The Austin 100

Mar 1, 2017
Originally published on March 5, 2017 2:46 pm

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 keep coming back to NPR.org/SXSW for full concerts, photos, videos, commentary and, of course, many more recommendations to come. Enjoy the music!


The Austin 100 Playlist

Aaron Lee Tasjan, "Little Movies" [MP3]

Nashville, Tennessee

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


Adam Torres, "I Came To Sing The Song" [MP3]

Austin, Texas

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


Agnes Obel, "Familiar" [MP3]

Copenhagen, Denmark

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


Aldous Harding, "Horizon" [MP3]

Lyttelton, New Zealand

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


All Our Exes Live In Texas, "Boundary Road" [MP3]

Sydney, Australia

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


Allison Crutchfield, "I Don't Ever Wanna Leave California" [MP3]

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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


Annabelle Chairlegs, "Watermelon Summer" [MP3]

Austin, Texas

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


Be Charlotte, "Machines That Breathe" [MP3]

Dundee, Scotland

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


Big Thief, "Masterpiece" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Goiânia, Brazil

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


Brent Cobb, "Shine On Rainy Day" [MP3]

Ellaville, Georgia

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


Calliope Musicals, "Sink Or Swim" [MP3]

Austin, Texas

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


Canyon City, "Paper Airplanes" [MP3]

Nashville, Tennessee

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


Carson McHone, "Poet" [MP3]

Austin, Texas

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


Charlie Cunningham, "An Opening" [MP3]

London, England

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


Charly Bliss, "Ruby" [MP3]

Brooklyn, New York

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


Cherry Glazerr, "Nurse Ratched" [MP3]

Los Angeles, California

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


Christopher Paul Stelling, "Destitute" [MP3]

Brooklyn, New York

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


Close Talker, "Afterthought" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Memphis, Tennessee

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


Crywolf, "Weight" [MP3]

Los Angeles, California

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


Dawg Yawp, "I'll Quit Tomorrow" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Mexico City, Mexico

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


Dem Yuut, "Dawn / Sea" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Greenfield, Massachusetts

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


Emily Reo, "Spell" [MP3]

Brooklyn, New York

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


Eric Biddines, "Peeuurrnn" [MP3]

Palm Beach, Florida

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


FINLAY, "TIDES" [MP3]

Los Angeles, California

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


Frances Cone, "Arizona" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

New York, New York

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


Gaelynn Lea, "Watch The World Unfold" [MP3]

Duluth, Minnesota

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


Golden Dawn Arkestra, "Stargazer" [MP3]

Saturn, Texas

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


Goon, "Cammie At Night" [MP3]

Los Angeles, California

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


Gurr, "Moby Dick" [MP3]

Berlin, Germany

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


Holly Macve, "Heartbreak Blues" [MP3]

Brighton, England

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


Hoops, "Cool 2" [MP3]

Bloomington, Indiana

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


Iron Reagan, "Dying World" [MP3]

Richmond, Virginia

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


Japanese Breakfast, "Everybody Wants To Love You" [MP3]

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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


Jay Som, "The Bus Song" [MP3]

Oakland, California

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


Jealous Of The Birds, "Goji Berry Sunset" [MP3]

Portadown, Northern Ireland

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


Johnny Flynn, "Heart Sunk Hank" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

New York, New York

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


L.A. Salami, "Going Mad As The Street Bins" [MP3]

London, England

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


Le Butcherettes, "Shave The Pride" [MP3]

Guadalajara, Mexico

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


Let's Eat Grandma, "Deep Six Textbook" [MP3]

Norwich, England

Two English teenagers make funny, whimsically unsettling experimental pop.


The Lighthouse And The Whaler, "I Want To Feel Alive" [MP3]

Cleveland, Ohio

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


Lillie Mae, "Honky Tonks & Taverns" [MP3]

Nashville, Tennessee

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


Liniker E Os Caramelows, "Remonta" [MP3]

Araraquara, Brazil

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


Living Hour, "Steady Glazed Eyes" [MP3]

Winnipeg, Manitoba

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


LVL UP, "The Closing Door" [MP3]

Purchase, New York

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


Manu Delago, "A Step (feat. Pete Josef)" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Portland, Oregon

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


Meat Wave, "Run You Out" [MP3]

Chicago, Illinois

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


Middle Kids, "Edge Of Town" [MP3]

Sydney, Australia

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


Migrant Kids, "Thread" [MP3]

Austin, Texas

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


Moor Mother, "Deadbeat Protest" [MP3]

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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


Moses Boyd Exodus, "Rye Lane Shuffle" [MP3]

London, England

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


Nick Hakim, "Bet She Looks Like You" [MP3]

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)" [MP3]

Chicago, Illinois

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


No Joy, "Califone" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

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)" [MP3]

Chicago, Illinois

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


Otoboke Beaver, "S'il Vous Plait" [MP3]

Kyoto, Japan

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


Outer Spaces, "Words" [MP3]

Baltimore, Maryland

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


Overcoats, "Hold Me Close" [MP3]

New York, New York

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


Palm, "Crank" [MP3]

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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


Particle Devotion, "Pause Button" [MP3]

New Orleans, Louisiana

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


Perro, "Reptiliano" [MP3]

Murcia, Spain

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


Phoebe Bridgers, "Smoke Signals" [MP3]

Los Angeles, California

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


Phoria, "Emanate" [MP3]

Brighton, England

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


Porter Ray, "Arithmetic (feat. Infinite & Stas THEE Boss)" [MP3]

Seattle, Washington

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


Priests, "JJ" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Brooklyn, New York

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


R.LUM.R, "Frustrated" [MP3]

Nashville, Tennessee

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


The Regrettes, "Hot" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Melbourne, Australia

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


Sad13, "<2" [MP3]

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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


Sammus, "1080p" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Tampa, Florida

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


Slingshot Dakota, "You" [MP3]

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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


Sneaks, "Inside Edition" [MP3]

Washington, D.C.

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


SOHN, "Signal" [MP3]

Vienna, Austria

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


Split Single, "Untry Love" [MP3]

Evanston, Illinois

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


Sven Helbig, "Abendglühen" [MP3]

Dresden, Germany

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


Tancred, "Bed Case" [MP3]

Kittery, Maine

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


Teen Daze, "Cycle" [MP3]

Abbotsford, British Columbia

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


Temples, "Certainty" [MP3]

Kettering, England

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


Tkay Maidza, "Simulation" [MP3]

Adelaide, South Australia

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


Tombs, "Deceiver" [MP3]

Brooklyn, New York

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


Totally Mild, "When I'm Tired" [MP3]

Melbourne, Australia

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


Trapo, "Speed" [MP3]

Madison, Wisconsin

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


Tribu Baharú, "Made In Tribu Baharú" [MP3]

Región Caribe, Colombia

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


Troker, "Principe Charro" [MP3]

Guadalajara, Mexico

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


Tunde Olaniran, "Namesake" [MP3]

Flint, Michigan

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


Vagabon, "Fear & Force" [MP3]

New York, New York

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


Valley Queen, "Stars Align" [MP3]

Los Angeles, California

Natalie Carol presides over ambling Americana jams that positively soar.


Weaves, "Tick" [MP3]

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" [MP3]

Beacon, New York

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


Yussef Kamaal, "Lowrider" [MP3]

London, England

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


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