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acl2014As expected, ACL 2014 is delivering hard on big names this year. However, there are a few lesser known artists performing at the festival that deserve your attention as well. Below is a list of 10 bands you should take the time to check out if you find yourself at Zilker Park over the next two weekends.

1. MODOC (Weekend 1)

MODOC is a Nashville-based trio that is striving to bring us back to the era of true rock and roll. Clint Culberson, Kyle Addison, and Johnny Carlson form MODOC, whose hometown is Muncie, IN. They cite rock, country, and blues influences and are pioneers for a genre that continues to fight cultural norms. Give them a listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhE-iTyGXj0

2. Tune-Yards (Weekends 1 and 2)

Out of New England, Tune-Yards is an indie-electronic musical project that began with Merrill Garbus. Garbus works together with her bass player, Nate Brenner, creating loops and layers that are backed by other musicians to produce songs that are influenced by any and every genre. The group pushes boundaries to ensure an exciting experience for their listeners. Here’s my personal favorite song by the band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFHuTXJMgOk

3. Night Terrors of 1927 (Weekends 1 and 2)

Based in LA, Night Terrors of 1927 is an indie/alternative pop duo whose members include Jarrod Gorbel and Blake Sennett. The duo formed in 2012 and is gaining momentum with their new EP Anything to Anyone. Released just last week, the premiere single off of this EP features Tegan and Sara. Take a listen! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZD0mh1x3Lw

4. The Nightowls

Formed by Ryan Harkrider, the Nightowls are a soul band from the Texas capitol. They currently reside as a house band for One-2-One every Monday night for the bar’s Motown Monday lineup. Having seen them live, I can assure you they are way too much fun to miss out on during this year’s festival. Listen to them here. And don’t be ashamed to dance in your living room while you do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHIzh2U_I3U

5. Dawn & Hawkes (Weekend 1)

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The self proclaimed “indie-folk-american” duo Dawn & Hawkes is another Austin-based band worth seeing live. After garnering attention from their stint on NBC’s The Voice, Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes have been steadily rising to fame. With beautiful harmonies and an exquisite audience-engaging performance, this is a show that will help you catch your breath among the craziness that is ACL. See what I’m talking about? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j25JY9A0Ig

6. Penny and Sparrow (Weekend 2)

Penny and Sparrow are a duet of former roommates, Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke, who hail from the great state of Texas. The two are influenced by the likes of Bon Iver and Mumford and Sons and would be another welcome escape from ACL 2014 madness. Here is a glimpse of the beautiful music they make together. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xysbrMDVzw8

7. Jamestown Revival (Weekend 1)

Yet another duo from Austin, this indie-rock group pulls double duty between LA and the nation’s live music capital. They describe themselves as having a “southern slant” and bring in folk influences to keep their listeners interested. A sure crowd-pleaser in a state of proud southerners. Check them out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3053LuCiTI

8. Knifight (Weekend 2)

Remaining in Austin, but chaining genres, Knifight brings us indie-electronic music that is helping them rise to the scene in a remarkable way. Proving to audiences that they are excellent both live and on record, the five-piece ensemble is an exciting addition to those looking to broaden their horizons at ACL 2014. Here’s a glimpse into what you might hear if you check them out at Weekend 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dma7uQJMVjg

9. Arum Rae (Weekend 1)

Arum Rae is a shining solo artist living between New York and Austin. She has fought to make herself known in a modern world dominated by bands and duets. The indie artist has certainly worked with her fair share of big names, but is finally settling into a career of her own. She pulls in rock-blues influences and entrances her audience with her rich, sultry tone. Here is one in particular that will make you a quick fan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHn_e7ye4CQ

10. Kodaline (Weekend 2)

This Dublin-based rock band has been gaining some followers recently, but is yet to become a household name. Among the heavy hitters to appear at ACL this year, Kodaline will certainly be able to hold their own. The four members of Kodaline have been through some transition in their time together, but their hard work is finally paying off. Be a part of their up and coming fan base and check them out at Weekend 2. Here’s a little taste of what you might hear.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkAOasSJro0