15 Austrian songs and artists Peter Schreiber wants you to listen to in early 2020

Peter Schreiber with the women who are Aze

Austrian music journalist Peter Schreiber always puts together amazing lists of Austrian artists the rest of us should definitely be checking out.

Last year, he created three excellent lists of Austrian songs for Leo Sigh readers he felt everyone should be listening to.

Now it’s a new year, and Peter Schreiber is back with another superb group of Austrian artists producing some truly stellar music.

This time a longer list of 15 songs. Yes, his lists are expanding. Before long, he’ll be writing his own daily Austrian music column here on Leo Sigh if this continues :). (You’re more than welcome, Peter!)

Even culling down his favorite music to just these 15 was hard for him though, as he told me he had to “leave out several songs with an aching heart”.

From solo artist OSKA to collaborative duo Aze and onto the iconic Parov Stelar, Peter Schreiber has yet again put together a superb group of Austrian artists you really should lend an ear to.

The comments about each track are Peter’s, of course, with a couple of my thoughts thrown in here and there.

Distant Universe’ — OSKA

I immediately fell in love with OSKA’s (Maria Burger’s) soft, fragile yet warm voice when I heard the first seconds of her single ‘Distant Universe‘, and the amazement hasn’t stopped throughout this beautiful song. The video is such a lovely visual addition this melts my heart a bit.

No Air No Art‘ — ReRa & Billie Thanner

ReRa has been making music for  quite a long time (as Rebecca_1147) but she never sounded as good as now IMO. ‘No Air No Art‘ is airy, modern and catchy – and I actually would have loved to hear something like this representing Austria at Eurovision. Just sayin’ 😊.

Sun‘ — Hearts Hearts

Now that’s what I call an Indie-Banger! Hearts Hearts from Vienna are getting ready for the release of their third album in Autumn, 2020 with a tune that touches my soul like the first ray of sunlight after a long winter.

Perfect World‘ — Jimmy Whoo feat. Lomboy

Does it get any smoother than this? I don’t think so. All eyes (or let’s say ears) on the featured artist, Vienna-born Tanja Frinta aka Lomboy.

Here she provides the lush vocals to this super-chilled tune by French producer Jimmy Whoo (who released his fabulous album Basic Instinct last year).

(Leo SighDuring the 20-odd years I lived outside Europe in the United States as a radio DJ/music journalist, there were always tracks that jumped out at me on first listen that were so ‘obviously European’.  Tracks that had a level of sophistication and subtlety few American artists could create. This is one of those types of tracks — it’s just lovely).

Visions‘ — Aze (** Sadly, the song and its music video have disappeared from all online music services)

These girls are special. Best friends and roommates Ezgi (vocals) & Beyza (guitar) compliment each other so smoothly and naturally. Something about them is giving me ‘The XX‘ vibes with a more R&B approach.

Love it! (Oh and I think they have a new single coming in mid-February).

(Leo Sigh: Yep, Peter interviewed these women too — check out his video of that interview in Aze’s very cool apartment).

‘There You Go‘ — Crush

Get ready to dance your troubles away with this catchy, somehow bittersweet but uplifting tune by the Grazer 5-Piece Crush. Love their handmade sound and with a video that contains a gorgeous lady dancing in a bowling alley you just can’t go wrong :D.

‘Trabant‘ — Oehl

There’s something really fascinating about the music of Oehl. It’s never really intrusive but the songs grab you in a special way, they just gently slide into your body & soul – and their newest single ‘Trabant‘ from their just released (wonderful) debut album Über Nacht is one fine example. In addition: those guys are super nice and smart and funny.

(Leo Sigh: I’ve been a fan of Austrian-Icelandic Oehl since I discovered the title track of that debut album Über Nacht last year. Their music is sophisticated, yet has an underlying sadness that, as an outsider to Austrian and Icelandic cultures, embodies how both cultures feel to me. Sophisticated but, at the same time, quite melancholic and insular.

Peter’s recent interview with the guys from Oehl is here.)

Voodoo Sonic‘ — Parov Stelar

Maybe an unpopular opinion: I haven’t been that impressed with the latest output of the electro-swing-legend that is Parov Stelar. However: ‘Voodoo Sonic‘ is a huge step (back) in the right direction and the beat is hella addictive.

(Leo Sigh: Got to agree with Peter here as I think Stelar got so caught up in producing something ‘different’ the last couple of years, his last few releases have been bland at best. So, yes, I too prefer ‘Voodoo Sonic’ to anything else he has released in a while).

 ‘Rivers‘ — Amelie Tobien

Salzburg-born Amelie has such a raspy distinct voice and a great way to tell stories. Love how real and grounded her sound is, reminds me of the great songwriters of the past. Her debut single ‘Rivers‘ may be a slow burner but once it hits you it REALLY does.

(Leo Sigh: You’ll also find a cool interview segment Peter Schreiber recently did with Amelie on W24 here).

Fly Away‘ — Gerald Peklar feat. India

FM4 listeners may be familiar with this one as it’s getting quite a lot of airplay – and rightfully so! I love the slick electronic production from Gerald Peklar (from Salzburg) combined with the super-cool spoken vocals by London-based singer India.

Absolute tune!

Circles‘ —  ÄNN

I don’t get why mainstream radio hasn’t really picked up on ÄNN yet. She writes some ridiculously catchy pop tunes that deserve a lot more attention, ‘Circles‘ being her latest. Give this girl some (more) airplay!

(Leo Sigh: Oh this is crazy! An absolute earworm of a song, and with a gorgeous video because it is so very simple. Before Peter’s list, I wasn’t remotely familiar with ÄNN. You can guarantee I’ll know who she is now).

Ciao (Let Me Be Your Pick)’ — Lucy Dreams

Now this project is really interesting. The producers behind Lucy Dreams describe Lucy as ‘artificial Intelligence’ that has been fed with sounds by Kraftwerk, Mozart and Pink Floyd. (I hear some comparisons to early AIR as well.) Exciting stuff that sounds indeed otherworldly.

Du und Ich (1990)‘ — Kaltenkirchen

Actually, I had this list already finished but then I stumbled across Kaltenkirchen and I immediately had to change plans because THIS IS JUST SO GOOOOD! Ah, cannot get enough of this Neue-Deutsche-Welle-influenced sound by Philip Stockenius (who is originally from Stuttgart but lives in Vienna).

Btw, he will play a show on February 23rd at Chelsea or you can catch him as support act for YUKNO (who are one of my absolute favourite Austrian bands) on April 16th at Porgy & Bess.

Luna‘ — Amanda

Reading the name Amanda you might expect a sweet girl with her guitar but this Amanda is a ‘space rock band’ from the Ennstaler Mountains. They sound like classic Austropop that skipped the beer & wine and smoked a joint instead ;D’.

Luna’ is a heartfelt, psychedelic hymn that will be featured on their upcoming debut album Durch die Ewigkeit which will be out in March. (I’ve already heard it and damn this has some moments… <3 ).

‘Auto‘ — Klitclique

Klitclique are G-Udit and $chwanger and (as their website says) “Vienna’s answer to sad boys”…. Their beats on ‘Auto‘ are on point and the lyrics are a funny (and valid) take on cliché masculinity.

And btw: you can grab a free download of their last album Schlecht im Bett Gut im Rap on their website www.klitclique.com.

Peter Schreiber with Amelie

As for Peter Schreiber…

Peter Schreiber, who is still one of my favorite people in Austria, is a music journalist and host whose most recent major work was the superb #POP! music show on W24.

Peter still works at W24 where he interviews both Austrian and international artists. (You can find his latest work here).

He is also a member of the jury for the Amadeus Austrian Music Awards (Austria’s answer to the Grammy Awards) again this year.

Peter Schreiber is absolutely music obsessed, sees hundreds of artists live each year (almost always loves the artists while simultaneously detesting the audience! 🙂 ), and really knows music.

He is fanatical about promoting Austrian artists as, like me, he believes there are some incredible bands, singers and music projects in this country that should be getting the attention they deserve.

If you liked Peter’s latest list of contemporary Austrian songs you really should be listening to, he has also put together a Spotify playlist with all of them on it, which you can listen to below. All of the songs from his previous three lists of Austrian artists on Leo Sigh are also on the playlist.

If you want to learn more about Peter, there’s an in-depth interview I did with him last year. You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.