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The Austin 100: Begonia

Leeor Wild

Hometown: Winnipeg, Canada

Genre: Soul

Why We're Excited: Alexa Dirks first broke through as one-quarter of the irresistible French-Canadian girl group Chic Gamine, which centered its sound on robust vocal harmonies. Now solo under the name Begonia, Dirks can still feel like a throwback in the way she conjures charming vintage soul and lays on the richly layered choruses. But she's also enormously distinct in her crystalline delivery, which pairs perfectly with songs about staring down doubt and anxiety.

Listen to Begonia's "Beats"

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)