RR’s SXSW 2016 Artists to Watch

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I always have a handful of artists on my radar that I will go out of my way to catch live while in Austin.

Of course, KCRW’s own showcases are filled with 9 artists who have already won me over (see them here), but here are a few other artists I have high hopes for:

Little Scream

Little Scream is a new artist signed to Merge Records that sounds like Prince but is actually a Montreal-based “multi-instrumentalist, writer, and visual artist” named Laurel Sprengelmeyer.

This first single “Love is a Weapon” grabbed me with a great song name and then backed it up with just the right amount of falsetto and funk to keep you captivated.


Bayonne is the moniker of Austin resident Roger Sellers. His music sounds like a poppier, less experimental, and happier version of Animal Collective. He became obsessed with playing drums as a child and studied classical piano and music theory.

His debut album “Primitives” is a hypnotic, layered affair that is excellent from top to bottom. It will be released right after SXSW (March 25 on Mom + Pop).


Thai/Psych/Surf band Khurangbin is a trio from Texas that has been on our radar since their track “A Calf Born in Winter” was featured on Bonobo’s “Late Night Tales” compilation in 2013.

They released a full length last year which was a huge hit among our DJs and featured their first songs with lyrics. I’ve been really looking forward to seeing them live and will finally getting a chance.

Fun fact: they’re touring Europe with Father John Misty.


I came across Brooklyn quartet Caveman at SXSW back in 2013 and we’ve been loving their latest single “Never Going Back” on MBE lately.

It’s the title track to their forthcoming album (out in June) and they’re touring with Frightened Rabbit this Spring.

A couple Angelenos to look out for:


This R&B artist is on the rise and for good reason. His falsetto is seductive and utterly captivating.

After a couple EPs and some notable guest spots, he will be releasing his debut album, “Ology”, on April 6. Production on the album includes contributions from ZHU, Adrian Younge, and more.


Kelela is a force. She came on our radar in 2013 around the release of her “Cut 4 Me” mixtape.

Kelela was raised on the East Coast, born to parents who moved to the US from Ethiopia in the 1970’s. Now based in LA, she’s creating R&B that is futuristic, progressive and truly unique. She released the “Hallucinogen” EP last October and is working on a full length.