Five artists you must listen to after SXSW 2014: Future Islands, Wye Oak and more - Reverb

Five artists you must listen to after SXSW 2014: Future Islands, Wye Oak and more

If you go to South By Southwest Music Festival hoping to catch an A-list artist like Kanye or Gaga, you’re doing it wrong. SXSW is about discovery. It’s for upcoming acts to be noticed by fans, record labels and the media and for festivalgoers to find the next big thing. After a week at SXSW 2014 from March 11-16, we put together a list of five stand-out artists to watch this year.

Check out our full coverage of SXSW 2014 here.

Future Islands

Want to see a guy try to swallow his own fist on stage and beat his chest? See him hip thrust all maybe-200 pounds? Watch him sweat profusely as he dives into the crowd while singing like Dracula after a week at theater camp? Then check out synth-pop group Future Islands — it’s really not as weird as you might think. Frontman/vocalist Sam Herring is fascinating to watch on stage as he delivers a baritone that transforms into a sinister growl. And he tirelessly did so through the band’s seven sets last week at its first appearance at SXSW. The band releases its fourth album, “Singles,” on March 25.

Kishi Bashi

Though he dresses dapper and is a violin virtuoso, Kishi Bashi is an indie-rocker at heart, which is clear through his bouncing and playful music. Mixing electronics, banjo, drums and, of course, his own violin, Kishi Bashi is reserved for a bright summer morning, his bubbly vocals are a pat on the back to start your day. It’s contagious, and you’ll catch the bug with his second album, “Lightght,” which is due out on May 13.

Hospitality

Especially live, Hospitality has a relaxed complexity about its music. The Brooklyn trio makes listenable indie-pop that’s layered with complex tempo changes, hyper-literate lyrics and technical instrumentation. But even with the painstakingly precise elements, the music is never uptight — rather a charming Sunday drive with Amber Papini’s relatable vocals. The band’s unfortunately overlooked sophomore album, “Trouble” was released in January of this year through Merge Records.

Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen is a captivating musician. Her voice will croon like a country ballad, will fill with grit for a lo-fi rock track and even adopt a classic rock power of Janis Joplin. And it does so to deliver the range and emotion of her complex songs. If her packed and much-talked-about sets at SXSW are any indication, she’ll eventually be playing bigger venues in the near future. For now, catch her in an intimate setting while you can, and give her latest album, “Burn Your Fire for No Witness” (2014), a listen.

Wye Oak

Considered a folk duo after its first few releases, Wye Oak showcased a new electro-pop sound at its SXSW performances last week. The duo gave a taste of what’s to come on the upcoming album, “Shriek,” which is out on April 29. And this new direction has sweeping synth landscapes building around Jenn Wasner’s sultry vocals.

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