SXSW 2019


SXSW is approaching fast and Highlark Magazine is gearing up to head out to the music festival filled week again this year. With an extensive artist exhibition roster; we decided to narrow down the lengthy list and ask our staff who they’re excited to see on the list this year. Here’s some talent they’re referring and some 10 second reasons why:

[+] Aries

“Aries, who began as a YouTube personality, now sings, writes, and produces his own music. He brings life and a modern twist to rap and hip hop culture in the music he recently released in 2018.”  SAGE

[+] The Nude Party

“The Nude Party doesn’t just make sixties-reminiscent psychedelic rock. By some stroke of luck, science, or magic, they seem to produce the sound organically, keeping it relevant with all of the catchiness, danceability, and youthful spirit of the greats. I did not believe that anyone could cover The Velvet Underground and do them justice until I saw The Nude Party do it, and they’ve had my heart ever since.”  SAM

[+] Abhi The Nomad

“There are aritsts who make songs and artists who make music – Abhi is the latter. Now, he may not be everyone’s cup fo tea but he certainly has a defined identity and drive in his music. His bravado alone will guarantee a performance that will be worth witnessing.”  ZACH

[+] Elder Island

“This Bristol based trio offers a sound that is that finds harmony between being soulful and dance. Katy Sargent’s rich and decadent vocals offer a soulful tone that spills atop multilayered synths, beats and melodic broodings.” – BRIAN

[+] Bedouine

“Azniv Korkejian’s smooth, sixties-folky, almost-country sound makes for a most comforting blend. I could wrap myself in those soft vocals, warm as a blanket, glinting as a starry night.”  SAM

[+] Lucky Daye

“One of the few times I become incredibly thankful for music app created playlists. I stumbled across one of his song’s on a recommendation and immediately ran through his entire catalog. His voice is incredibly soothing over magically mellowed tracks.” – JEANETTE

[+] Jarryd James

“After showings from artists such as Woodes in 2016 and Mallrat in 2017, the ever-consistent Australians present a strong front at SX this year with Jarryd James. His soulful voice and emotive lyrics get me every time, but rather than a calculated feel–sweet music generated specifically to make you feel something–James’ sound feels really genuine.”  ALLI

[+] City of the Sun

“They have a super unique and memorable sound, influenced by several genres, including post-rock, gypsy jazz, flamenco, and indie rock. Their amazing stage presence and passion for performing makes them a geniune band to see. ”  ERIN

[+] Katzu Oso

“Electronic melodies, underlying trap beats and a whole lot of love infused lyrics have everyone crushing on the new rising artist of DIY Bedroom Pop. Easy listening done right, his tracks will have you mesmerized in a heartbeat.”– JEANETTE

[+] Alice Phoebe Lou

“This Berlin-based singer-songwriter has such a sweet voice while singing lyrics so real it’s almost heartbreaking. ”  NICOLE

[+] Surfbort

“Surfbort is a punk band, but they’re a fun, positive, inclusive, friendship-loving punk band with a sense of humor and a penchant for honesty. Freaks welcome.”  SAM

[+] Late Night Laggers

“It’s almost impossible to encapsulate the experience they create without attending their events for yourself. The notorious DJ collective began with throwing backyard house parties to becoming one of the most influential staples in Los Angeles and World music. Always ten steps ahead of the trend, you want to catch their set to hear the next best artists & DJs in global music.”– JEANETTE

[+] Wyclef Jean

“A wave of nostalgia swept over me upon seeing Wyclef Jean on the list of SX performances. I distinctly remember screaming “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)” while driving to school with my older brothers back in 2007. Honestly didn’t know he was still making music, so seeing that plus the fact that he’ll perform live will be really interesting.”  ALLI


[+] Beshken

“Beshken hails from LA, having originally trained as a jazz guitarist but later became interesed in dance music while DJing house parties and clubs. He’s now based in Brooklyn and offers a blend of electronic music, jazz, and indie rock.” – BRIAN

[+] Pink Sweat$

“Without a doubt, one of the next big stars of melodic R&B. ‘Honesty’ was one of the first tracks I came across for the artist and I haven’t been able to stop listening to his soulful croons since.”– JEANETTE

[+] Yung Lean

“An artist that rose from the shadows of Sweden, Yung Lean became an overnight sensation in 2010 at the young age of 16. With 3 mixtapes and 3 studio albums under his belt since then Yung Lean has caught the attention of listeners worldwide with his metaphorical lyrics and melodic beats. A man of uniqueness, creativity, and artistry there is no one in the industry like him. ” – JOSH

[+] Omar Apollo

“Very much like his music, Omar Apollo emanates a sexy and laidback vibe. ”  NICOLE


[+] Illiterate Light

“It’s almost impossible to believe that such full, eclectic sound can be created from the fusion of just two members. The familiarity of classic indie rock is met with hazy, experimental bliss in all of the best ways.”– JEANETTE

[+] White Denim

“White Denim brings so many other great flavors to rock n’ roll. They are experts at creating catchy, melodic tunes that are completely out of this world. With a dash of funk and a whole lot of attitude, they always draw a crowd.”  JORDAN

[+] The Strumbellas

“The Canadian six-piece reminds me of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or Grouplove. Their hit tunes “Spirits” and “We Don’t Know” exemplify their indie shout-sing feelgood sound. Should be a good showing from them at an indie-filled fest like SX.”  ALLI

[+] Her’s

“Their music finds the perfect intersection of 80s synth wave pop and indie alternative. Whether you’re in need of an unwind, background study music or a playlist ready to make you fall in love, their tunes never seem to fail.”– JEANETTE

[+] Ivy Sole

” “This something old and something new” is what Ivy Sole declares on her song “The Vow” and it couldn’t be more of a perfect description of her artistry. There’s a comforting nostalgia to her beats and rhymes but it never feels dated or like a desperate attempt to sound vintage. It’s honest, refined, and confident. Expect live instrumentation to back her poetic punch.”  ZACH

[+] The Mystery Lights

“The Mystery Lights have an undeniably infectious energy about them onstage. They make damn-good psychedelic garage rock, and they’re having a great time and want you to have a great time too.”  SAM

[+] BEA1991

“Soft spoken and dreamy vocals often laid over upbeat tracks. Feel good vibe- empowering, even.”  NICOLE

[+] Combo Chimbita 

“Bring your dancing shoes for this one. Their Latin based sounds are layered with psychedelic rock and electronic rhythms to create “Tropical Futurism.” Watching them live gives you a sense of traveling through Latin America, the Carribean and Africa via the vibrancy that their music so enchantingly exudes.”– JEANETTE

[+] Luke Laird

“Luke Laird is one of the most prolific country/pop songwriters in the nation. “The numbers are staggering: 23 Billboard No. 1 hits, two Billboard No. 1 singles as a producer, 38 radio singles––24 of which have hit the Top 5––and more than 100 album cuts fill his catalog. ” Luke is a very humble professional who can easily be considered one of Nashville’s finest.”  JORDAN

[+] Agrupación Cariño

“A band that achieves the rare task of sounding phenominal on record and even better live. The live instrumentation is so crisp and precise, you can’t help but admire the mass talent involved in this group. ”  ZACH

[+] Kirin J. Callinan

“Drawing from a range of genres and influences, Kirin’s style is vast and unpredictable. Sometimes dark. Sometimes poppy. Lots of attitude. Always interesting.”  SAM

[+] Joe Armon-Jones

“Jones adds so much flavor to the modern Jazz movement. He adds to his core of Jazz with the sounds of Reggae, Trance, and House music, and there’s never a dull moment in his compositions. ”  SAIF

[+] Native Sun

“A most frenetic garage rock outfit from Brooklyn, Native Sun is great to listen to in your headphones, but if you can catch them live, that’s a party you don’t want to miss.”  SAM

[+] Jared & the Mill

“These guys are visiting from Phoenix, AZ and making absolute waves in their home state. They play with folky/country vibes and I can definitely see this year’s SXSW being their final launchpad into a bigger platform. See them before you can’t afford to!”  ALLISON

[+] DJ Hella Yella

“This guy is Austin, TX royalty and it’d be hard to find someone who doesn’t know who he is around here. If you’re looking for a blend of old-school beats with today’s top 40, he’ll keep you partying all night long.”  ALLISON

[+] Quiet Company

“Another Austin local band that is so popular around here, I forget they’re not famous everywhere. I had the pleasure of seeing FUN. perform some 7am SXSW shows right before their hit album, Some Nights, came out. Quiet Company is in line to do the same. They’re a great alternative rock bank that’ll be fun whether you’re looking to sit around and chill or get up close and dance. Either way, they sound like Austin and you’ll love them!”  ALLISON

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