Ural Thomas and The Pain

Events

After 2 long years watching venues shutter and precious, centrally-located lots get gobbled by developers, South By Southwest is homecoming at last. Will SXSW 2022 be the shot in the arm our city and music scene needs? Already the stars seem to be aligning: Austin is back in Stage 2, music wristbands are just $169 for local residents, the ultimate sxsw spreadsheet from the dirty team is live and FREE this year, and, well, Dolly Parton is coming.

We’ve rounded up 5 of the most promising artists, events, and local finds to keep you powered through a week of craziness, badge or no-badge. If you’re on the fence about partaking in Southby shenanigans, especially after two years or quiet that felt like it aged many of us at least a decade—we hear you. But consider the (many!) Austin businesses whose finances depend on festival goers, and the local organizers have put in unfathomable hours to bring their offerings to you, just for the love of it. If you’re ready to dive in SXSW 2022, strap on some comfy shoes, pocket those earplugs, and read on! And don’t forget to donate when you can and tip your bartenders.

5 Artists We’re Seeing at SXSW 2022 (Listen on Spotify!)

Atalhos

Atalhos

Catch them: All Day All Night Alright Fest; Wednesday March 16 at 7:45pm – 8:30pm

UNOFFICIAL, FREE

Brazilian rockers Atalhos have come a long way to share their dreamy arrangements with Austin. Shoegazey vocals meet oceanic guitars in a series of pop/rock tunes that will send you floating by the end of their set. See them at locally-organized All Day All Night Alright fest, a free event in a pink warehouse on the East Side, which features a 2-day showcase followed by afterparties both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ural Thomas and The Pain

Catch them: Saturday March 19, TIME TBD (Check Instagram Stories day-of)

UNOFFICIAL, FREE

Pictured above—the velvety crooner Ural Thomas, born in “either 1939 or 1940” (seriously) became a professional church singer and sang at NYC’s Apollo Theatre opening for Etta James, Otis Redding, James Brown, and Stevie Wonder. Eventually, he changed scenes; moving to Portland and letting music go for decades. That is, until Scott Magee, a Portland-based soul DJ, approached him and they started creating music together. The tunes have a backbone of gospel and a topping of soul. This free show, at South by South Jose, is gonna be special.

Leif Vollebekk

Catch him: Saturday Mar 19, 2 9:00pm – 9:40pm at Central Presbyterian Church

OFFICIAL (wristband required)

Canadian-born Leif creates melancholy, folk-graced pop songs from his home in Montreal and will be haunting Central Presbyterian with his set, which includes harmonica, violin, guitar, and more. The kind of music that deserves a quiet room; so glad we have a church venue downtown! This will be a show for anyone seeking solace and a graceful ending to SXSW.

Cherise

Cherise

Catch her: Thursday Mar 17, 10:00pm – 10:40pm at Sellers Underground

OFFICIAL (wristband required)

The silky smooth sounds of Cherise are enough to bring the formerly-closed Sellers Underground back to life. The English singer and songwriter came to fame via her projects Cherise & Nadia a.k.a. Booty Luv and Big Brovaz, influential to the mid-oughts UK hip hop and dance scenes. We’re thrilled she’ll be crooning alongside any other remarkable jazz-tinged musicians lighting up the stage for the stacked Jazz Re:Freshed Outernational Showcase on Thursday. If you’re a jazz lover and badge-holder, also spin by The Dope Black British Jazz Landscape panel earlier that day at the convention center.

Reserva Fantasma

Reserva Fantasma

Catch them: Friday March 18 11:00pm — 11:40pm at House Nazdorovye

OFFICIAL (wristband required)

Costa Rica-based duo Reserva Fantasma is high on our list for their Latin stylings and down-tempo rhythms that transport you via psychedelic tunnel to a lush jungle of beats. Get wrapped up into their hypnotic sounds at House Nazdorovye (FKA The Russian House), which has a spectacular lineup of world music slotted throughout the week.

If you want to hear some other acts we’re jazzed about, check out this Spotify playlist featuring some of our favorite sounds for SXSW 22:

 

By: Maria Gotay