the practice of casually mentioning the names of famous people one knows or claims to know in order to impress others.
SXSW finally returns to Austin, Texas this March after being one of the first major international festivals to cancel in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
SXSW 2022 signals the beginning of an important and exciting new era for live music. Heading to Austin, here are the new international names leading the way in the long-awaited resurgence of live music.
If you’re looking for the next act that will headline major UK festivals in the footsteps of The 1975, it’s South London 4-piece Talk Show. The new wave punks are at the forefront of London’s bubbling guitar scene. There’s no band going harder than Talk Show right now. Charismatic frontman Harrison Swann offers up an exhilarating performance with his star-like swagger. They are already making their mark on the international scene after playing to a packed out room at Pitchfork Paris 2021.
Formed in late 2018, Bristol-based-surfy-punk-trio Grandmas House are one of the most exciting new acts to emerge from the South West. Don’t be fooled by the innocent band name, Yasmin, Poppy and Zoë make mean music that means business.
Representing the LGBTQ+ community, Lauren Auder is a vital addition to the SXSW 2022 line up. After publicly coming out as trans, Lauren went on to release ‘5 Songs For The Dysphoric’ EP in 2021, which features a stunning collaboration with Celeste.
Hot UK pop band KAWALA have already made an impression on the UK festival circuit. KAWALA’s easy-going attitude and dreamy dance moves made them a highlight of the Main Stage at Latitude 2021. ‘Better With You’, the band’s debut album, lands this March via EMI.
Norwegian art-deco indie rockers Pom Poko will make their long-awaited SXSW debut in 2022. After headlining festivals in their native country, Pom Poko quickly became BBC Radio 6 Music favourites, selling out London venue Scala on their 2019 run.
Of course the debut release on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records is going to make an impression. Claud’s ‘Super Monster’ record is one every LGBTQ+ kid needed growing up.
Returning from a US tour supporting Dirty Hit label mate beabadoobe, BLACKSTARKIDS are making their way to SXSW with music from their new album ‘Puppies Forever’.
Yard Act need no introduction and are one of the hottest name drops on this list. Representing Leeds, the fast-rising rock band recently scored a UK number two with their impressive debut album ‘The Overload’. They make their debut on the international festival circuit this year. Not to be missed.
Cool girls Nova Twins have the superpower to convert any listener into a fan. Their pioneering sound is picking up lots of radio play in the UK. Throwing out the rule book, Nova Twins are the fearless misfits blazing a trail for heavy alt-rock.
With lyrics rooted in realism and melodies that soar above the sky, Liverpool duo King Hannah bring their beautiful drama to SXSW 2022.
Born out of Vernon, Canada, with influences like Phoenix, Glass Animals and Portugal the Man., trio Daysormay are ones to watch with their alternative take on production.
Amsterdam-based Pip Blom quickly grew from small pubs to the European festival circuit with their energetic, catchy and melodic indie bops. New album ‘Welcome Break’, released via Heavenly Recordings on October 8, is a pretty perfect record that shows Blom’s penchant for storytelling.
From The Isle Of Wight, infectious 4-piece Coach Party made it onto our ’22 for 2022′ future festival headliners list after hearing their debut 6-track EP, ‘Party Food’. Latest single ‘FLAG (Feel Like A Girl)’ is a riotous festival anthem that sets Coach Party on a vital narrative.
MANE is Paige Court, a new voice from Australia.
Another exciting new band on the UK’s bubbling alt-rock scene. Low Hummer are 6 ‘skint Northerners’ from Hull. Low Hummer’s no thrills punk tells stories from a town left behind.
New York trio Sunflower Bean planted a seed with their gorgeous 2020 single ‘Moment In The Sun’. 2022 sees Sunflower Bean about to bloom.
20-year-old New Zealand born and London based singer Molly Payton has a sound that’s way beyond her years. With nods to Sharon Van Etten and Jeff Buckley, Molly is a true rockstar. Starting out as a singer/songwriter, Molly’s sound is ever-expanding and she now writes with her band in mind. ‘While We’re Driving’, the last track on her introspective mini-album ‘Slack’, is a shimmering taste of what’s to come next.
US duo Boyish was formed by India Shore and Claire Altendahl in 2016. After experimenting with alt-country, Boyish have finally found their own authentic sound. Released in February 2020, ‘We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution’ is an EP that reflects on heartbreak, family drama, queerness and the apocalypse.
Van Mary are serving up mid-90s girl grunge.
Once an earnest indie singer with Slow Club, Rebecca Taylor brings her new found fame and glamour to the streets of Austin, making her SXSW debut as popstar Self Esteem.
A flavourful name drop. Serra, Agustina, Josefine and Nic hail from different parts of the world but met via all-night house parties, or through friends, in London. Los Bitchos are conquering the world with their flamboyant sound and playful attitude. You can rely on Los Bitchos to bring the party to SXSW.
Get ready for the Wet Leg hysteria to sweep SXSW 2022 as Rhian and Hester arrive in Austin following their US headline tour. Newly signed to Domino, Wet Leg are the most exciting sound to come out of the UK in recent years.
Too wonky to fit a box, jackie is singer-songwriter Jackie Mohr, guitarist Marc Girardin and dummer Max Trefler. The unsuspecting trio from Toronto refer to themselves as the ‘black sheep’ of new music. It shouldn’t work, but it does.
From the UK, Polydor’s future festival headliner Baby Queen, aka Bella Latham, is top of the class in Gen Z “anti-pop”. The 24-year old made her debut on the UK festival scene last summer, and is ready to step up on the international stage before releasing new music later this year.
Stream the official playlist for SXSW 2022 below.
Further musical highlights and ones to watch include Lizzo, Priya Ragu, Tourist, Sinead O’Brian, Joesef, The Lathums, Weakened Friends, Hotel Lux, Film School, Teagan Johnston. Snapped Ankles, Jamie Webster, Scrounge, Mattiel, Grace Cummings, China Bears, Walt Disco, Penelope Isles, Luna Li, Sudan Archives, Calva Louise and Suzanne Vega.