The Austin 100

Mar 1, 2017
Originally published on April 1, 2017 9:34 am

Every year, the SXSW Music Festival serves a daunting, days-long feast of sounds from around the world. And once again, NPR Music's Austin 100 is here to distill it all down to a digestible meal of music discovery.

Picked from a playlist that spanned more than a hundred hours, these 100 songs represent a broad and exciting cross-section of SXSW's many highlights. Here's how you can listen:

As in previous years, The Austin 100 is just the beginning of NPR Music's SXSW 2017 coverage, so visit NPR.org/SXSW for full concerts, photos, videos, commentary and, of course, many more recommendations. Enjoy the music!

The Austin 100 Playlist

Aaron Lee Tasjan, "Little Movies"

Nashville, Tennessee

Tasjan's spacey, genre-obliterating Americana positively sparkles.

Adam Torres, "I Came To Sing The Song"

Austin, Texas

Torres sings high and lonesome ballads with vulnerability and piercing clarity.

Agnes Obel, "Familiar"

Copenhagen, Denmark

Obel's graceful, immaculate songs can sound both warm and chilling.

Aldous Harding, "Horizon"

Lyttelton, New Zealand

Harding's haunting folk music moves delicately, but never stops baring its teeth.

All Our Exes Live In Texas, "Boundary Road"

Sydney, Australia

Four singers whose rich, swooning harmonies elevate their lush folk-pop songs.

Allison Crutchfield, "I Don't Ever Wanna Leave California"

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The former Swearin' singer writes smart, spiky songs about rootlessness and regret.

Annabelle Chairlegs, "Watermelon Summer"

Austin, Texas

Lindsey Mackin's voice soars and rages over stormy psych-rock jams.

Be Charlotte, "Machines That Breathe"

Dundee, Scotland

Charlotte Brimner sings brightly charming pop-rock songs with an irresistible brogue.

Big Thief, "Masterpiece"

Brooklyn, New York

Adrianne Lenker's songs mix blustery energy with sweet nods to a life of friendship and connection.

Boogarins, "Elogio Á Instituição Do Cinismo"

Goiânia, Brazil

The band's stomping songs meet at a perfect midpoint between psych-rock and Tropicália.

Brent Cobb, "Shine On Rainy Day"

Ellaville, Georgia

The singer-songwriter's sandy voice is the audio equivalent of sweet tea in the summertime.

Calliope Musicals, "Sink Or Swim"

Austin, Texas

A vibrant psych-folk band whose shows are spectacles of concentrated celebration.

Canyon City, "Paper Airplanes"

Nashville, Tennessee

Paul Johnson's warm, bright folk-pop songs feel like letters from a friend.

Carson McHone, "Poet"

Austin, Texas

McHone straddles the Americana-country line, as rock energy meets slide guitars and deep twang.

Charlie Cunningham, "An Opening"

London, England

Cunningham's songs have a cavernous quality to them, while still somehow sounding intimate.

Charly Bliss, "Ruby"

Brooklyn, New York

"Bubblegrunge" is a genre now, and damned if Charly Bliss isn't great at it.

Cherry Glazerr, "Nurse Ratched"

Los Angeles, California

Clementine Creevy leads a young rock 'n' roll powerhouse with slyness and swagger.

Christopher Paul Stelling, "Destitute"

Brooklyn, New York

Stelling infuses his dusty folk songs with raw, wiry, beat-up intensity.

Close Talker, "Afterthought"

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Like Rhye's music before it, the band's songs are sexy, oddly unsettling and irresistible.

Coco Hames, "I Don't Wanna Go"

Memphis, Tennessee

On her solo debut, The Ettes' singer arms sugary pop hooks with garage-rock fangs.

Crywolf, "Weight"

Los Angeles, California

Crywolf came up in EDM, but his new project radiates lonesome, Bon Iver-style yearning.

Dawg Yawp, "I'll Quit Tomorrow"

Cincinnati, Ohio

A sitar gives this folk-rock duo's dreamily pretty songs a bit of added shimmer.

De Osos, "Todo El Ruido Entre Nosotros"

Mexico City, Mexico

From ambient swells to room-filling squalls, in the space of a single song.

Dem Yuut, "Dawn / Sea"

Minneapolis, Minnesota

R&B and synth-pop sounds get warped and reshaped until they form something new.

Derrick Hart, "you're winning so i quit"

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Hart's timeless, vibrant pop-rock songs make the most of their impeccably placed strings.

Emily Reo, "Spell"

Brooklyn, New York

Reo's voice gets looped and processed until it forms a grand, gorgeous, swirling mass.

Eric Biddines, "Peeuurrnn"

Palm Beach, Florida

The rapper's twisty, distinct flow lends his songs a sense of playfulness and surprise.

FINLAY, "TIDES"

Los Angeles, California

Paige Finlay's fizzily insistent pop brims over with a sense of joy worthy of Carly Rae Jepsen.

Frances Cone, "Arizona"

Brooklyn, New York

The band doesn't stay in one place for long, as slow burns make way for soaring catharsis.

Frankie Rose, "Know Me"

New York, New York

The singer is an inexhaustible well of sunny, hooky garage-pop.

Gaelynn Lea, "Watch The World Unfold"

Duluth, Minnesota

Lea's looped violin and intimate vocals form a sound infused with warmth and optimism.

Golden Dawn Arkestra, "Stargazer"

Saturn, Texas

You can almost hear the costumes and smoke machines in this Sun Ra-style spectacle.

Goon, "Cammie At Night"

Los Angeles, California

Right down to its name, Goon captures the essence of '90s college radio.

Gurr, "Moby Dick"

Berlin, Germany

A scuzzy-sweet garage-pop duo whose simplicity never drowns out all the shiny hooks.

Holly Macve, "Heartbreak Blues"

Brighton, England

Macve blends the icy cool of Lana Del Rey with the folksy warmth of a yodeling country queen.

Hoops, "Cool 2"

Bloomington, Indiana

The band distills busy guitars and shadowy mystery into efficient pocket epics.

Iron Reagan, "Dying World"

Richmond, Virginia

Speedball blasts of rigid, raging metal, complete with solos that shred.

Japanese Breakfast, "Everybody Wants To Love You"

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Beneath all the sweetness and sugar lies something sideways, even vaguely sinister.

Jay Som, "The Bus Song"

Oakland, California

Melina Duterte writes whip-smart, brightly spry pop-rock songs, and plays every note herself.

Jealous Of The Birds, "Goji Berry Sunset"

Portadown, Northern Ireland

Irish singer Naomi Hamilton layers her gorgeous voice to make blissful, hypnotic folk music.

Johnny Flynn, "Heart Sunk Hank"

London, England

Big on the U.K. folk scene, the singer-actor plays songs that never feel tethered to one era.

Julie Byrne, "Follow My Voice"

New York, New York

Byrne's dusky voice slows the blood and calms the nerves.

L.A. Salami, "Going Mad As The Street Bins"

London, England

Lookman Adekunle Salami is a songwriter and poet whose songs burst with big ideas.

Le Butcherettes, "Shave The Pride"

Guadalajara, Mexico

Teri Gender Bender is riveting onstage, to the point of being a little terrifying.

Let's Eat Grandma, "Deep Six Textbook"

Norwich, England

Two English teenagers make funny, whimsically unsettling experimental pop.

The Lighthouse And The Whaler, "I Want To Feel Alive"

Cleveland, Ohio

Agreeably effervescent folk-pop, elevated by forays into orchestral grandiosity.

Lillie Mae, "Honky Tonks & Taverns"

Nashville, Tennessee

A Jack White-approved singer and multi-instrumentalist whose songs are all verve and nerve.

Liniker E Os Caramelows, "Remonta"

Araraquara, Brazil

A brooding Brazilian soul band with a chilling sound and a future star in singer Liniker Barros.

Living Hour, "Steady Glazed Eyes"

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Slowdive just returned, but shoegaze music was already in good hands with Living Hour.

LVL UP, "The Closing Door"

Purchase, New York

The churning, wordy rumble of Neutral Milk Hotel gets a thoughtful and catchy update.

Manu Delago, "A Step (feat. Pete Josef)"

London, England

Delago's playing on the Hang (kind of like a muted steel drum) has led him to work with Björk. Solo, his songs are dizzyingly pretty.

Marisa Anderson, "He Is Without His Guns"

Portland, Oregon

Without flash, Anderson's solo guitar pieces tell a story while establishing a clear sense of place.

Meat Wave, "Run You Out"

Chicago, Illinois

Meat Wave locates the thread connecting blistering punk to the rafter-shaking legacy of Billy Squier.

Middle Kids, "Edge Of Town"

Sydney, Australia

A rock band with the chemistry, charm and moxie to sail straight from small clubs to stadiums.

Migrant Kids, "Thread"

Austin, Texas

Propulsive pop-rock with swirling synths, chugging guitars and real power.

Moor Mother, "Deadbeat Protest"

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Camae Ayewa's industrial/experimental hip-hop is radical and confrontational in every way.

Moses Boyd Exodus, "Rye Lane Shuffle"

London, England

A drummer, composer and rising star, Boyd takes jazz in surprising, invigorating directions.

Nick Hakim, "Bet She Looks Like You"

Washington, D.C.

The singer's neo-soul songs seem to seep in from another room — or another era.

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, "dOn't turn me Off (feat. JD AKA ThrashKitten & Mal Devisa)"

Chicago, Illinois

With the help of inspired guest collaborators, Ogbonnaya flings joyful ideas in every direction.

No Joy, "Califone"

Montreal, Quebec

The band stirs fuzz, jangle and abrasion into a dream-pop sound that rarely stays in one place for long.

Noga Erez, "Pity"

Tel Aviv, Israel

Bold in sound, style and subject matter, the singer-producer infuses her electro-pop with tightly coiled fury.

Noname, "Diddy Bop (feat. Raury & Cam O'bi)"

Chicago, Illinois

The rapper's clever wordplay and breezy-smooth sound only enhance her personal storytelling.

Otoboke Beaver, "S'il Vous Plait"

Kyoto, Japan

The poppy-but-blistering equivalent of 15 consecutive exclamation points.

Outer Spaces, "Words"

Baltimore, Maryland

You'll never be happier to get a song stuck in your head for days.

Overcoats, "Hold Me Close"

New York, New York

Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell weave their beautiful voices together tightly and set them to subtle beats.

Palm, "Crank"

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Palm's songs are jagged and dauntingly complex, but the band's live reputation promises relentless mayhem.

Particle Devotion, "Pause Button"

New Orleans, Louisiana

Brainy, tenderly conversational verses give way to choruses that burst with ragingly ecstatic energy.

Perro, "Reptiliano"

Murcia, Spain

Big, churning, infectious rock 'n' roll, fueled by guitars you can feel in your bones.

Phoebe Bridgers, "Smoke Signals"

Los Angeles, California

A formidable talent whose haunting voice and eye for storytelling detail are genuinely special.

Phoria, "Emanate"

Brighton, England

Breathlessly pretty electronic music in which every note sounds conspicuously human.

Porter Ray, "Arithmetic (feat. Infinite & Stas THEE Boss)"

Seattle, Washington

Aligned with Shabazz Palaces, the rapper sets his own agile rhymes against softly woozy, spaced-out arrangements.

Priests, "JJ"

Washington, D.C.

Charismatic singer Katie Alice Greer is a rock star, a pop star and a political punk, all rolled up in one.

pronoun, "a million other things"

Brooklyn, New York

Alyse Vellturo's bedroom recordings exude raw vulnerability, but also notes of defiant optimism.

R.LUM.R, "Frustrated"

Nashville, Tennessee

A fast-rising, pop-friendly R&B singer whose falsetto is no joke.

The Regrettes, "Hot"

Eagle Rock, California

The band played with cool confidence when its members were just kids; now that most of them are grown, look out.

River Whyless, "Life Crisis"

Asheville, North Carolina

Every band member seems to keep busy at all times, giving River Whyless' songs a sense of playful motion.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, "Julie's Place"

Melbourne, Australia

Beachy, strummy pop-rock that'll chime and jangle its way straight into your heart.

Sad13, "<2"

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis takes a solo turn, redirecting her sound toward smart, slinky pop.

Sammus, "1080p"

Ithaca, New York

The rapper self-identifies as a nerd, but she also bares her soul and raw nerves.

Seckond Chaynce, "Can't Take This From Me"

Tampa, Florida

The Christian rapper's intense, rapid-fire delivery is awe-inspiring.

Slingshot Dakota, "You"

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

The married couple plays big, blooming, Technicolor pop-rock with grace and joy.

Sneaks, "Inside Edition"

Washington, D.C.

Eva Moolchan's icy-cool synth-pop plays out in short minimalist bursts.

SOHN, "Signal"

Vienna, Austria

Christopher Taylor's sparse, brooding electronic ballads settle under the skin.

Split Single, "Untry Love"

Evanston, Illinois

Rock veteran Jason Narducy plays fist-in-the-air anthems worthy of arenas.

Sven Helbig, "Abendglühen"

Dresden, Germany

The composer's rich, enveloping symphonic pieces are performed by choirs and augmented by electronics.

Tancred, "Bed Case"

Kittery, Maine

Now, Now's Jess Abbott marries hand-clappy pop-punk sounds to deceptively dark lyrics.

Teen Daze, "Cycle"

Abbotsford, British Columbia

Jamison Isaak's dreamy electronic music reflects on the vulnerability of nature and our own minds.

Temples, "Certainty"

Kettering, England

The band channels the sonic ambition, and the visual manifestations, of '60s and '70s pop.

Tkay Maidza, "Simulation"

Adelaide, South Australia

The singer and rapper presides over springy pop songs that beg to be fed through car speakers.

Tombs, "Deceiver"

Brooklyn, New York

Tombs' punishing metal is expansive and inventive, with nods to gothic and industrial music.

Totally Mild, "When I'm Tired"

Melbourne, Australia

Sweet, harmony-rich, pointedly concise jangle-pop — perfect for very short walks in the sunshine.

Trapo, "Speed"

Madison, Wisconsin

At 19, the rapper and singer already has a distinct, alluring songwriting voice.

Tribu Baharú, "Made In Tribu Baharú"

Región Caribe, Colombia

It's difficult to overstate the band's unrelentingly, sweat-flingingly joyous energy.

Troker, "Principe Charro"

Guadalajara, Mexico

Troker's churningly energetic, horn-drenched jazz has a spring in its step and a metalhead's heart.

Tunde Olaniran, "Namesake"

Flint, Michigan

Olaniran's busily infectious anthems bubble over with intensity and ideas.

Vagabon, "Fear & Force"

New York, New York

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Laetitia Tamko fills her songs with spare, thoughtful rumination.

Valley Queen, "Stars Align"

Los Angeles, California

Natalie Carol presides over ambling Americana jams that positively soar.

Weaves, "Tick"

Toronto, Ontario

The band's zingy, whiz-bang quirkiness provides a nice backdrop for the commanding presence of singer Jasmyn Burke.

Will Stratton, "Some Ride"

Beacon, New York

For all their finger-picked precision, Stratton's pristine acoustic folk songs are as warm as music gets.

Yussef Kamaal, "Lowrider"

London, England

Drummer Yussef Dayes and keyboardist Kamaal Williams play bold, futuristic funk that throbs and thrills.

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