All Songs Considered
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.)
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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?
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 and the 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.
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"