Austin's NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Austin 100

Tkay Maidza performed at this year's South By Southwest music festival.
Cassandra Hannagan
/
Getty Images
Tkay Maidza performed at this year's South By Southwest music festival.

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:

  • Stream the songs via the NPR One app until April 30. You can find the channel at the top of the app's Explore tab. Download the app here.
  • If you're a Spotify user, you can stream most of the mix using our Austin 100 playlist.
  • 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.

    , "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.

    , "TIDES"

    Los Angeles, California

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

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "Pause Button"

    New Orleans, Louisiana

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

    , "Reptiliano"

    Murcia, Spain

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

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "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.

    , "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.

    Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Related Content