South by Southwest is the leading new music festival on the planet. The music industry looks to it as a litmus test for emerging artists, but with just under 2000 names on the bill: how do you uncover the real gems? Luckily BBC Introducing has a track record of championing future stars, so take a look through the six bands that WILL turn heads in Texas this year...
** The BBC Introducing & PRS for Music Foundation showcase at SXSW 2017 takes place on Friday 17th March at the British Music Embassy in Austin, Texas **
For fans of: Bat For Lashes, Passion Pit, Kate Bush
Supported by: BBC Introducing in Wales
Introducing a young artist who's producing a wonderfully ethereal twist of electo-pop. She first uploaded music to BBC Introducing in 2013, standout track ‘Roads’ was featured on Radio 1’s playlist and soon gained support from Huw Stephens. Her artistry is comparable to FKA Twigs and her incredible, rich vocals mean Casi is undoubtably one to watch this year.
For fans of: Primal Scream, The Strokes, The Futureheads
Supported by: BBC Introducing in Scotland
They hail from Glasgow Rock City and are a new breed of indie-rock'n'roller, making the guitar sound fresh and crucial once again. Track ‘L.U.V’ was added to the Radio 1 playlist as BBC Introducing track of the week and they delivered a storming headline set Radio 1’s Big Weekend last summer. Instant pop hooks, harmonising guitars, nonchalance and cool make Catholic Action a divine proposition.
For fans of: Joy Division, Sleaford Mods, Fat White Family
Supported by: BBC Introducing in the West
This band are angry, well dressed and totally glorious. IDLES may produce a fury filled style of punk but their inspirations are varied, they cite soul singers like Etta James and Otis Reading as big influences. BBC Introducing in the West picked up on the band's rampaging sound and have backed them ever since. They've recorded a session at Maida Vale and absolutely tore it up on the BBC Introducing stage at last year's Great Escape in Brighton.
For fans of: Gregory Porter, Hozier, Jack Garratt
Supported by: BBC Introducing in London
The man of the moment, Rag'n'Bone Man's currently trajectory has him set to land on Mars by the end of the year! He reached 2nd place in the BBC’s Sound of 2017 poll and collected the prestigious Brits Critics' Choice Award in February. Stunning debut album 'Human' shot to top spot in the UK's album chart and we have no doubt his SXSW performance for BBC Introducing will be the first step towards a big breakthrough stateside.
The Japanese House
For fans of: The XX, Marika Hackman, The Postal Service
Supported by: BBC Introducing in Beds, Herts and Bucks
The Japanese House is the solo project of Buckinghamshire’s Amber Bain. She first uploaded to BBC Introducing under her 'LEON' guise four years ago, before reinventing her style and returning with something truly unique. Since then her sound has blossomed, an intricate, nostalgic blend of blissful tenderness and bittersweet melodies. Mesmerizing tracks like 'Face Like Thunder' demonstrate something very special about The Japanese House - Texas better be ready to fall under her spell.
The Vryll Society
For fans of: Blossoms, Temples, Radiohead
Supported by: BBC Introducing in Merseyside
The key thing with The Vryll Society is the flow of their tunes: nothing is forced and everything sits perfectly. Their songs flirt with psychedelia but keep their feet firmly in the world of pop. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been gaining huge momentum over the past two years, including a breakthrough set at Glastonbury on the BBC Introducing stage. Back in native Liverpool the boys have built a strong fanbase and there's a plethora of opportunities on the horizon as they head to the Lone Star State for SXSW.
The BBC Introducing & PRS for Music Foundation showcase at SXSW 2017 takes place on Friday 17th March at the British Music Embassy