Festival Preview: SXSW 2019


11-17th March 2019

FIND SXSW ONLINE: Facebook// Website // Twitter

Words: Elena Katrina 

SXSW is THE festival everyone wants to go to, everyone wants to play, everyone wants to witness and some of us were unsure we’d ever get to do either, the latter the only real option if I’m honest. Yet here I am about to make my merry way to Austin and take in the musical and cultural delights for the second year in a row – what a time to be alive!

Having already been and the first thing I was wished when I arrived was “good luck!”,  This time around I KNOW I need the luck. If I thought I was lucky with the bands last year, well this year it really will be impossible to see them all. I promise I’ll be giving it a good try though.

In Popped Music tradition, below is just a small selection of UK based bands who we’d highly recommend SXSW music festival attendees check out. At the bottom of this page you’ll also find a four hours worth grab of songs by some of the bands we’re looking to see.


The Amazons

To say I have been a fan of The Amazons for a good few years is a little bit of an understatement, so to see them having a bash at SXSW is completely thrilling to me. They already have a significant fan base and have released their debut album, but now they’re back with brand new single Mother and it’s an impressive return at that. Hold on to your hats Austin – you’re gonna need to!

Find The Amazons on Facebook

Listen to Mother here:
The Pearl Harts

I first saw The Pearl Harts play to around 20 people in a shed-like stage at Lee Fest in 2016. It may have been shed-like and the middle of the day but, my god, they played like it was a stadium full at midnight. For a two-piece, the sound is full and loud. I was so suitably impressed that I suggested them as one of our picks for the inaugural Off The Record. I have continued to have been impressed and I’m thrilled to say that when they step back in the UK, they’ll be headlining our very own stage as part of Threshold Festival – also part of the BBC 6 Music Fringe Festival in Liverpool.

Find The Pearl Harts on Facebook

Listen to Different Kinda Girl here:

Melted Ice Cream – what a BOP. It was the Lucia track that won me over and I hoped that they’d be as exciting to watch live as I thought they would be. I caught them at The Great Escape last year and happy to report they rocked my socks off. Snarly, addictive and assured is the kind of performance I got. Absolutely no shits given. I cannot wait to see them again and if I have my way it will be more than once in Austin… just be warned.

Find Lucia on Facebook

Listen to Blueheart here:

Island are an ABSOLUTE delight – as people, as musicians as live performers. I couldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t include them in my ones to watch at this year’s SXSW. I’ve seen them play all kinds of shows, from headliners to festivals and I have always left feeling like I wanted more. Feeling happy and always looking forward to the next show. I’ve also got various family members hooked… and now I’m after you Austin. Come get your fill of shimmering guitar and anthemic vibes. You know you want to.

Find Island on Facebook

Listen to She here:

Fun! I love to have fun with music and Anteros deliver on all fronts; Their live show is energetic and entertaining, their lyrics have a punchy quirky element that really appeals to me and to add to it, they’re just catchy as heck. You can smother your face in glitter and leap around and no one (ok a few) will bat an eyelid at you. It’s been a while since I saw these live, maybe 2 years now – which is shocking really – must do better – and so better I’ll do by seeing them at SX. Maybe they’ll take me out for breakfast!

Find Anteros on Facebook

Listen to Drive On here:


The Blinders

Let me let you into a little secret. I love dark dark brooding thunderous sounds  – but I’m quite fussy about it. The Blinders, well, they do it for me. Political, dramatic and enticing. Politics in music is a big thing and it seems, to me at least, to be bigger than ever over the past few years. At least in terms of the music being given more of a mainstream chance than it has for quite some time. I can’t wait to see the reaction from you Austin, I invite you to join me for something a little more thought-provoking than my usual taste often dictates.

Find The Blinders on Facebook

Listen to L’Etat C’est Moi here:


Sam Fender

I admit I am somewhat reluctant to tell you to go and see Sam Fender. Why? Because I have an unapologetic NEED to be able to see every show he plays, whenever that may be for the entirety of my life. Is that enough of a reason for you to go? No? Read some of my over-enthusiastic live reviews here then. Then fight me at the door to get in (or smuggle me in). A bit about Sam Fender; astute, smart, social-political commentary set to crazily-catchy guitar stompers.

Listen to Poundshop Kardashians here:
Popped SXSW Playlist:

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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

    I'm very happy if you love what I've done enough or love the bands I've written about and want to share - go for it, but please be blog friendly and share the link or hit the reblog button. Thank you.

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