Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is the producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

In addition to his work on All Songs, Hilton curates NPR Music's First Listen series, a weekly showcase of select albums you can read about and hear in their entirety before they're officially released.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, GA.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as an interpreter for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and in films, including the documentary Open Secret. Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.

I've seen a lot of brilliant live shows in my life, but none more life-changing or life-affirming than the one Sufjan Stevens gave in 2015 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. for his album Carrie & Lowell.

Prince was one of those rare musicians who continued to connect with people decades after the start of his career. As NPR Music's Ann Powers tells All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, Prince had a unique vision of a perfect world, one that challenged gender and sexual norms, one where love was the only rule.

On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton kick off the show with back-to-back premieres from upcoming albums by beloved bands. Robin leads with a frenetic new song by Deerhoof, originally written for the HBO series Vinyl, that will appear on its album The Magic, out June 24.

Sturgill Simpson's 2014 album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, took a lot of people by surprise. While the song forms were firmly rooted in Nashville traditions, the stories he told and observations he made were more like something from a metaphysical self-help guide, with existential meditations on death and dying, religion and the never-ending search for a higher purpose.

On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a mix of new songs by veteran artists and shiny premieres from up-and-coming bands. Robin leads off the show with a cut from the country-folk flavored alternative rock group The Jayhawks, while Bob wheels out a premiere by the Australian band Oh Pep!.

There's adventurous new music from Explosions in the Sky and you can hear a conversation with the band and some of the music on this week's +1 podcast. The Wilderness is the instrumental rock band's first album of non-soundtrack songs in five years, and the sound on this record stretches the already expansive sound of this instrumental guitar band from blissful and emotional to mind-bending and downright scary.

On this week's episode of All Songs Considered, Bob helps Robin Hilton out of his annual NCAA March Madness depression after his Jayhawks lose yet again. Bob plays a mind-obliterating track from Explosions In The Sky.

This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton talk about Sturgill Simpson's more rock-inspired sound and how parenthood inspired Simpson's new LP, A Sailor's Guide To Earth. Bob also plays some great, guitar-driven rock from Weaves and Heron Oblivion.

As one of the judges for this year's Tiny Desk Contest, I was so inspired by all the incredible entries we received — the level of thought, creativity and care that went into producing them and, of course, the music people made. But I'd be lying if I said that the judging process wasn't, at least sometimes, mind-numbing. After the first 100 or so videos (out of more than six thousand submitted), your eyes and ears start to glaze over.

This week on All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton call up Mitski to talk about her new song "Your Best American Girl" from her just announced album, Puberty 2.

On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton play songs that volley between soft, sentimental pop and more abrasive rock, including The Black Ryder's show-stopping cover of George Harrison's "Isn't It A Pity," My bubba's simple, stunning vocals and the face-frying, fist-pumping, riff-heavy rock of

On this week's All Songs, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share songs of power, protest and passion, including a cut from Shearwater's "angriest" record to date, the urgent rock of the Ukrainian band Phooey! and singer Kevin Morby's fervent if exasperated attempt to make sense of police violence.

In January, All Songs Considered co-host (and creator) Bob Boilen and I hosted a party at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the show's 16th birthday. Together, with a sold-out crowd, we took a walk down memory lane, sharing behind-the-scenes stories about All Songs, with live sets by some of the musicians who've been important to our history. Here's what everyone saw:

It's our first show with new music in 2016! After nearly two months of best-of's, holiday and Sweet 16 specials, we get back to doing what we do best and love most: playing great new music.

It's no surprise that the latest song from Violent Femmes, "Memory," feels like a classic. Frontman Gordon Gano actually wrote it a long time ago. "We even recorded it as a demo many years ago," he tells NPR Music via email. "And then it was forgotten about until digging into [our] archives, which led us to record it anew and release it."

Every year around this time we like to take a break from our usual musical discoveries and get together with old friends for what we call the All Songs Considered Holiday Spectacular, a seasonal special done in the tradition of old-time radio.

When I was first offered the job of producing All Songs Considered not long after it started in 2000, NPR couldn't guarantee me the show would be around for more than a year. After all, it was an experiment: an Internet-only, streaming music show in an era when most people were still on dial-up connections that couldn't handle much more on a page than text and photos.

By the time Spoon released Gimme Fiction in 2005, the Austin, Texas rock group was already a decade into its career with more than a half-dozen releases. But none of the band's previous work felt as polished or as remarkably inspired. Gimme Fiction is at times brooding and cryptic. There's apocalyptic imagery, evangelical Christians, a pre-social media commentary on people who hide behind cameras, and at least one song inspired by Prince.

Note: Our poll has closed. Please check back on Tuesday, Dec. 15 for the results.

In the form below, write in the five new albums you loved the most in 2015, in order from one (your number one favorite) to five. We'll tally all the results and share the results in an All Songs podcast on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

We know it's tough to pick — the NPR Music gang has been hammering out our lists of albums and songs for the last few weeks — but hopefully we'll all discover a few new great albums when it's done.