Five Acts to Discover at Austin City Limits 2012

Tuneage // Marley Lynch // 10/11/12
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Delta Spirit

So sold out that it plans to expand to two weekends in 2013, this year's Austin City Limits truly has something for everyone. Of the 130 (!) acts of all-stars and postulants that pack the three-day bill, we know there are some hotshot headliners you'd never dream of missing, such as the Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers—though you'll have to make a gut-wrenching decision between Jack White and Neil Young & Crazy Horse, who share a set time on Saturday night.

The loaded lineup also supplies '90s throwbacks (Weezer, the Afghan Whigs), major EDM acts (Avicii, Bassnectar), funk & soul revivalists (Gary Clark Jr., Lee Fields and the Expressions) and big-time indie acts (M83, Gotye, Alabama Shakes), not to mention a solid selection of up-and-coming artists that may not yet be on your radar. Don't worry—Foam has got you covered with our top 5 bands to discover at ACL 2012. As you map out your weekend schedule—or suffer from distance-induced FOMO—be sure to listen to our Spotify playlist below.

Delta Spirit 2:15pm, Friday 12
Delta Spirit has been toying with a catchy folk-rock sound since 2005, but it's on the San Diego band’s third, self-titled album that we truly heard the all-dude quintet find its stride. Trading its signature twang for synths and drum machines, the record's hit single "California" sounds like it was tailor-made for Foam readers: It's loaded with soaring hooks, a soulful chorus and scorching vocals.

Michael Kiwanuka 4:30pm, Saturday 13
British song man Michael Kiwanuka brings tender, ultra-smooth soul to ACL’s frenzied grounds. His retro tendencies recall organic ‘70s folk and Bill Withers’ sincere croon, but his warm, never-indulgent delivery will prove timeless. The 24-year old buzz magnet was handpicked to open for Adele, and you can hear why on his gorgeous debut LP, Home Again.

Tennis 3:15pm, Sunday 13
Husband-and-wife duos are generally pretty cute, but Tennis’s vintage-pop album Young and Old, produced by Black Key Patrick Carney, takes the adorable factor to the next level with its garage-rock take on girl-group classics. With spare and summery beats, bouncy bass lines and enchanting voices, Denver’s Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore come together as one of our favorite matches of the year, and we can’t wait to see their onstage dynamic.

The War on Drugs 2:30pm, Friday 12
On last year’s excellent Slave Ambient, the Google-challenged War on Drugs applied fuzzy shoegaze sensitivities to full-blooded, heartland arrangements. Couple that aesthetic with nostalgic introspection and psych-pop hooks, and the Philly outfit coined a shimmering genre that was all its own—call it stoner Americana. With a leisurely early afternoon set time, we can't imagine a better way to spend some moments in the park while the sun’s still high.

Wild Belle 4:30pm, Friday 12
One of the most exciting breakout acts to emerge this year, Chicago’s Wild Belle crafts reggae-tinged folk-pop, grounded by deep, enticing female vocals—sort of like if Lana del Rey did her pouty ‘70s thing over driving island rhythms. The coed siblings were recently signed to Columbia Records, who will release their debut, Isles, early next year. Catch a sneak peek at the album here.

Listen to our ACL Spotify playlist now:

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