5. Alejandro Escovedo, “Always a Friend” (2008)
A sprawling musical history encompassing everything from early punk to country and Southern guitar rock has all led to Escovedo’s brilliant and uncategorizable solo songwriting, which is emotionally vulnerable and yet rock ‘n’ roll as hell.
8. Spoon, “Written in Reverse” (2010)
Like Austin itself, there will always be someone to tell you that Spoon was better in the early years. And yet 2010’s Transference was wonderfully strange and understated. This track is incredibly bitter but addictively delicious.
11. Some Say Leland, “We Will Dance” (2010)
An art collective fronted by singer-songwriter Dan Grissom. They’re also involved with putting on magical “secret” and house shows in Austin, where they celebrate and collaborate with many of the town’s best-kept folk secrets.
20. Quiet Company, “You, Me & The Boatman” (2011)
A rock ‘n’ roll band fronted by Taylor Muse, Quiet Company previously were known in some circles as a Christian band, but 2011’s We Are All Where We Belong is what Muse describes as a “breakup record” about his own departure from Christianity.
31. Bob Schneider, “The Effect” (2013)
Hardworking Austin singer-songwriter Bob Schneider gets a bad rap with the hipster set because of his devoted but often fratty audience, but he is actually one of the best (and weirdest) songwriters working today. Also he has a super-rad website.
36. Jack Wilson, “Rainbow/Tiger” (2013)
Jack Wilson makes gorgeous, haunting folk songs that sting the tear ducts and raise the goosebumps.
39. Okkervil River, “Stay Young” (2013)
Over 15 years of making spectacular music, the only constant in Okkervil River has been lead singer and songwriter Will Sheff, whose songs range from aching to anthemic. Their new album, The Silver Gymnasium, drops in September.
And here’s a Spotify playlist with most of the songs above:
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