ICYMI: 9 Female Acts Everyone Was Talking About At SXSW

The biggest challenge of SXSW, after pacing yourself with the beer and tacos, is catching all those "can't miss" acts everyone is buzzing about. You'll run yourself ragged trying, and in some respects, you're better off observing from afar and following the festival via music sites and social media. At least that's what non-attendees tell themselves while sitting at their laptops and crying into their Chipotle. Now that this year's party is over, we've sifted through the countless recaps and dispatches filed throughout the week and pinpointed some of the female artists that seemingly made the biggest noise. They're not SXSW's only winners, but these nine acts grabbed the attention of some trusted tastemakers, and they can look back on last week with pride. The parts they can remember, anyway.
Kristin Diable
Paste and PopMatters are among the sites that highlighted this New Orleans songstress in their SXSW coverage, and that makes sense. Diable's smart, sexy, country-flavored soul-pop is perfect for Americana fans and aging indie-rock aficionados, and her forthcoming album Create Your Own Mythology promises to be a real sparkler. Or, as one YouTube commenter wrote of "Hold Steady," "pure silk and magic."

Lovely sounds from @miseenscene_ at our #SXSW showcase.

A photo posted by Canadian Music Week (@canadianmusicweek) on

Mise En Scene
Big-upped by the Riverfront Times blog, among others, Mise En Scene is kind of like Best Coast for landlocked Winnipeg, Canada, though leaders Stefanie Johnson (guitar and vocals) and Jodi Dunlop (drums) have their own thing going. Their tune "Paris, Texas" is sensual country-noir of the Neko Case variety, with a dash of '60s girl-group flavor sweetening the deal.
NPR's cameras captured a rad shot of Alicia Bognanno, a Minnesota native who learned musical engineering before forming this Nashville foursome and setting her innermost thoughts to bracing '90s-style alt-rock. "I remember that naked photo, and I remember things getting better," Bognanno howls on "I Remember," recalling those glory days of Hole, Juliana Hatfield, and Liz Phair.

ADVAETA hanging out and chillin' with us before their session. #ADVAETA #OfftheAvenue #SXSW

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Drummer and singer Lani Combier-Kapel looks pretty badass in the photo Stereogum snapped at the Austin Invasion 2015 showcase it threw in conjunction with Exploding In Sound. Maybe she was harmonizing on "Hazel Blue Eyes," a hypnotic rush of gruff guitar noise and gooey-sweet melody from the band's upcoming album Death and the Internet. Lani has described Advaeta's music as "a wave of energy building up and crashing into the water." A tsunami of awesomeness, in other words.
Kate Tempest
Rock scribes on both sides of the pond are smitten for this British novelist, playwright, poet, and MC. As a female rapper from the U.K. with simple style (tats and black tees), bold political ambitions ("I want to talk to the people who don't want to listen"), and the mind of an academic, she's something of a hip-hop anomaly, but that doesn't make her a novelty. Check out "Circles" for proof she can flow — and just try to keep up as she goes 'round and ‘round, spitting about love and its tendency to both "prop you up" and "rot your guts."
Tei Shi
The folks at Noisey have been wondering why this Brooklyn singer hasn't "blown the eff up," and it's an effin' good question. Maybe the Verde EP, due in April, will finally get Tei Shi to the next level. She's Sade sensual and FKA twigs mysterious, and in the video for the Depeche Mode-like dance gem "Bassically," she goes Madonna/M.I.A. rogue, wowing as a lingerie-clad commando. If she doesn't blow up, she’ll blast her way into the spotlight.
According to Fuse, when these Swedish newcomers loosened up and started screaming "fuck you!" in unison with their first-ever Austin crowd, it ranked among the 18 best moments at this year's fest. Sounds believable, especially since "Antabus," the song from Makthaverskan's 2014 album II that includes said chant, is such a delightfully icy slice of Siouxsie-like post-punk aggression. This is a band you discover and can't wait to tell your friends about, provided you can pronounce the name.

UMG showcase 2day ✨?✨ ?: Jatnna Nunez

A photo posted by H A L S E Y ? (@iamhalsey) on

's writers aren't new to the SXSW rodeo. They know setups are tough, what with most showcases cramming six acts into a few short hours, so they cut Jersey-born pop dramatist Ashley Frangipane, a.k.a. Halsey, a little slack. Once her band fixed its initial sound issues, the spunky turquoise-haired singer powered through tunes like "New Americana," her Lorde-esque anthem for a generation "raised on Biggie and Nirvana." As per Blogcritics' SX coverage, Halsey boasts a "sensual downtempo electronic pop sound," and on the strength of last year's Room 93 EP, that could make this Astralwerks signee the next big thing.

Had a blast playing the ad hoc showcase at Cheer Up Charley's today

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Described by the Austin Chronicle as "classically trained and ethereal electronica," the music made by Gabrielle Herbst is tough to describe yet easy to like — provided you're willing to put in some time. Herbst studied voice and composition at Bard, and her new album Sympathy pushes the limits of both. It's avant-pop experimentation built on dreamlike vocals and off-kilter string and synth sounds, and it's quintessential 2 a.m. comedown music, so long as you're ready to risk a nightmare.

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