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SXSW 2015

Fuse Finds: Our 10 Favorite Musical Discoveries at SXSW 2015

The weeklong Austin festival boasted a lineup of must-know up-and-coming acts. Check out our most exciting underground discoveries

1 / 10

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett is slowly securing her place as something more than just an indie rock darling. The Australian musicians sounds more like Pavement than any acts from her native country, valuing narrative over traditional song structure.

2 / 10


This list wouldn't be a discovery list without some K-pop. Hitchhiker was a delirious delight. When the DJ/robot/possibly-non-human took the stage at K-Pop's Night Out, doing so in true EDM fashion. It was a never ending stampede of flashes, lasers and smoke machines, a truly modern club performance (with killer tunes to boot).

3 / 10


It's impossible to categorize Shamir. His songs fluctuate from electro-pop to dance-influenced hip hop. Everything about the Brooklyn-via-Vegas teen is theatrical, with a personality as vibrant as his songs.

4 / 10

Sheer Mag

It's always impressive when a punk band can win the hearts and minds of indie rock fans. It's even more impressive when they do it with Thin Lizzy guitar licks. Enter Sheer Mag, Philly's latest and greatest export. They're all about garage punk with a classic rock sensibility, one that values melody over all. Also: their live show is monstrously good.

5 / 10

James Bay

James Bay took home the Critics' Choice Award at the 2015 Brit Awards (an honor given to Sam Smith the year prior) so we knew we had to check him out. The singer-songwriter might look like Jack White, but he sounds totally different, writing down-home songs of heartbreak that manage to feel like big pop hits.

6 / 10


Alvvays have been on our radar for a few months now, so we consider them not so much a discovery but a confirmation of what we already knew: This Toronto indie pop band is excellent. Their rainy Pitchfork daytime set proved it.

7 / 10


Some of the greatest discoveries at SXSW are found at bizarre, unofficial events featuring bizarre, unofficial bands. So goes the story of Austin hardcore band Glue, who we caught at 4AM on a pedestrian bridge Friday night, with dozens of kids forming a massive pit.

8 / 10

Rozwell Kid

Rozwell Kid marry the lo-fi songwriting skill of Guided By Voices with modern pop-punk—think of them as the Weezer of 2015. For fans of Alternative Press andPitchfork, this group could fit well on college radio/on a Spotify playlist designed by a hip high schooler.

9 / 10

Residual Kid

Not to be mistaken with Rozwell Kid, Residual Kid is an Austin guitar rock trio made up of actual real-life teens (ages range from 14 to 17). They sound like a pre-pubescent Cloud Nothings and put many adult musicians to shame: These kids can shred. RK were recently signed to Sire by Seymour Stein, the very man who discovered the Ramones, so things are looking bright.

10 / 10

Native America

New Orleans is known for its music, everything from jazz and blues to heavy metal. Indie rock? Not so much. Native America is a young garage-psych trio dedicated to filling that void, writing adorable songs about love, loss, and partying.


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Photo of the day

HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 30: NSYNC is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 30, 2018 in Hollywood, Californ

Apr 30: *NSYNC 4EVER

It’s been a while since the guys of *NSYNC reunited. Since their epic onstage reunion at the 2013 MTV VMAs and JC’s 40th birthday, the guys have been doing their own thing, until today! Justin, JC, Joey, Lance and Chris got together to celebrate their new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and as if the day couldn’t get any better, JC reminds us that tomorrow it’s gonna be MAY.