18 Bands To See At SXSW 2018 - Oh My Rockness

Festival Guide

18 Bands To See At SXSW 2018

These buzz bands won't let you down in Austin. Go see them early and often please.

March 4, 2018

Written by Patrick McNamara

Nobody reads the intros to articles -- even their writers.

But anyway...here's a good intro for you.

Among the hundreds of musical acts going down to Texas this mid-March here are eighteen buzz bands we think you should really try to stop and see.*

*but if you don't end up seeing any of these eighteen buzz bands we think you should really try to stop and see, no big deal, it's only rock n roll and the earth will continue to spin around the sun whether or not you check out the buzz bands, you know?

Our eighteen buzz bands we think you should really try to stop and see are listed below in no particular order.

Number eighteen buzz band buzzes just as much as buzz band number one.

The alphabetical thing is just a fantastic coincidence.

In summation, nobody reads the intros.

18 Buzz Bands We Think You Should Really Try To Stop And See at SXSW 2018

1. awakebutstillinbed

awakebutstillinbed is an emoindiemathpunk band from San Jose, CA.

Think shimmer meets aggression meets sadness meets elation meets pretty melodies you can totally scream-sing along to and you just might be thinking of your new favorite crew.

If you like emoindiemathpunk (and honestly, who doesn't?) you will be a hundred times thankful you gave this good band a chance and saw them a hundredmillion times this SXSW.

Blast their excellent debut album what people call low self-esteem is really just seeing yourself the way that other people see you to get you ready.

2. Casper Skulls

Casper Skulls is a loud band from Toronto.

RIYL: Greys / Parquet Courts / Sonic Youth / Dilly Dally / Solids / The Dirty Nil

File Under: The Punk Rock

Find Casper Skulls shows during SXSW >>

3. Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus is America's Next Global Icon.

You heard it here FOURTH.

Find Lucy Dacus shows during SXSW >>

4. Doe

Doe is a punk pop* band from London.

They're noisy and sludgy and crunchy.

But you can sing along!

There's all sorts of sweet harmonies going on that build into triumphant choruses.

That's where the pop of punk pop* comes in.

RIYL: Weezer / Rainer Maria / Breeders / Charly Bliss / Veruca Salt / Good Bands

Find Doe shows during SXSW >>

5. Dr. Octagon

For questions or concerns regarding this band blurb....

Please call 1-800-pp5-1-doodoo.

I'm in your corner.

Find Dr. Octagon shows during SXSW >>

6. Girl Ray

Girl Ray is a v. chill lo-fi power pop band from London*.

Come for the jingle. Stay for the heartbreak.

Linger for the easy breezy 100% fine vibes!

Relax with their debut full-length album (via the always excellent UK label Moshi Moshi) if you like chilling with good records.

If you don't like chilling with good records, never mind. Go listen to something else.

And definitely don't go see this band play. You'll just hear more chill. And you don't like chill.


RIYL: the good jams.

Find Girl Ray shows during SXSW >>

7. La Luz

lush dreams.

cool breeze.

surfing safaris.

spaghetti westerns.

hardly art.

cicada swarms.

good band.

Find La Luz shows during SXSW >>

8. Moaning

Moaning is a fun fuzzy lo-fi band straight outta Los Angeles.

Think crunchy riffs meets noisy angularity meets the occasional synth to keep the strong melodies POPPING.

This good band recently signed to some little record label called Sub Pod (?) so that's cool.

Go see them seven thousand times this south by south by south by south by south by!

Find Moaning shows during SXSW >>

9. No Vacation

The Vacation. Vacation. Vacations. Vacationer. On Vacation. Super Vacations. Space Vacation. Basic Vacation. Cult Vacation. Death Vacation. Vacation Jason. Better stop at Vacation Jason.

These are some of the good Vacation band names we've listed on Oh My Rockness over the years.

And now comes......Brooklyn's (via San Francisco) No Vacation.

Guess what, though. There's plenty of room in your heart to love one more Vacation band!

Especially if you love good dream pop (with pretty guitar parts and plenty of emo ennui).

And who doesn't love dream pop? What are you, some kind of monster? Next thing you'll tell me you don't like vacation.


Find No Vacation shows during SXSW >>

10. Post Animal

"Steve" from Stranger Things was in this band.

I don't believe "Steve" from Stranger Things is in this band anymore.

Hope this has been helpful.

RIYL: "Steve" from Stranger Things

Find Post Animal shows during SXSW >>

11. Sammus

Sammus* is a rapper/producer from Ithaca, NY.

Is this hip hop. Is this nerdcore. Is this punk. Is this pop.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

It's also dope as hell.

RIYL: Don Giovanni / beats / flow / weirdos / forever

Find Sammus shows during SXSW >>

12. Shame

Shame is a post-punk band from London.

Think post-punk.... meets..... London..... meets.... The Fall (RIP).... meets a good band.

Go see them a hundred thousand times.

And buy this good record (via Dead Oceans) while you're at it.

Find Shame shows during SXSW >>

13. Shamir








Find Shamir shows during SXSW >>

14. Snail Mail

Indie rock jams made possible by 18-year-old wunderkind Lindsey Jordan.

Don't take your time getting to this good band's shows.

Peeps are probably already waiting in line.

You must hustle to hear this chill flow.

Find Snail Mail shows during SXSW >>

15. Soccer Mommy

Soccer Mommy (led by the super talented Sophie Allison) plays lo-fi bedroom pop soaked in melodic ennui.

This twinkles and shimmers and glows.

It puts the heart in heartbreak.

And the chill in sadness.*

*if that word was spelled chillsadness or sadchillness or sadnesschill

The band's excellent new album Clean is out now on Fat Possum.

Appreciate the ache. Love the glow.

See Soccer Mommy a million times.

Find Soccer Mommy shows during SXSW >>

16. Strange Ranger

Strange Ranger (fka Sioux Falls) is an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon (via Bozeman, Montana).

And by indie rock, I mean whatever indie rock used to mean back in, say, 1997, when everything was the best -- especially in the Pacific Northwest.

Think carefully constructed songs that slowly swirl towards something cool and congratulations you're now thinking of your new favorite band.

Strange Ranger's second full-length album Daymoon (here's the first) was recently released by Tiny Engines (one of the best independent record labels going in the opinion of this music blob) and you should listen to it ASAP below if you like listening to good albums and/or indie rock.

Take your time with this band. They'll grow on you.

RIYL: Modest Mouse (gotta go 2 work gotta go 2 work gotta have a job) * Built to Spill <-- click & watch "Lie For A Lie" from 1997 it's so dope *

Find Strange Ranger shows during SXSW >>

17. U.S. Girls

Meghan Remy and crew just scheduled three shows in one night in NYC and it looks like all three of them will sell-out.

What does this have to do with SXSW?




Find U.S. Girls shows during SXSW >>

18. Vundabar

Vundabar is a good band from Boston that plays jovial quirk punk.*

These idiosyncratic jangle jams slip, slide and glide all over the place and if you can keep up with the wonderfully erratic rhythms you shall receive your great reward in Heaven or, if that doesn't exist, right here on good old planet earth!

Come for the riffs. Stay for the surprise hairpin turns. Don't fall asleep at the wheel.

*since we're making up music genres on the fly (see: quirk punk) eccentro pop would also be an acceptable description or whatever YOU decide this goodness sounds like

Find Vundabar shows during SXSW >>


No words necessary.*

*other than these 7 words

1. no

2. words

3. necessary

4. other

5. than

6. these

7. words

Find Andrew W.K. shows during SXSW >>


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