All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
7:51 am
Thu April 4, 2013

First Watch: Junip, "Your Life, Your Call"

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 8:40 am

I love the crazy surprises you get when two or more artists get together and turn their creative ideas over to one another. When the band Junip wrote the song "Your Life, Your Call," frontman Jos茅 Gonz谩lez says, it was meant to be an unambiguous meditation on growing up, moving on and taking responsibility for your life. But in the hands of video director Mikel Cee Karlsson, the song, from Junip's new self-titled album, takes on a whole new (and disturbing) meaning.

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All Songs Considered
1:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Your Picks For The Best Headphones

 

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:59 am

We got a lot of great suggestions when we asked readers to tell us their picks for the perfect pair of headphones last week. We also learned a lot. For example, you all know way more about this than I do.

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All Songs Considered
11:17 am
Tue April 2, 2013

A Song About Sex, Redemption For A James Brown Impersonator, And A Major Heartbreaker

Clockwise from upper left: Olof Arnalds, Keaton Henson, Karl Bartos and Charles Bradley
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:12 pm

This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton go on a haphazard musical journey across the globe to share their favorite new discoveries. Manchester's The 1975 start things off with the band's punchy song called "Sex." Then we head to Brooklyn for soul singer Charles Bradley, who keeps things heated with "You Put The Flame On It," a track from his upcoming album Victim Of Love.

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All Songs Considered
11:17 am
Tue April 2, 2013

First Watch: Keaton Henson, 'You'

Courtesy of the artist

The Keaton Henson who appears on the new album Birthdays is an avowed hermit with a profoundly broken heart. He also has one of the most beautiful voices I've heard. The 24 year-old singer from London, who says he rarely leaves his bedroom, bares his wrecked emotional remains in an arresting new video for the song "You."

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All Songs Considered
11:27 am
Mon April 1, 2013

How To Never Miss Another Concert

Don't miss Merchandise in your town ever again.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 11:11 am

I love live music. But figuring out who's coming to town and when and where isn't so easy. I could go to every club's website to compile a list of upcoming shows, but that'd be cumbersome. Newspaper listing are often incomplete, don't look ahead and certainly don't filter or highlight who's in town based on my musical tastes.

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All Songs Considered
11:47 am
Fri March 29, 2013

First Watch: Efterklang, "The Ghost"

Courtesy of Efterklang

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 12:13 pm

"The video has a puzzle structure: the whole story progressively makes sense to the viewer as minutes go by."

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All Songs Considered
2:25 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

10 Great Album Art Fake-Outs

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 10:54 am

This week, the Strokes put out the new album Comedown Machine, the band's fifth collection of wiry, tightly-produced throwback rock.

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All Songs Considered
1:28 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

VH脰L Runs Off The Rails, 'Insane With Faith'

VH脰L is (left to right) Sigrid Sheie, John Cobbett, Mike Scheidt and Aesop Dekker.
Sarah Brady Courtesy of the artist

Let's get this out of the way: VH脰L includes members of bands that have put out some of my favorite metal albums of the last few years. Guitarist John Cobbett and bassist Sigrid Sheie are in Hammers of Misfortune, Mike Scheidt fronts YOB, and Aesop Dekker drums for Agalloch (among many other bands).

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Thu March 28, 2013

We Get Mail: The Power Of Pulling The Plug

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 12:13 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:03 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Ashley Paul Incites A Microscopic Riot On 'Watch Them Pass'

Ashley Paul.
Courtesy of the artist

Even in still moments, particles incite microscopic riots. Brooklyn-via-Boston composer and multi-instrumentalist Ashley Paul is used to making a huge racket, most regularly with her husband Eli Keszler. On her Line the Clouds, there's tension in patience as she navigates a singer-songwriter's reactions.

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All Songs Considered
9:52 am
Wed March 27, 2013

First Watch: Phosphorescent, 'Song For Zula'

Courtesy of the artist

The brand new video for Phosphorescent's "Song For Zula," from the band's sixth album, Muchacho, forgoes a literal illustration of song's heartbroken story for something more allegorical. In a single slow-motion tracking shot, the camera approaches a distant figure dressed in rags, bashing at chains that hold her to the ground.

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All Songs Considered
11:07 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Is The Perfect Pair Of Headphones?

An American zoo tried experiments of playing music to animals to see if it subdued them.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 12:17 pm

I've been buying headphones for 30 years now, have owned more they I can possibly remember and still haven't found the perfect pair. I must chew through one or two sets a year in a never-ending, desperate (and futile) search to find the right acoustics, feel and functionality. I've tried in-ear buds, over-the-ear hooks, full-sized cans and wireless. Some sound great but fit horribly. Or the fit is perfect but the sound too tinny, or the controls don't quite work. The truth is, I hate headphones, especially because I hate being tethered to my stereo. It's like wearing a leash.

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All Songs Considered
8:51 am
Tue March 26, 2013

New Mix: Vampire Weekend, Savages, Giant Drag, Eluvium And More

Clockwise from upper left: Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass of Boy, Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, Vampire Weekend, Annie Hardy of Giant Drag
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 11:19 am

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share some final discoveries from this year's South by Southwest music festival, including the British noise-rock group Savages and Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass, the Swiss-German pop pair that records and performs as Boy.

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All Songs Considered
10:13 am
Fri March 22, 2013

New Sigur R贸s, New Direction? Watch The Video For 'Brennisteinn'

Lygia Clark's cover art for Sigur R贸s' forthcoming album, Kveikur.
Lygia Clark Courtesy of the artist

This is the most exciting new Sigur R贸s song I've heard in a long time, and I love the band's music. "Brennisteinn" (sulfur) is a remarkably aggressive piece of music for musicians who can sound so ethereal: Dreamy elements remain, but they provide an underpinning rather than driving the pulse of the song.

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All Songs Considered
9:35 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Song Premiere: John Grant, 'It Doesn't Matter To Him'

Horour Sveinsson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 12:00 pm

Some songwriters are so adept at capturing the mess and miracle of everyday emotion that their work resonates as exceptionally truthful. John Grant is one of those. In recent years, the 44-year-old former frontman for Colorado rock band the Czars has produced two exceptional collections of funny, brutal, nuanced songs 鈥 2010's collaboration with the band Midlake, Queen of Denmark, and now Pale Green Ghosts, which will be released in the U.S. on May 14.

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All Songs Considered
2:13 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Song Premiere: Paperhaus, "Helicopters"

Courtesy of the Artist

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 2:42 pm

The musicians in Paperhaus live in my hometown of Washington, D.C., so I've seen this dynamic band more than a few times. In fact, they put on some of the best house concerts in the city, over a hundred of them at their own venue, also called the Paperhaus, so I've seen them both in clubs and their intimate living room.

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All Songs Considered
10:59 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Electronic Edition: James Blake And Brian Eno, DJ Koze, Bonobo, More

Clockwise from upper left: Joker, Bonobo, James Blake, DJ Koze, Julio Bashmore
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 7:21 am

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All Songs Considered
11:44 am
Mon March 18, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Five Highlights

50 years after the band was founded, The Zombies still count as a discovery for many attendees of SXSW. Here, Rod Argent (left) and Jim Rodford play to a warm reception on the festival's final night at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas.
Sean Mathis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:34 am

As the 2013 South by Southwest festival was winding to a noisy end 鈥 sirens, car horns and even a helicopter passed could be heard on the streets of Austin, Texas 鈥 there were plenty of smaller, quieter moments worth singling out. On the festival's final night, the All Songs Considered gang gathered to talk about what they saw, heard and felt during their last few hours in Austin.

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All Songs Considered
3:05 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Five In Photos

Earl Sweatshirt performs at SXSW 2013.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 3:59 pm

It's the last day of SXSW and now it's time to go on that smoothie detox to cleanse five days worth of BBQ, beer and breakfast tacos.

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All Songs Considered
3:29 pm
Sat March 16, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Four In Photos

Solange performs at Stubb's.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 4:44 pm

You can depend on Solange to be the best dressed anywhere 鈥 that pink suit! 鈥 but her commanding live presence at SXSW is a thing of wonder, even if her funky R&B can be quiet and unassuming. We also took in the crushing doom metal of Batillus, spazzed out to Metz, and got gloomy with Diamond Rings.

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All Songs Considered
11:13 am
Sat March 16, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Four Highlights

Noise-rock band KEN mode pummeling Red 7 at SXSW 2013.
Mike Katzif WNYC

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:32 am

"If you want to do something, just do it." Words of wisdom from Bob Boilen that sum up day four of South By Southwest for the All Songs Considered gang perfectly. Bob, along with Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers were joined by Mike Katzif and Will Butler, both former All Songs interns. Will's journey to Austin was inspired by Amanda Palmer's recent TED Talk.

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All Songs Considered
12:11 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Three In Photos

Ecstatic Cafe Tacvba fans at Alt.Latino's SXSW showcase at Auditorium Shores.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 1:02 pm

隆Viva! Alt.Latino presented a killer showcase from Auditorium Shores with Cafe Tacvba and Bajofondo on Thursday.

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All Songs Considered
8:28 am
Fri March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Three Highlights

The Flaming Lips on stage at the Belmont in Austin, Texas. The band played its 2002 album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Jordan Naylor Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:30 am

The span of South by Southwest is so huge that sometimes the festival can be about the bands you miss as much as the ones you see. After the hectic Thursday on the streets, bars and venues of Austin, Texas, the All Songs Considered crew regrouped to recount the long walks, long lines, tough decisions, missed opportunities and happy accidents of day three.

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All Songs Considered
4:30 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Two In Photos

Sky Ferreira plays The Fader Fort at SXSW 2013.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Before our eyes were glued to stellar performances by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at our official SXSW showcase on Tuesday 鈥 not too mention rapper Le1f's amazing dance moves 鈥 we roamed the streets of Austin.

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All Songs Considered
8:26 am
Thu March 14, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day Two Highlights

Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O lights up the night at Stubb's during NPR Music's SXSW showcase.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:28 am

For the All Songs Considered gang, the second day of the South By Southwest music festival was packed with familiar favorites and new discoveries. On the heels of NPR Music's SXSW Showcase at Stubb's, Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers once again huddled in their favorite Austin churchyard to discuss the standouts and surprises from the day.

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All Songs Considered
2:50 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Baby Bands, Pop Stars And Room-Filling Joy: What To Expect At SXSW 2013

Twin Horns Of Joy? Members of the band The Bottom Dollars play on the street in Austin, Texas, during the opening night of the South by Southwest music festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 7:55 am

Listen to Stephen Thompson's conversation with Audie Cornish on All Things Considered by clicking the audio link.


The South by Southwest music festival kicked off Tuesday with the first of five straight nights of music overload: The clubs, makeshift music venues and front porches of Austin, Texas, were overrun with little-known discoveries-in-waiting and big names alike, as well as tens of thousands of fans who have flocked to the city in search of epiphanies.

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All Songs Considered
12:02 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day One In Photos

A member of Beach Fossils jumps into the crowd at The Mohawk.
Adam Kissick for NPR

What do Best Coast, Boba Fett, Beach Fossils and street yogis have in common? They were among the many artists and fans who came for the first day of South by Southwest. See a gallery of photos by Adam Kissick here and follow us on Flickr for much, much more.

All Songs Considered
8:26 am
Wed March 13, 2013

SXSW 2013: Day One Highlights

Jim James onstage during the opening night of the 2013 SXSW Music festival in Austin, Texas.
Rita Quinn Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:11 am

The All Songs Considered gang has made their way to Austin, Texas for this year's South By Southwest music festival. The five day event, which showcases performances by over 1500 bands and artists, takes over the city, and this year officially starts one day earlier than in the past 鈥 Tuesday night.

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All Songs Considered
8:16 am
Mon March 11, 2013

SXSW 2013 Music Preview

Clockwise from upper left: Shakey Graves, Skewby, Hannah Georgas, Hiatus Kaiyote, Air Review, K-X-P
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:07 pm

It's that time of year again! All Songs Considered is headed on another musical trek to Austin for this year's South By Southwest festival. Before hitting the road we listened to songs from more than a thousand bands scheduled to play the festival, in search of some great new discoveries. On this edition of the show hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, NPR Music editor Stephen Thompson and NPR Music critic Ann Powers come together to share some of what they found, and talk about the bands they're most excited to see.

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All Songs Considered
8:16 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Time To Shake: Clutch's Earth-Rocking One-Two Punch

Clutch.
Dirk Behlau Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 2:34 pm

There's a statement of intent in the sequence of an album's opening one-two punch. There's Harvey Milk's The Pleaser, a title reversal of set 'em up ("Down") and knock 'em down ("Get It Up & Get It On").

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