SXSW Music Festival 2024: Texan Artists To Look For
Written by Andrea Diaz on January 17, 2024
In the heart of the SXSW’s lineup, a stellar cast of artists from the vibrant state of Texas is poised to shine. From beautiful soulful melodies to the rhythmic beats echoing the Lone Star State’s diverse musical landscape, these Texas-based talents are ready to make their mark on the renowned festival stages. Join us as we delve into the musical journey of these exceptional artists, bringing a touch of Texas charm to the global stage at SXSW Music Festival 2024 from March 11-16 in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas!
The Lineup of Texas Artists
The lineup of Texas artists at SXSW 2024 is diverse and dynamic and showcases the breadth and depth of Texas’ musical talent, encompassing a wide range of genres and styles, from hip-hop to folk, rock to electronic, and everything in between. Each artist contributes a unique voice to the vibrant and ever-evolving Texas music scene.
Angelo Moore and the Brand New Step – Austin, TX
Angelo Moore, known for pioneering unique music with Fishbone, continues to redefine himself. While still active with Fishbone, since 2012, he collaborates with artists like Del The Funky Homosapien and Boots Riley as the Brand New Step, pushing the boundaries of funky soul dance to avant-garde and pop music. Their releases showcase Angelo’s distinct style, standing out as a creative force in the ever-evolving music scene.
ARIEL & The Culture – Dallas, TX
ARIEL, a Mexican artist from Dallas, Texas, has been making waves in the music scene since 2017. Known for creating vibrant anthems inspired by his Mexican roots, ARIEL gained national attention when his single “Dame Tu Amor” went viral on TikTok. This exposure propelled him from local performances to sold-out shows, sharing stages with acts like Boy Pablo and Inner Wave.
Being Dead – Austin, TX
Best friends Falcon Bitch and Gumball, Texas-based multi-instrumentalists, embody a playful spirit that extends into their project, Being Dead. Their debut album, When Horses Would Run, takes us through vivid landscapes, exploring the absurdity of the world with dreamy strums, gritty percussion, and kaleidoscopic harmonies. Steeped in surf-rock energy and mid-’60s Jazzmaster tones, their unusually raucous debut dances through Super-8 memories and diverse moments, crafting tales of carefree shoplifters and lonely buffalos.
Caleb Landry Jones – Garland, TX
Caleb Landry Jones, born in Garland, Texas, crafts a sprawling psychedelic suite that defies classic pop orchestration. His music sparks conversations that traverse from biographical facts to discussions about lucid dreaming, reflecting the manic energy of the music itself. While rooted in a family legacy of fiddle players and music enthusiasts, Jones finds it uncertain if these influences are discernable in his eclectic sound.
Cha’keeta B – Austin, TX
Cha’keeta B, a lyrical emcee from Austin, Texas, discovered her love for writing, influenced by artists like Jill Scott and Lauryn Hill. Since 2011, she has achieved notable milestones, including features on the cover of The Austin Chronicle, performing at SXSW, and opening for mainstream artists like Naughty By Nature and Wu-Tang Clan. Known for her community initiatives, she organizes charity events and started the annual natural hair festival “Kinky Curly Coily Fest.”
Chief Cleopatra – Austin, TX
Chief Cleopatra, originally a Corsicana kid exploring piano and drumline, has evolved into an Austin sensation. Growing up in a small Texas town, her outsider status shaped her unique journey, leading to the release of her sophomore EP, “Luna,” through Park The Van Records. Achieving multiple milestones since 2019, including being an official SXSW artist and KUTX’s Artist of The Month, Chief Cleopatra’s iridescent Soul Rock style sets the stage for her upcoming EP, “Cold Dancer,” slated to release in early Spring 2024.
Danny Bonilla – Dallas, TX
Dallas native and multi-instrumentalist Danny Bonilla is on a mission to craft feel-good music inspired by his multidimensional life. Despite early expectations from his first-generation Salvadoran home, Bonilla’s destiny led him to create magic through music. Learning to read and compose music at age 8 and joining the school choir showcased his unique vocal abilities, eventually forming indie dream-pop sensations Luna Luna after a fateful encounter with Kevin Gonzalez in downtown Dallas.
Daydream Twins – Austin, TX
Daydream Twins, a rapidly rising force in Austin’s music scene, gained attention with their debut release, “Carpop,” in 2021. Now expanded into a couple-lead guitar-wielding shoegaze collective, they plan to share their captivating soundscapes and hazy vocals in 2024, supporting their latest EP, “Bombinate.”
Dylan Gossett – Austin, TX
Dylan Gossett, a 24-year-old singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas, discovered his musical passion during his early teens, recording on his mom’s computer. Inspired by emerging online singer-songwriters, Gossett posted videos of his songs in April 2023, resonating with a global audience. His debut single “To Be Free” and the follow-up “Coal” gained significant attention, with “Coal” accumulating nearly 30M streams and reaching #24 on Billboard’s Country Digital Song Sales. Gossett’s debut EP, “No Better Time,” was released on October 27th, accompanied by his latest single, “Beneath Oak Trees,” on October 6th, receiving critical acclaim.
El Combo Oscuro – Austin, TX
Get ready to hit the dance floor with El Combo Oscuro, a cumbia-centric band featuring veterans from Austin’s music scene. Drawing inspiration from Monterrey and driven by vintage keys, psychedelic guitar, and a lively rhythm section, they offer a fresh perspective on this vibrant genre. Dust off your dancing shoes and enjoy the groovy melodies of El Combo Oscuro’s forward-thinking approach to cumbia.
Fuvk – Austin, TX
Fuvk, an artist from Austin, Texas, explores various music genres, including acoustic, bedroom pop, emo, indie pop, and lo-fi. Fuvk engages with various musical styles with a versatile and eclectic approach, crafting a unique sound that resonates across different genres. From heartfelt acoustic compositions to the introspective realms of bedroom pop and the emotional depth of emo, Fuvk’s musical exploration showcases a rich tapestry of influences, all woven together in the vibrant landscape of indie pop and the textured simplicity of lo-fi.
Giovannie & The Hired Guns – Stephenville, TX
Giovannie and The Hired Guns, a Stephenville, Texas-based band, have captivated audiences with their electrifying blend of rock and roll and country. Their explosive live performances propelled them to new heights, especially with the 2021 smash hit “Ramon Ayala,” which topped both the Active Rock Radio Chart and the Alternative Radio Chart. Now signed to Warner Music Nashville, they’re set to release their third full-length album, “Tejano Punk Boyz,” solidifying their position as a vital force reshaping the landscape of Texas music.
Glare – McAllen, TX
Glare, hailing from McAllen, TX, is a band that weaves a sonic tapestry, embracing diverse influences to create a unique musical journey. With an atmospheric and introspective sound, Glare combines indie rock and dream-pop elements, offering listeners an immersive experience. Their music, characterized by ethereal vocals, intricate instrumentals, and a touch of melancholy, showcases a thoughtful approach that reflects the depth and creativity of this McAllen-based ensemble.
Good Looks – Austin, TX
Good Looks, formed in Austin by members from small Texas towns, blends blue-collar indie rock with Replacements’ swagger and desert rock influences. Songwriter Tyler Jordan, shaped by a South Texas town dominated by the petrochemical industry, found inspiration in the tension between nature and industry. Meeting lead guitarist Jake Ames at the Kerrville Folk Festival, they bonded over their love for the Texas hill country canon. They began their musical journey together, eventually forming Good Looks, a band with a sound that echoes The War On Drugs.
Half Dream – Austin, TX
Half Dream, a rock and roll band from Austin, TX, formed in 2018 and showcases their sound’s ethereal and collaborative nature. Led by Paige Renée Berry’s songwriting exploring themes of identity and overcoming trauma, their music blends floating melodies with driving hooks, landing between dream and reality. Drawing inspiration from artists like Joni Mitchell and Big Thief, they released their debut album Will I Still Bloom? on October 7th, 2023, with an east coast tour following the release.
Harvest Thieves – Austin, TX
Harvest Thieves, an Austin-based alt-country band, effortlessly showcases their native Texan roots through well-crafted and confessional lyrics. As The Sparks Fly Upward, written and recorded over four years, serves as a living document of the pandemic era, offering a fitting commentary on societal upheaval. With potent storytelling, rollicking guitars, fiddle playing, and a touch of honky-tonk, Harvest Thieves bring their barroom swagger and swirling balladry to audiences in Austin and beyond.
Housekeys – Fort Worth, TX
Housekeys, a project by multi-instrumentalist Tiffiny Costello, emerged in 2014, blending ambient, post-rock, and neoclassical elements. Currently based in Fort Worth, Texas, Costello’s music, akin to artists like William Basinski and Grouper, carries a wintry melancholy with a touch of warmth. She’s finishing an album recorded at Sigur Ros’s Sundlaugin studio in Iceland, and her atmospheric work under Housekeys showcased at SXSW 2023 delicately tugs on listeners’ heartstrings by drawing from the pain and beauty of everyday life.
Jack Barksdale – Fort Worth, TX
Jack Barksdale, a folk/blues/americana singer/songwriter from Texas, began performing original music at nine and has already shared the stage with notable artists. Praised by American Songwriter, NPR, and Premier Guitar, Jack’s insights and unjaded passion shine through his music. With a podcast called Jack Barksdale’s Roots Revival and a well-received single, “Gone,” he continues to impress with his wisdom beyond his years, playing multiple instruments and identifying first and foremost as a songwriter.
Jad Fair and the Placebos – Manor, TX
Jad Fair, a pioneer in American rock, boasts a prolific career with his band Half Japanese and as a solo performer. Known for his emotionally direct and charming songwriting, Fair’s unconventional music approach includes limited chord knowledge and an unorthodox playing style. Collaborating with various artists and releasing over 160 digital albums in 2021-2022, he remains a unique figure in the music scene, embodying a childlike view of the world and a boundless passion for rock’s possibilities.
JM Stevens – Austin, TX
Based in Austin, Texas, with roots in West Point, Mississippi, the singer-songwriter behind Moonlight Towers is talented at capturing the timeless essence of pop and roots rock. With 15 years, four albums, and countless tours, they are set to release a new album, Nowhere to Land, on April 12, 2024, through Chicken Ranch Records.
Joe King Carrasco – Austin, TX
Known as the King of Tex-Mex rock and roll, Joe King Carrasco, from Dumas, Texas, is a musical journeyman blending pop rock and Latin rhythms. From forming Joe King Carrasco & El Molino to his reggae-flavored phase and the evolution into “Tequila Reggae,” his diverse musical influences are evident. With over 24 albums, Carrasco continues his musical exploration and holds court at Nacho Daddy in Puerto Vallarta when not touring, leaving a trail of Tex-Mex vibes along the way.
Jon Muq – Austin, TX
Austin-based singer-songwriter Jon Muq, originally from Uganda, weaves a musical conversation with the world, drawing from African and Western traditions. His songs, like small gifts, aim to bring happiness and foster reflection and resilience in a world he perceives as sad. With a unique perspective shaped by his childhood in Uganda and experiences in America, Muq crafts songs that speak many languages and finds balance in connecting with listeners individually.
Kam Franklin – Houston, TX
Kam Franklin, a versatile artist from Houston, is best known for her role in the Gulf Coast soul band, The Suffers. Her unique collaborations include standing in for H.R. of Bad Brains in the 2016 Afropunk Superjam. Franklin released the “Bayou City Comeback Chorus” EP in 2022, a social justice album featuring over 20 Houston artists. Forbes has recognized her for her activism and efforts in promoting inclusivity in the arts.
Larry Seaman – Austin, TX
An Austin-based singer-songwriter and guitarist, Larry Seaman founded Standing Waves, a pivotal force in Austin’s punk/new wave scene. His guitar-driven, melodic rock style reflects the influence of Texas and Austin, blending American music with British and New York elements, spanning psychedelic rock, gentle ballads, and catchy pop songs.
Lindsay Beaver & Brad Stivers – Austin, TX
Lindsay Beaver & Brad Stivers, a married musical duo based in Austin, Texas, blend soulful duet singing, Americana songwriting, and Texas Blues guitar skills. With 40 years of combined musical experience and extensive time on the road, they deliver an authentic mix of original and cover songs at their intense live shows. Their lyrics, centered on love, relationships, and personal experiences, reflect the genuine teamwork that defines their music.
Lisa Morales – Austin, TX
Lisa Morales, originally from Tucson and cousin of Linda Ronstadt, showcases the strength and role of women in her newest album, She Ought To Be King, which is also the title track of her latest album. Recognized as “one of the most multi-faceted artists to watch” by Rolling Stone, Morales entrusted producer David Garza to record the album, situated along the Mexican border of Texas at Sonic Ranch Studio. As a prolific storyteller and artist, Morales, acknowledged for her songwriting skills by Rodney Crowell, confidently asserts that her time has come.
Little Mazarn – Austin, TX
Little Mazarn’s music offers a serene journey, a gentle hover just above the ground in a softly lit, almost recognizable forest. It holds a profound calmness, expansive like the universe, simultaneously tranquil and in constant motion. If you’ve ever experienced flying dreams or a captivating nighttime bike ride under the influence, this musical world may resonate with you.
Lord Friday The 13th – Austin, TX
Lord Friday the 13th, an Austin-based trash-glam-punk band led by siblings Felix and Sloane Lenz, channels the spirit of the New York Dolls and early Iggy and the Stooges. Since their formation in 2019, they’ve gained industry recognition, playing energetic shows at renowned venues and appearing at SXSW. With roots in visual arts, they draw inspiration beyond music, challenging societal norms and embracing punk’s legacy of change.
Madam Radar – Austin, TX
Madam Radar, an Americana rock band, brings explosive harmonies, soaring guitar solos, and original tunes. Led by the trio of Kelly, Violet, and Jace, the band features a dynamic mix of high-energy singer-songwriters, creating a kaleidoscope of sound. With a history of sharing stages with renowned acts and being recipients of Sonic Guild grants, Madam Radar stands out in Austin’s music scene.
Mama Duke – Austin, TX
Mama Duke, a 2-time Austin Hip-Hop Award winner, has claimed “Artist of the Year” and “Female Artist of the Year” at the start of her career. With a trailblazing presence in a male-dominated industry, she’s graced big stages like Austin City Limits and Austin FC’s Amphitheater. As a Recording Academy Member and influential figure, Mama Duke is making history, recently becoming the 1st queer, bi-racial, masculine-presenting woman to solo front cover of The Austin Chronicle.
Middle Sattre – Austin, TX
Middle Sattre, an Austin folk band with roots in Salt Lake City, began as a solo project confronting internalized homophobia. Now, with a diverse ensemble of eight members, they explore both mournful and hopeful themes in their compositions, delving into the agonies of repression and the ecstasies of liberation. Their experimental edge is evident in the lyrics and the unconventional use of instruments, such as playing banjos with fidget spinners or using metal chains on guitar strings.
Moody Bank$ – Austin, TX
Moody Bank$ is an artist crafting music in Austin with a distinct smokey alto sound and lo-fi R&B production, creating a sonic realm for diverse moods. With roots in LA, she infuses a classic “West Coast” vibe into her music, blending funky basslines, 808s, and R&B samples with the enriched sound from her time in Austin. Bank$ is a powerful and boundary-breaking artist, using her confident wordplay and poetic songwriting to capture timeless emotions, whether singing about love, loss, life, or moments of joy.
Pelvis Wrestley – Austin, TX
Pelvis Wrestley, formed in 2018, blends Violet’s synth-pop background with country music, redefining an American identity and quickly gaining support in the Austin scene. The supergroup includes guitarist Santiago Dietche, drummer Sarah Schultz, and keyboardist Hannah McVay. Their debut record, Vortexas Vorever, released during the 2020 pandemic, fuses western-infused synth music, earning acclaim, including being named song of the day by NPR affiliate KUTX and praised by Kishi Bashi for its electronic melody coaster ride through ’80s classics.
Redbud – Austin, TX
Hailing from Austin, TX, Redbud brings tinkle-goom-splash sounds like a crystal vase plunging into a million-meter puddle. Their music and visuals cast hypnotic spores, guiding you toward the light of revelation for a peaceful and enchanting journey. Prepare for the dance of their musical and visual creations as they fulfill the craving for a unique and transformative experience.
Reilly Downes – Bandera, TX
Hailing from the Texas Hill Country, Reilly Downes, known as the ‘Sad Cowgirl of Chicago,’ brings an Americana sound shaped by her Nashville session musician background. Described as “easy on the ears, but hard on the heart,” her music draws on Texas roots, cutting across tracks with honesty and grit, diverging from typical contemporary country. Her debut solo album, Spent, topped the charts as the #1 Americana release for 2022, earning her acclaim and features on platforms like The Boot.
San Gabriel – Austin, TX
James Bookert, balancing his role at a liquor store with touring alongside Whiskey Shivers, delved into dream pop during his downtime, creating the solo project San Gabriel. Transitioning from banjo on tour to a more electronic sound with programmed drums, electric guitars, synthesizers, and layered vocals, Bookert, who plays and sings everything, maintains the spirit of the kid captivated by 80’s pop in his musical journey. San Gabriel is a manifestation of his versatility as an accomplished songwriter and musician.
San Saba County – Austin, TX
San Saba, an Austin-based band rooted in garage-country vibes, transitioned from their first record, Easy Does It, to more experimental sounds with albums like It’s Not the Fall that Hurts and …Though Cheating was Never Option. With their latest release, Hurry Up & Wait, they blend rootsy-indie-rock, crafting honest, witty, and well-crafted songs that resonate across genres. Recognized for their versatility, San Saba’s music, described as a future classic of country songcraft, reflects a timeless quality that transcends traditional boundaries.
semiwestern – Rockwall, TX
semiwestern, an indie band from Texas formed by Ty Bohrnstedt and Daniel Gonzalez, traces its roots back to their shared experiences as aspiring tennis players in their childhood. Reuniting in their 20s, they cultivated a musical connection inspired by DIY ethos and influences like Grandaddy, Pinback, Elliott Smith, Built To Spill, and Sonic Youth. Formerly known as The Vliets, they’ve opened for artists such as Alex G, DIIV, Elvis Depressedly, and Frankie Rose, and in 2023, they released a self-titled full-length album on Spirit Goth Records, following the 2022 single “velvet sea” and a cover of Charli XCX’s “constant repeat.”
SKATELAND – Austin, TX
Dorian Williams II, professionally known as SKATELAND, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Austin, TX. Combining influences from various genres, he crafts a sound blending melancholy lyricism, new wave instrumentation, and pop production techniques. His latest single, “Postcards!,” gained national attention for its relatable narrative on toxic online comparison, featuring dreamy soundscapes and breezy melodies.
Teethe – Dallas, TX
Teethe, a Texas-based band formed in 2020, released their debut album, a sonic collage of songs crafted from fragmented recordings and unfinished tracks during isolation. Originating from the University of North Texas, members met in Denton, later moving in together to create music. Currently located in Dallas and Austin, Teethe continues to record, releasing singles like “Tag” and “Lucky” in 2022 and their latest, “Moon,” in collaboration with Saddle Creek.
Texas String Assembly – Austin, TX
Texas String Assembly, based in Austin, rapidly ascended from backyards to sold-out shows, captivating audiences with their distinctive Americana sound. The 2022 debut album, DOGGABONE, earned praise for its raucous and jamming quality, propelling the band to perform at festivals and tour nationally and internationally. The Austin Chronicle recognizes them as one of Austin’s premier bluegrass/folk acts.
The Tiarras – Austin, TX
The Tiarras, comprised of Tori, Sophia, and Tiffany Baltierra, redefine musical boundaries with their global sound that effortlessly blends genres. Hailing from a Mexican-American heritage, the trio draws from diverse musical influences, creating a vibrant fusion of rock, Latin, pop, soul, reggae, and blues. With tracks like “Soy Chingona” and “Let Love Free,” The Tiarras spread positive energy and empowering messages, gaining recognition on NPR World Cafe, Mitú, Grimy Goods, and Latin Alt. Radio, while their international performances set the stage for a promising future.
Tough On Fridays – Georgetown, TX
Over the past six years, Tough on Fridays, led by duo Caleigh and Carly and joined by drummer Bella Sera, has made waves in alt-rock, indie, and grunge, earning recognition as one of the top female alt-rock bands. Their recent album, The Encore You Didn’t Ask For, released on Nov 4, 2022, received global acclaim, with critics praising their formidable sound and ferocious energy. The trio has shared stages with notable acts like Olivia Jean, He Is We, and The Dollyrots, performing at venues like Stubb’s, 3Links, and Houston’s House of Blues while earning consideration for Austin’s Sonic Guild and securing their third consecutive appearance at SXSW in 2024.
Water Damage – Austin, TX
Water Damage, an Austin octet, specializes in music based on drones, following the motto “Maximal Repetition, Minimal Deviation.” Their approach involves creating expansive fields of drones that captivate and immerse the listener, maintaining a commitment to prolonged sonic ideas on each reel of tape. Comprising veterans from various projects, including Spray Paint, Black Eyes, and USA/Mexico, Water Damage’s unique drone sound is marked by a less front-loaded approach and occasional deviations from traditional drone elements.
West Texas Exiles – Austin, TX
The West Texas Exiles, influenced by The Flatlanders and Buddy Holly to Vampire Weekend and Jason Isbell, bring a modern twist to the Lone Star vernacular with their debut EP, “Volume I.” Comprising three singer/songwriters – Marco Gutierrez, Daniel Davis, and Colin Gilmore – along with bassist Eric Harrison and drummer Trinidad Leal, the band gained popularity with a sold-out EP release at Austin’s Saxon Pub in 2023. Evoking the ghosts of southwest Americana, they’ve played SXSW as official artists, featured at Willie Nelson’s Luck reunion, and received acclaim in the 2022 International Songwriting Competition for their rhythmic and lyrically honest sound.