Perhaps the most striking thing about American music is not its inventiveness or diversity, but how each and every city or region across the vast country has such a distinct sound. New Orleans seems to breed funk while Seattle fosters grunge and indie rock and most visitors head to Nashville for country. Of course a lot of American cities have evolved musically over the last five decades – Chicago for example has pumped out blues, jazz, soul, house, rock and hip hop – but they can usually can earmarked by one or two key genres.

Click on the dots on the map below to bring up Spotify playlists for each city, and scroll through the tracks to hear a vaguely chronological representation of that area’s sound. Share your own favourite sounds of the cities below and join us on Spotify for more travel-related playlists. We’ll build on the map using your suggestions.

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook