Artists to Catch at SXSW 2018

By Jacob Carter and Troy Vita
Assistant Music Director, Music Director :)


  • Guantanamo Baywatch
    • March 17 @ Hotel Vegas – 12:30 a.m.
    • Portland natives Guantanamo Baywatch have been dishing out mischievous surf rock since 2009, and are touring hot off their album Desert Center from summer of last year. Baywatch’s sound is sound is fuzz-drenched and spooky, what the Monster Mash would sound like if it were about a beach party.
  • Porches
    • March 14 @ Barracuda – 12:05 a.m.
    • Hailing from the New York suburb of Pleasantville, Porches makes experimental synth-pop that feels like an eccentric post-punk fan’s attempt to make a club banger (in a good way). They just released their third album The House earlier this year and they’re here to make you dance and cry.
  • Lisa LeBlanc
    • March 13 @ Bungalow – 9:00 p.m.
    • March 15 @ the Driskill – 12:00 a.m.
    • March 16 @ Swan Dive – 11:00 p.m.
    • Canadian “trash-folk” aficionado Lisa Leblanc has been quiet in terms of new releases since her last LP, 2016’s Why You Wanna Leave Runaway Queen? Brutally honest songwriting combined with pop melodies deconstructed for banjo make LeBlanc a unique presence in the singer-songwriter landscape of 2018.
  • Sh*tKid
    • March 14 @ BD Riley’s – 1:00 a.m.
    • March 16 @ Cheer Up Charlies – 8:30 p.m.
    • Scandinavian artist Sh*tKid is one of the most promising acts in DIY at the moment, combining lo-fi instrumentation and post-punk sensibilities to create music that’s as fun as it is menacing. A small but impressive discography of one LP and a handful of EPs and singles makes Sh*tKid one of this year’s artists to watch.
  • Soccer Mommy
    • March 16 @ Cheer Up Charlie’s – 9:30 p.m.
    • The Earth is Julien Baker’s world now, and we’re all just living in it. Weirdly enough, this has made room for more artists like Soccer Mommy (Sophie Allison). With 3 LPs in as many years, Allison has graced us with music that is soft in its presentation, but combative and unflinching lyrically.
  • Ratboys
    • March 15 @ Cheer Up Charlie’s – 11:45 p.m.
    • What are Ratboys? Indie-rock? Alt Country? Emo? All three? What really matters is that they just released GL, the incredible follow-up to 2017’s GN and that they’re coming to SXSW to give you their soulful, sad, and beautiful music.
  • Calliope Musicals
    • March 13 @ Central Presbyterian Church – 11:00 p.m.
    • Don’t miss the party with Austin’s own Calliope Musicals. They rock any stage you put them on with their eclectic sound and visually stunning, interactive performances. With roots in folk, psychedelia, rock and more, Calliope Musicals will take you places you never knew you wanted to go.
  • Palm
    • March 15 @ Hotel Vegas – 11:15 p.m.
    • An explosion of dueling melodies, blasts of noise, and mind-boggling time signatures marks Philadelphia band Palm’s unconventional sound. They burst out of their art-rock scene and released the 2017 EP Shadow Expert to waves of positive review. Their 2018 follow-up Rock Island just appeared and is bringing all kinds of new elements to their eccentric sound.
  • Peelander-Z
    • March 14 @ Valhalla – 1:00 a.m.
    • Peelander-Z is a Japanese punk band from New York, now based out of Austin. Think the Aquabats, but with Power Rangers instead of ska. They’re notorious for their high energy shows where they regularly bring audience members onto the stage to replace the band.
  • A Place to Bury Strangers
    • March 15 @ Barracuda – 8:50 p.m.
    • March 15 @ Hotel Vegas – 12:30 a.m.
    • March 16 @ Cheer Up Charlie’s – 1:15 a.m.
    • Post-punk outfit A Place to Bury Strangers has been dishing out reverb-heavy indie rock for just over 10 years now, making a name for themselves with their high-energy live performances. Bassist Dion Lunadon’s self-titled LP from last year showed off the garage rock influences that occasionally make their way in to Strangers’ music.
  • White Reaper
    • March 15 @ Cheer Up Charlie’s – 12:00 a.m.
    • March 17 @ Clive Bar – 9:00 p.m.
    • Every couple years or so there’s a new power pop band that sets the world on fire, and since Diarrhea Planet hasn’t had a new album since 2016, White Reaper has taken the chance to fill the void. Last year’s The World’s Best American Band was incredibly sincere in its classic rock kitsch, making for an outstanding sophomore LP from the Kentucky five-piece.
  • American Sharks
    • March 17 @ Hotel Vegas – 11:00 p.m.
    • Austin based stoner metal trio American Sharks is (antithetically) very fast. Their self-titled 2013 album was recorded in four days, and is less than 20 minutes long. Their live shows are notorious for their energy and generally high levels of sweat.
  • The Ghost Wolves
    • March 14 @ 720 Club – 11:00 p.m.
    • Lo-fi garage rock duo The Ghost Wolves are Austin DIY royalty. Recording and often performing as a two-piece highlights the band’s scrappy sound and attitude.
  • Brownout
    • March 14 @ Mohawk – 11:15 p.m.
    • One of the most accomplished Latin music groups in Austin (or anywhere), Brownout is made up of members from the Grammy-award-winning Groupo Fantasma. The group has collected three Austin Music Awards in the last three years, and has built a name for themselves in the Latin and funk music communities. They also have a Black Sabbath tribute band, if you’re into that kind of thing.
  • Caddywhompus
    • March 17 @ Sidewinder – 10:00 p.m.
    • If you’ve ever been interested in dipping your toes into math rock, Caddywhompus may be the place to start. The New Orleans duo has been combining elements of shoegaze, psych rock, post punk, and math rock for the better part of a decade, and at their live performances, the group’s technical skill shines.
  • Dwarves
    • March 17 @ Hotel Vegas – 11:45 p.m.
    • Punk legends Dwarves have been putting on chaotic live shows since the ’80s, and haven’t lost a bit of steam in the intervening years. Their new album Take Back the Night is as raucous loud as you’d expect from such a prolific group.
  • Magna Carda
    • March 16 @ Karma Lounge – 1:25 a.m.
    • Magna Carda have built a reputation for themselves as the “premiere hip-hop act” in Austin, and rightfully so. The duo’s aggressive vocals clash with laid-back funk-infused instrumentation for truly unique live performances.
  • Moving Panoramas
    • March 13 @ Cheer Up Charlie’s – 12:00 a.m.
    • Local indie darlings Moving Panoramas took the city of Austin by storm with their debut LP One in 2015. Since then they’ve been touring in and around the state, landing a spot at SXSW 2018 with fellow dream pop artists Warpaint.
  • Ohmme
    • March 15 @ BD Riley’s – 1:00 a.m.
    • Dark and complex, Ohmme’s self-titled debut album from last year was one of 2017’s sleeper hits. The Chicago duo has been honing their sound together since 2014, making a name for themselves in the Chicago indie scene.
  • White Mystery
    • March 16 @ 720 Club – 9:00 p.m.
    • It is a crime that after 10 years, eight LPs and a short film, a band as rambunctious and energetic as White Mystery is not headlining every show in North America. Above is a video of them throwing a mattress off of a patio.

Featured image via SXSW Press.


ktsw web content editor & music journalist. finding magic every day.

One thought on “Artists to Catch at SXSW 2018

  1. Don’t miss The Naked Tungs, a regular on KTSW with “Someone Else”. They are playing a SXSW showcase at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at 720 Club Patio (720 Red River St.). They’ll be featuring new material from a new EP coming out soon.

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