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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 Courtesy of the artists hide caption

itoggle caption 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. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist


  • 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.

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.


  • 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.

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.

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.

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.


  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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

Laura Stevenson
Don Giovanni Records

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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
Agnes Obel
PIAS America

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

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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