SXSW 2018 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments : All Songs Considered Our bleary-eyed, ear-ringing week of non-stop live music at the 2018 South by Southwest music festival has ended and we're back one last time to play some of our favorite discoveries.

SXSW 2018 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

SXSW 2018 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

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Clockwise from upper left: Sudan Archives, THICK, Gato Preto, Saint Sister, Surma Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

Our bleary-eyed, ear-ringing week of seemingly non-stop live music in Austin, Texas has ended and we're back one last time to reflect on the 2018 South by Southwest festival and play some of our favorite discoveries.

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Rodney Carmichael, convene in the NPR studios to share the most memorable stories and songs of the festival, from the gritty rock of Brooklyn's THICK and Afro-electronic soundscapes of Sudan Archives to the mumble rap of Tierra Whack, the soaring pop of G Flip and much more.

You can find a whole lot more from the festival here, including South by Lullabies (from Stella Donnelly, Natalie Prass and more), live concert videos and more.

Artists And Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for It's Always Something

04Are You With Me?


  • Song: Are You With Me?

The Brooklyn trio THICK's "Are You With Me?" is a raging, tightly-wound sonic boom that punches far above the "postage stamp-sized" venue the band played in.

Cover for It Is But It's Not

01Are We There Yet?


  • Song: Are We There Yet?

Greek musician Theodore's song, "Are We There Yet?" brings to mind the aural largess of Pink Floyd's "Us And Them," but its title belies just how satisfying the slow-building journey can be.

Cover for About You

01About You

G Flip

  • Song: About You

Australian singer-drummer G Flip emerged from behind the kit for a star-making turn on "About You." It's a soaring pop smash that helped make her one of the most buzzed-about acts at this year's South by Southwest festival.

Cover for Pendulum


Aisha Badru

  • Song: Bridges

Aisha Badru transfixed NPR Music's Robin Hilton with her bare, heart-rending SXSW set, despite the sterile hotel lounge where she played.

Cover for Sudan Archives

02Come Meh Way

Sudan Archives

  • Song: Come Meh Way

The music of Sudan Archives was the definitive favorite of the festival for NPR Music's Bob Boilen and Rodney Carmichael. She's inspired by Sudanese violin music, but branches off into minimal vox-and-violin clinics ("Come Meh Way") and dizzying electronica ("Water").

Cover for Mumbo Jumbo

01Mumbo Jumbo

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Tierra Whack

  • Song: Mumbo Jumbo

NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael compares Philadelphia rapper Tierra Whack to the inimitable Missy Elliott for Whack's imaginative concepts and jagged-edge lyricism.

Cover for Black

01Black (feat. A$AP Ferg)


  • Song: Black (feat. A$AP Ferg)

Compton rapper Buddy, who was born to a devout Baptist family and avoided gang life, carves out his own space with this track featuring A$AP Ferg.

Cover for Go Farther In Lightness

02What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?

Gang Of Youths

  • Song: What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?

Big, bold guitar rock isn't dead quite yet, and this Australian export is proof. Gang Of Youths makes bellowing, grandiose rock music. "What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out," as NPR Music's Stephen Thompson puts it, would blow the roof off a stadium or the moon.

Cover for Mother

08Call And Response

Xylouris White

  • Song: Call And Response

Xylouris White, the duo comprised of Jim White from The Dirty Three and Greek lute player George Xylouris, soothed NPR Music's Bob Boilen's weariness. The expert interplay and improvisation in "Call And Response" proved to be a balm amid a sea of artists and groups still honing their sound.

Cover for Causing Trouble

01Causing Trouble

Saint Sister

  • Song: Causing Trouble

From the land of left-of-field instruments comes Saint Sister, an Irish duo whose spacious electropop is anchored by a Celtic harp.

Cover for Tempo

03Dia D

Gato Preto

  • Song: Dia D

The Dusseldorf, Germany-based duo behind Gato Preto — producer Lee Bass and singer Gata Misteriosa — merged Afropop riffs, Portugese rapping and an infectious four-on-the-floor house stutter to create a small frenzy in the Convention Center room they shared with twenty or so people.

Cover for Antwerpen


  • Song: Hemma

Surma's "Hemma" feels like a study in contrasts. A brutal, bass-heavy undercurrent is pushed against starry overtones and the Portugese multi-instrumentalist's childlike timbre.

Cover for Blisstonia

07My Dear Elena Summer's Vudun

Weird Bloom

  • Song: My Dear Elena Summer's Vudun

NPR Music's Robin Hilton says Weird Bloom sounds like Tiny Tim collaborated with T. Rex, making this quirky Italian rock band one of the stranger and more memorable acts he saw this year.

Cover for Greatest Tits

02Velvet Noose


  • Song: Velvet Noose

Closing the episode off the way we started is Thunderpussy, the Seattle rock band that gave a thrashing, charismatic performance fronted by the incredible singer Molly Sides.