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NPR Music At SXSW 2015: Wednesday


Stubb's BBQ, the site of NPR Music's annual SXSW showcase.
, Adam Kissick for NPR
Stubb's BBQ, the site of NPR Music's annual SXSW showcase.

NPR Music's second day at SXSW revolved around our showcase at Stubb's, a night that featured hugely energetic sets by TV On The Radio, Stromae, Courtney Barnett, Shamir and Boogie. We'll have video of all those performances soon, but right now you can see pictures of all our Day 2 highlights, check out recommendations from our team in Austin, see photos from our showcase and listen to our nightly podcast, featuring another South X Lullaby, this one from the serene, lovely transcontinental duo Luluc (scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for video). Here are some of the best things we heard on Wednesday.

Day 2 Picks


A worldwide star nearly everywhere outside North America, Stromae put together an electrifying, exhilarating set — culminating in the festival's most massive set-closer yet, "Papaoutai." --Stephen Thompson

Courtney Barnett

A wordsmith with songs full of humor and a trio that rocks. I simply love her songs more than any other artist I saw today. --Bob Boilen

Sam Hunt

My favorite new mainstream country artist totally blew away a young crowd who were so into him. This is a guy who is mixing country with R&B and hip-hop. Not only did he do his own hits, but he interpolated R. Kelly and Drake into his music today. It was a really amazing set. --Ann Powers

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You go to a party. Everyone's just sitting around making awkward small talk while the host nervously wonders what he has to do for it to take off. Then Shamir shows up and within 10 minutes everyone is dancing. That's the kind of infectious, feel-good energy he has. Part disco, part playful synth-pop. He's got the voice, the moves and the beat --Robin Hilton

Fede Graña & Los Prolijos

For the second year in a row, bands from Uruguay blew my mind here at SXSW. Fede Grana y Los Prolijos offered a very R&B-influenced rock that remind me of early Little Feat. But what sold me was the group's very clever cover of the classic "Whiter Shade of Pale" with Spanish lyrics and an arrangement that gave the song a bit more grittiness and bite. --Felix Contreras


The mysterious, raunchy feminist rapper from New Orleans won over the crowd with her witty, supremely NSFW songs about love triangles and menstruation, and secured our undying devotion with the giant fannypack full of goodies she dispensed with elán. --Katie Presley (contributor)

Seinabo Sey

This 24-year-old Swedish singer of Gambian descent scored a dance hit on the U.S. charts and 13 million listens on Soundcloud with her first hit, "Younger," but her songs move you beyond the dance floor, and sound like pep talks to herself. --Monika Evstatieva (director, All Things Considered)

Girl Band

Such a raw, trance-like intensity. Live, the electronic/dance comparisons make a lot of sense. What came to mind in the moment was "trance-Nirvana." But without, you know, anything sounding like actual trance music and Nirvana only in the obvious sense of the screaming. --Adam Kissick (photographer)


South X Lullaby

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