BY ZOE SALVUCCI
Every year in Austin, thousands of musicians, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and fans gather to celebrate and discover the latest trailblazers in each of the three industries. With SXSW just a few months out and half of the artists for the music festival now released, here are 13 showcasing artists to watch in 2019.
1. FONTAINES D.C. (Dublin, IE)
Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, this post-punk five piece took the Irish scene by storm, quickly gained popularity in the UK, and is preparing for a US tour supporting IDLES this spring. With powerful 2018 releases Chequeless Reckless and Too Real, Fontaines D.C. show no sign of stopping any time soon — expect big things from them in 2019.
2. Goodbye Honolulu (Toronto, CA)
This hidden gem of the Toronto underground scene released two EPs in the past two years, the most recent titled More Honey. With their energetic garage-rock sound and Jacob Switzer's unique voice belting killer lyrics over catchy riffs, they are sure to take the rest of Canada by storm in 2019.
3. Sidney Gish (Boston, US)
Riding the wave of success following her 2018 album No Dogs Allowed, indie-pop artist Sidney Gish toured with Mitski in the fall of 2018 before being announced for Boston Calling and SXSW. A student at Northeastern University, Gish’s music thrived in the underground Boston DIY community before her local success caused word to spread until her name was familiar among fans of DIY across the country.
4. The Blinders (Manchester, UK)
Another band leading the post-punk explosion led by bands such as IDLES and Shame, The Blinders released their debut album Columbia last year, having already gained a following from several successful singles and EPs over the past few years. With SXSW as their US debut and several festivals announced for this summer, 2019 should be a huge year for The Blinders.
5. Orchards (Brighton, UK)
Orchards’ 2018 debut album Losers/Lovers garnered huge praise from the likes of DORK, Clash, BBC Radio, and DIY Magazine. Emerging from Brighton, England, Orchards blends bright alt-pop melodies with math rock rhythms, creating a sound so singular they should be on every music fanatic’s radar in 2019.
6. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (Perth, AU)
Australian psychedelic five piece Psychedelic Porn Crumpets released two singles last year following their 2016/2017 two part album High Visceral. Gearing up for a February UK tour and a March US tour that will straddle the Austin festival, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are likely to make waves in the Northern hemisphere’s psychedelic scene in the year to come.
7. David Keenan (Dundalk, IE)
23-year-old David Keenan is making waves in the Irish scene with his uniquely soulful folk music and emotional, inquisitive lyrics. Described as “not just another young lad with an acoustic guitar” by Hot Press Magazine, Keenan has a voice and wisdom surpassing his age. After releasing three successful EPs in 2018, 2019 is sure to be Keenan’s strongest year yet.
8. Amyl and the Sniffers (Melbourne, AU)
Australian punk band Amyl and the Sniffers have made a name for themselves in the Australian pub scene, drawing crowds in for their energetic and raw performances, with a sound and concision more reminiscent of 70s punk than the punk of today. Following their tour supporting fellow Australians King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard in 2018, Amyl and the Sniffers have been announced for several festivals in 2019 that will be sure to thrust them into the international spotlight.
9. Viagra Boys (Stockholm, SE)
Stockholm based Viagra Boys’ unique blend of speed-blues and proto-punk has made them a standout in modern Swedish music. Their 2018 debut album Sweet Worms solidified their reputation as a band with a lot to say and the tools to say it. Having already caught the attention of music outlets such as Pitchfork, Viagra Boys will only push further out of Sweden and onto the international front in 2019.
10. whenyoung (Limerick, IE)
Limerick-formed and London based whenyoung is an indie darling of modern Irish music. Making NME’s 100 to watch in 2019 list (along with Fontaines D.C. and Sidney Gish), and already justifying this accolade with their January single Never Let Go, the band is sure to break onto the international stage this year following SXSW.
11. The Dunts (Glasgow, UK)
Leading the Glasgow punk scene is four piece The Dunts, whose youthful and ambitious energy is sure to enrapture audiences at SXSW. Already having announced several UK festivals for the summer of 2019, The Dunts are poised to take the world by storm with their catchy riffs, tight rhythms, and biting lyrics.
12. Tasha (Chicago, US)
Chicago based singer Tasha quickly caught the eye of NPR and Pitchfork with her sophomore EP Alone at Last, released in 2018. Singing her own gentle brand of soul “in the name of radical softness and black love,” Tasha has created her own unique genre that is impossible not to enjoy.
13. Sam Eagle (Essex, UK)
19-year-old multi-instrumentalist Sam Eagle has a sound that defies genre: it is hip hop-jazz, alternative-soul, DIY-pop, and it is uniquely his own. Hailing from Essex, England, Eagle has gained support from BBC Radio, playing the BBC Introducing stage at Latitude Festival last summer following the release of his debut single, 15/8. Eagle’s talent is enough to guarantee his success, and many are sure to fall for his singular multiinstrumental creations at SXSW.