All Songs Considered

We're all gonna die...someday. And if there's mass extinction, what's left of humanity will face nature's wrath, stored in centuries of environmental abuse and neglect. With its second album Litany, Dead to a Dying World plays the soothsayer of the agricultural apocalypse, reaped in a searing and gorgeous vision of crust-punk, doom- and black-metal, with a viola's sorrowful folk melodies stringing it all together.

You can be sad, but you don't have to be whiny. New Orleans' Woozy has a whole lot of feelings, but also a whole lot of not giving a damn. This appears to be the trio's M.O. on Blistered, its debut album after a few EPs and split releases. "Gilding The Lily" sounds like a Rainer Maria 45 spinning off-center; it's wobbly and weird, with a twin-guitar-and-vocal interplay that hesitates and jolts forward without missing a beat.

NPR Music is in Nashville all this week for the 16th annual AmericanaFest. So the newest episode of All Songs Considered offers a big bundle of music from some of the acts who are playing the festival that the team is most excited to see. Before leaving D.C., Bob called up NPR Music's Ann Powers and NPR Music contributor Jewly Hight in Music City to talk about what Americana means, and who its newest and most promising voices are.

What is "T.O.D.D.," anyway? Taft On Double Dare? Totally Ontological Dungeons & Dragons? Totebag Offer, Done Deal? Taylor O))) Drone-Doom? Thurston's On-Deck Disaster? Thanks, ODB Dropped a Deuce?

Singer Sharon Van Etten has turned Donovan's gently strummed acoustic song, "Teen Angel" into a powerful, electrified ballad, with some of the most potent vocals she's ever recorded. The cover, which appears on a new Donovan tribute album, is still relatively spare, yet Van Etten injects it with an extra jolt of heartache and longing as she belts out the chorus.

Watch: Glen Hansard, Live At The World Cafe

Sep 14, 2015

Join World Cafe host David Dye for a live session with singer-songwriter Glen Hansard on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 12:15 p.m. ET. The session will be recorded at WXPN in Philadelphia and webcast live on NPR Music via VuHaus.

Hansard and his band will perform songs from his new album, Didn't He Ramble.

Saying an artist's music is "gaining velocity" usually means it's exploding in popularity; finding a larger (and growing) audience. For the songs of Twin Cities musician Haley Bonar, though, it's literally true. Her musical projects, first solo and now with her band Gramma's Boyfriend, have been increasing in tempo and kick for the duration of her decade-long career.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside a new Wii U game that cost more than our gas bill is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives. This time around: thoughts for parents who seek the mental energy to love music the way they used to.

Bakers know to cut their sweetest confections with salt, to give dimension to that sugary taste. Painters and photographers use shadow to give shape to light. And on her latest single, "Still Your Girl" (from her newest EP, Arrows), the Michigan-born, Nashville-bred singer-songwriter Fleurie (born Lauren Strahm) uses heavy, jarring electronica to turn an airy pop song into something dark and downright luscious.

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.