KTEP - El Paso, Texas

All Songs Considered

If you stare into darkness long enough, your eyes adjust to the hidden corners, and begin to understand that whatever lurks was always there... waiting. Azar Swan's first two albums roamed in these corners of industrial-pop, inspired by Coil and Front Line Assembly, hypnotic in bleak and cutting electronics co-produced by Joshua Strawn and Zohra Atash, whose breathy-but-forceful vocals center the duo's music.

Pinegrove's Cardinal was a messy and charming debut that felt with exacting detail. There's a sense of restlessness in it, run through the twinkly pangs of emo-twang. Go to any live show, or just watch the band's Tiny Desk Concert, and the crowd's sing-alongs are more than just mouthing to their favorite songs — it's living them.

Join KEXP as the Seattle public radio station returns to the land of fire and ice, broadcasting live from KEX Hostel (no, that's not a typo) in Reykjavik for the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival.

KEXP's international broadcast featured 16 exclusive performances live on air from Nov. 2 to 5. Sets from all days were streamed with live video on KEXP's Facebook page. Click on the names of the artists below to view the performances.


Tuesday, Oct. 31

Guest DJ: Weaves

Nov 1, 2017

Glen Hansard's seen it all: decades of cult fame with the Irish rock band The Frames, movie appearances in Once and The Commitments, and even an Academy Award for "Falling Slowly," the signature ballad he recorded with his Swell Season partner, Marketa Irglova.

Marisa Anderson doesn't just play guitar — she sinks into bends and lingers over melodies, knowing when to light a fire under her fingers and when to wind like a creek. In 2013, she caught my ear for the first time with a pair of records — the raw and dusty Mercury, and the functionally-titled Traditional And Public Domain Songs.

"Happy Halloween, you pagans."

Skepta has surprised fans with the Vicious EP, just in time for Halloween. The project — independently released on Boy Better Know, the label he co-owns with his brother and fellow grime star Jme — popped up on streaming services today (Oct. 31).

Here is one of the seminal underground records of the late 1960s: The band is Pearls Before Swine, and the album is called One Nation Underground.

When we last left Godflesh, the mecha-mutants of industrial metal had returned after more than a decade with 2014's devastatingly nasty A World Lit Only By Fire. It was one of those reunion albums that wasn't only better than it should've been, but a reclamation and reinvention for Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green.

Just shy of a month after Nicki Minaj complimented her fellow female artist on reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart — a feat Minaj herself has yet to accomplish — it appears the Queens rapper has made her co-sign of the Bronx-bred Cardi B official.

Loving pop music means loving all pop music, or at least our ambiguous modern definition of it. For every "Teenage Dream" there's a "Call Your Girlfriend," for every "Safety Dance," there's a "Cloudbusting" – it's all in the same breath, both exploding and refining sugar in a space that is made for everyone, even if we don't always agree on its refinement.

We have, nearly five years after the debut release of Woman, new music from Rhye and word of a new album, due next year on Loma Vista. (Given the recent tour announcement that has them hitting the road in February, it's probably safe to say that the album will come not too long after the new year.)

A singer, rapper, poet, author, speaker and all-around mogul, Dessa can be forgiven for waiting three-plus years (and counting) to follow 2014's excellent Parts of Speech.

Weezer has never quite made the same album twice. Over 25 years of making music and nearly a dozen releases, guitar rock has remained the band's core sound. But the moods and narratives, the production and frontman Rivers Cuomo's singing style have all shifted so dramatically with each album that it's sometimes hard for some fans to make sense of it.

What song terrifies you? A few years ago, we asked our listeners to answer that question, and enshrined the feedback in a playlist. This year, we again besought you to help us DJ the most wicked Halloween party this side of the underworld by adding your picks for the freakiest songs of all time.

Ex-squeeze me? A-baking powder? Brian Eno and My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields have collaborated on a new track together (for Adult Swim's Singles Program)? It's nine minutes rising seismic euphoria, blasted through the center of a black sun, its horizon bent beyond all logic? Am I alive? Am I dreaming? Don't wake me up.

Gaelynn Lea is a violinist, a public speaker and an advocate for people with disabilities. She was born with brittle bone disease and that shapes the way she plays the violin, holding it upright, more like a cello than the traditional method under the chin.

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.

Songs We Love: Porches, 'Find Me'

Oct 24, 2017

When Margo Price wailed, "Let's go back to Tennessee," on her 2016 breakthrough album Midwest Farmer's Daughter, she meant more than her current home town of Nashville. The queen of East Nashville has a long relationship with Memphis, forged through collaboration with producer Matt Ross-Spang, one of the young movers and shakers who's helping put that other mid-South music capitol and its classic studios back on the recording map.

Anna St. Louis' fingerpicked patterns wander through John Fahey and Elizabeth Cotten fields, her voice soft and warm; tall grass in a long day's sun. Her debut solo release, First Songs, looks to '60s folk, but the L.A.-based singer-songwriter comes from Kansas City punk and the Philly art scene. Both her background and shifting locales are reminder that what we often call familiar — especially in regards to musical style — is almost always a collection of experiences. There's rarely a singular moment informing it all.

Shortly before midnight Thursday, Atlanta trap provocateurs Future and Young Thug, coated the world with the surprise release of their collaborative mixtape, Super Slimey.

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