The SXSW Music Festival is nearly upon us.  To help you sift through the thousands of bands who will be playing at Austin, we put together a handy preview guide for you of some our favorite up-and-comers!

James Blake
James Blake has been one of the most buzzed about new artists of 2010-2011 from the UK due to the release of his self titled album. A country that is way ahead of us in electronic music, James Blake has employed not only the influence of London dubstep, and broken beat, but also the melancholic influences of Joni Mitchell and the soulful styles of D’Angelo, and various other jazz influences. Between DJ sets, and his autotune heavy yet minimalist vocal ballads, Blake is going to take over SXSW this year. Blake plays at Stubb’s on the 16th, and again on the Central Prebetyrian Church on the 17th.

Chico Mann

Though not a new group, Chico Mann is a notable mention on The Revivalist list because, let’s face it, you need to be reminded (or hear it from us) that these guys are awesome. Imagine Afro-Latin/dubstep/Afrobeat/hip-hop, an explosion of very different and distinct sounds, compacted within the work of Marcos Garcia (keyboard, guitar, programming, bass), TKat (DJ), and often other contributors, like Caito Sanchez, resident rhythm purveyor and percussionist. Check them out at the Scoot Inn on the 16th AND AGAIN at the Speakeasy on the 17th.


Steve Arrington
The former lead singer from the legendary group SLAVE is back after 25 years, and this time he has the secret weapon of Dam Funk’s productions behind him. One of the most uplifting and positive singers from the hard funk days, Steve Arrington is working with the most talented roster of Stonesthrow artists to create a new breed of future funk. Check him out next week at the Stonesthrow showcase on the 16th at Kiss and Fly.





Off of the Brainfeeder roster, TOKIMONSTA is one of the most imaginative producers out there today. Her sound is boldly eclectic, but surprisingly borrowing from tradition. As one of FlyLo’s disciples, her music is so sonically expansive and hypnotizing that it’s no wonder she’s rolls with a bunch of tech heads doing similarly weird things musically that is arousing for our ears and gets us all riled up. She’s playing at the Mohawk on the 18th, and again at Beauty Bar on the 19th.





Keys and Krates

Keys and Krates are Revivalist favorites. These guys exemplify the live hip-hop band. They are not simply musicians who play hip-hop, but they are creatives who re-envision hip-hop songs completely through beat/programming machines, turntables, and live instrumentation in the most hype way imaginable. Flipping your favorite songs from artists like Biggie, you’ll go away from one of their live shows knowing exactly what I’m saying. Check them out at Paradise and again at the Beauty Bar on the 18th.





Andreya Triana
Signed to Ninja Tune, Andreya released her lush debut album earlier this year. Her warm vocals and songwriting are ideal for a quiet morning with a cup of tea. Also works while eating BBQ, sipping on a cold beer and letting the Austin warmth hit your face. Beautiful stuff. Andreya will be at Latitude 30 on March 17th.





Fronted by the indelibly charming vocalist Ragen Fykes and backed by the Bay’s go-to rhythm section, The Park, and the production mastery of Keelay, Grillade is a six-piece soul band that have backed everyone from Freddie Gibbs to BIG K.R.I.T. Their hip-hop stuff is just one very small piece of Grillade though. When performing their own ish live, Grillade get dirty, gritty and soulful. A soul band that actually rocks? Hells to the yeah. Make sure to watch their video for “Dream Of You.” Featuring some our favorite spots in San Francisco, the video makes us miss the Bay. Love to the Bay.
Grillade will be at Malverde on March 18th with the Yours Truly showcase.



The Danish duo, made up of vocalist Coco and musician/producer Robin, have an achingly beautiful sound. Rooted in an electronic soul-meets-folky R&B, their music reaches into 90’s pop melodies, walls of rich jazz chords and electronic rhythms to create a world of quiet simplicity. Quadron will be joining Grillade at Malverde on March 18th for the Yours Truly showcase.




There aren’t many producers out there who dare to invent new sounds and sonic landscapes like Daedalus does. Formerly trained on the double bass and clarinet, and dabbling in a left-field hip-hop meets IDM sound on his own project, Daedalus re-invents over and over again what it means to be a composer in the digital world. Watching a live show of his is like getting a peek into a mad conductor’s digital cutting room. Daedalus will be at the Mohawk on March 18th and at Beauty Bar on March 19th.





Getting their first big break on Mark Ronson’s “Bang Bang Bang,” this NY-based electronic duo are amping up for their big roll-out. After dropping tracks on their MySpace (Remember that site?), their music went viral, and the tracks became their first EP. Since, the group has opened for Mark Ronson, Deehoof, Massive Attack and Chromeo. Catch them on the way up!





For all show lineups and details:

Written and Compiled by Nora Ritchie & Boyuan Gao


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