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Kevin Whipple / © Culture Trip
Kevin Whipple / © Culture Trip
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What Austin Locals Are Listening To

Picture of Jessica Devenyns
Updated: 10 August 2018
Known as the “live music capital of the world,” it would be astounding if Austin didn’t have a plethora of musical acts that locals line up for. Of course, many local Austin bands have risen to such heights (Spoon, Willie Nelson and Iron & Wine for example) that they no longer play in the grungy, underground venues that locals love to frequent. That’s not to say that the Austin scene has sold out. On any given night of the week, the city is full of local talent that is lesser known outside of the city limits. So what do the locals love right now? Here are 12 groups to check out.

Quiet Company

Quiet Company began as a band assembled off of Craigslist and started with plenty of animosities. Ten years later, the group has melded into one musical voice and has diverged from their nacent “Death Cab for Cutie” sound. That’s probably why they’ve shot to the moon in their popularity.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Quiet Company | ©Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine
Quiet Company | ©Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine

Harvest Thieves

The Harvest Thieves are a versatile bunch and they can translate as easily to an indie rock audience as they can to a crowd at a two-stepping bar. Although they have lived and created in Austin for years, it’s easy to see that this group’s inspiration comes from its roots on the ranches of Texas.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Harvest Thieves | ©Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine
Harvest Thieves | ©Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine

SaulPaul

SaulPaul creates music with a message. His engaging lyrics are rapped above a melodic acoustic folk melody. When he isn’t performing, he spends his time advocating for underprivileged youth in Austin and recently just won Austinite of the Year award.

Check him out on Spotify here.

SaulPaul| ©Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine
SaulPaul | ©Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine

Dossey

With her floating voice and lavender hair, Dossey embodies electro-pop in Austin. Her fast beats and fun lyrics are a perfect expression of her vibrant personality on stage.

Check her out on Spotify here.

Dossey | © William Bowling/EASTside Magazine
Dossey | © William Bowling/EASTside Magazine

Riders Against the Storm

Riders Against the Storm has become one of the most influential groups in the Austin music scene. This husband-wife duo won Band of the Year back-to-back in 2014 and 2015. Now they have branched into fashion design, but don’t worry, that hasn’t retracted from the quality of their musical composition.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Riders Against the Storm | © Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine
Riders Against the Storm | © Eric Morales/EASTside Magazine

David Ramirez

This is indie Americana at its finest. Ramirez is a longtime Austinite from the wrong side of the tracks and has the scars to prove it. This hard-drinking, soul-searching musician takes you in with his melodies and never disappoints in his performances.

Check him out on Spotify here.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Mid-century blues riffs hum to a rock rhythm while the sticky sweet voice of Black Joe Lewis takes you into the groove. Oh, and there is sometimes a jazz trumpet that peeks through.

Check them out on Spotify here.

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Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears | © Bob Doran/Flickr

Sweet Spirit

Sweet Spirit is easy-listening, indie rock that often includes a synth. Its sound fits perfectly into the backdrop of the Austin lifestyle, but also makes a great impression if you’re just there for the music.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Strange Fiction

A band of engineers, this group has been together under several names for many years. Strange Fiction is the latest reincarnation and was created in the spare room of an East Austin home. Occasionally you’ll hear them on the airwaves, but the best way to enjoy this group is by bathing yourself in the red and blue neon at one of its live shows.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Shakey Graves

If you’ve heard of any of these local favorites, you’ve probably heard of Shakey Graves. Born as Alejandro Rose-Gaone-man, his one-man show of blues, folk and rock and roll is a sound that will bury itself in your ears and never leave you.

Check him out on Spotify here.

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Shakey Graves | ©Abby Gillardi/Flickr

Tameca Jones

Tameca Jones has been around the block a time or two and with her syrupy sweet voice, she has quickly gained her the title the “Queen of Austin Soul.” In fact, she’s such a powerful presence within Austin music that in 2015, Gary Clark, Jr. asked her to perform on his studio album.

Check her out on Spotify here.

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The Austinot | ©Tameca Jones/Flickr

Calliope Musicals

Calliope Musicals is a colorful local group that spreads happiness wherever it performs. The six-member group is full of color and spice and a lot of quirk. Just look at the instrument that is its namesake, and it will make sense why locals love its sound.

Check them out on Spotify here.

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Calliope Musical | ©Roberta/Flickr