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The Austin 100: Tomás Del Real

Tomás del Real.
Alejandro Barros
/
Courtesy of the artist
Tomás del Real.

Hometown:Santiago, Chile

Genre:Folk

Why We're Excited: Singer-guitarist Tomás del Real finds thoughtful ways to update and enliven traditional sounds: His songs possess the gentle sway of the Chilean folk music in which he's steeped, but they're also burnished with notes of jazz and influences that stretch to the U.S. and Europe. In "Canción de Lluvia (Acústico)," del Real crafts a perfect answer to an ever more frantic world, with a chorus that translates as a mantra: "Calm / I don't always have to run / Sometimes you have to listen and see."

Listen to Tomás del Real's "Canción de Lluvia (Acústico)"

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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.)