Preview: SXSW 2012 – 10 Bands New to You

By on Thursday, 1st March 2012 at 9:00 am

Since the various laundry lists of bands that had been accepted for this year’s SXSW had been announced, I bided my time. I wanted to wait for the official venue announcements, carefully poring over what had been released through the 2012 SXSW Web site while also considering smaller, nonofficial events that bands have been posting on their Facebooks or official Web sites. The headliners have been briefly profiled in part 1 of my SXSW 2012 preview.

As you can imagine, there are so many bands playing at SXSW this year than we have written about here at TGTF, so for the sake of brevity, I had to cut down my “I’d love to see them at SXSW” list. This group of 10 bands, listed below in alphabetical order, are bands you likely have not heard of, or if you have, I imagine you don’t know much about them, since they’ve only just gotten tipped recently.

Django Django – They’ve written quite possibly *the* earworm of 2012, ‘Default’. Performing at the Scottish Music Industry Association showcase at Easy Tiger Bar at 12:00 AM on Wednesday 14 March and Huw Stephens / UK Trade Investment showcase at Latitude 30 at 10:00 PM on Saturday 17 March.

Drop the Lime – Luca Venezia is better known by his stage name and all the high-profile remixes he’s done. But he’s an artist in his own right, ready to drop some huge beats in parties across Austin. His ‘Shake Baby Shake’ track is streaming below. Performing at Club Create’s showcase at the Madison on Wednesday 14 March (time TBA) and at the Filter Magazine / Dickie’s party at the Lustre Pearl at 10:00 PM on Thursday 16 March.

Fiction – they opened for Dutch Uncles at their Christmas show in Manchester last December (review here) was impressive but this will be the first taste Americans get of the London band. Watch the video for the infectious as all hell ‘Big Things’ below.


Grimes – Canadian Claire Boucher is making waves on the back of her third album ‘Visions’ released on 4AD. Lovers of electronic and eclectism need look no further for an spellbinding performance. Listen to ‘Genesis’, a free download we offered up previously in this MP3 of the Day post, below. Our previous coverage on her is here, including her support slot of Lykke Li last spring. Performing at Central Presbyterian Church at 11:30 PM on Thursday 15 March and Clive Bar at 11:30 PM on Friday 16 March.

Marit Larsen – I was impressed listening to her set supporting Teitur last Friday (review here), what an incredible voice. Listen to ‘Coming Home’ below. Performing at Beale Street Tavern at 10:00 PM on Wednesday 14 March.

Polarsets – I already knew last year with Little Comets‘ debut that Newcastle was the latest hotbed of activity in the North East, and this Geordie band further cements that region’s place in fantastic new music coming out of Britain. Listen to their appropriately sunny track ‘Morning’ below. Performing at the Karma Lounge at 1:00 AM on Friday 16 March as part of Neon Gold’s showcase.

Reptar – Not to be confused with a green dinosaur in the American children’s animated programme Rugrats, this Athens band mix bits of electronic and bits of tropical into a frenzy, which adds up to a lot of fun. Sound like Friendly Fires? ‘Sebastian’, the opening track to their debut album ‘Body Faucet’ out in May can be streamed below. Performing at the IFC Crossroads House at Vice presented by Paradigm at 8:00 PM on Thursday 15 March and at Buffalo Billiards at 11:00 PM on Friday 16 March.

The Wonder Villains – They sound a bit like General Fiasco (have a listen to ‘Ferrari’ below) so I was taken a bit aback by the fact the two bands share the same management. (Birds of a feather?) Tipped recently as a New Favourite Band of Steve Lamacq’s, the Derry quartet featuring a female lead singer sound Performing at the Tap Room at Six at 8:00 PM on Wednesday 14 March to kick off the Northern Ireland showcase that also features General Fiasco and Cashier No. 9.

Wonfu – The West might be cynical about it, but bubblegum pop is still alive and well in Asia. Enter this Taipei, Taiwan band that may end up being my guilty pleasure from this year’s festival, with cheeky lyrics (admittedly, in Taiwanese) sung in cutesy voices and incredibly catchy melodies. Have a listen to ‘Do-Re-Mi’ below. Performing at the Loft at 8:00 PM on Wednesday 14 March.


Zulu Winter – Despite my famous friends stumping for these chaps, I wasn’t sold until I heard ‘We Should Be Swimming’ (previous Video of the Moment post here, video below). Our previous coverage on Zulu Winter is here. Performing at Antone’s at 9:40 PM on Friday 16 March as part of the Billions Corporation showcase.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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