By Tess Cagle
While festivals are known primarily as a way to catch some of the world’s top musicians within the span of a couple of days, they’re also a great place for scoping out the hottest bands on the rise. If you’ve got time to kill at Austin City Limits before all of your favorite headliners play, here are a few gems that have gotten missed in the fine print on the lineup schedule.
The NightOwls — Saturday, Oct. 11, 12:00 p.m. to 12:40 p.m. at Austin Ventures
This 10-piece soul band from Austin is always dressed to kill. Decked out in
1920s garb, the band members are impossible to miss in a crowd. Add some drop-dead gorgeous female vocalists with on-point choreography to the fold, and you’ve got a no-brainer when it comes to a good show. The NightOwls’ songs are upbeat and full of energy, making them the perfect early act to prepare for a day of non-stop raging.
Broods — Fri. Oct. 10, 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Samsung Galaxy
Watch out Lorde, you’ve got some competition. This brother-sister alt/electro-pop duo from New Zealand bears a striking resemblance to the “Royals” star, due in no small part to sharing the same producer. Their songs are appropriately brooding (sorry, couldn’t resist) and have a melancholy, yet dreamy feel to them.
Jamestown Revival — Sun. Oct. 5, 2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Sculpture
Magnolia, Texas natives Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance formed this singer-songwriter duo upon moving to Austin in 2010, and within six months graced the cover of “Rolling Stone.” The duo’s sound can be best described as indie-rock, with heavy southern influences. It’s the kind of music that makes listeners feel like bona fide Texans — no dabblings in country music required.
Recommended Tracks: “Fur Coat Blues,” “Home,” “Time is Gone”
Colony House — Sun. Oct. 12, 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at BMI
So new that they don’t even have a Wikipedia page, Colony House is a three-piece indie rock band from Tennessee. Lyrically, their songs possess an unmistakable authenticity and a depth that demands multiple listens. Their debut album, “When I Was Younger,” demonstrates a distinct transition from upbeat, summery opener “Silhouettes” to the more serious closer, “Control.” Their songs manage to elicit excitement and joy, while also inspiring some intense self-reflection. “Silhouettes” recently made its debut on SiriusXM’s Alt Nation, and has since established itself as one of those songs that demands to be played at full blast. Colony House should be just as captivating on-stage watch as they are on record.
Recommended Tracks: “Silhouettes,” “Keep on Keepin On,” “Caught Me by Surprise”
Miniature Tigers — Sun. Oct. 5 / Sun. Oct. 12, 1:00 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. at Austin Ventures
From Brooklyn, New York, Miniature Tigers have spent a good amount of time in Texas lately, be it for touring or simply living in Austin. The indie-pop group’s discography shows notable growth since they first formed in 2006, evolving from more traditional pop to synth-pop and dream pop. Their most recent album, “Cruel Runnings,” which came out in June, has a distinct summer feel. As a whole, their discography makes listeners want to dance or make out with the person next to them (both are good things, right?). Miniature Tigers have an unparalleled stage presence, constantly engaging their audience. I can still remember the first time I saw them live, when lead singer Charlie Brand jumped into the crowd and started a conga line. And I’ll never forget the last time I saw them, when he kissed their guitarist in the middle of their set. Needless to say, every Miniature Tigers performance is unforgettable.