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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: 4 October 2018
Known as the ‘live music capital of the world,’ Austin has many hometown heroes that have gone on to achieve huge success and pack out arenas across the globe (think Spoon, Willie Nelson and Iron & Wine). But that’s not to say 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?

Quiet Company

Quiet Company began as a band assembled off of Craigslist and started with plenty of animosities. A decade later, the group has melded into one musical voice and has diverged from their nascent Death Cab for Cutie sound. That’s probably why they’re popularity has suddenly skyrocketed.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Harvest Thieves

Harvest Thieves are a versatile bunch and they can perform as easily in front of an indie rock audience as they can to crowds at a two-stepping bar. Although the band have lived and created in Austin for many years, it’s easy to see that their inspiration comes from their roots on the ranches of Texas.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Calliope Musicals

Calliope Musicals are a colorful local group that spread happiness wherever they perform. The six-member group is full of color and spice and a lot of quirk. Just look at the instrument that inspired the band’s name and you will understand why locals love their sound.

Check them out on Spotify here.

Calliope Musical | ©Roberta/Flickr
Calliope Musical | © Roberta / Flickr


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 he recently won the Austinite of the Year award.

Check him out on Spotify here.


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.

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.

David Ramirez

This is indie Americana at its finest. Ramirez is a longtime Austinite and his soul-searching melodies will immediately draw you in. This artists never disappoints during live 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.

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

Sweet Spirit

Sweet Spirit offer easy-listening indie rock that often includes a synth. Their 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 their melodies at one of the 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 Alejandro Rose-Garcia, his one-man shows of blues, folk and rock and roll offer a sound that will bury itself in your ears and never leave you.

Check him out on Spotify here.

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.