All Songs Considered

Are you a musician looking to be heard? If so — or even if you're not — give a listen to the first segment of a new series we're calling The Martin Atkins Minute.

Obnox exists in the static bleedthrough of punk and soul music. It's a place where Cleveland's Lamont "Bim" Thomas has spent decades dialing in deep and ripping off the knob in bands like Bassholes and This Moment In Black History. But with Obnox, Thomas lays himself bare in mind-numbing fuzz that doesn't forget the hook's the thing.

The best part of being in a band, says singer/songwriter Jendayi Bonds, is watching a song come to life. The same can be said of watching her band, pop duo Charlie Belle, start on the steep ascent to stardom.

Heavy-metal album artwork can be transportive: You can depend on Paolo Girardi's mangled serpents and Kev Walker's mutant nightmares to guide you to metal mayhem that matches the cover.

This week's show is split much like some of our favorite records: The A-side is loud and fast. The B-side is slow and quiet.

By all accounts, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack was not supposed to be a hit.

What can I say? You caught me in a good mood and I'm feeling generous. This week's Drum Fill Friday is a lowly one out of five stars for difficulty. I'd give it zero stars, but there's one song that I admit not everyone on the planet has probably heard, though they should. I'll leave it to you to decide which one I'm thinking of. And as always, good luck, careful listeners.

Today, on our All Songs +1 podcast, we're doing something a bit different. It's a conversation between two people we love, Sharon Van Etten and Mimi Parker from the band Low, about being a mom and being in a rock band.

PWR BTTM's vowel-less moniker boldly announces its intentions, with the power out front and the silliness below. The name's striking, Google-able, and helps Liv Bruce (drums/vocals) and Ben Hopkins (guitar/vocals) take control of their personal narrative. "As queer people, a lot of our lives are prescribed for us in terms of who we 'can' be in pop culture," Hopskins told Overblown.

Kowloon Walled City's bummer jams are bona fide: Just hit play and proceed to heave your body in sadness. But on its third album, Grievances, the San Francisco noise-rock band isn't always obvious in how it chooses to be heavy.

Rhode Island singer-songwriter Elisa Coia has a room-silencing voice, but she's not afraid of machined gloss. It's the combination of timeless vocal talent and a millennial's ease with technological flourishes that makes this R&B newcomer's latest single, "These Days," take flight.

Maybe the name Ex-Breathers is a punk joke, like how in the '90s every zine and show flyer listed the former members of bands in parenthesis to help y'all keep track of the Page Six punk drama. It's just as well, because three years after their debut album, the Tallahassee punks almost sound like a different band, or at least an evolved one.

A week ago today we launched our new All Songs Considered 24/7 Music Channel as a way to celebrate the show's tenth anniversary. Since then, we've gotten a number of notes from listeners asking about all the different ways they can tune in. Of course, you can hear the stream online and see the songs that are playing, and a list of those that have recently played.

Fifties girl group crooning and echo chamber drums. Sixties wall of sound. Seventies California canyon sway. Eighties laser-sharp production. Nineties alt-country twang. Aughts vocal callbacks from Neko Case to Jenny Lewis to Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the T-shirt we bought to express our love of goats is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This time around: thoughts on side projects.

This is the song Four Tet fans have been waiting for. Almost five months after he premiered it on his BBC Essential Mix, Kieran Hebden officially released "Digital Arpeggios" on Friday via his Percussions alias.

We've been a cat free zone for 15 years here on All Songs Considered, but today, for good reason, we break our rule. It's Friday. I'm in a silly mood, and have been since watching this cat video, which has apparently short-circuited my normal news filter.

Last weekend, thousands of uncommonly refined punks flooded the Estonian town of Rakvere to participate in the third Punk Song Festival (previous gatherings were held in 2008 and 2011).

Toronto singer Lowell makes bubblegum pop — if that bubblegum has been stuck irreverently under a desk, or spit defiantly onto the ground. Her music is sweet, but with an intentional, inseparable grit. Such is the case on her latest release, "Ride," a spiky, MIA-adjacent summer anthem featuring Swedish electropop stars Icona Pop. As with prior singles from both Lowell and Icona Pop, "Ride" is as much a mission statement as it is a pop song.

This fall is stacked with highly anticipated new albums from some of the brightest names in music. We're going to celebrate September's bounty with a pair of back-to-back First Listen Live concerts in NYC with the bands The Arcs and Beirut.

The dance music that moves us in these waning days of summer often does so in minuscule ways. Maybe it has something to do with the merciless mercury levels, but a good portion of our Recommended Dose mix for August doesn't require the flailing of arms and legs. Your brain, however, should be mightily entertained.

The tracklisting includes new music from underground star Joy Orbison, space disco from Japan, ambient beats from Paris, electro from England and a meditative warehouse juggernaut from Belgium.

In her autobiography, 14th century nun and Spanish mystic Teresa of Ávila wrote of her encounter with an angel that thrust a "long spear of gold" into her heart: "The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.

BOOTS is the most interesting new artist I've heard in 2015. You may have first encountered him writing and producing songs on Beyoncé's self-titled 2013 album. Earlier this year we premiered BOOTS' self-directed engaging short film/music video Motorcycle Jesus, complete with five brand new songs: his own songs.

Twenty years ago this week, Microsoft introduced its Windows 95 operating system on CD-ROM. One of the legacies of the operating system was its dreamy startup music, composed by legendary producer Brian Eno and titled "The Microsoft Sound." It lasts six seconds.

This week's episode of All Songs Considered is a journey of sound. Bob has a new favorite noise app, so he and Robin Hilton go on a sonic expedition that includes a spring walk, a gaggle of purring kittens, and a rolling rain storm (thunder optional). As if kittens weren't enough, Bob and Robin also have six new songs to share, including a British band, a Scandinavian band that sounds British, and an American band that sounds Scandinavian.

Bikini Kill, the feminist punk band at the forefront of the '90s riot grrrl movement, are about to reissue something few people have heard. The group's very first demo, Revolution Girl Style Now, is coming out not only in its original cassette format, but also on CD, vinyl, and digital formats.

This week's Drum Fill Friday comes courtesy of Shaun Fleming, drummer for Foxygen and frontman for the band Diane Coffee. Fleming has an unabashed love of late-'60s psychedelic rock and pop, and you can hear as much in the fills he picked here. But he also threw in a few surprises from the '70s and '80s. I'd give it three out of five stars for difficulty.

This week Atlanta band Deerhunter announced its forthcoming seventh album, Fading Frontier, and released its first single and video, the swaggering "Snakeskin." The new album is a polished, propulsive turn for the group, fronted by eccentric and charismatic lead singer Bradford Cox.

Opposites attract in songs by siblings Tyler and Maggie Heath, who perform as the folk duo The Oh Hellos. Their instrumentation and singing are exuberant, just this side of ecstatic, even though their lyrics deal with wandering, grief and regret.

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