Entertainment SXSW acts in NYC: Sylvan Esso, PWR BTTM, more By Hal Bienstock Special to amNewYork March 19, 2017 5:54 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email This year’s SXSW conference felt quieter than usual. This may have had to do with hundreds of flights being canceled on the first day of the music portion due to last week’s winter storm, or it could be part of SXSW’s recent efforts to get back to its roots of music discovery rather than appearances from superstars like Lady Gaga and Kanye West. There were still plenty of big names to go around, with performances from Garth Brooks, Gucci Mane and Weezer. But the focus was on the 2,000 other acts that performed this year. Here are a few that are working their way to New York in the coming months. Vagabon Photo Credit: Jeff Colchamiro Laetitia Tamko is originally from Cameroon but now lives in New York. As Vagabon, her music runs the gamut of indie-rock styles, from hard rock to hushed folk, with bits of R&B and electronica thrown in. Her debut album, "Infinite Worlds," grapples with issues of identity and community. (May 6, Brooklyn Bazaar) Diet Cig Photo Credit: Jeff Colchamiro One of the most joyful sets of the festival came from New Paltz duo Diet Cig. Singer Alex Luciano bounced around the stage with a huge smile, doing spins and leg kicks as she delivered pop-punk stories of young adulthood. (April 7, Baby's All Right) Spoon and Gary Clark Jr. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Matt Winkelmeyer Two of Austin's most popular musical exports celebrated the release of new albums in very different ways. Spoon (pictured) curated a festival within a festival, performing for three consecutive nights with different, hand-picked opening acts. The band showed off its formidable catalog while premiering songs from its new "Hot Thoughts." Meanwhile, bluesman Gary Clark Jr. released his second live album in three years, then performed an intimate concert for about 200 people, serving up blazing guitar work and an unexpectedly excellent falsetto on a few soulful ballads. (Spoon performs July 28th at Panorama Festival on Randall's Island. Clark Jr. performs July 15th at Forest Hills Stadium with My Morning Jacket, then September 7-8 with Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden) Hurray for the Riff Raff Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael Loccisano Led by Bronx native Alynda Segarra, Americana group Hurray for the Riff Raff delivered a powerful set combining rootsy folk, '50s and '60s pop, and Latin music. The band's new album, "The Navigator," tells the story of a displaced street kid trying to figure out where she belongs, while tackling issues of gentrification, poverty and social justice. (April 20, Bowery Ballroom) Middle Kids Photo Credit: Jeff Colchamiro An indie-rock group with pop smarts, Australia's Middle Kids landed on a lot of people's radar screens following an endorsement from Elton John. With Hannah Joy's powerful, expressive voice and the band's big hooks and exuberant presence, they could one day find themselves on some of the same stages Sir Elton has graced. (April 1, Baby's All Right) Jamila Woods Photo Credit: Jeff Colchamiro Best known for her work with Chance the Rapper and Macklemore, her own music is plenty powerful in its own right. Often compared to Erykah Badu, the singer and poet's music is warm and inspiring even as it tackles issues of racism, injustice and the need for self-empowerment. She was backed by one of the festival's tightest bands. (July 28, Panorama Festival, Randall's Island) The New Pornographers Photo Credit: Getty Images for SXSW / Michael Loccisano The Canadian power-pop supergroup, led by AC Newman and Neko Case, kicked off a world tour at SXSW. The band ran through old favorites and previewed songs from its new album "Whiteout Conditions," showing off its trademark four-part harmonies and New Wave-y hooks. (April 26, Terminal 5) PWR BTTM Photo Credit: Jeff Colchamiro One of the most buzzed-about bands at SXSW, PWR BTTM is a queer pop-punk duo singing glammy, theatrical anthems about relationships, identity and self-confidence over riffs that could have come from Weezer or Van Halen. While their new album isn't out until May, fans were already singing along to tracks like "Answer My Text" and "Big Beautiful Day." (June 21, Webster Hall) Sylvan Esso Photo Credit: Getty Images for SXSW / Michael Loccisano A duo consisting of indie-folk singer Amelia Meath and electronic music producer Nick Sanborn, Sylvan Esso landed a surprise hit with their 2014 debut. The group's music combines Meath's crystal-clear vocals and Sanborn's beats into music that can soundtrack commercials, brunch or a night at a club. The group brought a ton of energy to the stage as it previewed songs from its new album, "What Now," which comes out next month and focuses on the pop side of the band's sound. (May 18, Brooklyn Steel) Jay Som Photo Credit: Jeff Colchamiro Jay Som is the stage name of Melina Duterte, who combines diverse influences including Cocteau Twins, Steely Dan and Carly Rae Jepsen. The songs on her new album, "Everybody Works," which were recorded in her bedroom, blend dream-pop, shoegaze and rock. On stage, her songs expand, trading in some of their intimacy for raw power. (March 29, Baby's All Right) By Hal Bienstock Special to amNewYork Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.