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100 bands you need to hear at SXSW 2014

Rough Trade's Emmy Feldman presents her personal picks for the annual music conference. 


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Posted on Mar 5, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 4:29 pm CDT

In Spotify Essentials, the Daily Dot curates custom playlists created by some of our favorite artists and writers. In this installment, Emmy Feldman presents her personal guide to South By Southwest.

Since the Daily Dot asked me to make a SXSW playlist in 2013, a lot’s changed. Music used to be strictly extracurricular for me, but it’s now a full-time job, and I’m constantly (and literally) surrounded by it.

Rough Trade has been a London record shop and institution for 30-plus years, and we now have one in Brooklyn, which is where I’m the marketing manager. In my free time, I also write a music blog called Don’t Need No Melody. So between those two things, I have little to no time for anything else (not complaining), and am fortunate enough to be relentlessly exposed to acts that are brand new to me, whether it’s older punk bands (or 50 of them), or a group of 15-year-olds making their first demos out of a garage in Australia.

Truthfully, the kids are what get me out of bed every morning – finding these teens, the best ones from around the world, feeding off the overwhelming passion that they have – it’s been the most rewarding thing for me.

Hopefully you’ll find some of them in this playlist that energize you in the same way.

Looking back, my most memorable SXSW experiences have revolved around witnessing foreign bands playing their first U.S. shows. I have an admittedly unhealthy obsession with U.K. and Australian acts, but if I could bottle the amount of emotion that they must feel while playing these debut gigs (or that I have while watching them)… I’d be a rich woman.

I’ve tried to include as many of those artists as possible in this Top 100 list, because it’s an experience I hope everyone finds a way to partake in (at least a tiny bit) while they’re in Austin this year.

Thanks for listening.

Photo of Sylvan Esso via Tumblr

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*First Published: Mar 5, 2014, 12:00 pm CST