The Daily Texan’s pre-SXSW playlist for festival-goers

Angela Lim, Senior Life & Arts Reporter

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

A beacon for local creatives, international talent and stellar live performances, South by Southwest attracts hundreds of artists from all corners of the world to Austin. The Daily Texan has compiled a list of songs from the festival’s lineup to get attendees in the mood for the week-long celebration of music. 

You can find a Spotify playlist for the following 10 songs here.

“Connect 5” by LAUNDRY DAY

With percussion beating in an addictive, syncopated rhythm, the New York-based band delivers an alternative pop reverie. “Connect 5” carries a contagious energy to clap along to through its swift-hitting melodies, making it an absolute must to hear live.

“Rita” by VALERAS

The bass and synths in the intro of “Rita” give a summer roadtrip vibe, taking listeners to scorching sands. Beneath the grungy texture lies messages of empowerment to the hopeless, such as “No one’s ever gonna crush your spirits / You’ll always know where you stand / When they doubt, you just keep it moving.”

“The Fine Line of a Quiet Life” by FUR

FUR showcases vibrant guitars and interludes in the most popular track from their 2021 album, When You Walk Away. The lively instrumental brings color to nonchalant vocals that remain on the same wavelength. 

“Melatonin” by Ivypaint

Angsty and nostalgic, the Orlando pop-punk band’s sound draws inspiration from Waterparks and blink-182. The memorable chorus of “Melatonin” combines electric guitar riffs, stylistic vocals and catchy lyrics that stick to listeners’ ears.

“So Sweet So Nice” by John Moods

With steady drums pulsating throughout the soft rock song, Moods invites listeners to the mystifying world he’s created. The wonderful atmosphere drips like honey in its reflection of existentialism, “So sweet, so nice / Everything is waiting to die / So sweet, so high / Nothing’s ever felt so alive.”

“FEEL LIKE” by Josh Fudge

Amassing over 3.6 million streams on Spotify, “FEEL LIKE” contains a range of textures from magical synths to mellow acoustic guitars. The laid-back tune relaxes listeners on sunny days, including heartfelt lyrics such as “But now you’re walking back into my life / And finally the stars have realigned.”

“The King” by Sarah Kinsley

Beginning with fluttering piano arpeggios, the self-produced artist paints whimsical images in her most streamed track. Complete with whirring synths and a soulful voice, “The King” serves as the paragon of youth and coming of age, embracing every enchanting moment of the past.

“Loverboy” by A-Wall

This feel-good song accompanies over 1.2 million videos on TikTok. The Arlington-born artist blends synth-kissed samples to convey the aftermath of a past relationship. The minimal variations in “Loverboy” make it widely enjoyed and easy to listen to.

“Bike” by ADOY

ADOY, who hail from the flourishing Korean indie music scene, impart a warm aura in “Bike” with their storytelling, such as “Riding into the sunlight, I was 25 / She followed me to the coastline.” The band captures natural ambience and scenes in their music with a dreamy ensemble.

“The Flame” by The Convenience

The swinging meter in “The Flame” creates a calm, romantic tone adorned with dissonant chord progressions. A saxophone interlude fills a section in the second half and enhances the remaining parts of the song. Listeners can find themselves listening to the track on a stroll.