Hosts/nerds Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are your friendly music buddies with the week’s best new music discoveries, including conversations with emerging artists, icons and more. Hear songs that can completely change your day, with humor, heart and (sometimes) a whole lot of noise. Directions for use: Morning commute, the gym, or alone time. (If rash persists, discontinue use.)
Here's the Latest Episode from All Songs Considered – NPR:
Our sprint through the best new albums out this week includes a posthumous release from rapper Lil Peep, gorgeous reflections from Bonnie "Prince" Billy, singer Mary Lambert and more.
Featured Albums And Songs:
1. Milky Chance - Mind the Moon
Featured Songs: "Oh Mama" and "Eden's House"
2. Brainstory - Buck
Featured Song: "Sorry"
3. Lady Antebellum - Ocean
Featured Song: "The Thing That Wrecks You"
4. Arthur Russell - Iowa Dream
Featured Song: "Everybody Everybody"
5. Lil Peep - Everybody's Everything
Featured Song: "Princess"
6. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I Made A Place
Featured Song: "Dream A While"
7. Odessa - All Things
Featured Song: "All Things"
8. Mary Lambert - Grief Creature
Featured Songs: "Write You A Song" and "Me Museum"
9. Joe Henry - The Gospel According to Water
Featured Song: "Famine Walk"
10. Benoît Pioulard - Sylva
Featured Songs: "Raze II" and "Keep"
Other Notable Releases Out Nov. 15: Celine Dion — Courage; DJ Shadow — Our Pathetic Age; Fran — A Private Picture; Hammock — Silencia; Ice Cream — Fed Up; Jenny Owen Youngs — Night Shift; Juliana Hatfield — Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police; Maria Taylor — Maria Taylor; Molly Burch — The Molly Burch Christmas Album; Sam Amidon — Fatal Flower Garden; Tindersticks — No Treasure But Hope.
"Despacito" was more than a popular song. It was the culmination of a decade-long rise of sociological and musical forces that eventually birthed and cemented a style now called "Latin Urban."
The song went on to practically break the Internet, with a record number of YouTube views from around the globe (currently hovering around six billion streams).
But, as we discuss in this week's All Songs Considered/Alt.Latino collaboration, "Despacito" was more than a very popular it song. It was the culmination of a decade-long rise of sociological and musical forces that eventually birthed and cemented a style now called "Latin Urban." Spanish-language artists from just about every corner of Latin America and Spain took reggaeton and ran with it, adding elements of hip-hop, R&B and soul.
Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras joins Bob Boilen to look back at the decade and play some music samples from a period of profound transition in Latinx music.
In this All Songs Considered guest DJ session, Joan Shelley talks about her latest album, Like the River Loves the Sea and shares songs by some of the other artists who've inspired her over the years.
This week's best new albums include a solo release from Leslie Odom Jr., aka Aaron Burr from Hamilton, the woozy world of FKA Twigs, country singer Luke Combs and more.
1. Leslie Odom Jr. — Mr.
2. Bishop Briggs — Champion
3. FKA Twigs — Magdalene
4. Dessa & The Minnesota Orchestra — Sound the Bells: Recorded Live at Orchestra Hall
5. The Good Ones — Rwanda, You Should be Loved
6. Kate Davis — Trophy
7. Luke Combs — What You See Is What You Get
8. Mount Eerie & Julie Doiron — Lost Wisdom Pt. 2
9. SebastiAn — Thirst
10. Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Scene — Waiting Game
Other Notable Albums Out Nov. 8: Allen Stone — Building Balance; Josienne Clarke — In All Weather; Kele Okereke — 2042; Lucy Dacus — EP; Moor Mother — Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes; Philip B Price — Bone Almanac; Simply Red — Blue Eyed Soul; Sin Fang — Sad Party; Suss — High Line; Xylouris White — The Sisypheans;
"What making this record was about," says Angel Olsen, "is erasing my own thoughts about where the song should be, letting go and being more open to other ideas."
"I have this weird theory," adds John Congleton, "that the only thing a good producer really can do is know when a mistake is right."
This process began with Angel Olsen first recording all the songs as a solo album. Then, through these collaborations, the music organically morphed and strengthened into this extraordinary record.
You can hear the full interview with the play button at the top of the page and her the full album, All Mirrors below.
Pianist and producer Robert Glasper is on a mission to reconnect jazz with black music. In the past decade he's helped transform the work of artists like Kendrick Lamar, Brittany Howard and more.
Glasper ended the the 2000s with an album called Double Booked, which made a selling point out of his straddling of two worlds — acoustic jazz piano on one side, R&B/hip-hop groove on the other. The second of those involved a group called The Robert Glasper Experiment, and he felt it had a statement to make.
It arrived in the form of an album called Black Radio, which Blue Note released in 2012. Studded with notable guest artists (like rappers Lupe Fiasco and Yasiin Bey, and singers Lalah Hathaway and Erykah Badu), it heralded a renewed spirit of collaboration between jazz and what had previously been known as neo-soul. When Black Radio won a Grammy in 2013 — not in a jazz category but for Best R&B Album — it felt like the opening of a new chapter.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, host Robin Hilton is joined by Nate Chinen, from WBGO and Jazz Night in America, and Rodney Carmichael, from NPR Music, to discuss the influence of Glasper's approach — not only in jazz circles but also on hip-hop touchstones like Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, and beyond-soul masterworks released this year, like Flying Lotus' Flamagra and Brittany Howard's Jaime.
Our picks for the best albums out this week include Gang Starr's first new release in 16 years, humor and heart from country singer Miranda Lambert, the latest in Bob Dylan's Bootleg series and more.
1. Jeff Lynne's ELO — From Out of Nowhere
2. Bob Dylan — Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15
3. Miranda Lambert — Wildcard
4. Gang Starr — One of the Best Yet
5. Michael Kiwanuka — KIWANUKA
6. Vetiver — Up on High
7. A Winged Victory for the Sullen — The Undivided Five
8. R.LUM.R — Surfacing
Other Notable Releases For Nov. 1: Cate Le Bon & Bradford Cox — Myths 004 (EP); Cold War Kids — New Age Norms 1; CUP (Nels Cline & Yuka Honda) — Spinning Creature; Highly Suspect — MCID; Hootie & The Blowfish — Imperfect Circle; Jeff Goldblum — I Shouldn't Be Telling You This; Josh Rouse — The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse; Leif Vollebekk — New Ways; R.E.M. — Monster 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition; Sudan Archives — Athena; Turnover — Altogether; Ty Segall — Pig Man Lives Volume 1.
Our look back at the past decade in music continues as we examine the ways musical borders have fallen and why global sounds are more prevalent and popular than ever.
Over the past decade, the borders between different musical worlds have fallen. Producers, singers, songwriters and other artists from around the globe are collaborating in new ways, while genres have blended together so completely and seamlessly it's almost impossible to label a lot of popular music as any one thing. These cross-cultural, and cross-border alliances – along with streaming and social media – have also been a pipeline for delivering global artists to new audiences on a scale never seen before. Think of the juggernaut K-pop band BTS and how thoroughly the group has dominated pop charts, or the rise of Latinx artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin or Spanish singer Rosalía.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas and Stephen Thompson, and Elise Hu, host of NPR's Future You and founding bureau chief for NPR's office in Seoul. They discuss the ways we're hearing globalization in music, why it's happening and some of the complications and questions around this evolution.
After her Tiny Desk performance, the rapper joined NPR's Sidney Madden for a live conversation on playing with a band for the first time, hanging onto her Texas roots and plans for her debut album.
This week's mix from All Songs Considered somehow took on a dog theme, beginning with a board game from the band PUP, where every move leads to failure and disappointment. But the music's still good!
Artists and Songs on This Episode:
1. Illuminati Hotties: "ppl plz"
2. Frances Quinlan: "Rare Thing"
3. Lucy Dacus: "In the Air Tonight"
4. Julien Baker: "Tokyo"
5. Torres: "Good Scare"
6. Squirrel Flower: "Red Shoulder"
7. Trupa Trupa: "Dream About"
In the past decade, LGBTQ issues hit the mainstream in unprecedented ways, and music played a big part, with songs about queer love on the radio and anthems of allyship coming from all major genres.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, we look back on the way queer issues moved towards the center of the conversation during the 2010s. We talk about how decades of activism led up to this moment and how social media has helped foster safe spaces and access to information for young people across spectrums of gender and sexuality. We also discuss how LGBTQ musicians are helping reimagine pop sounds — from openly expressing queer desire to cyborgian shapeshifting — and question what the future of "mainstreaming" might hold for queer communities.
The fourth-quarter deluge continues this week with new releases from Rex Orange County, King Princess, Gallant and more, including the first new album in seven years from Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
1. Mikal Cronin — Seeker
2. King Princess — Cheap Queen
3. Great Grandpa — Four of Arrows
4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse — Colorado
5. Rex Orange County — Pony
6. Anamanaguchi - [USA]
7. Gallant — Sweet Insomnia
8. Sunn O))) — Pyroclasts
Other Notable Albums For Oct. 25: Alcest — Spiritual Instinct; Anna Meredith — Fibs; Anthony Ramos — The Good & The Bad; The Bad Plus — Activate Infinity; Brooke Candy — Sexorcism; Cigarettes After Sex — Cry; Dry Cleaning — Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks; Grace Potter — Daylight; Juana Molina — For Fun; Lankum — The Livelong Day; Little Scream — Speed Queen; Old Dominion — Old Dominion; Ringo Starr — What's My Name; Sarah Jaffe — SMUT; Van Morrison — Three Chords and the Truth; Verite — New Skin; Walk off the Earth — Here We Go!
Since its founding in 2008, Bandcamp has become a buzzing, artist-friendly hub for music lovers, with pay-what-you-want pricing and lots of rabbit holes leading to music you won't find anywhere else.
In this episode of All Songs Considered, CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond says that when an artist succeeds on Bandcamp, Bandcamp succeeds. That philosophy has driven the company since 2008, with over $425 million paid directly to musicians and record labels. Sadie Dupuis says that Bandcamp was instrumental in booking the first tour for her band Speedy Ortiz and that its name-your-price model has not only allowed her some steady income but also an avenue to raise money for causes she cares about.
In this Guest DJ session with All Songs Considered, Radie Peat and Ian Lynch of the band Lankum talk about their new album, The Livelong Day, the evolving sounds of their native Ireland, and share their favorite Irish, off-the-radar artists.
Artists and songs featured on this episode:
1. Lankum: "Bear Creek" from The Livelong Day
2. Lisa O'Neill: "Pothole in the Sky" from Pothole in the Sky
3. The Deadlians: "I Don't Want to Ride Yer Aul Anymore" (Single)
4. Lankum: "Ode to Lullaby" from The Livelong Day
5. Lankum: "Wild Rover" from The Livelong Day
6. Landless: "Via Extasia" from Bleaching Bones
7. Lankum: "Hunting the Wren" from The Livelong Day
8. Junior Brother: "Hungover at Mass" from F*** Off I Love You
Is classical music dying? No. But its institutions, artists and promoters took some hits in the past decade, from bankruptcies to sexual harassment. Still, along the way, we heard a lot of terrific music.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, we look at the roller coaster ride of high points and derailments in classical music. Symphony Orchestras and opera companies floundered financially, some going belly up and others rebounding as newly created organizations flourished. Women seemed to take a few steps forward and a few backward: While five of the last ten music Pulitzers were awarded to women, their music was conspicuously absent from our symphony halls. And tragically, both women and men, in many facets of classical music, were victims of sexual abuse and harassment.
Anne Midgette, the author and classical music critic for The Washington Post, joins NPR Music's Tom Huizenga for this discussion.
It's a packed release week, with new albums from Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, the rapper Gucci Mane, warped hip-hop from clipping., the electronic artist Floating Points and more.
1. Foals - 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2'
2. Patrick Watson - 'Wave'
3. Caroline Polachek - 'Pang'
4. clipping. - 'There Existed an Addiction to Blood'
5. Vagabon - 'Vagabon'
6. Gucci Mane - 'Woptober II'
7. Floating Points - 'Crush'
8. Common Holly - 'When I Say to You Black Lightning'
9. Hovvdy - 'Heavy Lifter'
10. Walrus - 'Cool to Who'
Other Notable Releases For Oct. 18: Anna Wise — As if it Were Forever; Battles — Juice B Crypts; Corridor — Junior; Jim James — The Order of Nature; Jimmy Eat World — Surviving; Mark Lanegan — Somebody's Knocking; Milk Carton Kids — The Only Ones (ep); The Muffs — No Holiday; Sufjan Stevens — The Decalogue; Tamino — Amir; Third Eye Blind — Screamer; White Reaper — You Deserve Love.
Our series looking back at the past decade in music continues with a conversation about social media and how it's allowed (for better or worse) the rise of super fans, otherwise known as stans.
NPR Music's Sidney Madden talks with reporter Joshua Bote from USA Today, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers about the ways standom has empowered artists in positive ways while also fueling cancel culture.
In the first of a series of conversations about the past decade in music, we examine some of the ways the singer, songwriter, producer and businesswoman helped steer the 2010s in new directions.
The 17-year-old pop star talks NPR Music's Stephen Thompson about getting through her teenaged years, directing her own videos, experiencing art with synesthesia and more in this interview, recorded live on stage at Austin's ACL Music Festival.
Our shortlist of the best new albums out this week incudes Big Thief's Two Hands, rapper Lil' Kim's first new studio project in 14 years, a solo album from Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and more.
1. Elbow - 'Giants of All Sizes'
2. Big Thief - 'Two Hands'
3. Kim Gordon - 'No Home Record'
4. Lil' Kim - '9'
5. Lightning Bolt - 'Sonic Citadel'
6. Babymetal - 'Metal Galaxy'
OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR OCT. 11:
Allah-Las — LAHS; Art Alexakis — Sun Songs; Cursive — Get Fixed; Emily King — Change of Scenery (EP); Ensemble Resonanz & Moses Sumnney — Dessner: Tenebre; Freddie Mercury — Never Boring (Box Set); Joseph Arthur — Come Back World; Mark Kozelek & Petra Hayden — Joey Always Smiled; Matt Pond & Chris Hansen — An Orchestrated Impulse; Son Little — Invisible (EP); Starcrawler — Devour You; Wale — Wow ...That's Crazy.
In this guest DJ session from All Songs Considered, Tweedy talks about Wilco's new album, Ode to Joy, and the importance of appreciating life's smallest moments.
It's a packed release week, with new albums from R&B singer Summer Walker, The Avett Brothers, Angel Olsen, Wilco, Danny Brown and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna, Rodney Carmichael, Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the week's best new albums.
1. The Avett Brothers - 'Closer Than Together'
Featured songs: "Locked Up" and "Bleeding White"
2. Angel Olsen - 'All Mirrors'
Featured songs: "What It Is" and "New Love Cassette"
3. Wilco - 'Ode to Joy'
Featured song: "Citizens"
4. Summer Walker - 'Over It'
Featured songs: "Come Thru" and "Fun Girl"
5. Dermot Kennedy - 'Without Fear'
Featured song: "Lost"
6. Danny Brown - 'unknowhatimsayin'
Featured song: "Savage Nomad"
7. San Fermin - 'The Cormorant I'
Featured songs: "Saints" and "Hickman Creek"
OTHER NOTABLE OCT. 04 RELEASES:
City and Colour — A Pill for Loneliness; The Darkness — Easter is Canceled; DIIV — Deceiver; Gatecreeper — Deserted; Lightning Dust — Spectre; Lisa Prank — Perfect Love Song; Nick Cave — Ghosteen; The North Mississippi Allstars — Up and Rolling; The Penguin Café — Handfuls of Night; Robert Glasper — F*** Yo Feelings; Supa Bwe — Jaguar; That Dog. — Old LP.
The Talking Head, author, cyclist and creative soul talks about "Reasons to be Cheerful," a story-based project to lift your spirits. He also talks about his "American Utopia" tour, now on Broadway.
The son of the late Beatles producer George Martin reveals how he remixed the final album all four members of the band made together.
The best new albums out this week include Sturgill Simpson's scuzzy rock record Sound & Fury, reliably infectious pop from The New Pornographers, new Tegan & Sara, a lost John Coltrane album and more.
1. The New Pornographers — In the Morse Code of Brake Lights
2. Tegan & Sara — Hey, I'm Just Like You
3. John Coltrane — Blue World
4. Guillermo Klein and Los Guachos
5. Sturgill Simpson — Sound & Fury
6. Girl Band — The Talkies
7. Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith — Songs From the Bardo
Other Notable Releases For Sept. 27: Allesandro Cortini — Volume Massimo; The Beatles — Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Edition; The Comet is Coming — The Afterlife; Jon Pardi — Heartache Medication; Kefaya & Elaha Soroor — Songs of Our Mothers; Kevin Gates — I'm Him; Molly Brazy — Built to Last; Opeth — In Cauda Venenum; Ronin Arkestra — Sonkei.
Warning: The opening cut on this week's show, by Fran got stuck in my head and kept me wide awake at four in the morning. But a song from Soccer Mommy about dealing with temptation and the devil, Chastity Belt's first new music since 2017 and (Sandy) Alex G's devastating song titled "Hope" will help when taken at a hefty volume. Once dosed, you will be lulled by the deep, sullen sounds of the late Leonard Cohen and all-new material he recorded before his death. You can top it off with harmonies Christopher Paul Stelling's fine guitar picking and poetry on his new tune "Have To Do For Now," and River Whyless' cover of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."
Our shortlist of the best albums out this week includes Brittany Howard's masterpiece, Jaime, sad bangers from Tove Lo, a profoundly beautiful, debut solo LP from Mountain Man's Molly Sarlé and more.
On the day before his album came out, Hobo Johnson joined me to play DJ. We discussed the making of his album and played some of the music that has inspired him over the years. I think you'll be surprised by some of his picks.
The week's best new album drops includes the genre-bending pop of Charli XCX, an ambitious concept record by The Lumineers, the euphoric songs of Emeli Sandé, new Chelsea Wolfe, Sampa The Great, more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. The Lumineers - 'III,' 2. Charli XCX - 'Charli,' 3. Bethlehem Steel - 'Bethlehem Steel,' 4. Emeli Sandé - 'Real Life,' 5. Microwave - 'Microwave,' 6. Chelsea Wolfe - 'Birth of Violence,' 7. Sampa The Great - 'The Return,' 8. Jeremy Ivey - 'The Dream and the Dreamer.' OTHER NOTABLE ALBUMS FOR SEP. 13: Alex Cameron — Miami Memory; Belle & Sebastian — Days of the Bangold Summer; Chasity — Homemade Satan; Devendra Banhart — Ma; Goo Goo Dolls — Miracle Pill; Gruff Rhys — Pang; Hobo Johnson — The Fall of Hobo Johnson; Jenny Hval — The Practice of Love; Joseph — Good Luck Kid; Long Beard — Means to Me; Pixies — Beneath the Eyrie; (Sandy) Alex G — House of Sugar; Shawn Colvin — Steady On 30th Anniversary; Trupa Trupa — Of the Sun.
There's a cinematic theme in the songs on this edition of All Songs Considered, including a new track from Thom Yorke called "Daily Battles" and an instrumental version of it from trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. These two songs were created for the Edward Norton film Motherless Brooklyn. FEATURED SONGS AND ARTISTS: 1. Ride: "R.I.D.E.," 2. Overcoats: "The Fool," 3. Arthur Moon: "Myelin," 4. Lydia Ramsey: "Story Untold," 5. Jim James & Teddy Abrams: "Set it to Song," 6. Thom Yorke & Flea: "Daily Battles," 7. Wynton Marsalis: "Daily Battles"
Our list of the best albums out this week includes The Highwomen's self-titled release, R&B singer Mahalia's remarkable Love and Compromise, new Frankie Cosmos, MUNA, Lower Dens and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Muna – 'Saves the World,' 2. Tinariwen – 'Amadjar,' 3. Lower Dens – 'The Competition,' 4. Frankie Cosmos – 'Close it Quietly,' 5. The Highwomen – 'The Highwomen,' 6. Mahalia – 'Love and Compromise,' 7. Daymé Arocena – 'Sonocardiogram,' 8. Bat for Lashes – 'The Lost Girls.' OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR SEP. 6: Adam Green — Engine of Paradise; Alessia Cara — This Summer (EP); Chrissie Hynde — Valve Bone Woe; Crystal Gayle — You Don't Know Me; Death Cab For Cutie — The Blue EP; Ghostface Killah — Ghostface Killahs; Iggy Pop — Free; Kindness — Something Like War; Miles Davis — Rubberband
This edition of All Songs Considered has songs of gratitude from Pinegrove, a take on intimacy from Norway's Jenny Hval, a song of quietude from Anna Meredith and the magic of the Mellotron. 1. Sudan Archives: "Confessions," 2. Jenny Hval: "High Alice," 3. Pinegrove: "Moment," 4. Anna Meredith: "moonmoons," 5. Mellotron Variations: "Pulsar," 6. Bonnie "Prince" Billy: "One with the Birds."
Our shortlist for the week's best new albums includes Lana Del Rey's odyssey-length adventure Norman F****** Rockwell,Sheryl Crow's final album, Threads,new Black Belt Eagle Scout and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. G Flip - About Us, 2. Boy Scouts - Free Company, 3. Black Belt Eagle Scout - At The Party With My Brown Friends, 4. Lana Del Rey - Norman F****** Rockwell, 5. Close Talker - How Do We Stay Here, 6. Somos - Prison On A Hill, 7. Sheryl Crow - Threads. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR AUG. 30: Bon Iver - i.i (physical release); Common - Let Love; The Futureheads - Powers; Joan Shelley - Like The River Loves The Sea; Pharmakon - Devour; Tool - Fear Inoculum; Trisha Yearwood - Every Girl; Whitney - Forever Turned Around.
In this encore presentation of an episode from July, 2018, we fill you in on how to shade your summer pink, with unapologetically good pop music that is ready for any mood.
This week's podcast includes the stadium guitar rock of Sheer Mag, country legend Tanya Tucker, the hip-hop boy band BROCKHAMPTON, a wonderfully strange turn from R&B singer Raphael Saadiq and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Sheer Mag - A Distant Call; 2. Raphael Saadiq - Jimmy Lee; 3. Jeezy - TM104: The Legend of the Snowman; 4. BROCKHAMPTON - Ginger; 5. Midland - Let it Roll; 6. Tanya Tucker - While I'm Livin'; 7. Rapsody - Eve; Jay Som - Anak Ko. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR AUG. 23: Jayson Hawk Harris - Love & the Dark; Joyero - Release the Dogs; Noah Gunderson - Lover; Queen of Jeans - If You're Not Afraid, I'm Not Afraid; Redd Kross - Beyond the Door; The Rembrandts - Via Satellite; Rose Dorn - Days You Were Leaving; Seratones - Power; Shannon Lay - August; Taylor Swift - Lover; Ty Herndon - Got it Covered; Vince Gill - Okie.
Bob Boilen and I are back together again to share some of the phenomenal new music we've been hearing, starting with Brittany Howard's stirring and inspired "He Loves Me," from her upcoming solo debut Jaime. She named the album after her sister who passed away when they were both teenagers. The music is a celebration of the human spirit.Also on the show: Big Thief surprises us with the band's second album of 2019 and this one is fierce; Bob is back from the DIY Musician Conference with a couple of discoveries: a playful, idiosyncratic British artist known only as EB and the singer-songwriter Anna Larson, who has a powerful reflection on mass shootings called "Acting Alone."We've also got new cathartic sounds from The Messthetics, the Philadelphia-based band Queen of Jeans and more. — Robin Hilton
Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lyndsey McKenna and Sidney Madden as they share their picks for the best albums out on Aug. 16. FEATURED ALBUMS: Sleater-Kinney - The Center Won't Hold; Frank Turner - No Man's Land; Snoh Aalegra - Ugh, Those Feels Again; Cousin Stizz - Trying to Find My Next Thrill; Shura - Forevher; Lillie Mae - Other Girls; Rodney Crowell - Texas; The Hold Steady - Thrashing Thru The Passion. OTHER NOTABLE ALBUMS OUT AUG. 16: Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild; Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors - Dragons; Jason Lytle - Nylon and Juno; Maria Usbeck - Envejeciendo; Oso Oso - Basking in the Glow
School is really hard — and for many, music is the one thing that grounded them or made them feel connected to something bigger. On this encore edition of All Songs Considered, we hear moving stories from our listeners of how music became a force in their lives and helped them get through school. We'll also share the songs they say made a difference.
Our list of the week's best albums includes spiky and inventive punk from The Regrettes, sweetly reflective folk from Fionn Regan, the return of Ra Ra Riot and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. The Regrettes - 'How Do You Love?;' 2. half alive - 'Now, Not Yet;' 3. Fionn Regan - 'Cala;' 4. Murs & 9th Wonder - 'The Iliad Is Dead And The Odyssey Is Over;' 5. Marika Hackman - 'Any Human Friend;' 6. Ra Ra Riot - 'Superbloom;' 7. WHY? - 'AOKOHIO.' OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR AUGUST 9: Bas - 'Spilled Milk Vol. 1;' Rick Ross - 'Port Of Miami 2;' Electric Youth - 'Memory Emotion;' Marc Cohn & Blind Boys Of Alabama - 'Work To Do;' Tori Kelly - 'Inspired By True Events;' P.P. Arnold - 'The New Adventures Of P.P. Arnold.'
Originally from 2014 - Carrie Brownstein joins the All Songs gang to chat about relentless ear-worms, annoying novelty songs and other songs our hosts think of as quite possibly the worst of all time.
Our list of the week's best albums includes the breezy pop upstart Clairo and the return of rising roots-country singer Tyler Childers, as well as a few words about Chance The Rapper. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Clairo - 'Immunity;' 2. Tyler Childers - 'Country Squire;' 3. Cross Record - 'Cross Record;' 4. Ty Segall - 'First Taste;' 5. Penny And Sparrow - 'Finch;' 6. Chance The Rapper - 'The Big Day.' OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR AUGUST 2: My Morning Jacket - 'The Tennessee Fire: 20th Anniversary Edition;' Lil Durk - 'Love Songs 4 The Streets II;' The Bird And The Bee - 'Interpreting the Masters Volume 2: A Tribute To Van Halen.'
For the past 14 years, producer Andy Zax has been digging into the music and sounds of Woodstock, that culture-shifting music festival that unfolded in August of 1969. Now, 50 years later, all 32 performances — the audio announcements, the entirety of this three-day festival in upstate New York — is about to be released by Rhino Records in a 38-disc box titled Woodstock - Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive. There's also a 10-CD collection, a book by Woodstock promoter Michael Lang, a Blu-ray disc and more. Andy Zax came to the NPR studios to play some of that previously unheard or released music and talk about the history of this culture-altering festival.
Our list of the week's best albums includes Cuco's highly anticipated Para Mí, a Spoon greatest hits compilation, rapper YBN Cordae's debut LP, devotional music from Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Spoon - 'Everything Hits At Once;' 2. YBN Cordae - 'The Lost Boy,' 3. Burna Boy - 'African Giant,' 4. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - 'Live At WOMAD, 198d,' 5. Mikey Erg - 'Waxbuilt Castles,' 6. Florist - 'Emily Alone,' 7. Cuco - 'Para Mí.' OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR JULY 26: Bill Ryder-Jones - Yawny Yawn; BJ the Chicago Kid - 1123; Of Monsters and Men - Fever Dream; Strange Ranger - Remembering the Rockets; Violent Femmes - Hotel Last Resort; Various: Original Broadway cast recording of Hadestown.
This month marks 60 years since the very first Newport Folk Festival. NPR has been covering the event since its rebirth in 2008. Jay Sweet, now the executive producer, was mostly responsible for the festival's revival, booking unexpected bands and reinvigorating the spirit of the annual gathering. It's long been a place where musicians would collaborate and make music often steeped in social justice. On this Newport Folk Festival preview edition of All Songs Considered we'll look specifically at the newer faces at this year's festival, including lesser-known artists Yola Carter, Illiterate Light, Courtney Marie Andrews and the debut performance of a new, influential band of well-known women known as The Highwomen. That collaboration includes Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby.
The best new albums out this week include the latest from psych-pop mainstays The Flaming Lips, singer Freya Ridings' stunning debut full-length, Houston rapper Maxo Kream and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Freya Ridings - 'Freya Ridings,' 2. Tony Molina - 'Songs From San Mateo County,' 3. IDER - 'Emotional Education,' 4. Maxo Kream - 'Brandon Banks,' 5. The Flaming Lips - 'The King's Mouth,' 6. Ada Lea - 'What We Say In Private,' 7. avery r. young - 'tubman.,' 8. Lingua Ignota - 'Caligula.' OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR JULY 19: Beyoncé - Lion King: The Gift; Jacob Collier - Djesse IIs; Generationals - Reader as Detective; Murs & 9th Wonder - Night Shift; Saul Williams - Encrypted & Vulnerable; Sum41 - Order in Decline.
Host Bob Boilen goes solo for this week's essential new mix, with defiant joy from Wilco, the atmospherics of Brian Eno, new discoveries from Erin Durant and Pearla, a side-project for Sylvan Esso's Nick Sanborn and more. 1. Wilco: "Love Is Everywhere (Beware)," 2. Pearla: "Daydream," 3. Khruangbin: "Mary Always," 4. Erin Durant: "Rising Sun," 5. Rosenau & Sanborn: "Saturday," 6. Bon Iver: "Jelmore," Brian Eno: "The End of a Thin Cord"
GoldLink joined NPR Music's Sidney Madden from the BBC in London to discuss his new album, Diaspora, rapid gentrification in D.C. and what he's learned about the universal black experience.
1. Imperial Teen: Now We Are Timeless; 2. Mal Blum: Pity Boy; 3. Africa Express: EGOLI; 4. Big K.R.I.T.: K.R.I.T. IZ HERE; 5. Ed Sheeran: No. 6 Collaborations Project; 6.Blood Orange: Angel's Pulse; 7. Various: Tiny Changes: A Celebration of the Midnight Organ Fight; 8. K.Flay: Solutions. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR JULY 12: Bleached - Don't You Think You've Had Enough?; The Dolly Rots - Daydream Explosion; Félicia Atkinson - The Flower and the Vessel (released 7/5); Jesca Hoop - Stone Child (released 7/5); Kyle Craft - Showboat Honey; METZ - Automat; Sigur Rós - Ágætis byrjun: A Good Beginning; Tycho - Weather.
To be clear, sad songs make up the majority of this week's All Songs Considered. So, if you have a love for the type of music you might hear from Julien Baker or Japanese Breakfast, we have five new artists to add to your playlist, including a 19-year-old singer from Belgium who goes by the name Asia; The artist known as Dolly Valentine asks, "Do you know where you want to go?" And there are more beautiful but crushing tunes brought to you by "the dream team," of NPR's Lyndsey McKenna and Marissa Lorusso. Featured Tracks: 1. Joseph: "Fighter," 2. Long Beard: "Sweetheart," 3. Strange Ranger: "Message to You," 4. Asia: "Church," 5. Bad Heaven Ltd.: "bed," 6. Dolly Valentine: "Michigan, 1997."
For the past year, NPR has been taking a deep look at American anthems and all the forms they can take. These are the songs that unite us, inspire us or say something about what it means to be an American — songs as traditional as Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," or as defiant as Public Enemy's "Fight the Power." On this special edition of All Songs Considered, NPR's Elizabeth Blair and Tom Cole share highlights from this ongoing series, along with some of the stories behind their favorite tracks, from "America The Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" to Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." and Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man."
Our list for this week's best new albums includes a solo release from Thom Yorke, the return of garage rock stalwarts They Black Keys, a new project from Freddie Gibbs and Madlib and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: Black Keys: Let's Rock; Gena Rose Bruce: Can't Make You Love Me; Thom Yorke: ANIMA; Freddie Gibbs & Madlib: Bandana; Runaway June: Blue Roses; Chris Staples: Holy Moly; Daughter of Swords: Dawnbreaker; Dizzy Fae: NO GMO; OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR JUNE 28: The Appleseed Cast: The Fleeing Light of Impermanence; B52s: Cosmic Thing; Erin Durant: Islands; Foy Vance: From Muscle Shoals; Ingrid Michaelson: Stranger Songs; Outer Spaces: Gazing Globe; The Small Glories: Assiniboine & The Red.
Most cities tend to have a voice, but few quite as loud or fascinating as Seattle's. This is a city that gave us Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and Pearl Jam but also the softer sounds of Fleet Foxes, The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie.I wondered just what's bubbling up in Seattle. So I went to NPR member station KEXP, a hugely important voice in the Seattle scene, now and in the past as KCMU. Kevin Cole is someone I trust implicitly. He's been at KEXP for 20 years and is the Chief Content Officer and the afternoon DJ. The musical landscape we explore on this episode of All Songs Considered is deeper than the guitar-based music we've come to know from Seattle. You'll hear everything from sonic laptop adventures in hip-hop to post-horncore. Yup, you read that right: menacing punk energy with brass. I love Seattle.
It's another packed release week; Lil Nas X's debut EP is finally here, along with a posthumous release from Prince, a solo album from producer Mark Ronson, the return of The Raconteurs and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: Black Pumas: Black Pumas; Bedouine: Bird Songs of a Killjoy; The Raconteurs: Help Us Stranger; Prince: Originals; Hatchie: Keepsake; Mark Ronson: Late Night Feelings; Lil Nas X: 7. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR JUNE 21: Blick Bassy: 1958; Cassius: Dreems; Black Midi: Schlagenheim; Buddy and Judy Miller: Breakdown on 20th Avenue South; Fruit Bats: Gold Past Life; Gucci Mane: Delusions of Grandeur; Mannequin Pussy: Patience; Pell: Gravity; Titus Andronicus: An Obelisk; Willie Nelson: Ride Me Back Home.
The first half of 2019 has given us a lot of emerging artists to celebrate, from Lil Nas X and his insanely catchy (and endlessly meme-able) "Old Town Road" remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, to the Irish punk group Fontaines D.C. On this episode of All Songs Considered we count down the top ten most-mentioned new artists as selected by listeners in our recent online poll.
Our list of the week's best new albums includes Bruce Springsteen's wistful ode to orchestral pop, the rock artistry of Baroness, DMV rapper Goldlink, the spoken-word artist Kate Tempest and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Baroness: Gold & Grey; 2. Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars; 3. Kate Tempest: The Books of Traps and Lessons; 4. Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest; 5. Calexico + Iron & Wine: Years to Burn; 6. House and Land: Across the Field; 7. John Luther Adams: Become Desert; 8. Goldlink: Disaspora. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR JUNE 14: Another Sky: Life Was Coming in Through the Blinds; Bad Books: III; Cigarette: Light Blues; Dressy Bessy: Fast Faster Disaster; Julia Shapiro: Perfect Version; Kaleidoscope: After the Futures; Keb' Mo': Oklahoma; Luxury: Trophies; Madonna: Madame X.
Host Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna and Marissa Lorusso for an essential mix that includes the honey-sludge pop of Haybaby, cathartic rock from the Shreveport band Seratones, dancer-turned singer-songwriter Jordan Moser and more. PLAYLIST: 1. (Sandy) Alex G: "Gretel," 2. Haybaby: "Animosity," 3. Seratones: "Power," 4. Outer Spaces: "YMLGOML," 5. Jordan Moser: "The Devil," 6. Joan Shelley: "Coming Down For You."
Our shortlist for the best new albums out on June 7 includes the roots-rock duo Ida Mae, new gospel from disco legend Gloria Gaynor, the ruminative rock of Palehound, Santana, Stef Chura and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Ida Mae: Chasing Light; 2. Jamie Cullum: Taller; 3. Gloria Gaynor: Testimony; 4. Santana: Africa Speaks; 5. Jake Xerxes Fussell: Out of Sight; 6. Jon Mueller: Canto; 7. Palehound: Black Friday; 8. Stef Chura: Midnight. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR JUNE 7: Aurora: A Different Kind of Human; Avicii: Tim; Bob Dylan: The Rolling Thunder Review - The 1975 Live Recordings; Cave In: Final Transmission; Dylan Leblanc: Renegade; Earthen Sea: Grass and Trees; Future: Save Me; Jonas Brothers: Happiness Begins; Neil Young: Tuscaloosa; Perry Farrell: Kind Heaven; Rickie Lee Jones: KICKS; Silversun Pickups: Widow's Weeds; Yeasayer: Erotic Returns; Tim Heidecker: What the Brokenhearted Do.
Jessi Whitten of Colorado Public Radio's Open Air co-hosts this week's All Songs Considered and turns me on to the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, the funnest band name of the year with music all the way from Perth, Australia to match. All of Jessi's picks are laced with fun, including French Vanilla's new-wave, early-'80s sound, reminiscent of the British punk band X-Ray Spex. She also brings us music from Colorado by Kiltro, a band with one foot in Colorado and another in Chile. I also have a noisy band called Wives., These folks are from Queens, New York and have a five-minute-plus, Velvet Underground-inspired tune called "Workin'." I also play one of Bon Iver's newest songs that's a nod to the past and to a mother's love. And my favorite new discovery is Kate Davis, a singer who co-wrote Sharon Van Etten's song "Seventeen." The same talented lyricism can be found in Kate's song, "rbbts."
Our list of the best new albums out this week includes Kishi Bashi's moving remembrance of Japanese internment camps during World War II, R&B singer Raveena, solo piano from Eluvium, Skepta and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: Kishi Bashi: Omoiyari; Raveena: Lucid; Eluvium: Piano Works; Daniel Wohl: État; Skepta: Ignorance Is Bliss; Christelle Bofale: Swim Team. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR MAY 31: Apex Manor: Heartbreak City; Denzel Curry: Zuu; Fujiya & Miyagi: Flashback; The Gotobeds: Debt Begins at 30; Lee Scratch Perry: Rainford; Pip Blom: Boat; Sinkane: Dépaysé; Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith: The Peyote Dance; Thomas Rhett: Center Point Road.
This week's All Songs Considered features a gorgeous, solo piano instrumental from Rhye, Tiny Desk contest winner Quinn Christopherson's unique look at male privilege, psych-pop via Ari Roar and more. 1. Ari Roar: "Let Out" from 'Best Behavior;' 2. Quinn Christopherson: "Erase Me" from his winning entry for the Tiny Desk contest; 3. Rhye: "Malibu Nights" from 'Spirit;' 4. Tōth: "When I Awoke" from 'Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help When Necessary;' 5. Joanna Sternberg: "For You" from 'Then I Try Some More;' 6. Another Sky: "The Cracks" from 'Life Was Coming in Through the Blinds;' 7. Marika Hackman: "I'm Not Where You Are" from 'Any Human Friend.'
The best new albums out this week include a stirring call for social justice from soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples, rapper YG's remembrance of Nipsey Hussle, lo-fi rock veteran's Sebadoh and more. 1. Mavis Staples: We Get By; 2. Justin Townes Earle: The Saint of Lost Causes; 3. Lucky Daye: Painted; 4. YG: 4REAL 4REAL; 5. Billy Ray Cyrus: The Snake Doctor Circus; 6. Flying Lotus: Flamagra; 7. Sebadoh: Act Surprised. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR MAY 24: Cate Le Bon: Reward; Fay Webster: Atlanta Millionaires Club; Hayden Thorpe: Diviner; Honeyblood: In Plain Sight; Middle Kids: New Songs for Old Problems; Sean Nelson: Nelson Sings Nilsson; Steve Lacy: Apollo XXI; Stray Cats: 40.
On this edition of All Songs Considered, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood joins us to talk about two of his classical compositions we've just premiered on our Tiny Desk series. He also shares some of the music that's inspired him over the years by other artists and explains how he came to love such a rich and diverse tapestry of sounds.
Our shortlist of the best new albums out this week includes a visionary work from The National, the pop wisdom of Carly Rae Jepsen, Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. The National: I Am Easy to Find; 2. Duckwrth: The Falling Man; 3. Christone 'Kingfish' Ingram: Kingfish; 4. Carly Rae Jepsen: Dedicated; 5. Megan Thee Stallion: Fever; The Head and the Heart: Living Mirage. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR MAY 17: Alex Lahey: Best of Luck Club; DJ Khaled: Father of Asahd; Injury Reserve: Injury Reserve; Josephine Wiggs: We Fall; Olden Yolk: Living Theater; Slowthai: Nothing Great About Britain; Steel Pulse: Mass Manipulation; Tyler, The Creator: IGOR.
On this Guest DJ edition of All Songs Considered a conversation with Joe Talbot. Joe is a passionate force behind the British band IDLES. They are a band that at once are both fierce and compassionate. IDLES are one of the best live rock bands I've seen, creating mosh pits and community with their noise and humanity. They have two albums out, Brutalism from 2017 and the summer of 2018, the beautifully titled, Joy As An Act of Resistance. The band was in D.C. and just played a Tiny Desk Concert. I begin our conversation with Joe Talbot curious what music plays in their van as they tour around the U.S. That conversation has us playing everything from old soul music to modern British hip-hop with Radiohead in between.
Our shortlist of the week's best new albums includes a career-defining release from singer Jamila Woods, the sparkling guitar rock of Charly Bliss and Holly Herndon's genius work with the AI "Spawn."FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Charly Bliss: Young Enough; 2. Holly Herndon: Proto; 3. Jamila Woods: Legacy! Legacy!; 4. HÆLOS: Any Random Kindness; 5. Tim Hecker: Anoyo; 6. Lowland Hum: Glyphic. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR MAY 10: A.A. Bondy: Enderness; Ciara: Beauty Marks; Dehd: Water; Lydia Ainsworth: Phantom Forest; Mac Demarco: Here Comes the Cowboy; Maps: Colours, Reflect. Time, Loss.; Radiator Hospital: Sings Music for Daydreaming; The Get Up Kids: Problems; Mourning A BLKstar: Reckoning.
This week's episode of All Songs Considered is a show of contrasts — cotton-candy pop one moment (from mxmtoon), raging punk sung in Farsi the next (from Khiis) — and then calming, instrumental, prog rock courtesy The Quiet Temple. For All Songs Considered's nearly 20 years, we've tried to live up to our namesake and on this show, we consider more drastic ends of the song spectrum than we have in recent memory. This week I'm joined by NPR Music's Lars "Vikings Choice" Gotrich and Joshua (cotton candy) Bote for five tunes that explore the rich polarity of making music in 2019. — Bob Boilen
Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the week's best new albums. FEATURED RELEASES: 1. Judah & The Lion: 'Pep Talks,' 2. Caroline Spence: 'Mint Condition,' 3. Big Thief: 'U.F.O.F.'; 4. SYML: 'SYML,' 5. Vampire Weekend: 'Father of the Bride,' 6. Joy Williams: 'Front Porch,' 7. Rhiannon Giddens: 'There is no Other,' 8. Unwed Sailor: 'Heavy Age,' OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR MAY 3: Barrie: 'Happy to Be Here;' Empath: 'Active Listening, Night on Earth;' Fury: 'Failed Entertainment;' Jesse Mac Cormack: 'Now;' L7: 'Scatter the Rats;' Lucy Spraggan: 'Today Was a Good Day;' Protomartyr: 'No Passion All Technique;' Tacocat: 'This Mess is a Place;' Tank and the Bangas: 'Green Balloon.'
Have you ever had Persian cotton candy? It looks like Muppet hair and tastes like pistachio — well, at least the one we ate in the studio. We begin our show with one of the great poets of the day, Kate Tempest. The British playwright, novelist and spoken word artist has a new record coming called The Book of Traps and Lessons. We play "Firesmoke," a song dedicated to her lover. We also have new music from Japanese Breakfast, and as NPR Music's Marissa Lorusso tells us, the entire song was written and recorded by Michelle Zauner in a hotel in Bali.NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna brings us music from Mannequin Pussy and a song about what happens on the downside of romance, called "Drunk II." Lyndsey also brings us "Emotional Bachelor" from Future Teens, a band that calls its style "Boston bummer pop." And I have the shortest song in recent memory from a new trio I love called Patio. This 1:35-minute gem takes inspiration from a dream and features the winning line, "I think I'm gonna go home and listen to Washer / Instead of spending any more time with you."
FEATURED ALBUMS: Nick Murphy: Run Fast, Sleep Naked; Rodrigo y Gabriela: Mettavolution; Jackie Mendoza: LuvHz; Josh Ritter: Fever Breaks; The Mountain Goats: In League With Dragons; SOAK: Grim Town; OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR APRIL 26: Aldous Harding: Designer; Bailen: Thrilled to Be Here; Bear's Den: So That You Might Hear Me;The Cranberries: In the End; Craig Finn: I Need a New War; Kevin Morby: Oh My God; King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Fishing for Fishies; Local Natives: Violent Street; Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky: Droneflower; Otoboke Beaver: Itekoma Hits; Schoolboy Q: CrasH Talk; Sunn O))): Life Metal
Kevin Morby's new album is unlike anything he's done before. Gone is the guitar (for the most part) from his earlier recordings. In its place are more droning instruments — sounds more suited for church than the concert hall, including a recurring, small choir. The subject for the album is God and our culture's relationship with God, from deep introspection to the trivial, everyday use of that ever-present expression "oh my God."The origins of his album Oh My God began in 2016 with events at the forefront of American politics, including mass shootings at the Bataclan and Pulse nightclubs, the death of Freddie Gray and, for Kevin Morby, the day-to-day news, including the Presidency of Donald Trump. (Kevin Morby wrote a one-off song about the heartbreak of the world called "Beautiful Strangers," and donated proceeds to charity.)On this edition of All Songs Considered we look at the origin story behind Oh My God, including Nina Simone's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," music from Ethiopia and the quirky, groundbreaking New York duo Suicide.
Our list of the best albums out this week includes Lizzo's long-awaited debut, the rousing, infectious anthems of Johnnyswim, new music from The Tallest Man On Earth, Loyle Carner and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: Lizzo, Cuz I Love You; Johnnyswim, Moonlight; Kelsey Lu, Blood; The Tallest Man On Earth, I Love You. It's A Fever Dream.; Loyle Carner, Not Waving, But Drowning; Wand, Laughing Matter. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR APRIL 19: Anna Tivel, The Question; Cage the Elephant, Social Cues; Diane Coffee, Internet Arms; Drugdealer, Raw Honey; Fat White Family, Serfs Up; Heather Woods Broderick, Invitation; Jade Bird, Jade Bird; The O'Jays, The Last Word; Sad Planets, Akron, Ohio.
Don't worry! Everything's going to be alright. But if you need more reassurance than that, look no further than "Set of Stairs," from the Amsterdam-based band Pip Blom. It's a burst of frenetic joy to lift you up whenever life deals you a bad hand. Its singular message: You got this!That's just one of the songs we're featuring on this week's show. We've also got wild and wonderful new music from former Tiny Desk contest winners Tank and the Bangas, gorgeous harmonies and an uplifting message of unity from Jesca Hoop with Lucius, and the singer known as Sevdaliza has a dark and mysterious reflection on love gone bad.All that plus singer-songwriter Chris Staples announces his new album Holy Moly and shares a tale of young love called "Everybody Said;" and singer, multi-instrumentalist and poet Vera Sola pairs with Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids on "Loving, Loving (Acoustic Reprise)."
Anderson .Paak drops his followup to Oxnard, Norah Jones collaborates with Jeff Tweedy, and Sia joins Labrinth and Diplo for "LSD." Those and more make our shortlist of the week's best new albums. FEATURED: Shovels & Rope: By Blood; Damien Jurado: In the Shape of a Storm; Norah Jones: Begin Again; Anderson .Paak: Ventura; Glen Hansard: This Wild Nothing; Odonis Odonis: Reaction; LSD: Labrinth, Sia, Diplo Present LSD. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR APRIL 12: BTS: Map of the Soul; The Budos Band: V; Chris Forsyth: All Time Present; Emily Reo: Only You Can See It; Fontaines D.C.: Dogrel; Inter Arma: Sulphur English; John Paul White: The Hurting Kind; Jeff Tweedy: Warmer (vinyl only); Melissa Etheridge: The Medicine Show
On this episode of All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and Lars Gotrich talk about the music released in the first part of 2019 that for Lars soundtracked nap time, quick rides to the grocery store for eggs (and an excuse to get out the house) and whatever else perked my ears while blissfully stuck to the couch with a sleeping babe. There are buzzing Ethiopian hymns and Tuareg folk songs, but also white-hot psych-rock and anguished black metal when I just needed some paternal catharsis. Psychedelic Speed Freaks "Redline"• Sosena Gebre Eyesus "Aser Awetar": Catherine Watine "Verrophone" (Géométries sous-cutanées) Keith Fullerton Whitman "Apollo Museumhotel Generators" (Generatorss) Griefloss "Anneliese" (Griefloss) Ahmed Ag Kaedy "Akaline Kidal" (Akaline Kidal)Ronin Arkestra "Redeye Reprisal" (First Meeting)
Host Robin Hilton, NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna, Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson run through their picks for the best new albums out on April 5. FEATURED ALBUMS: Martha: Love Keeps Kicking; Khalid: Free Spirit; Lee Fields and the Expressions: It Rains Love; Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising; PUP: Morbid Stuff; Molly Tuttle: When You're Ready; Ages and Ages: Me You They We. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR APRIL 5: Brooks & Dunn: Reboot; Girli: Odd One Out; Idlewild: Interview Music; Lady Lamb: Even in the Tremor; Lissie: When I'm Alone: The Piano Retrospective; Priests: The Seduction of Kansas; Reba McEntire: Stronger Than the Truth.
Songs includeNatural by Julia ShapiroSIDEWINDER by Cautious ClayThe River St. Johns by Jake Xerxes FussellHenryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 sung by Beth GibbonsThe Weight of Things by The GloamingTorched and Wrecked by Third Coast Percussion
FEATURED ALBUMS: Mekons: Deserted; Billie Eilish: When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? Quelle Chris: Guns; Shafiq Husayn: The Loop; Marvin Gaye: You're The Man; Fennesz: Agora; Son Volt: Union.OTHER NOTABLE ALBUMS OUT MARCH 29: Beth Gibbons & The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra: Henryk Gorecki: Symphony No. 3; Billy Woods & Kenny Segal: Hiding Places; Choosey & Exile: Black Beans; DJ Muggs & Mach-Hommy: Tuez-Les Tous; Joni Void: Mise En Abyme; Karyyn: The Quanta Series; Laura Stevenson: The Big Freeze; MED & Guilty Simpson: Child of the Jungle; Mdou Moctar: Ilana; Saweetie: Icy; Small Feet: With Psychic Powers; Steve Earle & The Dukes: GUY.
Songs for this Episode"Summon the Fire" by The Comet Is Coming"Weird Little Idea" by Radiator Hospital "Give A Chance" by Jesse Mac Cormack"Daylight Matters" by Cate Le Bon"House Of Angels" by Lee "Scratch" Perry"Outside" by Mormor
It's a packed release week with a whole bunch of notable albums to highlight, including the rock guitar heroics on Ex Hex's It's Real, the wistful wisdom of Jenny Lewis, Andrew Bird's "finest work yet," mind-blowing sonics from the genre-bending composers Emily Wells and Lafawndah, the German electronic artist Apparat and much more. Hosts Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson share their top picks for the best albums out on March 22 on this episode of New Music Friday. FEATURED ALBUMS: Ex Hex: It's Real; Jenny Lewis: On The Line; American Football: American Football; Lafawndah: Ancestor Boy; Andrew Bird: My Finest Work Yet; Emily Wells: This World Is Too ______ For You; Apparat: LP5; Lambchop: This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You). OTHER NOTABLE ALBUMS OUT MARCH 22: Bill McKay: Fountain Fire; Dean Lewis: A Place We Knew; Ibibio Sound Machine: Doko Mien; Lucy Rose: No Words Left; Nilufer Yanya: Miss Universe; Rich The Kid: The World Is Yours 2; Strand Of Oaks: Eraserland; Wallows: Nothings Happens
We've returned from our weeklong grind through the South by Southwest music festival happy, though a little dazed, with ringing ears, and a whole bunch of incredible discoveries. On this All Songs Considered we run through some of the most memorable music and performances, from the shredded noise rock of Rev Rev Rev and thundering soul of Yola Carter to the Afro-Cuban grooves of Cimafunk and the remarkable voice of Tamino. Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and I each saw around 100 different shows in just a few short days, way more than we could ever share in a single episode. But you can hear more in our Late Night Dispatches from SXSW, including a playlist of songs, and the Austin 100. You can find our complete coverage of the SXSW festival here, including video highlights from our first-ever Tiny Desk Family Hour, a series of Tiny Desk alums performing at Austin's Central Presbyterian Church, including Wyclef Jean, John Paul White and more. -- Robin Hilton
With another SXSW in the books, a truncated and reconstituted All Songs Considered gang — Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and Jessi Whitten of Colorado Public Radio — gathered late Saturday night (early Sunday morning, really) for one last joyous huddle to share notes on the day's highlights. Since Jessi wasn't on the night before, she had to share at least one major discovery from Friday: The Jazzrauch Bigband, who put on one of the best shows she'd seen in years. (On Saturday, she loved the singer who goes by the name Del Water Gap, as well as Dreamer Boy and Ings.) Bob had raves for Indigo Sparke, THERE and the ever-evolving Miya Folick, while Stephen recommended Jerusalem-based composer and looper ORI, skirts and the soul singer Celeste.
Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson regale each other with tall tales about Friday night's escapades at SXSW.
For the third installment of All Songs Considered's late-night dispatches from SXSW 2019, the gang gathered in a hotel lobby to avoid the cold and sing the praises of Thursday's standout performances. Bob Boilen loved seeing Lonnie Holley with Mary Lattimore, KOKOKO!, John Vanderslice and David Keenan; Robin Hilton sang the praises of Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Durand Jones & The Indications and perennial SXSW favorite Calliope Musicals; Katie Presley reveled in performances by Fatai, Xenia França, King Princess and the mighty Lizzo; and Stephen Thompson couldn't say enough nice things about Another Sky, Bixiga 70, Fanclub and Mourning [A] BLKstar.
This week's somewhat abbreviated edition of New Music Friday includes an ambitious collaboration between Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O and producer Danger Mouse; the British electronic duo The Cinematic Orchestra returns with its first new album in more than a decade, featuring singer Moses Sumney, rapper Roots Manuva and other guests; and Pavement's Stephen Malkmus injects his woozy rock with a strange jolt of electronica. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the best new albums out on March 15. FEATURED ALBUMS: Karen O & Danger Mouse, Lux Prima Featured Songs: "Woman" and "Lux Prima;" The Cinematic Orchestra, To Believe Featured Songs: "A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life," "To Believe" and "The Workers of Art;" Stephen Malkmus, Groove Denied Featured Songs: "Rushing the Acid Frat" and "Belziger Faceplant;" Finn Andrews, One Piece at a Time Featured Song: "One Piece at a Time;" CHAI, Punk Featured Song: "CHOOSE GO!" OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR MARCH 15: Koffee, Rapture EP; Matmos, Plastic Anniversary; The Comet Is Coming, Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery; Todd Snider, Cash Cabin Season Vol. 3.
Our discoveries for today include Sir Baby Girl, Tamino, Laura Stevenson, Be Forest, Josin, Taimane and so much more. Look for a playlist on our website, npr.org/allsongs
Our first dispatch of discoveries from the SXSW Music Festival includes a recap of NPR Music's Tiny Desk Family Hour - an evening of Tiny Desk alum playing the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin. Also our first encounters with artists Elisapie, an Inuk singer and the Beths, Ellis, Illuminati Hotties and Rosie Tucker.
Juice WRLD, the reigning prince of emo rap, is back with a follow up to last year's Goodbye & Good Riddance. Deathrace for Love is bleak, brutal and the rare sequel that lives up to the original. The Oxford rock band Foals takes a big swing in one of the group's most ambitious albums to date; and singer Patty Griffin has a beautiful and profoundly moving, new self-titled album on growing old, the frailty of life and perseverance. On this week's New Music Friday host Robin Hilton talks about those albums and more with NPR's Rodney Carmichael, Felix Contreras and Stephen Thompson. FEATURED ALBUMS: Foals: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Pt. 1; Helado Negro: This Is How You Smile; Patty Griffin: Patty Griffin; Sasami: Sasami; Maren Morris: GIRL; William Basinski: On Time Out Of Time; Juice WRLD: Deathrace For Love; OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES OUT MARCH 8: Dido: Still on My Mind; Stella Donnelly: Beware of the Dogs; David Gray: Gold in a Brass Age; Flight of the Conchords: Live in London; Amanda Palmer: There Will Be No Intermission; Townes Van Zandt: Sky Blue; The Wild Reeds: Cheers.
The annual South by Southwest music festival is our personal endurance challenge to discover as many great unknown and often unsigned bands as possible in just one week. To train for the event, Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and I listen to more than a thousand songs by bands playing the festival, from all over the world, and try to map out a calendar to see our favorites. On this edition of All Songs Considered we play some of the standout songs ahead of the 2019 festival, including the Ghanian artist Jojo Abot, garage rock from Blushh, the Japanese pop group CHAI, music made by robots (I'm not making that up) and much, much more. — Robin Hilton
Our sprint through this week's best new albums includes Grey Area from the UK rapper Little Simz, Weezer's self-titled "Black Album," the foot-stompers of Hozier, country crooner Dee White and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, Sidney Madden and Jewly Hight as they share their picks for the best albums out on March 1. FEATURED ALBUMS: Little Simz: Grey Area; Hand Habits: Placeholder; Weezer: Weezer (The "Black Album"); Hozier: Wasteland, Baby!; Dee White: Southern Gentleman; Living Hour: Softer Faces OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR MARCH 1: 2 Chainz: Rap or Go to the League; Delicate Steve: 'Til I Burn Up; Durand Jones & The Indications: American Love Call; The Japanese House: Good At Falling; Sun Kil Moon: I Also Want to Die in New Orleans; Westkust: Westkust; Yves Jarvis: The Same But Different.
On this Guest DJ edition of All Songs Considered, Nilüfer talks of learning the guitar lines in songs by The Libertines as a kid, hearing her Turkish dad's love for Turkish music, her artist mom's encouragement to be a musician and the school where Nilüfer and her friends became musical companions. Nilüfer Yanya's debut album Miss Universe is out March 22 on ATO Records.
Our picks for the best albums out this week include an epic treatise on Americanism from Gary Clark Jr., the delicate and beautiful sounds of Julia Jacklin, Atlanta rapper Gunna, a gorgeous study in the healing powers of restraint from Lowland Hum, and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael and Stephen Thompson as they share their top picks for Feb. 22. FEATURED ALBUMS: Gary Clark Jr., This Land; Adia Victoria, Silences; And The Kids, When This Life Is Over; Bayonne, Drastic Measures; Gunna, Drip Or Drown 2; Higher Brothers, Five Stars; Julia Jacklin, Crushing; Lowland Hum, Glyphonic; OTHER NOTABLE ALBUMS FOR FEB 22: The Claypool Lennon Delirium, South of Reality; Half Japanese, Invincible; James Yorkston, The Route to the Harmonium; Kehlani, While We Wait; Lily & Madeleine, Canterbury Girls; Nakhane, You Will Not Die; Our Native Daughters, Songs of Our Native Daughters; Telekinesis, Effluxion; Yola, Walk Through Fire.
On this week's All Songs Considered we premiere new music from Aldous Harding. The artist from New Zealand made Bob Boilen's number two album from 2017 (Party) and her latest song, "The Barrel," indicates that she'll be another year-end favorite of mine in 2019. Marissa Lorusso and Lyndsey McKenna join Bob as co-host for the first time together and fill out the show with some new, great unknowns, including Sweden's Westkust and an artist who goes by the name Ellis. Ellis is the musical project of Linnea Siggelkow (the name is a play on her initials, L.S.), an Ontario-based singer who recently opened for Snail Mail. She proves to be a perfect musical pairing with Westkust. We've also got new music from a band we all love, Palehound. Marissa describes the new music from Ellen Kempner as suave and spooky. We get loud with the angular and stuttering sounds of Sego, then quiet with Mountain Man's Molly Sarlé. But we start the show off with a surprise you may or not love.
Our list of the best albums out this week includes the first new music from funk and R&B legend Chaka Khan in 12 years, the cinematic, transporting sounds of Yann Tiersen, bubblegum punk from Sir Babygirl and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lauren Onkey and Stephen Thompson as they share their top picks for Feb. 15. FEATURED ALBUMS: Chaka Khan: Hello Happiness; RY X: Unfurl; Yann Tiersen: All; Sir Babygirl: Crush on Me; J.S. Ondara: Tales of America; Robert Ellis: Texas Piano Man OTHER NOTABLE ALBUMS FOR FEB. 15: Avril Lavigne: Head Above Water; Betty Who: Betty; Dale Watson: Call Me Lucky; Florida Georgia Line: Can't Say I Ain't Country; Jonny Nash: Make a Wilderness; Ladytron: Ladytron; Natti Natasha: Illuminati; Tedeshi Trucks Band: Signs
This week's show is made possible by a generous amount of existential anxiety. This includes the ego-destroying rock anthem "I Don't Matter At All," from the Toronto band Pkew Pkew Pkew, and an epic life manifesto from Amanda Palmer called "The Ride" – a ten-minute oration about the crippling effects of unbridled and rampant fear.But we've also got some horn-powered instrumental rock from New York's Afro-soul group The Budos Band, and a beautiful, blood-slowing song from the Swedish singer Daniel Norgren, an artist who takes inspiration from the sounds of a creaking floor in an old flour mill.
Our list of the best albums out this week includes delicate piano pieces from Hauschka, the brilliantly burning rock of Bob Mould, songs inspired by the film Roma, Mercury Rev's remake of Bobbie Gentry's country opera The Delta Sweete and much more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Felix Contreras, Tom Huizenga and Stephen Thompson as they sprint through their top picks for Feb. 8. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock; 2. Jessica Pratt: Quiet Signs; 3. Hauschka: A Different Forest; 4. Various: Music Inspired by the Film Roma; 5. Said the Whale: Cascadia; 6. Mercury Rev: Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited; 7. Joszef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR FEB. 8: Ariana Grande: thank u, next; Cass McCombs: Tip of the Sphere; The Lemonheads: Varshons 2; Panda Bear: Buoys; Talos: Far Out Dust
On this week's show, artists battle their inner demons – the kind that come out a night when you're alone in bed, trying to find sleep – speak truth to power, celebrate love, dig into complicated characters with troubled pasts and much more.This includes a kind of demented nursery rhyme from singer Billie Eilish; the London-based duo Tender and their deep reflection on ruinous self-indulgence; and producer T Bone Burnett's new album with a prayer to overcome fear.Also on the show: The artist known as Many Rooms confronts organized religion; New York singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson has a new album inspired by the inevitable end of the universe; Lucy Dacus reimagines the French love song "La Vie En Rose" as a driving anthem to love; and producer and musician John Vanderslice returns from a five-year break from making music with a new solo album called The Cedars and a complicated tale of bent love
On this sprint through the week's best new albums, host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna and Stephen Thompson for a whole lot of guitar rock, with a little bit of melancholy, acoustic beauty on the side. This includes Spielbergs, a group from Oslo, Norway, that makes its US debut with a fantastic squeal of feedback on This is Not the End; the L.A. quartet Cherry Gazerr, which just dropped its most emotionally potent and fully formed album ever; Girlpool, Le Butcherettes, the beautifully transporting songs of Tiny Ruins and more. FEATURED ALBUMS: Spielbergs: This is Not the End; Cherry Glazerr: Stuffed and Ready; Girlpool: What Chaos is Imaginary; Beirut: Gallipoli; Le Butcherettes: bi/MENTAL; Tiny Ruins: Olympic Girls; OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR FEB. 01: Boy Harsher: Careful; Deer Tick: Mayonnaise; Guided by Voices: Zeppelin Over China; Emily King: Scenery; Mandolin Orange: Tides of a Teardrop; David Meade: Cobra Pumps; Nina Nesbitt: The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change; Unloved: Heartbreak
Ken Mansfield was the U.S. Manager for Apple records when the Beatles played their final gig on a rooftop in London — and one of the few people who was actually with the band to witness it.
On this edition of All Songs Considered I'm joined by Marissa Lorusso our Tiny Desk Contest leader and also a critical contributor to NPR Music's Turning the Tables project.Marissa plays music from the '90s San Jose trio, Duster. They're getting back together but not before a boxed set of their storied past comes out. Marissa is also a fan of Bellows, the music of Oliver Kalb, who we also know from the band Gabby's World (formerly Eskimeaux and O). And we hear music from Heather Woods Broderick, a songwriter and singer we've featured not only for her own music but for being a stage and studio partner with Sharon Van Etten. I play music from Tiny Desk Contest entrant Jackie Mendoza who performs a stripped-down, more focused remake of the song she submitted to our contest called "De Lejos" about loving from afar. We also hear great trance guitar from a Tuareg musician from the Saharan region. It's a recording he made in Detroit after a chance meeting with a producer who shared his love of ZZ Top's Tres Hombres record. But first, I open the show with my current 2019 favorite album, one that came out as huge surprise just last week, by Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers. They call their project the Better Oblivion Community Center.
On this week's program, host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Sidney Maden and Stephen Thompson to talk about the must-hear albums out on Jan. 25. This includes hard-driving riff rock with a healthy sense of humor from FIDLAR and Mike Krol, the Compton rapper Boogie, woozy synth-pop from The Dandy Warhols, the shape-shifting sounds of New Orleans singer DAWN and more. Featured Albums: FIDLAR: Almost Free; Mike Krol: Power Chords; Boogie: Everything's For Sale; The Dandy Warhols: Why You So Crazy? Rat Boy: Internationally Unknown; DAWN: New Breed; Other Notable Releases For Jan. 25: Backstreet Boys: DNA; Better Oblivion Community Center: S/T; Bring Me The Horizon: AMO; Rosie Carny: Bare; Toy: Happy In The Hollow; Vangelis: Nocturne; William Tyler: Goes West
Today on All Songs Considered, hear a conversation about the record's production, the logistics of performing live as a seven-piece band and, at long last, the meaning behind FOTB, the mysterious album-title acronym that turned fans into code-crackers early last week.
A lot has changed in Sharon Van Etten's life since she put out her last album, Are We There, in 2014. Over the past five years she's gotten into acting, she went back to school to get a degree in Mental Health Counseling, she's worked on some film scores and, the biggest change: She's a mom, now. But through it all she eventually found herself coming back to her first love: music. Sharon Van Etten has a new album out called Remind Me Tomorrow and it's unlike anything she's ever done before. Largely seen as an acoustic singer-songwriter up to now, her new album is full of pulsing synths, big beats and lots of strange, dark textures made with the help of producer John Congleton. The result is a stunning achievement for Van Etten. Remind Me Tomorrow is her most ambitious and adventurous album to date. For this edition of All Songs Considered, Sharon Van Etten and host Robin Hilton listened to her whole new album together, front to back. She reflects on motherhood, shares stories about the new songs and explains why she decided to blow up nearly everything fans have long loved about her music.
Welcome to a brand-new season of New Music Friday! After a few quiet weeks, the flood gates are opening and we've got a whole bunch of essential albums dropping on Jan. 18 to tell you about. This includes the smart, sparkling pop of singer Maggie Rogers, swooning love songs from James Blake, deep introspection from Pedro The Lion's first new album in 15 years, pure joy from Toro y Moi and much more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson for this quick sprint through the essential releases for Jan. 18, the first busy drop date for the new year. Featured Albums: 1. Maggie Rogers: Heard It In A Past Life; 2. Toro y Moi: Outer Peace; 3. Deerhunter: Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared; 4. Pedro The Lion: Phoenix; 5. James Blake: Assume Form; 6. Buke And Gase: Scholars; 7. Frances Cone: Late Riser; Other Notable Releases: Crane Like The Bird: Crane Like The Bird; Future: The Wizrd; Juliana Hatfield: Weird; Malibu Ken: Malibu Ken; Mike Posner: A Real Good Kid; Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow; Tender: Fear Of Falling Asleep; The Twilight Sad: It Won't Always Be Like This
It's been a minute since we got together to share some all-new music – not since our Nov. 6 show of last year, in fact. Hopefully you used the past several weeks to dig into our look back at the year in music for 2018, our remembrance of the artists we lost, Viking's Choice, Glaring Omissions and, of course, our annual Holiday Radio Play. But we're back now with a batch of essential songs to start the new year right. This includes a spare and profoundly moving new track from singer Lana Del Rey called "Hope is a Terrible Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It;" a brutally candid critique of toxic masculinity from Stella Donnelly; and the thumping, propulsive sounds of Priests and their new song "The Seduction Of Kansas." Also on the show: Perfect guitar pop from Telekinesis, and the punk-saxophone of Joy On Fire and the sweet harmonies of The Wild Reeds, both of whom pay tribute to a lost mother.
Steve Earle honors his musical hero Guy Clark with an album of his song called GUY.
On this edition of All Songs Considered, we share our favorite discoveries from globalFEST 2019.
Our resident Viking surveys 2018 through Italian doom metal, Chinese post-punk, underwater field recordings and a 24-hour drone.
In this special year-end edition of All Songs Considered we look back at the extraordinary singers, composers, multi-instrumentalists and other creative souls we lost in 2018, from indie rock and pop's Richard Swift and Dolores O'Riordan, to opera singer Montserrat Caballe, rapper Mac Miller, avant-garde jazz pianist Cecil Taylor and, of course, Aretha Franklin.
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, John Legend, Lucius, William Shatner, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees and Rodney Crowell all join us for our annual holiday spoof, which unfolds like a bad high school play. This year the gang goes to Bermuda to get away from it all, only to find themselves lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
A lot of the year-end lists you've looked at probably didn't have that one favorite album or song you hold near and dear. This episode of All Songs is about our hidden gems, the ones that, in the give-and-take of making a representative staff list, got left off. In the case of the NPR Music team, we each had at least one record we want you to know about that you won't find on our Top 50 Albums list or our Top 100 Songs list. So, we gathered with ALT. Latino host Felix Contreras, our hip-hop and R&B lovers, Sidney Madden and Rodney Carmichael, classical music geek, Tom Huizenga and pop-and-rock fans Lyndsey McKenna and Marissa Lorusso to set the record straight. And with outrage in our hearts (and bit of tongue in our cheeks) we play the eight other songs we really want you to hear.
The All Songs gang looks back at this year's anthems and unmissable milestones, from Kendrick Lamar's Pulitzer to Childish Gambino's mind-blowing video for "This Is America," Rosalía, Mitski and more. Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson as they look back at the albums, artists and moments that mattered most in 2018.
It's our final New Music Friday for 2018 – barring any big surprises, December is a pretty slow release month – but we end with some phenomenal new albums, including The 1975's Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, singer Alessia Cara's affecting coming-of-age manifesto The Pains Of Growing, an exercise in minimalism from rapper Earl Sweatshirt and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined this week by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Sidney Madden and Lyndsey McKenna as they do a quick look at the most essential new albums dropping on Nov. 30. Featured Albums: The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships; Meek Mill: Championship; J.I.D: DiCaprio 2; Alessia Cara: The Pains Of Growing; Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs. Other Notable Releases For Nov. 30: Jeff Tweedy: Warm; Foxwarren: Foxwarren; Lil' Baby: Street Gossip; Neil Young: Songs For Judy; Bryan Ferry And His Orchestra: Bitter-Sweet
Jeff Tweedy's written a book that's incredibly open-hearted and honest. Let's Go (So We Can Get Back) A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. is a journey in music, friendship and family — from getting his first guitar (which didn't work out so well), to the formation of Uncle Tupelo with his friend, Jay Farrar, their surprising breakup and all the various incarnations of Wilco. It's filled with stories of insecurities, drug dependencies and thoughtful reflections. On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen talks with Jeff Tweedy about his remarkable life story, plays clips from the Penguin Random House audio version of Jeff's book and digs a bit into his new solo album called Warm, which addresses a lot of personal thoughts and feels like a companion to Jeff's book.
Gobble gobble! Our Thanksgiving weekend edition of New Music Friday includes the warped and wild pop sounds of My Brightest Diamond, stunning instrumental records from Ed Harcourt and Jacco Gardner, punk with heart and humor from Art Brut and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined this week by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson as they do a quick sprint through the essential albums dropping on Nov. 23. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. My Brightest Diamond: A Million And One; 2. Ed Harcourt: Beyond The End; 3. Calexico: The Black Light 20th Anniversary Edition; 4. Art Brut: Wham! Bang! Pow! Let's Rock Out! 5. Songs Ohia: Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions; 6. Jacco Gardner: Somnium
If you don't know boygenius, there's a good chance you know at least one member of this trio, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. They've just released a self-titled EP. We gathered in the studio here at NPR just moments after they finished their Tiny Desk Concert to talk about the music they love and listen to. In this conversation with these three talented songwriters, they talk about how they inspire one another and give each other confidence. Lucy Dacus says, "I associate Phoebe and Julien with having real strength in darkness. They're also very wise and funny people that I trust as people, not just artists. So I kind of did assume that it would be very easy to work with them. And it turned out that was right."
This week's list of essential new albums includes one of the year's most anticipated releases – Anderson .Paak's Oxnard, plus Mariah Carey's Caution, a lost Glen Campbell record he made for Elvis, a career-spanning retrospective on the late singer Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave), The Good, The Bad And The Queen's first new album in more than a decade and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson as they run through the best releases out on Nov. 16.Featured Albums:Anderson .Paak: Oxnard; Chris Cornell: Chris Cornell; Mariah Carey: Caution; Glen Campbell: Glen Campbell Sings For The King; Leikeli47: Acrylic; Various: Brainfeeder X; The Good, The Bad & The Queen: Merrie Land;Other Notable Releases For Nov. 16:The Smashing Pumpkins: Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol. 1: No Past, No Future, No Sun; Kate Bush: Remastered Pt. 1; The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition; Mumford & Sons: Delta; Ryley Walker: The Lilywhite Sessions; Eiko Ishibashi: The Dream My Bones Dream; Various: The Greatest Showman: Reimagined
Fifty years ago, just before the holidays in 1968, The Beatles put out not just a new album, but a double album, something relatively unheard of at the time. The album art was a stark, white, glossy cover with raised, slanted lettering that simply said, "The Beatles." That self-titled album, with its 30 songs that span genres from American country music to avant-garde tape collage, has come to be known as "The White Album." And in celebration of it's birth 50 years ago, The Beatles label Apple Records has scoured the archives for a new deluxe edition of the album that, for the first time, includes previously unreleased, early demo recordings, studio outtakes and stunning remixes in both stereo and 5.1 surround. On this episode of All Songs Considered we've got a conversation with the man who produced this 100-plus song celebration, Giles Martin, whose father, George Martin, produced "The White Album" back in '68 (along with most everything else The Beatles ever made). In this interview with Giles Martin, you'll hear some of the early demos, outtakes and remixes. But he begins by describing the process of making of the "The White Album," how it turned out to be a much-less planned and much more organic process than ever, and how that frustrated George Martin.
This week's best new albums includes emo-rapper Lil Peep's posthumous follow-up to Come Over When Your Sober, 50th anniversary editions of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland and The Beatles "White Album," a labor of love from the late soul singer Charles Bradley, rock with a wink from Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, the music of Hanson set to strings and more.FEATURED ALBUMS: Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers: Bought to Rot; The Glands: Double Coda; Charles Bradley: Black Velvet; Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition; Golden Hornet with Jeffrey Zeigler: The Sound of Science; Hanson: String Theory; Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore: Ghost Forests; Lil Peep: Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2; OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR NOV. 9: The Beatles: The Beatles ("The White Album"); J. Fernandez: Occasional Din; J. Masics: Elastic Days; Muse: Simulation Theory; Tom Adams: Yes, Sleep Well Death, Boygenius: Boygenius (physical release); Rays: You Can Get There From Here; Imagine Dragons: Origins
As voters head to the polls today, we hear from artists whose music speaks to our current political and cultural moment. Full playlist: 1. Deerhunter: "Death In Midsummer," 2. Andrew Bird: "Bloodless," 3. Alexander: "Strange Time," 4. Tomberlin: "Self-Help," 5. Foxwarren: "Everything Apart," 6. Ian William Craig: "TC-377 Poem," 7. Bokanté + Metropole Orkest: "All The Way Home"
This week's sprint through the best new albums, out on Nov. 2, includes a collection of outtakes and rarities from Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks period, the Flamenco-pop of Rosalía, profoundly moving reflections from Marianne Faithful, the prepared piano of Kelly Moran, fuzz-pop from Stove and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined for this week's New Music Friday by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson. Featured Albums: Rosalía: El Mal Querer; Bob Dylan: More Blood, More Tracks; Marianne Faithful: Negative Capability; Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel; Rosanne Cash: She Remembers Everything; Stove: 's Favorite Friend; Kelly Moran: Ultraviolet; Doug Paisley: Starter Home; Other notable releases for Nov. 2: Tenacious D: Post-Apocalypto; Dead Can Dance: Dionysus; Molly Nilsson: Twenty Twenty; Gabby's World: Beast On Beast; Bill Ryder-Jones: Yawn; Rodney Crowell: Christmas Everywhere; JD McPherson: SOCKS; Sun Kil Moon: This Is My Dinner
This week on the show, we hear from artists who find ways to celebrate life no matter how broken it may be. Full playlist: 1. boygenius: "Bite the Hand," 2. Pedro The Lion: "Yellow Bike," 3. Quivers: "Pigeons," 4. PAVVLA: "Unbreakable," 5. Tōth: "Copilot," 6. Rubblebucket: "What Life Is"
This week's batch of essential new albums includes Robyn's melancholy return to the dance floor, rock-and-roll madness from Ty Segall, the otherworldly voice of NAO, singer Julia Holter's mind-blowing masterpiece Aviary, and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson as they run through the best full-length releases out on Oct. 26. FEATURED ALBUMS: Oh Pep! I Wasn't Only Thinking of You; Robyn: Honey; Ty Segall: Fudge Sandwich; Nao: Saturn; Laura Gibson: Goners; Julia Holter: Aviary; Maggie Roche: Where Do I Come From? David Crosby: Here If You Listen; OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR OCT. 26: Thom Yorke: Suspiria; Ian Sweet: Crush Crusher; Georgia Ann Muldrow: Overload; Black Eyed Peas: Masters of the Sun Vol. 1; Miya Folick: Premonitions; Homeboy Sandman: Humble Pi; Devon Church: We Are Inextricable; Tasha: Alone at Last; Joji: Ballads 1
This week's essential mix includes songs of letting go, of healing, moving on and finding a deeper appreciation for the wonder of life. Tarriona "Tank" Ball (of the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest-winning band Tank And The Bangas) offers a surprising and beautiful take on the sentimental 1938 classic "I'll Be Seeing You." The psych-pop multi-instrumentalist (and former All Songs Considered intern) J. Fernandez tries to calm his irrational anxieties on the song "Common Sense." And Monica Martin of the band Phox examines the cruelty of denial and staying in a broken relationship. Also on the show: The San Francisco-based band Papercuts turns a joke about "Clean Living" into a metaphor the empty promises of quick fixes; the artist known as SASAMI dreams of reuniting with a lost love when the time is right; Jordan Sudak, who writes and records as Koda, digs deep into inconvenient truths; and Hollie Fullbrook of the band Tiny Ruins reveals the incredible story behind her new song "Olympic Girls." But first, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton take a moment to consider the possibility that every little thing is alive.
Zach Condon, the mastermind behind Beirut, will release his fifth studio album, Gallipoli, on Feb. 1. In this conversation, he shares the title track and details how the project came together.
On this week's sprint through the best new releases we've got irresistible earworms from Peter Bjorn & John, the deep soul of PHONY PPL, Esperanza Spalding's mind-bending songcraft and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Nate Chinen of WBGO, Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they breakdown the best albums out on Oct. 19. FEATURED ALBUMS: Elle King: Shake the Spirit; Peter Bjorn & John: Darker Days; PHONY PPL: mō'zā-ik.; John Carpenter: Halloween (2018 Soundtrack); Neneh Cherry: Broken Politics; Will Oldham: Songs of Love and Horror; Yoko Ono: Warzone; Esperanza Spalding: 12 Little Spells. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR OCT. 19: Papercuts: Parallel Universe Blues; Cloud Nothings: Last Building Burning; Becky Warren: Undesirable
This week's episode of All Songs Considered sees NPR Music's Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton reunited to pop some popcorn and reflect on the years they've spent on and off the show. A driving single with a pulsing beat stretches Sharon Van Etten's voice to new heights, while J.S. Ondara's debut takes a fresh look at the American dream and the classic rock that inspired his move from Nairobi to Minnesota. Also on the show: Miya Folick delivers a heart-wrenching apology, Berlin-based composer Tom Adams spins our darkest fears into atmospheric music, and SOAK builds a pop song around a blissful confession. But first, we take a moment to remember Robin's dad, who passed away last week, with a few words from John Denver. 1. John Denver: "Poems, Prayers And Promises," 2. Tom Adams: "In Darkness," 3. Sharon Van Etten: "Come Back Kid," 4. SOAK: "Everybody Loves You," 5. Miya Folick: "Thingamig," 6. Jason Lytle: "Color of Dirt," 7. J.S. Ondara: "American Dream"
Our list of the best new albums out this week includes the comical and moving synth pop of John Grant, enchanting harmonies from The Watson Twins, an audacious jazz album from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the first new music from Elvis Costello & The Imposers in a decade and more. Host Robin Hilton returns to breakdown this week's essential releases with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson, and Nate Chinen from WBGO.Featured Albums: Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Look Now; The Watson Twins: Duo; Ambrose Akinmusire: Origami Harvest; John Grant: Love is Magic; Kurt Vile: Bottle it In; Colter Wall: Songs of the Plains.Other Notable Releases: Quavo: Quavo Huncho; BRONCHO: Bad Behavior; John Hiatt: The Eclipse Sessions; The Dodos: Certainty Waves; Tom Morello: The Atlas Underground; Matthew Dear: Bunny; Dave Davies: Decade; Ella Mai: Ella Mai; Adam Hood: Somewhere in Between; Yowler: Black Dog In My Path
A conversation with songwriter and singer Adrianne Lenker from Big Thief on her newest solo record called abysskiss.
With Robin Hilton out for one more week, NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lars Gotrich join Stephen Thompson for a whirlwind tour of a busy release day. We've got the first album in five years by the spiky pop-rock band Swearin' (featuring the great and good Allison Crutchfield); the gorgeous first album in six years by Chan Marshall, a.k.a. Cat Power; the heavy, almost absurdly ambitious rock and roll of F***** Up; the versatile country of Eric Church; the springy and inspirational anthems of multi-hyphenate powerhouse Tunde Olaniran; the sprawling, deeply searching rock of mewithoutYou; the rugged metal of Matt Pike's long-running band High on Fire; and Phosporescent's Matthew Houck, whose beatific folk-rock sprawls with winsome approachability.
A conversation with Hozier. How does music travel through time? How does a kid growing up in Ireland latch on to music 50 years old and find resonance an ocean away? His new EP Nina Cried Power - his first major release since his 2014 debut album pays tribute to the 20th century musicians whose music ignited Civil Rights movements around the world. We hear new music from Hozier and the music that inspires him.
Robin Hilton is out this week, so Stephen Thompson kicks off this installment of New Music Friday by blaring some Cher, whose new album of ABBA covers is a must for anyone who flipped out when the singer made her entrance in this summer's Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again. From there, NPR Music's Marissa Lorusso and Lars Gotrich join to discuss other must-hear albums out on Sep. 28. Nile Rodgers & Chic's first album in 26 years; the rousing rock and roll of Restorations and Doe; a victory lap for 86-year-old country legend Loretta Lynn; the ambitious electronic soundscapes of Tim Hecker; and the guest-star-laden return of Marissa Nadler, whose new album features guest vocals from the likes of Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten. Featured Albums: 1. Cher: Dancing Queen 2. Nile Rodgers & Chic: It's About Time 3. Restorations: LP5000 4. Doe: Grow Into It 5. Loretta Lynn: Wouldn't It Be Great 6. Tim Hecker: Konoyo 7. Marissa Nadler: For My Crimes
On this edition of All Songs Considered, we lean toward contemplative songs with fuzzy guitars. NPR Music's Marissa Lorusso and I premiere new music from Jeff Tweedy. His new album Warm looks at life as it nears that moment when the great piano labeled "death" is about to drop from the sky. The band Charly Bliss writes its first love song, Allen Tate takes a second break from San Fermin to make an inward-looking track of self-reflection, Bad Moves thoughtfully steps between adulthood and youth and Saint Sister lights up an ethereal harp driven tune. Also: We are joined by intern Kristy Guilbault to hear Yowler yowl.
It's another busy release week, with intimate home recordings from Prince, ragged rock from Metric, the angelic harmonies of Mountain Man and Richard Swift's final recordings among our shortlist for the must-hear albums out on Sep. 21. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Rodney Carmichael and Stephe Thompson, along with Nate Chinen from WBGO about the music you need to hear now.Featured Albums:1. Metric: 'Art of Doubt'2. Mountain Man: 'Magic Ship'3. Christian Sands: 'Facing Dragons'4. Father: 'Awful Swim'5. Prince: 'Piano and a Microphone, 1983'6. Richard Swift: 'The Hex'7. Lonnie Holley: 'MITH'8. Villagers: 'The Art of Pretending to Swim'Other Notable Releases:Lupe Fiasco: 'Drogas Wave'Brockhampton: 'Iridesence'Lil Wayne: 'Christine and the Queens: 'Chris'Mutual Benefit: 'Thunder Follows the Light'Liars: 'Titles With the Word Fountain'
Defining Americana isn't easy. At the festival, there were musicians from all around the world. Some were rooted in blues, jazz, boogie rock, bluegrass, soul, gospel, comedy, country, Tejano and much more. The Milk Carton Kids opened the 17th annual Americana Honors & Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium with an original number we're exclusively premiering today. Their dry wit, reminiscent of 1960s Smothers Brothers parodies, pokes fun at the genre. NPR Music's Ann Powers, Jewly Hight and Bob Boilen spent the past week trying to hear as many of the 500 bands in the 40 or so venues around town as possible. Listen and find out what we discovered and what we'd love to pass along. 1. The Milk Carton Kids: "What Even Is Americana," 2. Amythyst Kiah: "Wildebeest," 3. Birds of Chicago: "American Flowers," 4. William Prince: "The Carny," 5. Lula Wiles: "One More Night," 6. Mipso: "Edges Run," 7. Ruston Kelly: "Faceplant," 8. Talibah Safiya: "Middle of the Night," 9. Katie Pruitt: "Grace Has a Gun," 10. Marc Ribot: "Knock That Statue Down"
This week's run through the essential albums out Sep. 14 includes the first new music from Jump Little Children in 14 years, rapper Noname's incredible follow-up to her 2016 mixtape Telefone, one of the darkest and most distorted albums ever from the band Low, a bit of melancholy and hope from country singer Carrie Underwood and much more.FEATURED ALBUMS:1. Jump Little Children: SPARROW2. Low: Double Negative3. Alejandro Escovedo: The Crossing4. 6lack: East Atlanta Love Letter5. Pale Waves: My Mind Makes Noises6. Noname: Room 257. Carrie Underwood: Cry PrettyOTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR SEP. 14:Richard Thompson: 13 RiversJoyce Manor: Million Dollars to Kill MePaul Weller: True MeaningsFred Thomas: AfteringWe Were Promised Jetpacks: The More I Sleep The Less I DreamOrbital: Monsters ExistThe Goon Sax: We're Not TalkingLyrics Born: Quite A LifeDilly Dally: HeavenBlack Belt Eagle Scout: Mother of My Children
We open this week's show with a new track from Sylvan Esso, with tentacles that reach into multiple musical universes. The song, "Funeral Singers," was originally written and recorded by the band Califone, features members of the group Collections of Colonies of Bees and was recorded at Wilco's Chicago studio, The Loft. The result is a plaintive, pulsing reflection on heartache and loss. Full playlist for this episode: 1. Sylvan Esso: "Funeral Singers," 2. Thom Yorke: "Suspirium," 3. Theodore: "Disorientation," 4. Half Alive: "Still Feel," 5. Squirrel Flower: "Conditions," 6. Buke & Gase: "No Land," 7. Amber Arcades: "Goodnight Europe"
This week's essential new releases includes Paul McCartney's best album in 20 years, the funk and disco of St. Paul & The Broken Bones, dark and twisted sounds from the rap duo $UICIDEBOY$ and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Marissa Lorusso, Stephen Thompson and Rodney Carmichael. FEATURED ALBUMS: 1. St. Paul & The Broken Bones: Young Sick Camellia 2. Spiritualized: And Nothing Hurt 3. Shannen Moser: I'll Sing 4. $SUICIDEBOY$: I Want to Die in New Orleans 5. Paul McCartney: Egypt Station 6. MNEK: Language 7. Mirah: Understanding 8. Amnesia Scanner: Another Life. OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR SEP. 7: Paul Simon: In the Blue Light; Eric Bachmann: No Recover; Seinabo Sey: I'm A Dream; Kandace Spring: Indigo; Estelle: Lovers Rock; Jeff The Brotherhood: Magik Songs; Mothers: Render Another Ugly Method; Steven A. Clark: Where Neon Goes to Die
In this candid conversation with All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen, Paul Simon reveals he hasn't felt compelled to write a new song in years, talks about the desire to better know himself and reflects on the very meaning of life itself.
After spending much of the past month on the Newport Folk Festival, 50th anniversary of The Band's Songs from Big Pink, Aretha Franklin, the Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+ and more, we're finally back with an all-new mix. This week's episode includes the return of Cat Power, singer Laura Gibson, new music from Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea and more. Full playlist: 1. Gabby's World: "Rear View," 2. Cat Power: "Woman," 3. Anna Calvi: "Don't Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy," 4. Sam Phillips: "How Much Is Enough?" 5. Oh Pep!: "What's The Deal With David?" 6. Greg Laswell: "Royal Empress," 7. Gaelynn Lea: "The Last Three Feet," 8. Laura Gibson: "Tenderness"
On this week's show, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with Ann Powers, Marissa Lorusso and Sidney Madden about some of the greatest songs released by women and non-binary artists in the past 18 years. Earlier this summer NPR Music, along with dozens of other writers, compiled a list of the 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+ as part of our Turning the Tables series, an ongoing effort to make the canon of popular music more inclusive – and accurate. Together they share some of the songs that made the list, explain how they were chosen and discuss the ways women and non-binary musicians are still routinely undervalued and underrepresented.
New Music Friday returns from a two-week break with some of 2018's most anticipated releases, including Death Cab For Cutie's Thank You For Today, Mitski's Be The Cowboy, Ariana Grande's Sweetener and more.
Let's go back 50 years to a basement outside Woodstock New York — to the formation of a sound and an album that all these years later still shapes the musical landscape. The album is Music From Big Pink and the band is simply called The Band.
Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson in this encore presentation of 'Songs We Should Retire.' Each picked a handful of classic and more recent tunes to debate longevity and overstayed welcomes in modern music history. Should "American Pie" be put out to pasture? Has John Lennon's "Imagine" been imagined one too many times? Does Pharrell's "Happy" still make us happy, or should we, as Stephen suggests, cryogenically freeze it so we never have to hear it again in our lifetimes?
We recently put out a call asking listeners to share their thoughts about the songs on Courtney Barnett's latest album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, and other tracks from her rich lyrical catalog. On this week's show, we share some of those listener stories and thoughts, and Courtney talks about what inspires her, the creative process and how her music can be interpreted.
On this week's New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks to NPR Music guests Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the essential new releases for July 27, including the jangly guitar pop of Tony Molina, a celebration of queerness and the company we keep from Thin Lips and whimsical sing-a-longs from Raffi. Featured Artists/Albums: 1. Israel Nash: Lifted, featured song "Rolling On," 2. Phantastic Ferniture: Phantastic Ferniture, featured song "Bad Timing," 3. Thin Lips: Chosen Family, featured songs "Chosen Family" and "Gaslight Anthem (The Song Not The Band)," 4. Tony Molina: Kill The Lights, featured song "Nothing I Can Say," 5. Raffi: Dog On The Floor, featured song "Play Play Play," 6. Cody Jinks: Lifers, featured song "Head Case"
It's that time of year, the last weekend in July when NPR Music covers the friendliest festival around, the Newport Folk Festival.The festival's nearly 60-year history is steeped in the roots of American traditions and expands beyond the singer-songwriter tradition that the words "folk music" might conjure. This year we'll be treated to electronic R&B from Moses Sumney, the gospel sounds of War & Treaty, lyrical rock from Courtney Barnett, the Nashville sounds of Margo Price and Jason Isbell, the brilliant guitar of St. Vincent, instrumental vibes from Khruangbin and so much more
Happy National Corn Fritter day! Or, if you want to travel back in time to Friday, when this episode was recorded, happy late National French Fry Day, too. Whatever you want to celebrate, it's always a special occasion when there's new music. Songs and artists featured on this episode: 1. Metric: "Dark Saturday," 2. Ohmme: "Water," 3. Black Belt Eagle Scout: "Soft Stud," 4. The Goon Sax: "Make Time 4 Love," 5. Mirah: "Hot Hot," 6. Richard Thompson: "The Storm Wont' Come," 7. Villagers: "A Trick Of The Light"
Happy Friday the 13th! On this week's New Music Friday, All Song Considered's Robin Hilton speaks with NPR's Ann Powers, Stephen Thompson, Lars Gotrich, and Sidney Madden about the best new releases of the week. Highlights include Wiz Khalifa's long-awaited followup to the 2011 pop-rap breakout Rolling Papers, the calming songs of Luluc, affirmations of love from the Dirty Projectors and more. Featured Albums - Rayland Baxter: Wide Awake; Dirty Projectors: Lamp Lit Prose; The Ophelias: Almost; Wiz Khalifa: Rolling Papers 2; Luluc: Sculptor; Amy Shark: Love Monster; Cowboy Junkies: All That Reckoning; Other Notable Releases For July 13: Deaf Heaven: Ordinary Corrupt Human Love; Wet: Still Run; Body/Head: The Switch; Lotic: Power; Jenn Champion: Single Rider; Laurel Halo: Raw Silk Uncut Wood; The Suffers: Everything Here; Valley Queen: Supergiant
Love is often presented as something easy, a matter of simply following your heart. But in actuality, it's rarely that effortless. Several of this week's songs reflect the sour, absurd, and heartrending aspects of intimacy. Complete playlist: 1. Michael Rault: "I'll Be There," 2. Flasher: "Pressure," 3. Wet: "Love Is Not Enough," 4. John Grant: "Love Is Magic," 5. Tim Hecker: "Music For Tundra Pt. 1," 6. Deafheaven: "Canary Yellow"
What's an anthem? It's a stirring call to arms or an expression of collective emotion. Sometimes it's a recognition of injustice, a representation of an oppressed group, or an inspirational message of hope. But it always captures something much larger than itself — the spirit of a community, unified in its common feeling or cause, like the time a gay men's choir sang "Make Them Hear You" at a rally in Tennessee. Or the time counter protestors sang "This Little Light Of Mine" in Charlottesville, Va. to a group of white nationalists. On July 4, NPR kicks off its American Anthem series. It'll eventually feature 50 different anthems picked by NPR staffers, music scholars, artists and listeners. In anticipation of the series, we dedicate this week's episode of All Songs Considered to anthems. We're joined by NPR's Elizabeth Blair, producer of the American Anthem series, as we reflect on the soundtracks to our collective experiences.
This week's best new releases includes Drake's highly-anticipated double album, Scorpion, Florence + the Machine's tentative turn toward optimism with High as Hope, previously unheard and unreleased music from jazz legend John Coltrane and much more. Featured Albums: Drake: Scorpion, Jim James: Uniform Distortion, The Innocence Mission: Sun on the Square, John Adams: Dr. Atomic, Florence + The Machine: High as Hope, The Milk Carton Kids: All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn't Do, John Coltrane: Both Directions At Once. Other notable releases for June 29: Let's Eat Grandma: I'm All Ears, Gorillaz: The Now Now, The Essex Green: Hardly Electronic, Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams: Vanished Gardens, Protoje: A Matter Of Time, Tropics: Nocturnal Souls.
On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, the pressure's on. To give a kind of guide to future interns, current All Songs intern, Cat Zhang has begun secretly evaluating Bob and Robin to develop her own NPR Music team ranking. One major criteria? Music selection. Full playlist: 1. The Decemberists: "We All Die Young," 2. Shy Boys: "Evil Sin," 2. Ovlov: "Stick," 3. An Horse: "Get Out Somehow," 4. Tom Gallo: "Tell Me The Ghost," 5. Bermuda Triangle: "'Till The End of Days," 6. Hauschka: "Tami Meets Richard," 7. Bryce Dessner, Justin Vernon & S. Carey: "Music For Wood And Strings"
On this week's episode of New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Rodney Carmichael, along with jazz critic Nate Chinen from WBGO about the most exciting new releases for June 22. Albums include the intense, industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails, the new joint project of Lecrae & Zaytoven and the wildly ambitious, shape-shifting jazz of Kamasi Washington. Featured Albums: Nine Inch Nails: Bad Witch, Birdtalker: One, Lecrae & Zaytoven: Let The Trap Say Amen, Priscilla Renea: Coloured, Kamasi Washington: Heaven And Earth, Death Grips: Year Of The Snitch. Other notable releases for June 22: Arp, Zebra; Bebe Rexha, Expectations; Dawes, Passwords; Khemmis, Desolation; Gang Gang Dance, Kazuashita; Jack River, Sugar Mountain; Panic! At The Disco, Pray For the Wicked.
Last June, NPR Music's Lars Gotrich tweeted just one word: "roséwave." Then, a follow-up that was more like a challenge: "Y'all can already list 5 bands for which roséwave rings true, c'mon." He wasn't exactly describing a genre — more a lifestyle that deserved (or, perhaps, inherently contained within it) its own soundtrack.Rosé wine, the pink varietal that was once a punchline, has become ubiquitous in the summer months. Roséwave defies easy definition; it's meant to be felt, not understood. "It's unapologetic enjoyment for something maybe a little basic, but makes you feel good," one enthusiast offered.Last year, when we published the first official roséwave playlist, its patron saints were HAIM, Lorde and Migos. When we re-launched roséwave this summer, that title went to artists like Kacey Musgraves, J Balvin and Dua Lipa, who have all given us summer-ready tracks that pair perfectly with pink drinks.Of course, that's just the beginning. Just as many varieties of grapes can make rosé, many genres of music fall within the loving embrace of this style. In this special episode of All Songs Considered, NPR Music's official roséwave correspondents — Lars Gotrich, Lyndsey McKenna and Marissa Lorusso — fill you in on how to shade your summer pink with this new soundtrack.
On this week's show we share your picks for the best new artists so far in 2018, along with a couple of our own: Robin's is MILCK, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who writes empowering, cathartic ballads, while Bob chose Niklas Paschburg, an innovative young German composer and pianist whose music was inspired by the Baltic Sea. Full playlist: 1. Sudan Archive: "Nont For Sale," 2. serpentwithfeet: "Whisper," 3. Shame: "Concrete," 4. Thunderpussy: "Thunderpussy," 5. Jorja Smith: "Tomorrow," 6. Haley Heynderickx: "The Bug Collector," 7. MILCK: "Black Sheep," 8. Niklas Paschburg: "Spark," 9. Snail Mail: "Pristine," 10. Superorganism: "It's All Good"
On this week's New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Rodney Carmichael, and Stephen Thompson for a quick run through the best new releases for June 15. Highlights include Christina Aguilera's Liberation, a monument to self-empowerment with contributions from Kanye West and Anderson .Paak; the trippy, futuristic debut of pop producer SOPHIE; and a deeply emotional solo project from Lincoln Park co-founder Mike Shinoda. Featured albums: 1. Christina Aguilera: Liberation, 2. Arthur Buck: Arthur Buck, 3. Jay Rock: Redemption, 4. SOPHIE: Of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, 5. Buddy Guy: The Blues Is Alive And Well, 6. Mike Shinoda: Post Traumatic. Other Notable Albums For June 15: Chromeo, Head Over Heels; Culture Abuse, Bay Dream; Marissa Anderson, Cloud Corner; Johnny Marr: Call The Comet; Olivia Chaney, Shelter; Welles, Red Trees and White Trashes; Yuno, Moodie
Death Cab For Cutie is back with some pretty great new music. The band has just announced that a new album is on the way called Thank You for Today. And in this special episode of All Songs Considered, singer Ben Gibbard shares and talks about the first single, "Gold Rush." "Gold Rush" is a song that looks at how neighborhoods change. For Ben, that's Capitol Hill in Seattle, where he's lived for the past 20 years. In our conversation, he talks about how and why he'd wanted to write this song for a while. "As I've gotten older," he says, "I've become acutely aware of how I connect my memories to my geography and [how] the landscape of the city changes. I'll walk down Broadway and walk past a location that used to be a bar I'd frequent with friends, or somewhere where I had a beautifully intense conversation with somebody that I once loved very much. The song is not a complaint about how things were better or anything like that. It's an observation, but more about coming to terms with the passage of time and losing the people and the moments in my life all over again as I walk down a street that is now so unfamiliar."
This week's All Songs Considered begins with Robin's warm, buttery sugar cookie – Bob bets Robin will share the cookie as a reward for playing "What is the Body," the new exhilarating art-rock single from Donny McCaslin the acclaimed saxophonist whose band backed David Bowie's Blackstar. Robin followed with Sad Baxter's "Baby," a deceptively bouncy song off of the Nashville band's new EP So Happy. Full Playlist: 1. Donny McCaslin: "What About The Body," 2. Sad Baxter: "Baby," 3. M. Ward: "Bobby," 4. Sorry: "Twinkle," 5. Angelo De Augustine: "Carcassonne," 6. Culture Abuse: "Bee Kind To The Bugs"
Songs on this week's episode of All Songs Consideredgrapple with sweeping, thematically weighty subjects, from xenophobia and immigration to Hurricane Sandy and the inherent meaninglessness of life: 1. Audible: "Up, Up And Away," 2. Nothing: "Zero Day," 3. The 1975: "Give Yourself A Try," 4. IDLES: "Danny Nedelko," 5. Sam Evian: "Health Machine," 6. Laurie Anderson: "Dreams," 7. Liminal: "Sigur Rós - Untitled 6 (EBow) (Paul Corley Remix)"
For just over a decade, Thou has made music that is, at times, grueling in its pace and extreme in volume, but that can also be painfully beautiful — the Baton Rouge metal band has a penchant for pitting Bryan Funck's searing vocals against dense, majestic melodies. The group's shows are invariably deafening, rattling your clothes if they aren't already covered in sweat; sometimes, it feels like the whole room is heaving in time to Thou's slow-motion sludge. In this interview with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich, vocalist Bryan Funck and guitarist Andy Gibbs talk about the four new records coming from Thou this summer and their decision to explore grunge, acoustic and even drone music.
This past week singer James Blake quietly dropped an incredible new song called "Don't Miss It." Like much of his work, it's both sultry and synthetic – a mix of seductive melodies and warped production, including a piano that keeps slipping out of tune. On this week's show we share "Don't Miss It" and try to make sense of its haunting meditations on the fleeting nature of life. Full playlist: 1. Angélique Kidjo: "Once In A Lifetime," 2. Gabriella Cohen: "Music Machine," 3. Luluc: "Heist," 4. The Beths: "Future Me Hates Me," 5. James Blake: "Don't Miss It," 6. I'm Kingfisher: "Topography Of Gabon."
On this special Guest DJ edition of All Songs Considered, I talk with the dry-witted songwriter and guitarist, Stephen Malkmus. He made five albums with the much-beloved rock band Pavement, from 1992-1999, but his latest release comes from his other project, The Jicks. It's called Sparkle Hard and it's his seventh album with the band in seventeen years. For this Guest DJ session with All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen, Malkmus shares some of the songs he's loved over the years and talks about his latest album.
Last week, we asked listeners to tell us about the songs that got them through school. As the stories poured in, we began to see some clear and common themes. For starters, school, while being an exciting time of profound change, is really hard. Many told us stories of battling depression, anxiety and issues of sexual identity, all while navigating a churning sea of uncertainty. On this edition of All Songs Considered, we hear stories of how music became a powerful force in their lives — the one thing that grounded them or made them feel connected to something bigger than themselves.
Mitski's new album is called Be the Cowboy. She talks with All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen about the lead-off single "Geyser," and the near-desperate passion that went into making it.
In the days since Chidlish Gambino debuted a new song on Saturday Night Live – as well as a shocking video online – fans and music critics have been trying to unspool what it all means. On this week's show, NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael joins us to try to make sense of "This Is America" and to explain why people will be dissecting both the song and video for months. Full playlist: 1. Ages And Ages: "Needle And Thread," 2. pronoun: "Wrong," 3. Car Seat Headrest: "My Boy (Twin Fantasy)," 4. Childish Gambino: "This Is America," 5. Cautious Clay: "Silos," 6. Alice Ivy: "Chasing Stars (feat. Bertie Blackman)," 7. LUMP: "Late To The Party."
Featured Albums: Frank Turner: 'Be More Kind,' Shakey Graves: 'Can't Wake Up,' Lucrecia Dalt: 'Anticlines,' Leon Bridges: 'Good Thing,' Damien Jurado: 'The Horizon Just Laughed,' Parker Milsap: 'Other Arrangements,' Belly: 'Dove,' Other Notable Releases For May 4: Gaz Coombes: 'World's Strongest Man,' Jessica Risker: 'I See You Among The Stars,' Pinkshinyultrablast: 'Miserable Miracles,' Trampled By Turtles: 'Life Is Good On The Open Road,' Lake Street Dive: 'Free Yourself Up,' John Hopkins: 'Singularity,' Eleanor Frieberger: 'Rebound'
The release of Dirty Projectors' self-titled album last year came after a five-year hiatus and the departure of longtime singer Amber Coffman. The songs, which documented that departure, were heart-breaking, dark and cathartic. But frontman David Longstreth is already back with a follow-up, and a brighter one at that. Lamp Lit Prose (out July 13) suggests he's emerged with a newfound optimism,and on this week's show we've got the first single from it: "Break-Thru." Full playlist for this episode: 1. Dirty Projectors: "Break-Thru," 2. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks: "Middle America," 3. Sofi Tukker: "Benadryl," 4. Shannon & The Clams: "Onion," 5. Valley Queen: "Supergiant," 6. Jessica Risker: "I See You Among The Stars," 7. Red Baraat: "Kala Mukhra"
From the sounds of blues guitarist and singer Lead Belly to recordings of Southwestern Woodhouse Toads, Smithsonian Folkways has been capturing the sounds of global history for the past 70 years. These recordings are among 60,000 treasured tracks the label has in its library — and it promises they'll never go out of print — from the labor songs of Woody Guthrie and children's songs of Ella Jenkins to New Orleans hot jazz, songs of the civil rights movement, the Honk Horn music of Ghana and so much more.The label was officially started on May Day 1948, so its current director and curator, Huib Schippers, joins us to look back and celebrate this National Treasure's rich history.
On this week's New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton runs through some of the best albums out on April 27 with NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Felix Contreras, Lars Gotrich, Marissa Lorusso, and Ann Powers. Featured albums include the potent and political rock of Speedy Ortiz, the ethereal sounds of Grouper, Janelle Monae's highly anticipated Dirty Computer, Post Malone and more. Featured Albums: 1. Speedy Ortiz: Twerp Verse, 2. Grouper: Grid Of Points, 3. Willie Nelson: Last Man Standing, 4. Post Malone: Beerbongs And Bentleys, 5. Tom Rush: Voices, 6. Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer, 7. Half Waif: Lavender. Also notable for April 27: Okkervil River: In The Rainbow Rain, Forth Wanderers: Forth Wanderers, Dr. Dog: Critical Equation, Dylan Carlson: Conquistador, Steve Angello: Human, Eomac: Reconnect
We open this week's show with a look at our 2018 Tiny Desk Contest winner, Naia Izumi. He's an artist based out of Los Angeles with a phenomenal voice and breathtaking technique on guitar. Naia is also incredibly charming with a profoundly moving personal story about how he came to music and what it has meant to him over the years. Full playlist: 1. Naia Izumi - "Soft Spoken," 2. Tank And The Bangas - "Smoke.Netflix.Chill," 3. Rafiq Bhatia - "Before Our Eyes," 4. Wellesl - "Seventeen," 5. Stevie Wolf - "Yves Klein Blue," 6. Beach House - "Dark Spring"
On this week's quick run through some of the best new albums out on April 20, All Songs Considered'sRobin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the primal pop of Kimbra, dark and majestic songs from Exitmusic, Nashville veterans The Old Crow Medicine Show, the rock-and-soul of Shuggie Otis and more. Featured Albums: 1. Kimbra: Primal Heart, 2. Exitmusic: The Recognitions, 3. Old Crow Medicine Show: Volunteer, 4. Sera Cahoone: The Flora String Sessions, 5. Bishop Briggs: Church Of Scars, 6. DRINKS: Hippo Lite, 7. Ashley Monroe: Sparrow, 8. Shuggie Otis: Inter-Fusion. Also notable for April 20 – J. Cole: K.O.D., Lord Huron: Vide Noir, Brothers Osborne: Port Saint Joe, The HIRS Collective: Friends. Lovers. Favorites
The band Lord Huron is known for its cinematic story songs. Ben Schneider, creator of the project, talks with All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen about some of the music by other artists that informed the tales on Lord Huron's latest album.
Laura Gibson recounts the tale of how one lousy concert in Austin wound up birthing The Tiny Desk Concert series.
We asked listeners what song they want played at their funeral. On this edition of All Songs Considered, we share some of the incredible responses we got, along with the stories behind them.
NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers join host Robin Hilton for a quick run through some of the most essential new albums out on April 13, starting with the Korean surf-rock band Say Sue Me and their wistful and gritty album Where We Were Together. Also on the show: Singer Juliana Hatfield's inspired and uplifting tribute to Olivia Newton John, the distorted chaos of A Place To Bury Strangers and more. Full playlist: 1. Say Sue Me: Where We Were Together, 2. Juliana Hatfield: Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton John, 3. A Place To Bury Strangers: Pinned, 4. Laura Veirs: The Lookout, 5. L.A. Salami: The City Of Bootmakers, 6. Goldmund: Occasus, 7. Tinashe: Joyride. Also notable for April 13: John Prine: The Tree Of Forgiveness, Josh Rouse: Love In The Modern Age, Rainbow Kitten Surprise: How To: Friend, Love, Freefall, Mr. Fingers: Cerebral Hemispheres.
It's pretty much impossible to ever fully understand why we love or dislike a song. Sometimes we're just in a bad mood when we first hear it and the whole experience sours. Or maybe the opposite happens: You're in a totally elated mood and every song you hear sounds way better than it really is. We open this week's show with a brief reflection on this phenomenon before settling on the one thing we're always looking for no matter what: Songs that transport us in some way. Full playlist: 1. Whyte Horses: "Counting Down The Years," 2. Khruangbin: "Evan Finds The Third Room," 3. Beatrice Dear: "Atungak," 4. Abuse Of Power: "View Of The Few," 5. Ari Roar: "Don't Have A Fit," 6. Ólafur Arnalds: "re:member"
As we sift through the thousands of video entries we got for this year's Tiny Desk contest, we've laughed, loved and made a lot of phenomenal discoveries along the way. On this edition of All Songs Considered we share one of the most powerful and deeply moving ones we've seen. It comes from a band called Bernie And The Believers whose lyricist, Bernie Dalton, pursued his lifelong dream of making an album, even after ALS robbed him of his ability to move or speak. We share the song the group performed for its Tiny Desk contest entry, "Unusual Boy." Full playlist: 1. Confidence Man "Boyfriend (Repeat)," 2. Illuminati Hotties "Paying Off The Happiness," 3. Young Fathers "In My View," 4. Forth Wanderers "Taste," 5. Bernie And The Believers "Unusual Boy (feat. Essence)," 6. Nikolai Lugansky "No. 5 in G Major. Moderato," 7. Hookworms "Opener."
The March For Our Lives rallies that unfolded across the country this past weekend underscored the heightened state of fear and anger over gun violence in the U.S. We open this week's show with a powerful new song from the blues and soul artist Fantastic Negrito, that he says channels his own anxieties and outrage over the state of the world, called "Plastic Hamburgers." The surprisingly loud and gritty rock cut is from his upcoming album, Please Don't Be Dead. Complete playlist for this episode: 1. Fantastic Negrito "Plastic Hamburgers," 2. Guided By Voices "Space Gun," 3. Stella Donnelly "Talking," 4. Hearts Hearts "Phantom/Island," 5. John Prine "Summer's End," 6. Grouper "Parking Lot"
Our bleary-eyed, ear-ringing week of seemingly non-stop live music in Austin, Texas has ended and we're back one last time to reflect on the 2018 South by Southwest festival and play some of our favorite discoveries.Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Rodney Carmichael, convene in the NPR studios to share the most memorable stories and songs of the festival, from the gritty rock of Brooklyn's THICK and Afro-electronic soundscapes of Sudan Archives to the mumble rap of Tierra Whack, the soaring pop of G Flip and much more. Full playlist: 1. THICK "Are You With Me?" 2. Theodore "Are We There Yet?" 3. G Flip "About You" 4. Aisha Badru "Bridges" 5. Sudan Archives "Come Meh Way" 6. Tierra Whack "Mumbo Jumbo" 7. Buddy "Black (feat. A$AP Ferg)" 8. Gang Of Youths "What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?" 9. Xylouris White "Call And Response" 10. Saint Sister "Causing Trouble" 11. Gato Preto "Dia D" 12. Surma "Hemma" 13. Weird Bloom "My Dear Elena Summer's Vudun" 14. Thunderpussy "Velvet Noose"
Our final day at SXSW 2018 and we discuss the remarkable lute/drum duo Xylouris White, Tierra Whack a creative artist who grew up in the Philly rap scene, a transformative set from Cuddle Magic, the flow and breath of Dessa and the story of an inhaler. And a testament to the folks who put this festival together and the wide scope of sounds
Andrew W.K. and his whole band gave us the life-affirming gift of joycore, Dermot Kennedy took us to church in a church and Lido Pimienta delivered a searing Latinx performance as did the Rev. Sekou. Trupa Trupa from Poland was a favorite as was G Flip.
Our daily wrap-up of music from the SXSW music festival continues, including Robin Hilton's emotional day of inspired music, punctuated by the Brooklyn pop-punk trio THICK and an artist known only as MAX, a phenomenal pop-and-soul singer who gives unforgettable performances with lots of flair and theatrics. Bob witnessed the positive punk energy of Idles despite the smashed glass And the show that Robin, Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson saw all independently show up for by Many Rooms.Talia Schlanger's days was a heart warming one at Willie Neson's Ranch.
A brief round up of Discoveries from SXSW - including the music of August Greene, the new supergroup from Common. Also we sing the praises of Superorganism, our love for Australian artist Stella Donnelly and the brilliance of Tank and the Bangas.
Our roundup of artist discoveries and brilliant moments for SXSW 2018 including Sudan Archives, Thunderpussy, Max Richter, Partner, Chloe Foy, Pale Waves and a whole lot more
It's the most wonderful time of the year! At least it is for avid music fans like us and anyone else attending the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The annual endurance challenge gets underway this week, with thousands of bands from around the world — and many more fans — converging on the city for a seemingly endless bender of live performances — shows both big and small that last all day, every day, into the wee hours of the morning, with music pouring out of every club, restaurant, street corner and alleyway for miles.For this edition of All Songs Considered, we (Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and Stephen Thompson) listened to songs by more than a thousand bands that'll be performing at SXSW, and picked some of their favorites from artists previously unknown to hear and see. We run through some of those favorites on this episode, including the sludgy noise rock of Sharkmuffin (we're not making that name up) to the sweet voice of singer-songwriter Chloe Foy, the Calypsonian and soca artist Nailah Blackman and much, much more. Full playlist (song names): 1. Dermot Kennedy "Moments Passed," 2. Sharkmuffin "Scully Is A Sharkmuffin," 3. Frankie Simone "War Paint," 4. Pale Waves "Heavenly," 5. Anna McClellan "Heart Of Hearts," 6. Alice Phoebe Lou "She," 7. WILD "All My Life," 8. Double Ferrari "Double Ferrari," 9. Chloe Foy "Flaws," 10. Nailah Blackman "O'Lawd Oye'," 11. Trupa Trupa "To Me," 12. Descartes A Kant "Motion Picture Dream Boy," 13. IDER "Body Love," 14. Dave B "Sweetest Thing," 15. Skyway Man "The Seer"
The Grammy Awards have been roiled by controversy regarding how women in the industry are valued — or not. The singer-songwriter talks with NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas about the open letter she wrote to the Recording Academy.
Today we have a conversation with Nathaniel Rateliff and Mark Shusterman, the keyboardist of his band The Nightsweats, who joined us to play DJ. They picked some music they love and some of the songs that influenced the making of their new album, Tearing at the Seams, their second studio album, out today on the legendary Stax Records.The scrappy-looking, mostly bearded, all-mustachioed band of eight players makes music steeped in rhythm and blues, with a large dose of old-time rock and roll.
This is a complex and fascinating conversation with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine about the latest version of the band's legendary 1991 album Loveless. It's also about the group's future. If you have the vinyl version of Loveless you probably think you it's an analog recording. Well the technical truth is, you don't. It's a bit confusing, but for one, the nice segues on Loveless — those seamless song-to-song transitions — were done on a computer. And before a pressing plant makes the vinyl version, it turns the analog tapes into a digital file.So Kevin Shields went on what he thought would be a brief mission to make an all-analog version of Loveless. It ended up taking years and an awful lot of money. But now the new vinyl version is out and the tale of the tape is what much of this conversation is about. We get in the weeds about tech, about mastering an album (which is the technical final tweaking done before a record is pressed). But stick with it. It was an eye-and-ear-opening conversation.
It's a busy release day with lots of great albums dropping. On this edition of New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with rotating cast of NPR Music guests about the essential releases for March 2, from the over-the-top, joyful rock of Andrew W.K. to the Afrobeats of Seun Kuti, the delicate finger-picked guitar of Sam Moss and more. Full Playlist: 1. Andrew W.K. 'You Are Not Alone,' 2. Seun Kuti 'Black Times,' 3. Camp Cope 'How To Socialise And Make Friends,' 4. Tracey Thorn 'Record,' 5. Gwenno 'Le Kov,' 6. Suuns 'Felt,' 7. The Breeders 'All Nerve,' 8. Soccer Mommy 'Clean,' 9. Sam Moss 'Neon,' 10. Haley Heynderickx 'I Need To Start A Garden,' 11. Lucy Dacus 'Historian.' Other notable releases: Anna von Hausswolf 'Dead Magic,' Lucius 'NUDES,' Moby 'Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt,' Cut Chemist 'Die Cut' Sonny Smith 'Rod For Your Love' Titus Andronicus 'A Productive Cough' Joan Baez 'Whistle Down The Wind' Prism Tats 'Mamba.'
Margaret Glaspy has just surprised fans with three new songs on a brand new EP called Born Yesterday. She describes it as a bookend to Emotions And Math — the stunning, 2016 debut full-length that launched her career, a world tour and landed on many top 10 lists for the year, including mine.I spoke with Margaret Glaspy about these new songs, how they end one chapter of her life but also lead to the next adventure.
Singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary country music since releasing her remarkable, 2013 major label debut, Same Trailer, Different Park. She's back now with a new album and two new songs that solidify her place in the "new" Nashville sound by digging even deeper into sparkly, spikey pop. We've got one of the two new singles, "Butterflies," which she calls an "ode to the right person giving me wings and the first song I wrote after meeting my now husband." Full playlist: 1. Editors "Hallelujah (So Low)," 2. Parquet Courts "Almost Had To Start A Fight/In And Out Of Patience," 3. Richard Russell and Sampha "Close But Not Quite," 4. Yuno "No Going Back," 5. Kacey Musgraves "Butterflies," 6. Yo La Tengo "Shades Of Blue"
All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, Lars Gotrich and Joshua Bote about the essential new albums out for Feb. 23. Full playlist: 1. Screaming Females 'All At Once,' 2. Dessa 'Chime,' 3. S. Carey 'Hundred Acres,' 4. The Lovely Eggs 'This Is Eggland,' 5. SOB x RBE 'Gangin,' 6. Nanook Of The North 'Nanook Of The North,' 7. Turnstile 'Time And Space.'
Since releasing her incredible, 2015 debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, Courtney Barnett has released a collaboration record with Kurt Vile and a one-off single called "How To Boil An Egg." But she's back now with a new full-length solo album. Tell Me How You Really Feel is due out May 18 and we've got the first single from it, "Nameless, Faceless. "Also on the show: The long wait for new music from the brooding dreamscape duo Exitmusic is over. After releasing a stunning debut called Passage in 2012, the band largely disappeared. But Exitmusic is finally back with a worthy followup born out of heartache and loss. The Recognitions is due out April 20 and the first single is a densely layered, soaring elegy, "I'll Never Know." Full Playlist: 1. Exitmusic "I'll Never Know," 2. Courtney Barnett "Nameless, Faceless," 3. Okkervil River "Don't Move Back To LA," 4. Half Waif "Keep It Out," 5. Kero Kero Bonito "You Know How It Is," 6. Clint Heidorn "North Hudson," 7. Anna von Hausswolf "The Truth, The Glow, The Fall"
NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden talk with Snow about his stunning new album, Dear Annie.
All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton runs through the essential new albums out on Feb. 16 with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Rodney Carmichael. Featured albums: 1. Rejjie Snow 'Dear Annie,' 2. Brandi Carlile 'By The Way, I Forgive You,' 3. Superchunk 'What A Time To Be Alive,' 4. Nipsey Hussle 'Victory Lap,' 5. Loma 'Loma,' 6. Marlon Williams 'Make Way For Love,' 7. Car Seat Headrest 'Twin Fantasy (Face To Face)'
And now, a conversation and sing-a-long with First Aid Kit!It's been just about six years since First Aid Kit knocked me out with the duo's performance at the Tiny Desk. The two Swedish sisters, Klara and Johanna Söderberg, make remarkable, American country-flavored music. Their latest songs can be found on their album Ruins. That record includes performances by Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche and former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, and it was produced by Tucker Martine, known for his work with The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Spoon and many others.In this conversation, the two sisters talk about working with Tucker Martine in Portland, Ore. and how his participation helped broaden and empower their sound.But what was so much fun about this guest DJ show were the Swedish songs they brought in and the sing-a-long that seemed to spontaneously happen for every tune they played.
Melina Duterte, best known for her project Jay Som, and Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast felt like the perfect choice to talk to us this week: They both know how to write about love, and they're both playfully entertaining on social media. They each sent me a list of love songs, with neither aware of what the other had picked. This conversation took place in three cities: Melina was at NPR West in Culver City, California, while Michelle was at our NPR bureau in New York City. In fact, they'd begun the conversation before host Bob Boilen arrived at NPR's studio in Washington, D.C. It was a conversation that included everything from songs they know from middle school to song choices inspired by their parents' love.
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen talks with NPR Music's Sidney Madden and Marissa Lorusso about the essential new albums out on Feb. 9, including the Black Panther soundtrack, MGMT's 'Little Dark Age,' the crazy polyrhythms or Palm and more. Albums mentioned on this episode: 1. Kendrick Lamar et al 'Black Panther: The Album,' 2. Palm 'Rock Island,' 3. MGMT 'Little Dark Age,' 4. Son Lux 'Brighter Wounds,' 5. SHIRT 'Pure Beauty'
Former members of the legendary Fugazi, new semi-found-sound collages and Blood Orange collaborates with Girlpool.
Has anyone ever watched the Grammy's and concluded that the Recording Academy really nailed it? (No one has ever concluded they nailed it). So we begin this episode of All Songs Considered with a simple question: Why keep watching?! It's like being addicted to disappointment and outrage.The only remedy is to share and talk about a whole bunch of great artists who probably aren't on the Academy's radar, including the gloriously inspired rock band Wye Oak and Swedish folk singer José González. González quietly dropped a new EP last week with retooled versions of songs from his back catalog, while Wye Oak just announced they've got a new full-length coming in the spring called The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs. We play the title track on this week's show.Also on the program: Gritty, loud and fast guitar rock from Grace Vonderkuhn; the playfully sinister music of Let's Eat Grandma; ethereal dreamscapes from singer Brianna Hunt's solo project Many Rooms; and the Iranian-Dutch singer known as Sevdaliza.Full Playlist: 1. Grace Vonderkuhn "Bad Habits," 2. Let's Eat Grandma "Hot Pink," 3. José González "Killing For Love," 4. Many Rooms "Which Is To Say, Everything," 5. Wye Oak "The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs," 6. Sevdaliza "Soul Syncable"
Friday's the day lots of new albums drop! All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Sidney Madden and Lars Gotrich about the ones you need to hear that are out today: 1. Ty Segall 'Freedom's Goblin,' 2. No Age 'Snares Like A Haircut,' 3. Migos 'Culture II,' 4. Mimicking Birds 'Layers Of Us,' 5. The Spook School 'Could It Be Different,' 6. Craig David 'The Time Is Now,' 7. Dream Wife 'Dream Wife.' Also Notable: Nils Frahm 'All Melody,' Mary Gauthier 'Rifles And Rosary Beads,' Calexico 'The Thread That Keeps Us,' Cardo and Payroll Giovanni 'Big Bossin Vol 2,' Tribulation 'Down Below,' Khruangbin 'Con Todo El Mundo.'
Kevin Morby and Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield have just released covers of two songs by the late cult legend Jason Molina. One of the two tunes released today, the A-side, is among Molina's best-known songs, called "Farewell Transmission." The B-side is a lesser-known tune called "Dark Don't Hide It." In this conversation with All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen, Katie Crutchfield and Kevin Morby talk about what drew them to the music of Jason Molina, the challenges of covering his music and what it meant to dig deep into these songs.
David Byrne is back with his first album of all-new solo music in 14 years. American Utopia, due out March 9 on Byrne's Todo Mundo imprint,includes contributions from Brian Eno, the Onyx Collective, Daniel Lopatin, Sampha and more. We kick this week's show off with the first single from the album, the polyrhythmic, party-pop song "Everybody's Coming To My House."Also on the program: NPR Music's Tom Huizenga stops by to share the mind-bending, genre-defying sounds of pianist Nils Frahm; Sylvan Esso takes an upbeat, carefree look at the end of the world; and the Boston-based band Darlingside reflects on childhood and lost youth with a beautiful and affecting new song called "Old Friend."All that plus the bent sounds of former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, idiosyncratic pop from Trace Mountains (a side-project from Dave Benton of the band LVL UP) and the pulsing ambient sounds of German composer Niklas Paschburg.Full Playlist: 1. David Byrne: "Everybody's Coming To My House," 2. Sylvan Esso: "PARAD(w/m)E," 3. Gaz Coombes: "World's Strongest Man," 4. Trace Mountains: "Turn Twice," 5. Nils Frahm: "Momentum," 6. Niklas Paschburg: "Spark," 7. Darlingside: "Old Friend"
Connie Lim, who writes and records as MILCK (a combination of her last name backwards and her first two initials) makes music for anyone who feels out of place in the world. They're songs of empowerment and cathartic healing for the displaced and brokenhearted. It's a kind of thesis or mission statement MILCK first declared on her anthemic hit "Quiet," the song that blew up after she performed it with a group of a cappella singers at last year's Women's March in Washington, D.C. "It's about helping people who have felt silenced reclaim their power," she says. In the year since releasing "Quiet," MILCK has signed with Atlantic Records and just released her debut EP, This Is Not The End. On this edition of All Songs Considered she talks with All Songs Considered co host Robin Hilton about the new music, her struggle to make it as a musician while preserving her Chinese American identity, how courage and truth can lead to widespread healing and much more.
Hear a rundown of the best new albums out today, including music from Tune-Yards, Shopping, Belle & Sebastian, First Aid Kit and more.
Not matter how much of a music geek you may be, globalFEST is a music festival of discovery for everyone. Now in its 15th year, it's a celebration of music from around the world.This year's festival featured extraordinary Congolese music from Jupiter & Okwess, Brazilian avant-pop from Ava Rocha, a twist on traditional Irish music from Jarlath Henderson, modern Iranian songs and poetry from Mohsen Namjoo, and so much more.The gathering happens in just one evening. This year, a dozen bands performed on three stages in midtown Manhattan at B.B. King Blues Club, its smaller sister-venue in the same building called Lucille's and at the Liberty Theater directly across 42nd Street.All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was there at globalFEST this past Sunday, along with around 1,500 people, including NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas, Afropop Worldwide's Banning Eyre and WFMU's Rob Weisburg, home of his show "Transpacific Sound Paradise." On this edition of All Songs Considered, they share our favorite discoveries from globalFEST 2018.
All this year, NPR Music and its member stations will be following a group of outstanding new and emerging artists from local music scenes across the globe for a series we're calling Slingshot. On this week's All Songs Considered, we talk to some of the music directors from our partner stations about the artists they chose for this year's list. Some are hometown favorites, and others are rising stars from abroad.
Many of us in the U.S. are freezing this weekend and looking for warmth, but halfway around the world is an artist whose career in music is dependent on frigid weather.Terje Isungset is a Norwegian musician who makes his own instruments — out of ice. Among his creations are "icehorns," a xylophone-shaped instrument called an "iceofon," guitars, harps and even even saxophones sculpted from huge chunks of ice using chainsaws.
And we're back! Our first new mix of the new year includes gritty guitar rock from the band Bethlehem Steel, a sweetly seductive, pop earworm from singer Anna Burch, and an epic breakup song from Lucy Dacus.We've also got a stunning new cut from the sprawling rock group Typhoon (you can read about and listen to their new album here). "Empiricist," from the band's upcoming album Offerings, is one in a series of meditations on how memories shape who we are — and what happens when you start to lose those memories.Plus, singer Jonathan Meiburg of the band Shearwater and the duo known as Cross Record join together for a new project they're calling Loma. The group's upcoming, self-titled debut is full of mystery and wonder.
When so much of 2017 felt broken, it felt good to scream along to punk and metal records. But more often than not, my restoration came from quiet music and a good cup of tea. These are the realms I inhabit in my Viking's Choice column, where it's not uncommon to hear revved-up psych one day, mutant industrial-metal another and ambient Americana the next. It all works in my brain, and Bob Boilen picks that brain for our annual year-end show that's not so much a definitive list, but a broad overview of 2017. --Lars Gotrich
For nearly 10 years, NPR Music has recorded concerts from behind Bob Boilen's desk. During the holidays, the desk gets a little more festive, thanks to a snow machine, paper snowflakes and Stephen Thompson's hand-drawn Christmas tree. (It's labeled "tree.") Whether they perform original songs or new takes on holiday staples, these artists bring big sounds to the Tiny Desk.Each holiday Tiny Desk Concert has brought something a little different. In 2010, The Polyphonic Spree became the largest group of performers we'd ever hosted behind the desk. Sibling duo The Oh Hellos brought family tradition and a love of bells, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings filled our office with joy and light.This year, Hanson stuck around after its non-holiday Tiny Desk Concert to don ugly sweaters and sing some original songs. Wyclef Jean got us tapping our feet to his version of "Feliz Navidad." And Steve Martin brought a bluegrass band with him to share the tale of "The Strangest Christmas Yet."In this holiday special, join NPR Music's Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson as they look back on these and other performances from years past.
Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton count down through the Top Ten Albums of 2017 selected by listeners in our online poll.
Music and politics have a long history and in 2017, a new chapter in their fraught and complicated relationship burst open. It began on a weekend in January with the Presidential inauguration and the Women's March on Washington, D.C. (and around the globe) that followed. That's when the new resistance movement got its first anthem, courtesy Los Angeles-based singer MILCK and her defiant song, "Quiet." She and other women sang the empowering ballad against sexual assault and abuse a cappella during the march, and it turned out to be a prescient chorus for what would unfold throughout the year.It was a strong year for guitar rock, the best of it coming from relatively younger bands dominated by women: Jay Som, Charly Bliss, Vagabon, Waxahatchee, Diet Cig, Palehound, Chastity Belt, Girlpool, Daddy Issues, Partner. The list goes on and on.2017 was also a year when much beloved artists abandoned the sounds their fans first fell in love with to try something new. Weezer and Beck dove deep into pop and all its tropes; St. Vincent and Torres largely traded electric guitar for synths and pulsing soundscapes. Bands that once dominated many top 10 lists — Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, The xx — all released records that fell way below expectations.There was so much more that happened in 2017 — more than we could ever get to in a single episode of All Songs Considered — but we do our best on this edition to hit the highlights (and a few low points), with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson.
It's been nearly 5 years since the quietly seductive album by Rhye was released. Today a conversation with Mike Milosh the soulful androgynous singer and creator of Rhye on making Blood.
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some of the musical memories and highlights of the past decade. On this 2016 episode, NPR Music's Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson join co-host Robin Hilton to look back at the loss of David Bowie, Prince (and so many more towering figures in music), the year of Beyoncé, the return of Gucci Mane and the short-lived farewell to American Idol.
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some of the musical memories and highlights of the past decade. On this 2015 episode, NPR Music's Ann Powers and Daoud Tyler-Ameen join co-host Robin Hilton to look back at "Tomatogate," the Sufjan Stevens masterpiece Carrie & Lowell, Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" and what was perhaps the biggest music story of the year: Hamilton
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some of the musical memories and highlights of the past decade. On this 2014 episode, NPR Music's Jacob Ganz and Rodney Carmichael join co-host Robin Hilton to look back at the tween juggernaut "Let It Go" from the Disney musical Frozen, Macklemore's sweep at the Grammy's, the return of Outkast and D'Angelo and the peak of the vinyl revival.
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some of the musical memories and highlights of the past decade. On this 2013 episode, NPR Music's Tom Huizenga and Sidney Madden join co-host Robin Hilton to look back at surprise releases from My Bloody Valentine, David Bowie and Beyoncé, the loss of George Jones and Lou Reed and more defining moments from the year.
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some of the musical memories and moments. On this 2012 episode, NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas and Stephen Thompson join co-host Robin Hilton to look back at the Pussy Riot revolution, Frank ocean's Channel Orange, Amanda Palmer's crowd-funded album Theater Is Evil, and one of the biggest hits of all time, "Gangnam Style."
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some musical memories and moments. On this 2011 episode we listen to the music of James Blake, Adele's '21,' revisit Amy Winehouse the year of her death and the U.S. launch of Spotify.
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some musical memories and moments. On this 2010 episode we listen to the music of Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,' the return of EMO with The World Is A Beautiful Place and I'm No Longer Afraid To Die and the band American Football's return. We also discuss The Beatles coming to iTunes.
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some musical memories and moments. On this 2009 episode we listen to the debut music of The xx, the brilliant album from Vijay Iyer, 'Historicity,' and we honor the lives of guitarist Jack Rose, Michael Jackson and more.
NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some musical memories and moments. On this 2008 episode we listen to the music of Bon Iver, hear a brief interview with him from 2008. We also talk about the birth of BandCamp and the birth of the very first Tiny Desk Concert.
NPR Music has turned 10. And for the occasion we have a series of 10 short podcasts looking back at some musical memories and highlights. For 2007 we look at the impact of the iPhone, the release of Radiohead's 'In Rainbows,' the music of M.I.A. and more.
The season of list-making, specifically (for us) lists about the year's best music, is rapidly descending. But before the craziness begins over who had the best album or song in 2017, we thought we'd look back at some of our previous top-ten lists to see if they even hold up. As you can imagine, some albums we once thought were great have since lost their luster, while others haven't aged a day. This got us wondering: Why? And what, exactly, makes a great album last? When an album doesn't stand the test of time does it mean we missed something the first time we heard it, years earlier? Or could it only exist in a specific time and place? On this edition of the program, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Marissa Lorusso to look back at some of the albums we've loved over the decades, to relive what was great about them... and to wince at the ones that haven't held up as well.
By now you may have heard of the intercontinental, surprise collaboration between Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, for an album called Lotta Sea Lice. The two singers have been mutual admirers for a while and kept bumping into one another at various festivals. Their guitar-based rock songs are laced with a shared sense of humor, and that was part of what got them creating music together. On this edition of All Songs Considered, Kurt and Courtney join host Bob Boilen in our Washington D.C. studios to talk about their mutual love for singers with guitars and a knack for writing songs that touch the heart, including cuts by The Sadies, John Prine, Gillian Welch, Tom Petty and Elliott Smith.
In a career spanning three decades, Beck has remained one of music's most intriguing shapeshifters. From the warped folk of his earliest recordings to the chopped-up samples, hip-hop beats and lush orchestral arrangements of albums that followed, Beck has never lingered in one sonic world for long. For his latest album, Colors, the singer takes his music in what some longtime fans may think is an odd, or overly simple, direction: The 11 songs, co-produced with Greg Kurstin, are pure, highly refined pop. But as Beck explains in this special Guest DJ session with All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton, Colors was still one of the most complicated and challenging records he's ever made. He also explains how pop music can be a finely crafted art form, why the guitar has become the stepchild of popular music and the healing power of songs that just make you feel good.
Cathartic rock from both the New Jersey band Pinegrove and the Canadian duo known as Partner; Glasgow singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson's dark and brooding "There Are No Saints"; and NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas joins us to talk about some of her favorite artists from this year's Womex, the World Music Expo, held in Katowice, Poland.We've got two songs that directly address both the seeming epidemic of harassment and the violence in Texas. The first comes from singer Mary Gauthier, who wrote her upcoming album, Rifles And Rosary Beads, as part of the SongwritingWith:Soldiers project, The second song is from Stella Donnelly, an Australian songwriter who confronts victim-blaming with the plaintive and deeply upsetting, "Boys Will Be Boys."Also on this week's show:
Michael Stipe and Mike Mills look back on what inspired the band to make the beautiful but melancholy songs on Automatic For The People and what the music means to them after so many years. This month R.E.M. is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Automatic For The People with a deluxe box set that includes a re-mastered version of the album, demos and outtakes, live recordings, a book of rare photos and videos.
My current obsession is Wide Open, the new album from the Toronto band Weaves. Morgan Waters plays some of the most angular and memorable guitar I've heard in a long time, and the rhythm section is a dynamic driving force, too. Singer Jasmyn Burke may as well be on her own planet, with a style that's both adventurous in tone and affirming in message.I first became fascinated with Weaves' sound in 2015, and had the group perform a Tiny Desk concert last year. Now, for this +1 edition of All Songs Considered, I finally get to sit and talk with Morgan Waters and Jasmyn Burke, who play guest DJ, discuss Wide Open and more.
Here is one of the seminal underground records of the late 1960s: The band is Pearls Before Swine, and its album is called One Nation Underground. Although the album has been reissued on a number of occasions, those editions always got it wrong, using bad mixes or adding reverb to simulate stereo from the original mono record.But to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the proper mono mix has been reissued, and I'm so glad I can properly turn you on to a classic you might not know about, and hopefully will love as much as I do. It's an album that mixes folk music with exotic instrumentation, and it captures an innocence that I don't think will ever exist again in recorded music.I recently spoke with Tom Rapp, Pearls Before Swine's singer and songwriter. I started the conversation by playing the album's opening track "Another Time" as he listened on the line from Florida.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo walks us through Pacific Daydream, the band's new album of polished pop hits, and explains how he finally eliminated power chords from the group's sound.
On this +1 edition of All Songs Considered a conversation with Simon Raymonde, the former bassist for Cocteau Twins and founder of Bella Union records. He's back after a 20-year hiatus from music with a new song we're premiering. "I Saw The Days Go By" features singer Marissa Nadler and is just one of the tracks from Simon Raymonde's upcoming album he made with drummer Richie Thomas under the name Lost Horizons. The record, Ojalá, is out November 3 on Bella Union.
It'd been more than three years since Tune-Yards released new music, but the singer and multi-instrumentalist Merrill Garbus is back, now as a duo with Nate Brenner. Her new single is a sonic thrill ride called "Look At Your Hands," and it's from her just-announced album, I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (out Jan. 19). Garbus says the new song is a meditation on the mess she feels the world is in and how various political and cultural -isms manifest themselves within her. Full playlist: 1. Tune-Yards: "Look At Your Hands," 2. Caroline Says: "Winter Is Cold," 3. Balmorhea: "Slow Stone," 4. F ingers: "All Rolled Up," 5. A. Savage: "What Do I Do"
The queen of East Nashville talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers about her new album, All American Made, working with Willie Nelson and what it was like to record at the legendary Sun Studios.
Composer Daniel Hart talks about the inspiration and challenges behind his stunning score for the deeply existential film A Ghost Story.
MGMT, the psych-pop duo behind one of the decade's best earworms, is back with its first new music in four years. "Little Dark Age," is the title track to their 2018 album, and it's a pulsing, synthesized meditation on the age of anxiety over a world coming apart. Full playlist: 1. Dark Rooms: "I Get Overwhelmed," 2. MGMT: "Little Dark Age," 3. Susanne Sundfør: "Reincarnation," 4. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: "Blue Cheese," 5. Howard: "Mother's Wedding"
They are often beloved classics, or works of pure genius. And you never, ever need to hear them again. They are the songs that must be retired.
Composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda has written and recorded a new song to help raise money for hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Sales of the track, "Almost Like Praying," will go to the Hispanic Federation's Hurricane Relief Fund. It features an all-star cast of Latinx artists, including Jenifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Ruben Blades, Luis Fonsi, Rita Moreno and many others. In a conversation with NPR Music's Felix Contreras, Miranda explains why he chose to sing the song in Spanish, how he assembled the vast cast of contributors and why he borrowed the song's title and instantly recognizable hook from a line in the West Side Story classic, "Maria."
It's hard to record a show like ours in the wake of a tragedy as profound as what happened in Las Vegas this past Sunday. But we hope the music we're sharing this week gives you time to reflect and, if needed, escape. One thing we know: Songs, in times like this, often take on new meaning. We open with "Blue Mountain Road," a track by the band Florist about the death of lead singer Emily Sprague's mother; it's a song of healing for anyone struggling to get through a difficult time. Full playlist: 1. Florist: "Blue Mountain Road," 2. Amber Mark: "S P A C E," 3. Ibeyi: "Deathless (ft. Kamasi Washington)," 4. bed.: "Fine," 5. Torres: "Tongue Slap Your Brain Out," 6. The Breeders: "Wait In The Car," 7. Tom Petty: "American Girl"
Actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg has a long history of making provocative art that stretches back to her teen years, when she recorded the 1984 song "Lemon Incest" with her father, the French pop singer Serge Gainsbourg. Over the past four decades she's starred in the films Nymphomaniac and The Antichrist (among many others) and released several albums of foreboding pop. Her latest full-length, and first in six years, is called REST. On this week's show we feature the cut "Deadly Valentine," a love song that fixates on the fact that all stories ultimately end in death. Full playlist: 1. Chad VanGaalen: "Static Shape," 2. M.R. Bennett: "Sorry," 3. Blis. "Old Man," 4. Högni: "Crash," 5. Charlotte Gainsbourg: "Deadly Valentine," 6. Laura Cannell: "Persuasion," 7. Lean Year: "Come And See"
We hit "play" on the Los Angeles-based singer's entire new album while he shares the stories and inspiration behind each track. He says Aromanticism is about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape.
The last full-length album from Björk, 2015's Vulnicurna, was a dark, brooding breakup record documenting the end of a longtime relationship. Now the enigmatic Icelandic singer is back with a new song of healing and hope from an album she'll release in November. "The Gate" finds Björk emerging from the other side of loss and heartache and searching for the utopian idea of perfect love. Full playlist for this episode: 1. Lisa LeBlanc: "5748 km," 2. Björk: "The Gate," 3. Burial: "Rodent," 4. Neil Young: "Powderfinger," 5. Kelela: "Frontline," 6. Brand New: "Can't Get It Out"
Billy Corgan, as frontman for The Smashing Pumpkins, made twisted, abrasive rock. But within that project he always had a soft side, expressed in quieter, acoustic songs sprinkled throughout the Pumpkins' catalog. Now the singer is back with a new solo album of beautiful ballads made entirely of piano, acoustic guitar and strings. He's calling it Ogilala and releasing it under the name William Patrick Corgan later this fall. We've got the first single from the album on this week's show, the gorgeously orchestrated "Aeronaut." Full playlist: 1. Loney Dear: "Sum," 2. Flikka: "Ellington," 3. Wolf Alice: "Don't Delete The Kisses," 4. William Patrick Corgan: "Aeronaut," 5. Mavis Staples: "If All I Was Was Black," 6. Jackie Shane: "Cruel Cruel World"
How contributors are credited on albums can lead to fierce, behind-the-scenes battles. Reporter Peter Robinson from The Guardian helps us make sense of this funny little corner of the music business.
The National is about to release its seventh studio album, Sleep Well Beast, on September 8. But days before it comes out, on September 5, the band is going to play that record in its entirety live for NPR.The new songs revolve around the fears and struggles within relationships, particularly that of singer and lyricist Matt Berninger and his wife, the writer Carin Besser, who co-wrote some of the lyrics on this album. Sleep Well Beast is characteristically dark and sonically rich — and some of the best music this band has made.Today we're sharing a conversation between Matt, myself (All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen) and Talia Schlanger, host of World Cafe.
After three years of trickling out singles, Beck has finally announced Colors, a new full-length due out this fall. His latest track, "Dear Life," channels Beach Boys harmonies and the barrel-house piano of classic Beatles songs like "Martha My Dear" or "Lady Madonna."S. Carey, percussionist for Bon Iver, also returns, with a gorgeous new single he wrote for the Netflix series Flaked; English singer and rapper King Krule has a profoundly warped new sound in the song "Czech One;" Atlanta singer Curtis Harding just announced his second full-length record the melts together the worlds of soul, psychedelic rock and R&B; The Canadian band Weaves delivers a bold shot of guitar rock on its new song, "#53;" And AHI, a Toronto-based singer with a memorable voice Bob Boilen discovered at the DIY Musicians Conference in Nashville. Complete Playlist: 1. AHI: "Ol' Sweet Day," 2. S. Carey: "Brassy Sun," 3. Weaves: "#53," 4. Beck: "Dear Life," 5. King Krule: "Czech One," 6. Curtis Harding: "Wednesday Morning Atonement"
It's been a little over a month since hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton sat together and shared some essential tunes, but they're back with some keepers, including a new, swoon-worthy song from singer Julien Baker and a beautifully infectious track from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. "My Only" finds Pains frontman Kip Berman reflecting on a new chapter in his life: "I'm married, with a young daughter," he says, "and an old Volvo." Full playlist: 1. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: "My Only," 2. Robert Plant: "The May Queen," 3. Liars: "No Help Pamphlet," 4. Daughter: "Burn It Down," 5. METZ: "Mess of Wires," 6. Julien Baker: "Appointments"
Our week of Guest DJs concludes with Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, co-stars of the IFC comedyseries Portlandia. Earlier this year the show was renewed for an eighth and final season, which is scheduled to air in 2018. Back in 2012, Carrie and Fred sat down with All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen to talk about their love of music and the humor they find in fellow nerds who obsess about their favorite bands.
Our week of Guest DJs continues with Courtney Barnett. Later this year the Australian guitarist and singer will release a new album she recorded with Kurt Vile. In October, the two will also embark on limited tour together. Back in 2015, Barnett had just released her debut full-length, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, when she joined Bob Boilen to talk about some of the artists who've influenced her own work and life over the years, from Wilco and Talking Heads to the Sydney band You Am I and fellow Australian signer Paul Kelly.
Our week of Guest DJs continues with Björk. The Icelandic singer recently announced she'll be releasing a new album, possibly before the end of the year. In this 2009 conversation with All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen, Björk talked about Voltaïc, her box set of live recordings, her love of Syrian musician Omar Souleyman, fellow Icelandic singer Ólöf Arnalds and more.
This week we're featuring select episodes from our Guest DJ archives. Today we've got a conversation with Randy Newman. The singer, composer and pianist recently released his 11th solo album. It's called Dark Matter. Bob Boilen originally spoke with Newman back in 2008 when Newman released his previous record, Harps And Angels. The two talked about Newman's musical family, how Ray Charles has been the biggest influence in his music career and what it was like hearing The Beatles for the first time.
This week we're featuring select episodes from our Guest DJ archives. Roger Waters is currently on the North American leg of his Us + Them tour, performing songs from the Pink Floyd albums The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall. In June Waters also released his first solo rock album in 25 years, called Is This The Life We Really Want?
Five journalists join forces to unpack NPR Music's 'Turning The Tables' list.
The legendary New York DJ duo of Stretch and Bobbito have reunited. After 19 years off the airwaves, Adrian "Stretch" Bartos and Robert "Bobbito" Garcia are back with a conversational, sometimes musical NPR podcast called What's Good With Stretch And Bobbito. On this edition of All Songs Considered we talk about their hugely influential music show in the '90s on WKCR at Columbia University, in New York City that helped launch the careers of artists like The Notorious B.I.G, Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem and more.
The Newport Folk Festival can feel like a cross between summer camp and a family reunion. Fans return year after year in no small part because the camaraderie between musicians is unlike most other festivals. You can always count on unusual and memorable collaborations, whether it's Margo Price singing "Me and Bobby McGee" with Kris Kristofferson or Roger Waters singing John Prine songs. There are so many surprises for both musicians and fans, which is one of the reasons the festival sells out every year before anyone even knows who's playing. To tell us a bit of what's in store for Newport 2017 we called Jay Sweet, the executive producer of the festival. Jay explains how he picked this year's lineup, the importance of giving artists a platform for change and why the festival continues to resonate with people more than 50 years after it started.
For this one brief project, the Echo Mountain Sessions, the duo of Sylvan Esso turns into a full blown band. You'll here the music and a conversation with Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath. Back in April, right about the time Sylvan Esso were releasing their 2nd album What Now, Amelia and Nick got a bunch of their North Carolina buddies to join them in a studio in Asheville to record a handful of the very same songs from What Now, this time as a big live band. Members of Wye Oak, The Mountain Goats, Hiss Golden Messenger, Mountain Man and Megafaun got together for a day at Echo Mountain studios and these sessions were captured to create a visual EP which comes out July 28.
You'll want to listen to this week's show on a good pair of headphones, preferably in the dark and, if you take drummer Ian Chang's advice, while getting a massage. We open the program with a spine-tingling cut called "ASMR," from Chang's debut solo EP, an arresting instrumental piece inspired by the inexplicable chills that sometimes run down your back. It's just the first in a series of sonic delights on the show. 1. Ian Chang: "ASMR," 2. Common Holly: "If After All," 3. The Weather Station: "Thirty," 4. Josh Ritter: "Showboat," 5. Flotation Toy Warning: "A Season Underground," 6. Moses Sumney: "Doomed," 7. From The Mouth Of The Sun: "Light Blooms In Hollow Space."
Back in 1992, singer k.d. lang released a record unlike any other. Ingénue slithered against the popular music grain with songs that drew slow, deep breaths and sighed seductively. It had an alluringly divergent sound that landed somewhere in a blurry nexus of pop, country and global folk, with accordions, clarinets and Eastern European flourishes. And lang's monumental voice, both powerful and restrained, was simply unforgettable as she sang languorous songs of love and desire.Ingénue became a monstrous, multi-platinum hit for lang, but it was also a milestone in the '90s LGBT rights movement. Against her label's wishes, lang came out in a cover story for The Advocate three months after the album was released. Her decision helped spark a shift in the national conversation about what it meant to be gay and made Ingénue one of the first in a series of important cultural moments that pushed LGBT issues into the mainstream conversation. (Others from that period included the film Philadelphia andthe Broadway play Angels In America and, later in the same decade, the television sitcom Will And Grace). To celebrate Ingénue's 25th anniversary, Nonesuch Records is releasing a remastered version of the album on July 14, along with some previously unreleased live recordings. Last year lang recorded an album with Neko Case and Laura Veirs called case/lang/veirs. They toured together and became friends. So we asked Laura Veirs to talk with k.d. lang about Ingénue and how the album still resonates today.
Composer Michael Andrews started writing music for movies back in 2001, when he scored the now-cult-classic film Donnie Darko (which included Andrews' haunting arrangement of the Tears For Fears song "Mad World"). His simple, brilliantly rendered songs perfectly reflected the movie's surreal narrative with moments that were both comical and creepy. Now he's back with a new score — and completely different sound — for the romantic comedy The Big Sick. We kick off this week's show with the sweetly melodic "Two Day Rule," a song that host Bob Boilen says sounds, appropriately enough, like a romantic relationship unfolding. Full playlist: 1. Michael Andrews: "The Two Day Rule," 2. The Blow: "Get Up," 3. Rhye: "Please," 4. Joseph Shabason: "Long Swim," 5. Protomartyr: "A Private Understanding," 6. Waxahatchee: "Brass Beam"
We begin this week's show with a simple message: Use this time to become mindful and peaceful, taking calming breaths... while listening to our latest mix of essential new music. This includes a beautiful new ballad from St. Vincent, a potent, emotional journey from singer Benjamin Clementine and lots of curious ear candy. Playlist: 1. Siv Jakobsen: "Shallow Digger," 2. St. Vincent: "New York," 3. Mappe Of: "Cavern's Dark," 4. Ásgeir: "Underneath It," 5. Benjamin Clementine: "Phantom Of Aleppoville," 6. My Bubba: "Gone," 7. Mogwai: "Party In The Dark."
As we tallied the results of this year's listener poll for 2017's best new artists (so far), we continue to see women dominating the list and guitars still a big part of your musical landscape. Four of the five most popular new artists are women or fronted by women and all of them are based out of New York. (In last year's poll, listeners picked all women for the entire top ten). The fuzzy rock of bands like Diet Cig, Charly Bliss and Jay Som fared the best, while Nick Hakim and Sampha were the only two male solo artists to crack the top ten. On this week's show we count down the best new artists from the first half of 2017, as selected by our listeners. We define a new artist as someone who released a debut full-length this year (if they don't have a full album, an EP or single will do). We also throw in a few of our own picks, including the out-of-time, otherworldly sound of ALA.NI, (more) guitar noise from Vagabon, and the transfixing voice of Tom Adams.
A song can trigger a well of emotions and so it was for Aldous Harding. The intense singer and songwriter from New Zealand and I sat down to talk about the music she loved growing up. It was a teary and thoughtful conversation about the few artists that had a huge impact on the music she'd come to make. Aldous Harding's second album is out, it's called Party.
We follow Father's Day weekend with a mix of powerful new pop and rock from a lot of incredible women, including "Exhumed," a raging, cathartic song from Zola Jesus, and roaring doom metal from Chelsea Wolfe. Full Playlist: 1. Katie Von Schleicher: "Sell It Back," 2. Lorde: "Supercut," 3. Chelsea Wolfe: "16 Psyche," 4. Zola Jesus: "Exhumed," 5. Bernice: "Gemini," 6. Thomas Patrick Maguire: "Go To Hell"
We get right down to business this week with the fantastic, frenetic pop of Guerilla Toss. The New York band has a new album on the way and recently released "Betty Dreams Of Green Men," a cut inspired by alien abduction, addiction and the obsessions that can consume a person's life.Also on the show: The brash and playful rock group Chastity Belt has a more restrained, introspective sound on its latest album, I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone; Metric singer Emily Haines returns with her first new solo album in more than a decade; the atmospheric rock group Mt. Wolf returns with the ethereal song "Soteria"; Australian singer Gordi, known for her a cappella cover of Bon Iver's "00000 Million," has her own debut full-length on the way; and NPR Music's Lars Gotrich stops by to close out the show with a bruising new song from the Detroit hardcore band Thoughts Of Ionesco. Full Playlist: 1. Guerilla Toss: "Betty Dreams Of Green Men," 2. Chastity Belt: "Stuck," 3. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton: "Fatal Gift," 4. Mt. Wolf: "Soteria," 5. Gordi: "Heaven I Know," 6. Thoughts Of Ionesco: "Culture Of The Eternal Snake"
There's a joyful new album from Phoenix. Ti Amo is the Paris-based band's first record since 2013 and took the better part of the past four years to make. On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen talks with guitarist Laurent Brancowitz and lead singer Thomas Mars about their work habits — how they create a palette of sounds for each new album and how they were able to make a joyful record at a time when Paris has seen horrific terror attacks.
The trio talk about the grand mysteries of the universe that helped inspire their celestial collaboration, Planetarium.
The trio joins host Bob Boilen to play some of their favorite songs by other artists, including music from Radiohead, Metronomy and Death Grips. 1. Metronomy: "Corinne," 2. Radiohead: "Reckoner," 3. Jorja Smith: "Blue Lights," 4. Julia Michaels: "Issues," 5. Death Grips: "Interview B," 6. alt-J: "Deadcrush," 7. alt-J: "In Cold Blood"
A conversation with Dan Auerbach and the music that inspired his new album 'Waiting on a Song'
A couple of weeks ago Robin Hilton snuck a Harry Styles cut on the show, to see if he could trick Bob Boilen into loving the One Direction singer's solo effort by not telling him who it was. (It didn't work). This week Robin tries to get another One Direction song by Bob via one of Bob's favorite singers, Mitski, performing a cover of the song "Fireproof" from One Direction's album Four. Did he fool Bob? Full playlist: 1. Mitski: "Fireproof" (One Direction cover), 2. Kevin Morby: "1234," 3. Jeff Tweedy: "I'm Always In Love," 4. Big Thief: "Mary," 5. Jon McKiel: "Conduit," 6. This Is The Kit: "Moonshine Freeze."
Two decades after his death, Tupac Shakur is still the headline-generating, record-selling, contentious figure that he was in life. On this +1, NPR Music hip-hop reporter Rodney Carmichael talks with Ben Westhoff, author of Original Gangstas, a book about the heyday of West Coast gangsta rap. The two talk about Tupac's enduring legacy and what it means today.
'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' turns 50 next week — so what's been done to celebrate one of the greatest records ever? They've remixed the entire album! The word "remix," in fact, may not capture the scope of the project — it's more like someone rebuilt a pyramid with fresh bricks. But a question remains: Why would anyone do so? All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen traveled to New York to meet Giles Martin, who spearheaded the project, to find that out.
Yes, it's true: Harry Styles of the British boy band One Direction has taken a huge left turn on his debut solo album, turning in an infectious, sometimes gritty batch of rock songs inspired by The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and other classic bands he grew up listening to. Robin kick's this week's show off with one of these surprising new songs, the playful earworm "Carolina." Full playlist: 1. Harry Styles: "Carolina," 2. Kalbells: "Why?!steria," 3. The Building: "Have To Forgive," 4. Fleet Foxes: "Fool's Errand," 5. Dr. Danny: "Fly Me Back In Time," 6. The National: "The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness"
This week, guest host and NPR Music reporter and producer Anastasia Tsioulcas talks with jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader Ravi Coltrane about his late mother's remarkable music on a new compilation called World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
Grab your hanky — you're gonna need it for this week's episode of All Songs Considered. We certainly did while reading and listening to all of the incredible stories we received from listeners about the songs that remind them of their moms. Some were funny, some were dark (a few of you have issues way above our pay grade), but most were heartfelt and full of joy, sometimes grief, but always ending with unconditional love. We got several thousand stories and song picks, way more than we could share in a single show. But here are a handful of the ones that moved us the most, sometimes in the simplest and smallest ways.
Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Lars Gotrich to share the week's best new music, including another cut from Sufjan Stevens' Planetarium collaboration and Feist: 1. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly & James McAlister: "Mercury," 2. Feist: "A Man Is Not His Song," 3. Rostam: "Gwan," 4. You'll Never Get To Heaven: "Rain Copy," 5. Frankie Cosmos: "Fish Bowl" (cover of a Kero Kero Bonito song), 6. Beth Ditto: "Fire"
If you've never found a way to experience the bliss and tragedy of traditional British folk music, this is your chance. The Queen of Hearts is a stunning new album by Offa Rex, the project of English singer Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists. It's a record The Decemberists' leader Colin Meloy has wanted to make for years, to honor that great British tradition and also the way bands in the '60s and '70s, like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, rocked it. On this edition of All Songs Considered, a transatlantic conversation with Offa Rex's Olivia Chaney and Colin Meloy. Both artists are well-versed in the folk tradition — easily identified in Colin's writing with The Decemberists — something he learned as a young lad growing up in Helena, Montana, while Chaney came to it through studying voice and piano in Oxford, England. On The Queen of Hearts, produced by Oregon-based producer Tucker Martine, you'll hear their unique takes on classic records from Anne Briggs, Martin Carthy, Ewan MacColl, Phoebe Smith, June Tabor and more.
Special guests from the NPR Music team join All Songs Considered this week to share some of their favorite releases from April: 1. Shakey Graves: "Nobody's Fool," 2. Elliot Moss: "99," 3. Orgone: "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman," 4. The Mountain Goats: "Rain In Soho," 5. GAS: "Narkopop No. 4," 6. Trio Mediaeval: "Morgunstjarna," 7. The War On Drugs: "Thinking Of A Place
This week's essential new music mix includes the remarkable story of Kendrick Lamar's rise, supremely fuzzy garage rock from Weed, the dream pop duo Gems and more. 1. Kendrick Lamar: "DUCKWORTH.," 2. Adam Torres: "I Came To Sing," 3. Cigarettes After Sex: "K.," 4. Weed: "Are We Cool?," 5. Terror Pigeon: "Chamber Of Secrets For 1," 6. Ratboys: "Control," 7. GEMS: "Poison"
Today on All Songs Considered, a conversation with Todd Rundgren — who has been recording music for almost 50 years! His first recordings came in 1968 with his band Nazz, before he began making his own groundbreaking pop albums. Those early solo albums — especially Something/Anything, A Wizard, A True Star — always stretched the boundaries of what a solo artist can do with the technology of the day. He was also — and primarily, in terms of employment, he told us — a lucrative and creative producer for Badfinger, Grand Funk Railroad, The Band, The New York Dolls, Hall & Oates, Sparks, Meatloaf, XTC... the list is quite long.
Timmhotep Aku is an NPR Music contributor and occasional guest host for our +1 podcasts. This week he talks with Matt Martians and Syd of the soul band The Internet.
We've often joked on the show about the virtual circus that's endlessly unfolding in Bob Boilen's brain, where his childlike imagination dances to the sound of a whistling calliope. So, for Bob's birthday this week, it felt appropriate to begin our show with nearly seven-foot tall clown named Puddles who sings a surreal mashup of Johnny Cash's "Folsom City Blues" and The Who's "Pinball Wizard." We're not making this up. It turns out that, apart from singing, Puddles never speaks, so we gave his assistant and interpreter Mike Geier a call to learn more about how this crazy mashup came to be. We've also got a blistering country rock cut from singer Andrew Combs, who gets political on a song called "Bourgeois King." The baroque pop of San Fermin gets bigger than ever on the band's new full-length, Belong; the Paris-based singer known as ALA.NI croons like it's the 1940s; and NPR Music's Lars Gotrich stops by to blow our minds (and ear drums) with the scorching punk of a band called Exit Order, tempered by the hypnotic jazz of Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society. 1. Puddles Pity Party: "Folsom Prison Blues/Pinball Wizard," 2. Andrew Combs: "Bourgeois King," 3. Joshua Abrams And Natural Information Society: "Sideways Fall," 4. Exit Order: "Mass Panic," 5. Ala.Ni: "Cherry Blossoms," 6. San Fermin: "Oceanica"
Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share their favorite songs of the week, including premieres from Elf Power and Big Thief, plus new music from The Walkmen's Walter Martin, Son Lux and more: 1. Elf Power: "Watery Shreds," 2. Big Thief: "Mythological Beauty," 3. Walter Martin: "Hey Matt," 4. Scout Pare-Phillips: "Door Left Open," 5. Lydia Ainsworth: "WLCM," 6. Public Service Broadcasting, "Progress," 7. "Ryan Lott/Son Lux: "The Drowning Trough," 8. Diet Cig: "Sixteen"
Timmhotep Aku is an occasional NPR Music contributor and guest host for our +1 podcasts. This week he talks with writer, comedian and hip-hop lover Neal Brennan. Comedy and hip-hop have a lot in common: Both are balms for the sting of the everyday struggle and both hold up a mirror to society's excesses, absurdities, and injustices. These two worlds come together in the work of writer and comedian Neal Brennan.As the co-creator of Chappelle's Show, he and his writing partner, Dave Chappelle created skits that were funny and provocative with a hip-hop sensibility. They lampooned rap stars like Lil' Jon and Sean "Puffy" Combs, while featuring artists like Kanye West, Common and The Roots as musical guests. In fact, when Jimmy Fallon was handed the reins of the Tonight Show Brennan was the one who recommended The Roots for the show's house band.In the decade after Chappelle's sudden departure and the end of the the show, Brennan's continued to work as a stand-up comic, writer, and director. On this week's +1 podcast, I talk with Brennan about his Netflix special and one-man show 3 Mics and some of the songs that have inspired what he calls the "stand up, one-liners and emotional stuff" seen on the show. Along the way, Brennan dispels some myths and gives insight on just who the man behind the mic is.
On this week's show co-host Robin Hilton manages to heave himself off of the floor (after his beloved Kansas Jayhawks lost in the NCAA tournament AGAIN) long enough to hit the play button on some phenomenal new music. Host Bob Boilen and World Cafe host Talia Schlanger try to cheer him up with their own favorite songs of the week: 1. Perfume Genius: "Slip Away," 2. Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and James McAlister: "Saturn," 3. Gorillaz: "We Got The Power," 4. The Family Crest: "Mirror Love," 5. Hippo Campus: "Monsoon," 6. Kevin Morby: "Come To Me Now," 7. Teen Daze: "Dream City," 8. Alexander F: "You're Such A Kill"