toronto bands sxsw

The top 10 Toronto acts showcasing at SXSW 2015

It's that time of year again when thousands of bands flock towards Austin, Texas for SXSW, a music festival/conference that some think has grown too big for its own good. What started as a jumping off point for emerging acts has evolved into a brand fueled beast attracting the biggest names around the globe. Then there's Toronto's convoluted Austin alliance initiative, which we'll leave alone here in favour of the music.

Here are my picks for the top 10 acts representing Toronto's music scene at SXSW 2015.

Alvvays
Seemingly emerging out of nowhere, with some east coast flavor care of Molly Rankin, Alvvays are quickly blowing up. On March 18th and 19th they're taking the stage at three events in Austin, two thrown by Pitchfork and another by Polyvinyl. After their SXSW shows, they'll continue on with a string of nearly sold out US dates.

Deebs
Deebs has been buzzing on the low end for some time now - affiliations with Pelican Fly and Ryan Hemsworth's Secret Songs has led to some interesting press. His first official SXSW performance is scheduled for March 19th at The Madison. If you can't make it down south in time, he'll also be performing at The Drake Underground on March 12th.

July Talk
July Talk vocalists Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay have captivated audiences with the duality of their tones. Recently bringing their fresh perspectives across the pond, July Talk will take a quick break from their European tour to play the Sledge Hammer on March 18th.

Lindi Ortega
Known for her contemporary twist on traditional country, the multi-talented singer/songwriter will be showcasing at SXSW at Continental Club on March 21st. Fresh off a 2014 JUNO nomination and CCMA win, Lindi Ortega is an artist who could be buzzing this year at SXSW.

Lydia Ainsworth
Spanning between Toronto and Montreal, Lydia Ainsworth's experimental electronic sound has found a perfect home at Arbutus Records. Her groundbreaking live performances have sent her across Europe and earned her a 2015 JUNO nomination for Best Electronic Recording. She'll be playing the Pitchfork showcase, among others.

Muneshine
Fresh of his official Grimes flip, Canadian electronic producer Muneshine is riding the momentum off of his latest LP In Transit. Often given the nod for his classic hip hop sound and forward thinking production, Muneshine has a whole slew of dates at this year's SXSW.

Rainer + Grimm
Exploding onto the scene with their remix of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me," this duo has become a regular fixture in Toronto's dance music scene. Catch them in Austin on March 19th at The Madison.

Rochelle Jordan
Eastside Toronto singer/songwriter, Rochelle Jordan is helping define the future sound of r&b/pop. Writing Childish Gambino's hit "Because the Internet," touring with Jesse Ware, and charting number one on Billboard's Next Big Sound 2014 are just some of her recent accomplishments. She plays Cedar Street Courtyard on March 21st.

Saukrates
Legendary rap pioneer Saukrates appears in our top Toronto rappers and top rap album lists. His relevance is carrying on with a new record that's earned a 2015 Best Rap Recording JUNO nomination. This will be his first time showcasing at SXSW with four shows between March 17th - 21st.

Tory Lanez
Recently off his North American Tour in support of his latest record 'Lost Cause Tour', Tory Lanez will be hitting the SXSW Monster Energy Outbreak House stage on March 20th. #swavenation.

Photo of Rochelle Jordan by Clarissa Villondo via Facebook


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