In spite of winter’s persistent grasp, we’re just as excited as the rest of country to break out our warm weather regalia and prepare for festival season — which is fast approaching. First on our list is Austin’s South by Southwest, which will commence Friday. With a mind-bending slew of bands and venues, we were hard-pressed to boil it down to just a few faves, but out of the many, we decided there’s definitely a top five we would love to see live this year.
There’s something about the Los Angeles band Warpaint. Their ethereal and moody eponymous release last year continues to reach an ever-rising fan base, and something tells us they put on a great live show. Not to be outdone in any stylistic sense, the always intriguing St. Vincent — who began her musical career with the experimental choral group The Polyphonic Spree, a band discovered at a previous SXSW festival — also just released a new album last month.
Rounding out our list are two duos with distinct sound: Electro-rock pair Phantogram and Baltimore-based, distortion-friendly folk performers, Wye Oak. While one brings heavy synths and hook-happy beats, the other offers driving chords — there’s something for everyone. With their mellow sound perfect for the festival set, our last band on the list, Quilt, is one we’re excited to watch. The band met as art students in Massachusetts in the late 2000s, but decided sonic experimentation was their next medium. We’ve arranged our extended playlist with other artists we’re anticipating in this year’s line-up. Take a listen and tell us what you think!