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SXSW 2014 Music Preview

Top row: Team Me; Middle Row, left to right: Kevin Gates, Agnes Obel, Lowell; Bottom row: Laura Stevenson, Moon Honey

hide captionTop row: Team Me; Middle Row, left to right: Kevin Gates, Agnes Obel, Lowell; Bottom row: Laura Stevenson, Moon Honey

Courtesy of the artists

As excited as we are about NPR Music's 2014 SXSW showcase with Damon Albarn, St. Vincent, Kelis and others (which you can stream live on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Central), those artists represent a fraction of the massive party happening in Austin, Texas this week.

To prepare for this week's show, All Songs hosts Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson listened to 1,540 songs by other musicians playing at the festival. Each narrowed that enormous list down to just a few songs by previously unknown bands that they're now planning to check out in Austin. NPR Music's Frannie Kelley and Ann Powers also stop by to offer a couple of suggestions, along with Katie Presley, music writer for Bitch Media and NPR Music.

Discovery is the name of the game for many at SXSW, and this show is all about up-and-coming talent. Whether it's the upbeat, celebratory feel of Louisiana's Royal Teeth or the ghostly experimental electronic music of Alligator Indian, this edition of All Songs Considered is bursting with passion and unique voices. Hopefully we'll uncover a lot more of that feeling this week in Austin.

SXSW 2014 Music Preview

Royal Teeth, Glow.


  • Artist: Royal Teeth
  • Album: Glow

Hear an exuberant pop track by Royal Teeth from their debut album Glow. For more information go to their website.

Cover for Gay Disco

Trash Bed

  • Artist: Guerilla Toss
  • Album: Gay Disco

This aggressive, arty track will rattle your bones. "Trash Bed" is from Guerilla Toss' LP Gay Disco.

Cover for Exegesis


  • Artist: Alden Penner
  • Album: Exegesis

This song contains focused, heartfelt vocals but manages to mix in a variety of sounds and instruments. "Word" is from Alden Penner's album Exegesis and is available for purchase here.

Cover for Guilty Face Single

Guilty Face

  • Artist: John & Jacob
  • Album: Guilty Face (Single)

This catchy, romantic single comes from Birmingham natives John & Jacob. For more information go to their website.

Cover for Hand-Painted Dream Photographs

The Cathedral

  • Artist: Moon Honey
  • Album: Hand-Painted Dream Photographs

Hear a poetic and careful track by the Baton Rouge-based group, Moon Honey. Moon Honey's new album Hand-Painted Dream Photographs is out now. For more, go to the group's website.

Cover for Dissed And Dismissed

Change My Ways

  • Artist: Tony Molina
  • Album: Dissed And Dismissed

"Change My Ways" is a morsel of non-stop energy from Tony Molina's album Dissed And Dismissed. This San Francisco rocker's songs are concise and leave listeners begging for more.

Cover for More Songs About Animals and TV


  • Artist: Alligator Indian
  • Album: More Songs About Animals and TV

Hear a haunting, synthesizer-heavy song from Alligator Indian's album More Songs About Animals and TV. For more, go to their bandcamp.

Cover for Medicated Spirits

Speed of Light

  • Artist: Dog Trumpet
  • Album: Medicated Spirits

Hear the Australian rock group Dog Trumpet's bold, buoyant song from its newest album, Medicated Spirits. For more, go to the band's website.

Cover for Don't Know (Single)

Don't Know

  • Artist: Kevin Gates
  • Album: Don't Know (Single)

Kevin Gates has been bubbling on the Internet as an artist to watch. Hear his memorable, braggadocious single "Don't Know" from his forthcoming album, By Any Means.

Cover for Abortion The Project

So Compelled (feat. Sydnee Jane)

  • Artist: Rob Gullatte
  • Album: Abortion The Project

This confrontational rap track contains honest lyrics and beautiful piano. To hear Rob Gullatte's mixtape Abortion: The Project click here.

Cover for I Killed Sara V.

Cloud 69

  • Artist: Lowell
  • Album: I Killed Sara V.

The Toronto-based artist Lowell is assertive and uses loads of electronic samples and distortion. "Cloud 69" is from Lowell's new EP I Killed Sara V.

Cover for His and Hers.


  • Artist: Denitia and Sene
  • Album: His and Hers.

The electro-soul duo Denitia and Sene combines soft vocals with original electronic noises. "Trip.Fall." is from the album His and Hers.

Cover for Wheel


  • Artist: Laura Stevenson
  • Album: Wheel

Hear impressive strings mixed with heart-wrenching lyrics. "L-Dopa" off of Laura Stevenson's upcoming album Wheel, which comes out April 23.


Purchase Featured Music

  • "L-Dopa"
  • Album: Wheel
  • Artist: Laura Stevenson
  • Label: Don Giovanni Records
  • Released: 2013
Cover for Aventine

The Curse

  • Artist: Agnes Obel
  • Album: Aventine

The Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel does not disappoint with this melodic, orchestral track. For more, go to her website.


Purchase Featured Music

  • "The Curse"
  • Album: Aventine
  • Artist: Agnes Obel
  • Label: PIAS America
  • Released: 2013
Cover for F is for Faker (Single)

F is for Faker

  • Artist: Team Me
  • Album: F is for Faker (Single)

The Norwegian pop-rock band Team Me will lift your spirits with its single, "F is for Faker." To hear more music, go to the band's website.




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