With perhaps our favorite annual music festival around the corner, we’ve compiled our list of top 10 can’t miss acts for Austin City Limits 2013.
1. Vampire Weekend
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? Vampire Weekend has made a career out of making consistently great records, a feat not many other indie rock bands can attest to. Coming off their recent Modern Vampires Of The City, Ezra and co. will be sitting on a stockpile of great tunes. We should also mention Vampire Weekend’s live performances have been every bit as consistent as their catalog.
2. Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick pretty much destroyed every rapper alive as well as the entirety of the Twitterverse with his guest appearance on Big Sean’s ‘Control’. His live shows are raw and gives him top billing as far as MCs are concerned at ACL this year.
A bit of a blast from the past, D’Angelo has actually made his way back to the music festival circuit and been a touring act for some time. It seems all the legal trouble is a thing of the past and the man has gotten back to making some genuinely soulful music. As somewhat of a grown up Frank Ocean, D’Angelo fits the vibe of Austin City Limits all too perfectly.
Apart from being on the short list of our list of unadulterated crushes, Grimes is a phenomenal musician and artist. This was really a break out year for her and Austin City Limits somewhat serves as the victory lap.
5. Blind Boys Of Alabama
Part of what makes Austin City Limits so truly special is the wide diversity of performing acts. The Blind Boys Of Alabama are an embodiment of southern soul, right down to the name. Guaranteed to supply a heavy dosage of chills.
6. Purity Ring
If you’re not familiar with Purity Ring, think of less smoky vocals and a more pop sounding version of Beach House. It’s a lazy comparison sure, but Purity Ring’s music similarly catches you off guard with each consecutive wave.
After some internal strife, it’s good to see this promising band still making the music festival rounds. A little bit folksy, a little bit pop, Foxygen plays like the offspring of Tame Impala and Edward Sharpe.
8. Local Natives
It’s been really rewarding to follow Local Natives maturation in the short time since Gorilla Manor was released. Their live show strings together a wide range of instrumentation, but the vocals melodies and harmonies, as interchangeable as they are among the entire band, are the selling point here.
9. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Here’s yet another happy discovery we made this year thanks to Austin City Limit’s adept organizers. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is gritty garage rock with a penchant for killer hooks. At first glance, they read like an offshoot Black Keys but these guys have been around for awhile and there’s much more below the surface. If you’re a fan of this next track, probe their entire catalog — nothing but greatness.
10. Atoms For Peace
We have yet to catch Atoms For Peace in a live setting, but we’ve seen enough weird/awesome Thom Yorke dances at Radiohead shows this last year to assume Atoms For Peace will be one of the better offerings to help keep Austin weird.