All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
2:42 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

New Music: Superchunk, John Vanderslice, Lily & Madeleine, More

Clockwise from upper left: Superchunk, John Vanderslice, Lily & Madeleine, Alpine, Dirty Beaches
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 1:41 pm

We're about to get deep into our "Best Of The Year (So Far)" coverage - and our annual summer music preview. But before we do, we've still got a lot of great music from the first half of 2013 to share. On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton play new releases from some beloved artists who made some amazing records in the '90s, then went on extended breaks.

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All Songs Considered
10:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Viking's Choice: The Menacing Ghosts Of Drone

Kwaidan.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 12:46 pm

Masaki Kobayashi's 1964 film Kwaidan drifts around your brain like a mist of evaporated blood.

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All Songs Considered
3:06 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

What's your Favorite Concert of the Year (So Far)?

The Music Tapes turned the Rock And Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. into a giant circus for this concert on Jan. 13, 2013. The performance was among Bob Boilen's top five favorite shows so far this year.
Bob Boilen

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:57 am

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All Songs Considered
8:47 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Viking's Choice: Locrian Summons The 'Wrath Of Heaven'

Locrian.
Courtesy of the artist

If the wrath of heaven sounds anything like Locrian, then archangel Michael has been digging into the prog-rock bin lately. The loosely Chicago-based trio has always had grand ambition, dissolving and rebuilding the darker sounds of ambient, noise and metal on its own and in several collaborations (Mammifer, Christoph Heeman and Horseback among them). Return to Annihilation continues in that vein, but is far more rhythmic, hypnotic and Popol Vuh-lic.

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All Songs Considered
10:54 am
Thu May 30, 2013

The Good Listener: What's More Important, Lyrics Or Music?

Which is more important: The word "Hallelujah" or music that says "Hallelujah" on its own?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:05 pm

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All Songs Considered
9:19 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Viking's Choice: Back From The Grave, Autopsy Awakens An 'Arch Cadaver'

Autopsy.
Courtesy of the artist

Autopsy just wants to make nasty death metal, okay? No technical this, no frip-frappity-do that, and by the re-animated corpses of hellbound souls, ain't nothing going to change about it. From the late '80s to the mid-'90s, the Bay Area band was an anomaly among speed demons: a chaotic horde given to lurching rhythms, maniacal guitar solos and drummer Chris Reifert's escaped-mental-patient howls.

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All Songs Considered
11:33 am
Tue May 28, 2013

New Music: Boards of Canada, A Sharon Van Etten-Shearwater Duet, Thundercat, More

Clockwise from upper left: Sharon Van Etten, Boards Of Canada, Thundercat, Natasha Kmeto
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:26 pm

Last month the Scottish electronic duo Boards Of Canada released a series of mysterious recordings of a voice reading a set of numbers. Clever fans soon realized that the numbers were a code that, once entered, in order, online, revealed a video announcing Tomorrow's Harvest, the group's first new album in eight years. On this week's All Songs Considered we finally get a preview of the album with a brand new Boards Of Canada song "Reach For The Dead."

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All Songs Considered
11:51 am
Fri May 24, 2013

What Does It Mean To Listen?

Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock uses a massive ear trumpet to really listen.
Wendy Lynch

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 1:00 pm

We got a lot of thoughtful comments and replies from readers this week when we asked whether they really listen to full albums from start to finish. Much of the discussion focused on the ways we listen and what constitutes actually engaging with an entire album in a full-on listening, as opposed to merely having it on.

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All Songs Considered
1:27 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Boards Of Canada Share New Video, Song

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 11:32 pm

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All Songs Considered
10:28 am
Thu May 23, 2013

We Get Mail: What's A Modern Music Snob To Do?

Even music snobs can find some common ground.
Diesel Sweeties

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 10:32 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the booklets of money-saving coupons we use to light kindling in the fireplace is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips for obsessive music fans in an age of instant online gratification.

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All Songs Considered
9:07 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Viking's Choice: The Man, The Machine, The 'Melee'

Author & Punisher styles some serious headgear.
Marilia Maschion Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 7:13 am

Remember the slow-moving, ridiculously armed ED-209 in the first RoboCop movie? The poor thing couldn't walk down a stairwell, but boy, could that machine leave a bloody mess. Author & Punisher does much the same, for both the ears and whatever's left of the body.

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All Songs Considered
11:41 am
Tue May 21, 2013

New Music: Mount Kimbie, Laura Mvula, Jagwar Ma, More

Clockwise from upper left: Mount Kimbie, Laura Mvula, Jagwar Ma, Leah Siegel of Firehorse
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 12:15 pm

This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up a musical sampler of many styles from around the world. There's an upbeat, atmospheric cut with amazing harmonies from the magnetic Laura Mvula, a voice you'll hear a lot more of this year; Firehorse's blazing combination of neo-soul, hip-hop and electronic beats; a heavy, hypnotic track from New York duo Small Multiples and some transfixing psych-pop from Jagwar Ma.

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All Songs Considered
11:08 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Do You Really Listen To Full Albums?

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 7:17 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:16 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Song Premiere: The Understated Allure Of Laurel Halo's 'Sex Mission'

Brooklyn producer Laurel Halo.
Georg Gatas Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:49 pm

Carnal implications abound on "Sex Mission," a new techno track from the Brooklyn-based musician Laurel Halo. There's the not-exactly-subtle title, and the EP from whence it comes is called Behind the Green Door (out May 21), a nod to a ground-breaking porn flick from the 1970s. The music itself throbs like an accelerating heartbeat. A looped grainy sample — "be still" — conjures up an imaginary lover who's about to show you a really good time.

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All Songs Considered
10:28 am
Thu May 16, 2013

We Get Mail: Can You Build The Perfect Cover Song?

It is some sort of crime against humanity that The New Pornographers' members have never gathered to record a cover of Enrique Iglesias' "Escape."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:02 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:34 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

First Watch: Sam Amidon, 'As I Roved'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:30 am

Vermont folksinger Sam Amidon says he intentionally borrowed lines from older songs for his new mountain ballad "As I Roved Out." The result is an erratic narrative, played out brilliantly in an absorbing (and comical) new video about a

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All Songs Considered
11:51 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Do You Have A Favorite Record Label?

Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:13 pm

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All Songs Considered
1:09 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

First Watch: Exitmusic, 'White Noise'

Courtesy of the artist

Exitmusic's Passages was one of 2012's darkest and most arresting ambient rock albums. Now, the band returns with an equally transfixing new video for one of the album's standout tracks, "White Noise."

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All Songs Considered
12:32 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

New Music: Baths, Jim Jarmusch, Sam Phillips, More

Clockwise from upper left: Baths, Daughter, Sam Phillips, The Front Bottoms, SQURL
Courtesy of the artists

We kick this week's show off with a lot of noise from filmmaker (and past guest DJ on All Songs Considered) Jim Jarmusch and his gloriously gritty side project called SQÜRL. The band, with Carter Logan and producer/engineer Shane Stoneback, originally formed to score the 2009 Jarmusch film The Limits Of Control. SQÜRL has a new, self-titled EP coming out this month and we've got a preview cut called "Pink Dust."

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All Songs Considered
12:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

First Watch: Jeri-Jeri With Baaba Maal, 'Gawlo'

Dancer Fatou Mboup during JERI-JERI's video for "Gawlo."
Ndagga

One of my favorite songs last year was a collaboration between a Sengalese drum collective and a German techno producer. The producer, Mark Ernestus traveled to the West African country to work with Jeri-Jeri, a group that plays a popular dance music called mbalax.

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All Songs Considered
1:52 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Prescription To Bang: Listen To Kyle Hall's 'Dr. Crunch'

Kyle "KMFH" Hall.
Jeremy Deputat Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 8:40 pm

Sometimes all you need for a banging dance track is an unstoppable rhythm and a nuanced hook. Tweak the hook every couple bars, don't mess with the beat too much, and you've got a potential stomper on your hands.

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All Songs Considered
10:30 am
Thu May 9, 2013

We Get Mail: How Can A Vinyl Lover Start Over From Scratch?

For fans of vinyl records who regret discarding their collections, it's not too hard to start over.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:03 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the ironic promotional cassingles is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how a regretful fan of vinyl records can re-create her discarded collection.

Kirsten Elbourne Mathieson writes: "I'm big-time regretting getting rid of all of my record albums years ago. Any advice for someone starting from scratch with vinyl after all these years? What albums must be heard on vinyl rather than CD/digital?"

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All Songs Considered
1:29 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

First Watch: Telekinesis, 'Empathetic People'

Scene from the Telekinesis video "Empathetic People."
Courtesy of the artist

In the latest video from Seattle-based pop masters Telekinesis, for the song "Empathetic People," frontman Michael Benjamin Lerner ambles into an abandoned record-pressing factory and gets it running again. It's a curious glimpse into one of the last gasps of industry keeping music tethered to the physical world.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Wed May 8, 2013

First Watch: Gary Clark Jr., 'Numb'

Gary Clark Jr.
Frank Maddocks Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:02 pm

In the seven months since Gary Clark, Jr. released his major label debut, Blak and Blu, he's played for the President at the White House with Mick Jagger and blues legend B.B.

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All Songs Considered
12:33 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

New Music From The Polyphonic Spree, Jon Hopkins, Eleanor Friedberger, More

Clockwise from upper left: Goat, Eleanor Friedberger, The Polyphonic Spree
Courtesy of the artists

This week, All Songs Considered goes big with massive, heart-thumping new music from the gloriously exuberant, sprawling pop group The Polyphonic Spree, and the brilliantly experimental folk-rock band Akron Family. We also check out a gritty album from a Swedish group known as Goat, whose music is part prog-rock, part Afro-pop and undeniably awesome.

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All Songs Considered
10:10 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Viking's Choice: Speedy Ortiz's Sweet And Sour 'Tiger Tank'

Speedy Ortiz.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 4:34 pm

Sadie Dupuis: rock 'n' roll camp counselor, poet, songwriter, snack enthusiast. If you don't already want to be her best friend based on that description, Dupuis' solo-moniker-turned-band Speedy Ortiz captures the nonsensical wit of Stephen Malkmus, but is simultaneously ballsier and more self-deprecating.

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All Songs Considered
5:24 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Song Premiere: Sharon Jones' Explosive 'Retreat'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 5:19 pm

If this song had just the tubular bells at the top and then that Motown guitar riff, I'd have been hooked and happy. But then, along comes Sharon Jones, the brilliant, powerful soul singer, and the song explodes. "Retreat!" is the perfect marriage of singer, song and band. A lot has happened to Sharon Jones and Bushwick's brilliant professors of soul, the Dap-Kings, in the three years since they last recorded. They played the Apollo, the Hollywood Bowl, Sydney Opera House and SXSW. And they've just gotten stronger and stronger.

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All Songs Considered
3:59 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

First Watch: Alpine's Mind-And-Body-Bending 'Gasoline'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:05 pm

A is for Alpine and it's also the name of Alpine's debut album. Alpine is a six-piece ensemble from Australia with an airy sound led by singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James. The group's album, A is for Alpine, has been out in their home since 2012, but it arrives in the U.S. on May 21.

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All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Question Of The Week: Do You Hear Music When You Dream?

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:13 pm

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Mon May 6, 2013

First Watch: The Handsome Family, 'Woodpecker'

Jason Creps, 2013 Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:24 pm

The Handsome Family, the wife and husband duo of Rennie Sparks (vocals, bass and banjo) and Brett Sparks (vocals, guitar and keyboards), love telling stories, and they've been doing it in song for 20 years. A new album, Wilderness, is out May 14, and "Woodpecker," a song from the album, tells a fascinating tale about Mary Sweeney, who, in the 1890's, was known as the Wisconsin Window Smasher.

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