Five Bands Poised to Break Out of SXSW 2013

A band in Austin walking to a SXSW gig. Photo: Roger Kisby/Getty Images

Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings

Next week, thousands of music-industry wonks (us included!) will descend upon Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest music festival for six days of beer, BBQ and bands. Per usual, there’s an overwhelming number of bands to choose from. Luckily Hive has narrowed down the list from hundreds of wannabe Next Big Things to these acts poised to break out at this year’s fest. Which means, come July you’ll still be spinning tunes from them. See our top choices below.

1. Bleached

Los Angeles-based sister duo Bleached showcases its sibling love in the best way possible — via catchy ‘70s punk tunes that sound straight out of the garage. Like the Vivian Girls, sisters Jennifer and Jessie Calvin create melodic punk ditties that are as raw as they are memorable. Though Bleached has been around since 2010 after the sisters’ previous band, Mika Miko, dissolved, buzz around the girls is finally coming to a head as the duo prepares to release its Dead Oceans debut, Ride Your Heart, in April.

2. HAIM

Another sister act from Los Angeles, trio HAIM pairs ‘70s-style classic rock with ‘90s R&B synth beats. It’s a combination that makes Este, Danielle and Alana Haim tough to ignore. Though the sisters have spent most of their lives in the music business — all playing in a family band and Danielle touring with the likes of Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablancas — the group’s 2012 EP, Forever, showcases the sisters in a new light. HAIM’s newest song, “Falling,” is not unlike hippies meeting En Vogue. Intrigued? We thought so.

3. Reptile Youth

You’ve been warned: the dudes in Reptile Youth know how to put on one helluva live show. The Danish electro-pop duo made its first stop stateside this past fall, and the group of Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen and Esben Valløeis is back to turn Austin into one big mess of a dance party. Reptile Youth’s slick, catchy pop combined with its rowdy live sets make it one of Europe’s best little-known gems.

4. Bastille

London’s Bastille has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a solo project for frontman Dan Smith. Case in point: Bastille’s latest offering, “Pompeii,” off the group’s forthcoming album, finds the band sonically at its most experimental, with Smith’s melodic vocals soaring over jungle chants and a pulsating beat. The song is already such a hit in Europe, it’s battling Justin Timberlake for the number-one spot on the U.K. charts—and for good reason.

5. Chvrches

In what could be viewed as Glasgow’s answer to the Knife, Scottish trio Chvrches craft songs as heavily steeped in electronic beats as they are in sticky-sweet pop choruses. It’s electro-pop of the finest caliber, highlighted in songs like “The Mother We Share” and “Recover.” Although the group of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty only has a small sampling of its offerings out thus far, we can only hope, and know, there’s plenty more where that came from.

 

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