All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Fri August 1, 2014

The Good Listener: Why Do Band Photos Look Like That, Anyway?

Banjo! Exposed brick! Open sky! Still, Mumford and Sons, you could use some hay bales...
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the Archer paraphernalia we bought at Comic-Con and shipped to ourselves is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on musicians' publicity photos.

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All Songs Considered
5:53 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Guest Quizmaster Matt Sokol Of Spillway

Guest Quizmaster Matt Sokol is the drummer for the Connecticut-based rock band Spillway.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:57 am

The drum fills and intros for this week's puzzler have something in common. In addition to being selected by Spillway drummer Matt Sokol, they're all performed by open-handed drummers. This means they play the hi-hat cymbal with their left hand, while their right hand plays the snare. (Most drummers cross their right hand over their left to play the hi-hat). If you're up on your open-handed drummers (Matt Sokol is an open-handed drummer himself), this week's puzzler will be a breeze! If not, well ... you might find some of these to be pretty challenging. Good luck, fellow fillers!

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All Songs Considered
12:03 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of July

Kyle Hall's "Our Love" caught our attention in July.
Karl Mathias Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 12:28 pm

Each month, we listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks, test the standouts on loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix. And we're particularly excited about what we heard during July — it was tough to narrow this list down to six songs.

You can stream this month's mix here or through NPR Music's SoundCloud account. If you'd rather just hear each song individually, check out the playlist below.

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All Songs Considered
1:22 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

New Mix: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Join Fences, Plus Zola Jesus, Sun Kil Moon, More

Clockwise from upper left: Fences (aka Christopher Mansfield) and Macklemore, Zola Jesus, Spider Bags, Sun Kil Moon, Frazey Ford
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 2:33 pm

Just off the train from the Newport Folk Festival, Bob Boilen jumps at the chance to share a song by The Oh Hellos, his favorite discovery of the weekend. On "The Valley," the Texas band thunders and strums its way to a glorious sing-along chorus. Robin Hilton follows that with a premiere from Frazey Ford, whose soulful voice reinforces the celebratory mood of "September Fields."

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All Songs Considered
12:25 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Newport Folk 2014 In Photos

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 8:41 am

NPR Music photographer Adam Kissick was busier than a line chef at a Newport seafood stand last weekend at the town's world famous Folk Festival. Over three days, he shot more than 50 different bands — from Anais Mitchell to Valerie June — while constantly running back and forth between stages.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Song Premiere: Horse Feathers, 'Violently Wild'

Horse Feathers.
John Clark Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:47 am

Describing Horse Feathers almost inevitably diminishes the band's music: "Let's see, the lead singer has a beard and a soft voice, and he plays the acoustic guitar, and there's a string section. Oh, and they're from Portland, of course." All those identifying details hold true, and yet Horse Feathers' music never feels slight or ineffectual.

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All Songs Considered
8:05 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Interpol's Sam Fogarino

This week's guest Quizmaster is Sam Fogarino, drummer for the band Interpol. The group is set to release its latest album, El Pintor, in September. It's Interpol's first new record since 2010's self-titled release. Can you identify the songs he selected from just a few seconds of drumming?

As always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Viking's Choice: Witch Mountain, 'Psycho Animundi'

Witch Mountain.
Marne Lucas Courtesy of the artist

For a band that went into hiding for a decade, Witch Mountain sure has made up for lost time.

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All Songs Considered
9:04 am
Tue July 22, 2014

New Mix: The Rentals, Perfume Genius, The Bots, Zammuto

Clockwise from upper left: The Bots, Perfume Genius, Zammuto, The Rentals
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:32 pm

We kick off this week's episode of All Songs Considered with the sludgy, shoegaze-y sounds of Whirr, a band started by Nick Bassett, bassist for one of co-host Robin Hilton's favorite acts of 2014, Nothing. We follow up with a new track from The Bots, two young brothers from L.A. whose "All I Really Want" is a two-minute sugar rush of high-powered pop-punk.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Song Premiere: Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), 'A Keepsake'

Keith (left) and Cathy Latinen of Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate), being adorable with that dog.
D. McNelly Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 9:28 am

If emo has cheerleaders, they're Keith and Cathy Latinen. Since 2007, the Michigan-based husband and wife have tirelessly run the Count Your Lucky Stars label during a time when the genre didn't have many vocal supporters. Many of its releases have inspired bands in the now-thriving young scene to take up the '90s Midwest emo sound and do what they will.

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All Songs Considered
11:02 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Viking's Choice: Sleep, 'The Clarity'

Artwork for Sleep's "The Clarity," the band's first new material in 20 years.
Courtesy of Adult Swim

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:58 am

It's been 20 years since the stoner-metal caravan Sleep wrote Dopesmoker, a 63-minute track based on a single riff and dedicated to the mighty spliff. Unfortunately, it took three labels and a span of 16 years to release it as intended.

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All Songs Considered
6:53 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For July 18

This week's puzzler for careful listeners has a little something for everyone, from jazz and classic rock, to punk and thrashing metal. It also features several fills listeners suggested from previous puzzlers. So, as always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, heroes!

All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri July 18, 2014

NPR Music Returns For 2014's Newport Folk Festival

Hurray For The Riff Raff performed at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival — and makes a return engagement this year.
Meagan Beauchemin NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 9:39 am

The Newport Folk Festival has been around for more than half a century now — this is its 55th year, to be exact — and the event now routinely sells out months before its lineup is even announced. And why shouldn't it?

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All Songs Considered
9:59 am
Tue July 15, 2014

New Mix: Robert Plant, Jeff Tweedy, Sarah Jaffe, Sinkane, The Bug, More

Clockwise from upper left: Robert Plant, a young Jeff Tweedy, Sinkane, Sarah Jaffe, The Juan MacLean.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:48 am

On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob kicks off the show with The Juan MacLean's "A Place Called Space," an ecstatic dance-rock number from the group's upcoming album In A Dream. Seeking to find a subdued yin to Bob's euphoric yang, Robin premieres London producer The Bug's "Void," the opening track to his upcoming album Angels and Devils.

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Sat July 12, 2014

The Good Listener: Has The Term 'Indie Rock' Lost All Meaning?

If Arcade Fire sells gold and wins a Grammy for Album of the Year, is it still outside the mainstream?
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the flyers that either wildly underestimate or wildly overestimate our credit-worthiness is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on what constitutes "indie rock" in 2014.

Antfitgodd writes via Facebook: "The term 'indie' has been subsumed by major labels, whose acts often try to mimic indie-rock sensibilities — which changes what it means to play music that is not bland Top 40 drivel. Do you think 'indie rock' as a genre is dead?"

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All Songs Considered
8:55 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Eternal Summers' Daniel Cundiff

Daniel Cundiff, drummer for the Roanoke rock band Eternal Summers, working up a sweat during a live performance.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's drum fill puzzler comes courtesy of guest Quizmaster Daniel Cundiff, percussionist for the Roanoke rock band Eternal Summers. The band's latest album is The Drop Beneath.

For Drum Fill Friday, Daniel picked cuts by some of the artists who've influenced his own work over the years, from smooth jazz to new wave and noise rock. Good luck, heroes!

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All Songs Considered
8:59 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Song Premiere: Steve Gunn, 'Milly's Garden'

Steve Gunn will release his new album, Way Out Weather, in October.
Constance Mensh Courtesy of the artist

Steve Gunn's Time Off was one of 2013's most unfairly overlooked records. The guitarist blends the traditional and the avant-garde, fusing the sounds of John Fahey, The Grateful Dead and Will Oldham into back-porch masterpieces. Time Off is the kind of album that can suck the energy out of any room — in a good way.

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All Songs Considered
12:58 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

New Mix: Cat Power With Coldplay, Brian Eno, Broncho, The Wytches, More

Top row, left to right: Brian Eno and Karl Hyde, Cat Power; Middle row: The Wytches, Chris Martin of Coldplay; Bottom row: Broncho.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:44 am

On this week's All Songs Considered: After some speculation on Pink Floyd's just-announced album The Endless River, Robin kicks off the show with Broncho's "Class Historian," which he describes as the most immediately catchy song he's heard all year. Not to be out-catchied, Bob retaliates with Rubblebucket's "Carousel Ride," from the band's upcoming release Survival Sounds.

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All Songs Considered
9:12 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Song Premiere: An Unlikely Collaboration From Cat Power And Coldplay

Wish I Was Here
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 9:51 am

It seems the unlikeliest of collaborations: Cat Power, a American songwriter and singer who can be quiet and somewhat insular, and Coldplay, now a veteran band from London that is immensely popular, confident and bold. And still, what happens in this recording, the title track for the film Wish I Was Here, feels so right.

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All Songs Considered
9:03 am
Fri July 4, 2014

The Good Listener: On Recommending Songs With Profanity

Cee-Lo.
Matthias Clamer Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside our neighbors' mis-delivered subscription copies of unnerving magazines is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on sharing music that might inadvertently expose someone else's kids to foul language.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Drum Fill Friday: Fourth Of July Edition

Bruce Springsteen belts out his hit song "Born in the USA" before a sellout crowd as he kicks off his 1985 US tour in Washington, DC.
Doug Mills Bettmann/CORBIS

This week we celebrate our nation's independence with drum fills (and one intro) from songs that say "America, we love you!" Some may be more blatantly patriotic than others, but all capture, in some way, the spirit of freedom that unites and binds us.

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All Songs Considered
7:01 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Best Songs Of The Year (So Far) Puzzler

"Vengo" by Ana Tijoux is one of NPR Music's favorite songs of the year (so far).
Courtesy of the artist

The year is half over and that means NPR Music and our public radio partners have been obsessing over our favorite songs of the year so far. The full list of 50 songs makes a potent stew ranging from power pop and brash hip-hop to electro-fueled dance music and intimate portraits from jazz vocalists, classical guitarists and folk troubadours.

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All Songs Considered
12:03 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

New Mix: Bon Iver, White Fence, Luluc, Freddie Gibbs, More

Clockwise from upper left: Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Luluc, Freddie Gibbs, Tim Presley and Ty Segall of White Fence
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:02 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton play new songs from upcoming releases by Bon Iver, Luluc and White Fence and talk with members of the NPR Music team about some of their favorite music from the first half of the year.

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All Songs Considered
9:11 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Song Premiere: Bon Iver Writes A Tune For Zach Braff

The soundtrack album art for the film "Wish I Was Here"
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:51 pm

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All Songs Considered
9:43 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Guess Monday's Mystery Song Premiere

NPR

On Monday at noon we're premiering a brand-new song from an artist we love. Until then, we're leaving you this puzzle to ponder: Who is Monday's Mystery Musician?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Songs Considered
1:03 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of June

Avalon Emerson's remix of Some Ember's "The Thrashing Whip" is one of our favorite tracks of June.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 4:28 pm

Another month means another Recommended Dose from All Songs Considered. We listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks each month, test the standouts on loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix.

You can stream this month's mix here or through NPR Music's SoundCloud account. If you'd rather just hear each song individually, check out the playlist below.

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Good Listener: When Should A 'Washed-Up' Band Pack It In?

Only one member of Quiet Riot remains from its early-'80s heyday — and the founding members are all gone. Does it matter?
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside a $23.95 book of cat cartoons by The Jesus Lizard's David Yow is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on when and whether once-successful musicians should give up.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Mike Kinsella Of Owls

This week's guest Quizmaster, drummer Mike Kinsella (Owls, Joan Of Arc, Owen, American Football)
Connor Feimster Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 6:35 am

This week's guest Quizmaster is Mike Kinsella, the drummer for the bands Owls, Joan Of Arc and Cap'n Jazz and a singer and guitarist in Owen and American Football. When I first took a stab at identifying the fills and intros he selected I was immediately reminded that sometimes this little game can turn me on to some pretty awesome music I hadn't heard before. Maybe that'll be true for you. Good luck, rock stars!

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All Songs Considered
12:35 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

A Catchy Synth-Pop 'Summer Jam' From Grimes

Claire Boucher, aka Grimes
Mac Boucher Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 1:04 pm

Claire Boucher, best known as Grimes, has a new song. It's the first new music we've heard from Grimes since she made a lot of noise with her album Visions in 2012. In a press release, she calls the new song, "Go," which features Michael Diamond, a 22-year-old L.A.

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All Songs Considered
11:24 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Discussion: The Year In Music (So Far), 2014

Top row: Nothing; Middle row, left to right: St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, Sturgill Simpson; Bottom: Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:49 pm

On this week's show, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson to recount their favorite music from the first six months of 2014. They spin the ferocious punk energy of Perfect Pussy, the magnetic vocals of Broken Twin, absurdly catchy electro-pop from Sylvan Esso and much more.

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