Top 10 Lesser-Known Artists at ACL

With excitement for the headliners of this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, it can be difficult to decide which up-and-coming artists are worth checking out. ORANGE Magazine has some top picks to help you out.

Story by Zoe Judilla


Jamila Woods

When: Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Genre: Electronic Hip-Hop

Similar Artists: Chance the Rapper, Erykah Badu, SZA

Recommended Tracks: “LSD (ft. Chance the Rapper),” “HEAVN” and “Blk Girl Soldier”

Chicago-based Jamila Woods has already made waves with her soulful music and smooth vocals. Best known for her collaborations with Chance the Rapper on his beloved tracks “Sunday Candy” and “Blessings,” her first full-length album was widely acclaimed by Pitchfork, NPR, MTV and others. With powerful messages of black womanhood and community, Woods has a quality to her music that shouldn’t be underestimated or overlooked.



When: Oct. 7 at 12:15 p.m. and Oct. 13 at 1:15 p.m.

Where: Honda on Saturday, HomeAway on Friday

Genre: Electronic Pop

Similar Artists: Tegan and Sara, HAIM, Dua Lipa

Recommended Tracks: “I Know a Place,” “Loudspeaker” and “Winterbreak”

Girl-gang MUNA could soundtrack a night out in Los Angeles with friends, their hooks and electronic-heavy songs are unapologetic and addictive. Categorized as dark pop with a strong emphasis on feminine power and queer inclusivity, the trio are self-written and produced with musical influences from different eras. Their focus on confidence and individualism are sure for a standout set filled with positive energy and plenty of dance breaks.


Ten Fé

When: Oct. 13 at 5:15 p.m.

Where: BMI

Genre: Alternative Indie

Similar Artists: Arcade Fire, Future Islands, The War on Drugs

Recommended Tracks: “Elodie,” “Another Way” and “Twist Your Arm”

The resonant, emotional vocals and synthesized hooks of the London-hailing duo have a certain nostalgic quality to them. When listening, one can’t help but feel as if they’ve been transported into a John Hughes movie. The 80s-inspired sounds of Ten Fé can tap into fantasies of the one dreamy slow dance you’ve always wanted, as their atmospheric instrumentals emphasize the infinite feeling that comes with being young.


(Sandy) Alex G

When: Oct. 13 at 1:15 p.m.

Where: Barton Springs

Genre: Lo-Fi Indie Pop

Similar Artists: Frankie Cosmos, Beach Fossils, Alvvays

Recommended Tracks: “Mary,” “Sarah (Bonus Track)” and “Sportstar”

With fluidity in his music style, Alex Giannascoli varies from soothing folk to distorted pop, a quality of production that has caught the eye of acclaimed artists such as Frank Ocean. His guitar ability was featured on both “Endless” and “Blonde.” Often characterized by strings, Giannascoli’s mastery of acoustic guitar, violent and music in general create a sophisticated sound with his earnest vocals. For a multi-dimensional artist, (Sandy) Alex G is definitely one to check out.


Rainbow Kitten Surprise

When: Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 at 2:15 p.m.

Where: American Express

Genre: Alternative Folk Rock

Similar Artists: Milky Chance, Local Natives, Modest Mouse

Recommended Tracks: “Devil Like Me,” “Lady Lie” and “Cocaine Jesus”

With a name like Rainbow Kitten Surprise, one may be pleasantly surprised to find a five-piece band characterized by thoughtful lyrics and soothing folk instrumentals. They’ve recently been included in Spotify’s Viral 50 Chart, gaining a wider following through their earnest sound. They are also hailed as a band on the rise.



When: Oct. 13 at 1:15 p.m.

Where: Miller Lite

Genre: Indie Pop

Similar Artists: Walk the Moon, Neon Trees, Bad Suns

Recommended Tracks: “Talk Too Much,” “Atlas” and “Run”

Experiencing summertime success with radio-hit “Talk Too Much,” COIN gained a huge following through their energetic music and positive demeanor. Their music is pure indie-pop, striving to make their audience feel good on every track. They received positive reception of their newest album, “How Will You Know If You Never Try.” If you’re looking for a performance reminiscent of the good old summer days, you’ll want to watch this band.



When: Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 at 3:15 p.m.

Where: Barton Springs

Genre: Indie Rock

Similar Artists: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Car Seat Headrest, Mitski

Recommended Tracks: “No Woman,” “Golden Days” and “You’ve Got a Woman”

Formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Smith Westerns, Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich create melancholy music that resonates well with the heartbroken and lonely, while injecting it with more hopeful, positive vocals. For a relaxed set, Whitney’s musical ability will leave you impressed.


The Bishops

When: Oct. 13 at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Genre: Electronic/Hip-Hop

Similar Artists: The Internet, KAYTRANADA, Isaiah Rashad

Recommended Tracks: “Blood Ring,” “Mr. Scatterbrained” and “Constellation”

The Austin-native sibling trio of The Bishops are a synth-led hip-hop group, mixing dance floor music with rap and smooth R&B vocals. With catchy hooks and entertaining sound production, the young local group is on the rise with soulfulness creating unstoppable head-nodding and a euphoric atmosphere.


Deap Vally

When: Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 at 12:30 p.m.

Where: American Express

Genre: Rock

Similar Artists: The White Stripes, Eagles of Death Metal, Muse

Recommended Tracks: “Smile More,” “Baby I Call Hell” and “End of the World”

Rock girl-duo Deap Vally have a bold and audacious onstage presence to go along with their unapologetic sounds, previously opening for acclaimed bands such as The Vaccines and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The hardcore, at times blues-infused tracks make the band stand out from the traditional rock genre and are perfect for those looking for a shot of energy to witness.


Parker Millsap

When: Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 at 2:15 p.m.

Where: Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Genre: Americana/Folk

Similar Artists: The Civil Wars, James Bay, The Head and the Heart

Recommended Tracks: “Jealous Sun,” “Wherever You Are” and “Hades Pleads”

The gravelly, Southern-gothic edge of young singer-songwriter Parker Millsap sets him apart from the traditional folk artist. His live performances have gained the attention of many acclaimed artists, including an invitation to play the Apple Music Festival with Elton John. He recently won Artist of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards, and his quick rise to fame makes it clear that the 24-year-old is just getting started.