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Pop, Rock And An Onslaught Of Rhythm: The Songs Of SXSW

English duo IDER blends synth with piano arpeggios on the dreamy electro-pop ballad "Body Love."
Courtesy of the artist
English duo IDER blends synth with piano arpeggios on the dreamy electro-pop ballad "Body Love."

Sampling the thousands of bands playing South By Southwest each year is like trying to take a sip from a tidal wave: It's hard to find an entry point, and you're more than likely going to wind up flattened.

Next week, the annual music festival kicks off in Austin, Texas, so All Things Considered weekend host Michel Martin requested a digestible primer — five songs by artists worth hearing this year.

Drawn from The Austin 100, NPR Music's streamable and downloadable playlist of 100 songs by discoveries at this year's SXSW, these five tracks incorporate dreamy electro-pop (IDER's "Body Love"), ethereal R&B (Love Moor & Suaze's "Delete"), Weezer-style rock (Partner's "Comfort Zone"), hooky Aussie pop (G Flip's "About You") and a German duo whose singer raps in Portuguese over an onslaught of rhythm (Gato Preto's "Dia D").

Hear the full conversation with NPR's Michel Martin at the audio link.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.
Dustin DeSoto