back to top

30 Under 30: The 2013 SXSW Guide To The Hottest Young Bands

Every year South by Southwest serves as the launching pad for a handful of young bands. Here are 30 of the best bands performing this year with members under the age of 30. If you're making the trek to SXSW, join Taco Bell® and their FEED THE BEAT® program at the Hype Hotel on 3/11 to take part in an experimental, fan-made Rockumentary with Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat!. If you aren't lucky enough to be there in person, fear not, you can follow the action, work alongside the film's director, and watch the live streaming concert at Live Más!®

Posted on

5. The Orwells

Will Fisher / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: fireatwillrva

These Chicago garage rock kids have already released three records and sound like a sharper version of The Strokes. Oh yeah, they also just graduated high school in December.

9. Easter Island

Nicolas de Camaret / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: ndecam

This quintet of brothers Ethan and Asher Payne, Nathan Thompson, John Cable, and Andrew Terrell are following in the footsteps of legendary Athens, Georgia bands like REM.

10. Dawes

digboston / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: weeklydig

Another band with brothers, this time from Laurel Canyon. Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, joined by Tay Strathairn and Wylie Gelber, are releasing their third LP this year, Stories Don't End, on their very own label.

17. Prince Rama

repose / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: repose

Prince Rama is the spaced-out, part-band, part-conceptual art project of sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson. The duo spent part of their childhood growing up in a Hare Krishna commune in Florida.

19. Ratking

Stuart McAlpine / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: stuartmcalpine

This young rap crew from New York was the only 2012 signee to the elite label XL Recordings, whose roster boasts Vampire Weekend, Sigur Ros, and Thom Yorke among others.

23. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Jason Persse / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: jasonpersse

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the New Zealand/American band, will be bringing their minimalist, psychedelic rock to the festival. Their sophomore album, II, is a fulfillment of their continued promise.

30. Passion Pit

Nan Palmero / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: nanpalmero

And last but not least, the incomparable Passion Pit will be bringing their pop goodness to SXSW as one of the most in-demand bands of the weekend. Catch them live on 3/11 at the Hype Hotel and at