SXSW welcomes local Austin acts

Sage Dunlap, Life & Arts Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the March 11, 2022 SXSW flipbook.

While some music acts journey across the globe to showcase their signature sounds  during Austin’s annual South by Southwest festival, other artists have a much shorter trek. For local talent, SXSW is practically in their backyard.

The Daily Texan compiled a list of local Austin artists to follow at this year’s festival.

Primo the Alien 

March 16, 1:00 a.m.

Saxon Pub

March 18, 8:00 p.m.

Sheraton BackYARD

Attendees should prepare to break a sweat when the futuristic and flamboyant Primo the Alien takes the stage at Saxon Pub. The electro-pop singer-songwriter mesmerizes audiences with hypnotizing vocals and futuristic sound, blends which will surely ignite a dance party. In her most recent single, “Sad Blue,” Primo remains innovative while incorporating retro 80s-inspired synths — a surefire recipe for a fantastic pop performance. 

Magna Carda 

March 16, 12:05 a.m.

Pour Choices 

March 17, 9:35 p.m.

Sheraton BackYARD

MC producer duo Magna Carda brings smooth, jazz-inspired hip-hop to the SXSW stage. The act’s 2021 album, To the Good People, offers a variety of genres from acoustic R&B melodies to more electronically-backed bass-heavy rap tracks. While an unlikely combination, this amalgamation of sound forms a fantastic hip-hop project rooted in vulnerable lyrics. 

Jane Leo 

March 15, 12:00 a.m.

Las Perlas

Recognized for their glamor noir aesthetic and hazy vocals reminiscent of St. Vincent, the alternative-pop duo of Jane Ellen Bryant and Daniel Leopold will take the SXSW stage with a grungy set prepared to make audiences let loose to the sound of guitar riffs, brassy instrumentals and deeply satisfying vocal harmonies. In their most recent 2021 single, “The More You Know,” the pair sings of lingering lust after a breakup — a tune likely to be given a breathy, sultry live performance.

Mélat

March 18, 10:00 p.m.

Parker Jazz Club

Festival attendees looking to enjoy beautiful vocals, and possibly shed a few tears, should check out Mélat’s performance at Parker Jazz Club. The Austin-born songstress offers an ethereal quality to modern R&B, showcasing an impressive vocal range by blending a deep, soulful tone with airy backing melodies — a dazzling combination. For a taste of the singer’s lush vocals and instrumental arrangements, check out her 2021 single “The Lesson.”

alexalone 

March 17, 9:00 p.m.

Cheer Up Charlie’s 

March 19, 1:00 a.m.

Lucille

Orchestrating a psychedelic experience for SXSW attendees, alternative band alexalone will thrill audiences with ambient vocals and reverberating guitar arrangements. The group’s out-of-the-ordinary style takes listeners on a vacant highway through the Milky Way, navigating Bowie-esque instrumentation and country influences. The group’s 2021 release “ALEXALONEWORLD” showcases the group’s unique, experimental alternative rock sound.

The Western Express 

March 16, 11:30 p.m.

Lamberts

Making a name for themselves through local performances and open mic nights, Western Express attracts country lovers and cowboys alike. The pair’s soulful tone accompanied by bluesy banjo and harmonica instrumentals offers listeners the perfect soundtrack for a disco hoedown at SXSW. On their most recent 2022 single, “Lovin’ You for a While,” inspiration from Texas (and Austin) greats such as Willie Nelson shines through in dreamy, romantic country melodies.