guitarist is from Columbia, SC. They’ve got a very New York sound to my ears, from the capitalist lyrical themes, and the tight instrumentation, and they really lean into it. This song dropped right after SXSW.

    I also enjoyed their song “Doers,” which is older, and one of their most popular.

    Brainstory – “Peach Optimo”

    Super awesome trio from California who I caught late night at Antone’s, after Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country. They were a perfect night cap to showcase the soundsystem at Antone’s, which to my ears is just about as good as it gets. Brainstory has a connection with Chicano Batman, and the bassist Eduardo Arenas has done some production work for them.

    Cosmo Pyke – “Low”

    Cosmo Pyke was definitely one of the best artists I saw at SXSW. It was also one of the most crowded shows I went to, which was at Seven Grand. This dude is going to be huge. It’s super unique, genre-less (when strung together live) music that pulls heavily from soul, but also includes elements of indie and hip-hop. Great example of where good popular music is heading.

    Die Spitz – Audiotree Live

    Self-explanatory. Chicks from Austin playing hardcore punk/metal. Badass As F*ck.

    Faye Webster – Underdressed at the Symphony

    Faye Webster performed Live at the Moody Theatre on the day she was on the cover of Rolling Stone. I have more words about her set, still to come, as I think I’ll do a full review of it. Her new album, Underdressed at the Symphony dropped on March 1st and it’s a really interesting listen. After several albums, she manages to make that mellow, dreamy sound unique again. With experimental timing, arrangements, and production effects such as autotune.

    “But Not Kiss” was really good live, and showcased the timing aspect of the song really well. It’s carefully pieced together and every note has to hit at the right time for it to hit live, which it did.

    Gran Moreno – “Shelby Blue”

    This song came out in October but Gran Moreno have the distinction of being the first band I saw at SXSW. They’re a Mexican brotherly duo playing pure rock & roll, sung in both English and Spanish. I had a chance to talk with them after their set and they’re both super cool dudes. Austin locals.

    Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol – “Peanut Butter Snack Sticks”

    This shit was loud. Empire Garage late night. I had a few Lone Stars in me and Rickshaw Billie and the boys delivered an insane set. Just three bros raging. Another Austin band.

    Rose Hotel – “Not Like That”

    Was glad to catch the Athens to Austin showcase at Lambert’s during SXSW. Rose Hotel is a familiar face for Extra Chill because she used to tour with SUSTO. She was traveling solo and hired a band to play with her, with minimal rehearsal or acquainting time, but she treated them like family. The vibe I caught was that’s her personality, and she could treat anyone in her band like family. Very chill and caring. She also donated her SXSW proceeds in support of Palestinian children.

    “Not Like That” was released just a couple of weeks before SXSW.

    Reyna Tropical – Conexión Ancestral

    Reyna Tropical made me cry in the middle of the afternoon during the She Shreds fundraiser at Hotel Vegas. Only artist to make me cry during SXSW. Not only is she an amazing artist, she is also the founder of She Shreds Media, a long-running women-focused organization (and former magazine). Reyna brings a powerful message fighting for the rights of indigenous people and speaks straight to the soul, while also empowering women, lesbians and the LGBTQ+ community. Even as a straight man, that crowd was really, really powerful and awesome to be a part of. Extremely talented individual.

    Spencer Thomas – “How Come Heartbreak”

    Spencer Thomas of Futurebirds is someone I ran into multiple times during SXSW, including with a group of mutual friends at Hotel Vegas on my first night in town. Real cool dude, and his set at Lambert’s had a mix of rock and more gentle tunes that painted a good picture of what he’s going for. His latest “How Come Heartbreak” has some Bruce Springsteen “Hungry Heart” vibes. And listen to that saxophone (which was not present during SXSW).

    TAUK – Equalizer

    This band plays in Charleston all the time, notably with Kanika Moore. I was glad to check them out at Empire for the jam band day. No vocals this time, just pure instrumental grooves. Their new album Equalizer (released in October) is a pretty good representation of the vibes they brought that day.

    TILT – “While We’re On It”

    Awesome up-and-coming punk band from Austin. What more can I say? Saw them at Sunny’s Backyard on a chilly Friday afternoon, followed by two bands from NYC who were not good.

    The Vices – “For My Mind (Live)” (2024)

    This band kicked ass. From the Netherlands, playing modern alternative rock with a European accent. Their stage presence was the best part about it, which unfortunately you can’t see on Spotify. Also, guitarist and lead singer Floris van Luijtelaar plays a genuine vintage 1973 Stratocaster. Rock & roll lives on. Normally a four-piece, visa issues made them a three-piece for SXSW and if you didn’t already know the band, you would have thought they were always three.

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