The annual South by Southwest festival starts this weekend, and the music lineup is massive as usual. To help you wade through the program (or just to give you a taste of it if you’re missing out this year), we’ve put together a playlist of some of the best tracks from the best artists set to rock the streets of Austin, Texas over the next week, including Tennis (pictured above) and Bruce Springsteen himself. Click the button below to listen to the full set on Made Man’s Spotify.
1. “Dead Wrong” by Hanni El Khatib
Los Angeles musician Hanni El Khatib is a rockabilly remnant transplanted into the modern age. His music is a raw, authentic style of rock and roll—often just drums and guitar—overlaid with sparse, reverb-heavy vocals that drip with attitude.
2. “Mornin’ ” by Star Slinger
Star Slinger came to the world’s attention last year by way of the web’s more with-it music blogs. The Manchester, UK-based deejay touches on an array of genres and sounds in his music, but his most notable work is heavily hip-hop influenced. Take “Mornin’ ” for examples, an upbeat number that fades in and builds up to an infectious beat sick enough to make Kanye green with envy.
“Mornin’” fades in and builds up to an infectious beat sick enough to make Kanye green with envy.
3. “Origins” by Tennis
Tennis is the criminally hip husband-wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley. The pair delivers a style of music reminiscent of 1960s surf rock, with just enough pop overtone to make their little band a favorite among indie critics. “Origins” comes off Tennis’ latest album and marks a new maturity in the group’s songwriting style.
4. “You Are” by Built to Spill
Built to Spill front man Doug Martsch is one of modern rock’s most accomplished guitarists, and his talents are in full view on “You Are.” Most of the track consists of a single extended slide guitar solo that climbs and falls to the rhythm of a rolling snare drum. Listen to it with the volume up.
5. “Atlantic City” by Bruce Springsteen
The Boss is best known for his feel-good small town anthems, but it was his 1982 offering Nebraska that really showcased his skills as a songwriter. The album is intensely personal (Springsteen played all the instruments himself), and “Atlantic City” is no exception, as Springsteen paints a dark scene carried by acoustic guitar and a wailing harmonica.