Watch: A quick mix of DSS’s favorite Austin SXSW artists

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There are so many great Austin artists playing South by Southwest it was super tough to narrow it down to five for this quick mix for this video. I picked artists that aren’t just great musically, but also have a special energy behind them, that feel like they’re ready for a breakout. Most of them are artists I’ve written about before (some quite recently), but who haven’t started to get the true shine they deserve outside of our city walls. (My colleague Peter Blackstock’s picks are here.)

Riders Against the Storm: The husband wife hip-hop duo has been at the top of Austin’s scene for a minute, but they continue to evolve, always upping the ante for themselves. These days they’ve been showing up to sets with a crew of six to 13 players, bringing a furious funk that has all the magic of a post-millennial second coming of George Clinton’s mothership. (11 p.m. Thursday, March 19, Soho Lounge)

Keeper: Austin music scene vets Yadira Brown, Erin Jantzen and Lani Camille Thomison form the trio of voices at the core of this group. They describe their music as synth soul, but it has a trip-hop backbeat that will appeal to fans of Phantogram or Sylvan Esso. What sets them apart are the gorgeous three-part harmonies that soar over the beats, creating beautiful swirls of sound to lose yourself in. (7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, Swan Dive)

Sweet Spirit: Sabrina Ellis’ new nine-piece powerhouse churns out an excellent mix of revisionist doo-wop, garage soul and ridiculously catchy pop. Ellis is an entrancing lead. If there’s any justice in the world, the band’s regular set closer “Take Me to the Party,” a punky number with the chanted hook “Got a broken heart, so take me to a party,” will be a radio hit by the end of the year, bringing intoxicating solace to dejected ladies everywhere. (8:20 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, Cheer Up Charlie’s)

Cilantro Boombox: Austin’s Latin fusion scene is going through an exciting moment right now and Cilantro Boombox is one of many bands freely mixing elements of cumbia and salsa into a funky stew also flavored with hip-hop, reggae and blues. (7 p.m. Saturday, March 21, Mexican American Cultural Center)

Kydd Jones: One of Austin’s sharpest rhyme-slingers cuts a commanding presence on stage. The combination of his lyrical dexterity and his innate understanding of crowd control sets him up as a top candidate for local emcee whose ready to move the masses. (9:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, the Roosevelt Room)

More Austin artists to check out at SXSW

The Digital Wild brings a cool blend of indie rock and trip hop soul. (10 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, at Red 7; midnight Friday, March 20, Lambert’s) … With a bar-busting live show, punk rockers Flesh Lights are “Just About Due” for a breakout (10:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, Hotel Vegas Patio) … Rap rock king Zeale is the city’s top freestyler, an electrifying live performer (midnight Friday, March 20, Sledgehammer) .. Former champ Phranchyze has retired from the battle rap circuit, but he still hits the stage swinging hard. (11:15 p.m. Thursday, March 19, Blackheart)… Sertified is an oddball rapper on Austin’s underground with a truly unique sound. (10:15 p.m. Sat. Red 7)R&B singer Melat is a new sensation on Austin’s soul scene. (10:15 p.m. Friday, March 20, the Madison) … Afro-beat orchestra Hard Proof always throws down a body rocking wall of sound. (7 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, Empire Control Room)…The Sour Notes make some of the city’s best dreamy indie pop. (11 p.m. Tues. Cheer Up Charlie’s; 1 a.m. Friday, the Trophy Club)


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