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SXSW Music critics' picks: Who to see Thursday

Eric Webb,Peter Blackstock
Ritzy Bryan of the Joy Formidable has must-see stage presence. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Our critics picked their can't-miss artists for each night of SXSW. Here's the best of Thursday.


9 p.m. Mabiland: The 22-year-old artist dropped her debut release, “1995,” last year. She went on to thrill sold-out crowds in her hometown, Medellín, as well as the Colombian capital, Bogotá, with her soulful singing voice and formidable rhyme skills. (Speakeasy)

10 p.m. Megan Thee Stallion: The self-proclaimed "H-Town Hottie" spits red-hot sex rhymes that get the clubs jumping. (Cheer Up Charlies)

11 p.m. Jojo Abot: The Ghanaian artist combines striking visuals with rich electronic compositions to create an artistically immersive experience that draws you in. (Flamingo Cantina)

11:20 p.m. Amara La Negra: Rocking sequins aplenty and leading her dance team in gluteal gyrations synced to her catchy Spanish pop songs, the “Love & Hip Hop Miami” star shimmied her way into our hearts last year. (Belmont)

12:30 a.m. Lizzo: Attending a Lizzo show is an act of self-love. Do yourself right. (Stubb’s)


8:30 p.m. Oh Pep!: Mandolin, violin and guitar ground the radiant acoustic pop of this Melbourne duo in folk roots. (Barracuda)

9 p.m. David Keenan: The Irish singer-songwriter who first gained attention from a viral video of a song performed in a taxi four years ago has a powerful voice and a sharp sense for gorgeous folk-rock arrangements. (Velveeta Room)

10 p.m. Marfa Crush: The Austin band is still in its formative stages, but the magnetic presence of frontman Marlon Sexton (yes, Charlie’s son) makes them well worth checking out. (Friends)

10:15 p.m. Laura Stevenson: The Long Island singer-songwriter makes compelling indie folk rock and just released her fifth album, “The Big Freeze.” (Malverde)

Midnight. Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis: Last year’s dual project between Chicago’s Grammy-nominated trad tunesmith Fulks and rootsy pianist-singer Lewis brought out the best in both artists. (Victorian Room at the Driskill)

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4 p.m. Teen: Like if St. Vincent were three sisters and got tired of her guitar sometimes. (Clive Bar)

5 p.m. The Joy Formidable: There are few experiences more delightful than watching frontwoman Ritzy Bryan lean over the front of a stage and grin like a rock maniac. This Welsh trio is a must-see. (Container Bar)

10 p.m. Sad Cops: A Denton band that’ll scratch that emo itch. (Sheraton Backyard)

11:15 p.m. King Princess: Achy-voiced queer power from a singer rocketing like a meteor. (Stubb’s)

Midnight. Cactus Blossoms: Minneapolis brothers whose harmonious Western ballads click into place like a row of pearl snaps. (3Ten at ACL Live)

12:30 a.m. Lizzo: Has anyone making the Austin festival circuit the past few years ever felt more like a superstar from day one? We’ve been tellin’ y’all. (Stubb’s)