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Three Bands That Broke Out in Austin

le1f, sxsw, sxsw 2014

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SPIN recently compiled a list of the 40 Best Things We Saw in Austin these past two weekends, and guess what? Our ears are still ringing from the sets that left us breathless. Scroll down for three of the finest breakout acts.

1) Future Islands: Sure, we’re stoked that Future Islands‘ newest album is streaming online this week (David Letterman probably is too), but we still have the group’s outstanding Austin performances playing on repeat in our heads. The Baltimore trio’s set at SPIN’s Stubb’s showcase ranks as a standout memory, and it’s obvious why, as SPIN’s Camille Dodero wrote: “Their 1 p.m. set reflected [frontman Samuel T.] Herring’s new-day exuberance, from the chest-pounding avowals of Singles opener, ‘Seasons (Waiting on You),’ to the synth-plinking sexy-time of ‘Doves.'”

2) Drenge: Lydia isn’t the only Loveless that stole our hearts under the Texas sun — it was obvious that Eoin and Rory Loveless of Drenge did too. As SPIN’s Jem Aswad observed: “Eoin Loveless creates the most pulverizing guitar sound I heard in a week filled with pulverizing guitars, like something approaching a harmonized motorcycle. And when he and his brother locked in (which was often), the floor was filled with headbanging, pogoing, jack-knifing bodies, nearly all of them male. Although Eoin is merely an average singer, together they’ve got a stadium-sized sound and it probably won’t be long before they’re dominating the European summer-festival circuit.”

3) Le1f: A quick wit, eccentric dance moves, goofball faces, and an admirable swagger are all obvious and lovable characteristics of Le1f. But as SPIN’s Puja Patel noted, “Le1f’s strongest asset is the same thing that has kept him in the underground’s spotlight for years: his ability to make his audiences have fun, but showing how much fun he’s having too. The MC radiates his swag outwards and he’s immediately ranked out of the rookie status others may assign him. By the time that Le1f got around to ‘Wut’ and ‘Damn Son,’ even those who didn’t know the words to his tracks want to get to body-rolling and booty-dropping with their poutiest face on.”