SXSW 2014: Must-See Bands (Playlist Included!)

The week is finally here…Jana and I have been anxiously counting down the days until we take off to Austin for SXSW! For lovers of music, SXSW is like our mecca…incredible artists come from far and wide to gather for a celebration of the best up and coming acts and seasoned performers. Every year the festival opens my ears to amazing new bands, and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store. Check out some of the bands below who are on our list, and if you’re going, let us know who you’re most excited to see!

angel olsen

(Photo by Autumn Northcraft)

Angel Olsen

I just recently discovered this talented lady and I can’t stop listening — she has an amazing bluesy sound that captivated me from the first note she sang.


(Image source)


Look at this photo, and listen to “Shelter Song” on the playlist below, and you’d swear these guys are from the 60s, right? But no, this psychedelic rock band from the UK was formed in 2012. I have been listening to their album pretty much nonstop since it came out, and I can’t wait to see them live!

nicole atkins

(Image source)

Nicole Atkins

This beauty just released her latest album Slow Phaser last month, full of upbeat foot-stompers we can’t wait to hear live!


(Image source)


This band is the perfect example of discovering new artists at SXSW — I saw them last year, when they played at a the Hotel San Jose. I was there to see another band, but it was Lucius that grabbed me and held me speechless through the duration of their performance. They blew me away, and I can’t wait to see them again!

the districts

(Photo by Caitlin McCann)

The Districts

These guys are my favorite band to come out of Philly since Dr. Dog — I saw them live, without knowing who there were, and immediately bought their album, which became a staple last summer.


(Photo by Mia Kirby)


I’ve been a fan of this band for some time now, so I was thrilled to hear they’d be in Austin — and we’ll get to hear some of the awesome new songs from their recent self-titled album (at one of my favorite venues, Mohawk!).

wolf alice

(Image source)

Wolf Alice

We first had the pleasure of meeting this band on our Cornwall road trip over the summer — we can’t wait to catch up with them again at SXSW!


(Image source)


Another band I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before, and they are just as sweet as their music sounds! It’ll be great to see them again and hear some of their new stuff.

madi diaz

(Image source)

Madi Diaz

Madi Diaz brings such an awesome energy to her performances, and we can’t wait to hear some new stuff from her upcoming album!


(Image source)


I actually learned about this LA band from one of our mixtape contests here on the blog! And I’m so, so glad I did — I have never seen them live, so their Austin show is sure to be a treat.

elizabeth and the catapult

(Image source)

Elizabeth & The Catapult

Elizabeth Ziman is a talented lady. She sings, plays guitar, has played drums for Kishi Bashi, and worked on her latest album, Like It Never Happened, with Dan Molad and Pete Lalish before they went on to form Lucius. The resulting album has a unique, intriguing sound.


(Photo Credit: Katharina Poblotzki)


CALLmeKat is the work of Danish songstress Katrine Ottosen, whose light, airy voice floats mysteriously out of the speakers, making your ears perk right up.

ruby the hatchet

Ruby the Hatchet

One of our FP girls is a member of this band and we’re excited to follow them around at the festival to get a glimpse into what SXSW is like from a band’s perspective!

Who’s going to SXSW? Follow along with us on Twitter and Instagram for live updates starting Thursday :).

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

OH my god so much good music. Have an incredible time!!

7 years ago

So jealous. Can’t wait to check out these bands. Hopefully will be going to Louisville for Forecastle this summer!

7 years ago

I wish I could be there, everything about the festival looks incredible! And that playlist is so goodxx

7 years ago

Awesome playlist! I have had it on all morning! Thanks for sharing!

7 years ago

jealous jealous jealousss

7 years ago

Love this playlist!!!! Papa, temples and the Districts

7 years ago

I wish I was going this year! As a native Texan I miss Austin especially this time of year! I wanna give a shout out to my friends amazing band Buggaboo playing SXSW this weekend check them out!

7 years ago

Love the playlist, wish I could go!

7 years ago

Warpaint!!!!!! Love that band for quite a while now.
I want to go to that festival!

7 years ago

*Sigh* I can’t wait to make music one day! ^-^

7 years ago

Wolf Alice, a band to watch, listen and enjoy. Hopefully those in Austin will take the opportunity as we have in the UK. Have a great time out there!

7 years ago

Kadavar, I wish I was going so I could see them again and again.
have a fantastic time! xo

7 years ago

Don’t forget Brick + Mortar!!!!!!

7 years ago

Saints of Valory played last night and killed it. They opened for The Fray. So awesome.

7 years ago

Thank you for introducing me to Temples… I am obsessed!

7 years ago

Check out StagBriar !!!!!

7 years ago

^^^^^ Amazing

7 years ago

well geez!- I thought I was hip on new music- and I have heard none but 3 of these. Thanks for the introductions. Always learning new things from you Free People Gals