All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
7:31 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Song Premiere: Generationals, 'Black Lemon'

The Generationals fourth album 'Alix'
Akasha Rabut Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:14 am

As the end of summer nears, here's one more bouncy tune to carry you into fall. "Black Lemon," by Generationals, two former high school buddies Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, mixes marimba-based jolliness and lyrics tinged with darkness. It looks at life's ties that bind and searches for ways to chill and not fight every battle.

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All Songs Considered
9:58 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Guest Host Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson.
Michael Jackson Courtesy of the artist

Drummer and bandleader Matt Wilson is one of jazz's most sought-after players; he's recorded on over 250 albums, not including those of his own three current bands. He's one of the music's great optimists as well, whose energy and good humor (on or off the drum stool) serves him well as a teacher, public radio host or general ambassador. His latest recording, Gathering Call, came out early this year.

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All Songs Considered
8:36 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Viking's Choice: Accept, 'Final Journey'

Accept.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:15 am

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All Songs Considered
10:10 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Guest DJ Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson
Courtesy of the artist

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Song Premiere: Stars, 'From The Night'

Stars' new album, No One Is Lost, comes out Oct. 14.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:15 am

Stars' music has assumed many forms, from shimmery power-pop to full-throttle dance-floor fillers to doomy ballads about death and romantic dissolution. Throughout the Montreal band's seven-album history, the recurring thread has mostly been songs that reflect some sort of conflict, whether singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell are viewing breakups from every angle or musing on death itself.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Sat August 9, 2014

The Good Listener: How Much Is Too Much To Pay For A Concert T-Shirt?

"Ooh, Love Horse, definitely one of those. Wait, forty dollars?!"
iStockphoto

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the promotional Pop Rocks we're consuming as noisily as possible is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on what we should feel comfortable spending on T-shirts at live shows.

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All Songs Considered
10:13 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Song Premiere: Electric Würms, 'I Could Only See Clouds'

Electric Wurms
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:16 am

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne and secret weapon Steven Drozd are back with another song from their side project Electric Würms. The polyrhythmic, prog-rock space jam "I Could Only See Clouds" is from the band's upcoming debut album Musik, Die Shwer Zu Twerk, which roughly translates to "Music That's Hard To Twerk To."

Coyne, who normally fronts Flaming Lips, plays bass with Electric Würms, while Drozd takes lead on vocals, guitars and keys. The Nashville-based psych-rock band Linear Downfall provides backup.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Drum Fill Friday: Classical Headbanging Edition

John Bonham of Led Zeppelin at the Los Angeles-area Inglewood Forum in 1973.
Jeffrey Mayer WireImage

Sooner or later it had to happen — an all-classical Drum Fill Friday. This week's puzzler proves that the world of Beethoven, Stravinsky and Bartók can serve up beats as thunderous as any double drummer metal band.

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All Songs Considered
1:47 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

New Mix: Foxygen, Lily & Madeleine, Porter Robinson, More

Clockwise from upper left: Lily & Madeleine, Porter Robinson, Fat White Family, Adia Victoria, Foxygen.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 10:18 am

On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, who kicks off the show with a premiere from the folk-pop sibling duo Lily & Madeleine. "The Wolf Is Free," which will appear on the duo's second album, Fumes, highlights the sisters' subtle harmonies.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Fri August 1, 2014

The Good Listener: Why Do Band Photos Look Like That, Anyway?

Banjo! Exposed brick! Open sky! Still, Mumford and Sons, you could use some hay bales...
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the Archer paraphernalia we bought at Comic-Con and shipped to ourselves is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on musicians' publicity photos.

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All Songs Considered
5:53 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Guest Quizmaster Matt Sokol Of Spillway

Guest Quizmaster Matt Sokol is the drummer for the Connecticut-based rock band Spillway.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:57 am

The drum fills and intros for this week's puzzler have something in common. In addition to being selected by Spillway drummer Matt Sokol, they're all performed by open-handed drummers. This means they play the hi-hat cymbal with their left hand, while their right hand plays the snare. (Most drummers cross their right hand over their left to play the hi-hat). If you're up on your open-handed drummers (Matt Sokol is an open-handed drummer himself), this week's puzzler will be a breeze! If not, well ... you might find some of these to be pretty challenging. Good luck, fellow fillers!

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All Songs Considered
12:03 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Recommended Dose: The Best Dance Tracks Of July

Kyle Hall's "Our Love" is one of his finest productions to date.
Karl Mathias

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 3:10 pm

Each month, we listen to hundreds of new electronic music tracks, test the standouts on loud speakers and highlight the best of the best in a 30-minute mix. And we're particularly excited about what we heard during July — it was tough to narrow this list down to six songs.

You can stream this month's mix here or through NPR Music's SoundCloud account. If you'd rather just hear each song individually, check out the playlist below.

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All Songs Considered
1:22 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

New Mix: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Join Fences, Plus Zola Jesus, Sun Kil Moon, More

Clockwise from upper left: Fences (aka Christopher Mansfield) and Macklemore, Zola Jesus, Spider Bags, Sun Kil Moon, Frazey Ford
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:15 pm

Just off the train from the Newport Folk Festival, Bob Boilen jumps at the chance to share a song by The Oh Hellos, his favorite discovery of the weekend. On "The Valley," the Texas band thunders and strums its way to a glorious sing-along chorus. Robin Hilton follows that with a premiere from Frazey Ford, whose soulful voice reinforces the celebratory mood of "September Fields."

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All Songs Considered
12:25 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Newport Folk 2014 In Photos

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 8:41 am

NPR Music photographer Adam Kissick was busier than a line chef at a Newport seafood stand last weekend at the town's world famous Folk Festival. Over three days, he shot more than 50 different bands — from Anais Mitchell to Valerie June — while constantly running back and forth between stages.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Horse Feathers, 'Violently Wild'

Horse Feathers.
John Clark Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 8:38 am

Describing Horse Feathers almost inevitably diminishes the band's music: "Let's see, the lead singer has a beard and a soft voice, and he plays the acoustic guitar, and there's a string section. Oh, and they're from Portland, of course." All those identifying details hold true, and yet Horse Feathers' music never feels slight or ineffectual.

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All Songs Considered
8:05 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Interpol's Sam Fogarino

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:45 am

This week's guest Quizmaster is Sam Fogarino, drummer for the band Interpol. The group is set to release its latest album, El Pintor, in September. It's Interpol's first new record since 2010's self-titled release. Can you identify the songs he selected from just a few seconds of drumming?

As always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Viking's Choice: Witch Mountain, 'Psycho Animundi'

Witch Mountain.
Marne Lucas Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 12:18 pm

For a band that went into hiding for a decade, Witch Mountain sure has made up for lost time.

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All Songs Considered
9:04 am
Tue July 22, 2014

New Mix: The Rentals, Perfume Genius, The Bots, Zammuto

Clockwise from upper left: The Bots, Perfume Genius, Zammuto, The Rentals
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 8:17 am

We kick off this week's episode of All Songs Considered with the sludgy, shoegaze-y sounds of Whirr, a band started by Nick Bassett, bassist for one of co-host Robin Hilton's favorite acts of 2014, Nothing. We follow up with a new track from The Bots, two young brothers from L.A. whose "All I Really Want" is a two-minute sugar rush of high-powered pop-punk.

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Song Premiere: Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), 'A Keepsake'

Keith (left) and Cathy Latinen of Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate), being adorable with that dog.
D. McNelly Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:17 am

If emo has cheerleaders, they're Keith and Cathy Latinen. Since 2007, the Michigan-based husband and wife have tirelessly run the Count Your Lucky Stars label during a time when the genre didn't have many vocal supporters. Many of its releases have inspired bands in the now-thriving young scene to take up the '90s Midwest emo sound and do what they will.

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All Songs Considered
11:02 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Viking's Choice: Sleep, 'The Clarity'

Artwork for Sleep's "The Clarity," the band's first new material in 20 years.
Courtesy of Adult Swim

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:19 am

It's been 20 years since the stoner-metal caravan Sleep wrote Dopesmoker, a 63-minute track based on a single riff and dedicated to the mighty spliff. Unfortunately, it took three labels and a span of 16 years to release it as intended.

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All Songs Considered
6:53 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, For July 18

This week's puzzler for careful listeners has a little something for everyone, from jazz and classic rock, to punk and thrashing metal. It also features several fills listeners suggested from previous puzzlers. So, as always, if you know a fill (or intro) or drummer you'd love to see featured in this game, let us know in the comments section, or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday. Good luck, heroes!

All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri July 18, 2014

NPR Music Returns For 2014's Newport Folk Festival

Hurray For The Riff Raff performed at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival — and makes a return engagement this year.
Meagan Beauchemin NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 9:39 am

The Newport Folk Festival has been around for more than half a century now — this is its 55th year, to be exact — and the event now routinely sells out months before its lineup is even announced. And why shouldn't it?

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All Songs Considered
9:59 am
Tue July 15, 2014

New Mix: Robert Plant, Jeff Tweedy, Sarah Jaffe, Sinkane, The Bug, More

Clockwise from upper left: Robert Plant, a young Jeff Tweedy, Sinkane, Sarah Jaffe, The Juan MacLean.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:33 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob kicks off the show with The Juan MacLean's "A Place Called Space," an ecstatic dance-rock number from the group's upcoming album In A Dream. Seeking to find a subdued yin to Bob's euphoric yang, Robin premieres London producer The Bug's "Void," the opening track to his upcoming album Angels and Devils.

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Sat July 12, 2014

The Good Listener: Has The Term 'Indie Rock' Lost All Meaning?

If Arcade Fire sells gold and wins a Grammy for Album of the Year, is it still outside the mainstream?
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the flyers that either wildly underestimate or wildly overestimate our credit-worthiness is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on what constitutes "indie rock" in 2014.

Antfitgodd writes via Facebook: "The term 'indie' has been subsumed by major labels, whose acts often try to mimic indie-rock sensibilities — which changes what it means to play music that is not bland Top 40 drivel. Do you think 'indie rock' as a genre is dead?"

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All Songs Considered
8:55 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Eternal Summers' Daniel Cundiff

Daniel Cundiff, drummer for the Roanoke rock band Eternal Summers, working up a sweat during a live performance.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:46 am

This week's drum fill puzzler comes courtesy of guest Quizmaster Daniel Cundiff, percussionist for the Roanoke rock band Eternal Summers. The band's latest album is The Drop Beneath.

For Drum Fill Friday, Daniel picked cuts by some of the artists who've influenced his own work over the years, from smooth jazz to new wave and noise rock. Good luck, heroes!

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All Songs Considered
8:59 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Song Premiere: Steve Gunn, 'Milly's Garden'

Steve Gunn will release his new album, Way Out Weather, in October.
Constance Mensh Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 9:23 am

Steve Gunn's Time Off was one of 2013's most unfairly overlooked records. The guitarist blends the traditional and the avant-garde, fusing the sounds of John Fahey, The Grateful Dead and Will Oldham into back-porch masterpieces. Time Off is the kind of album that can suck the energy out of any room — in a good way.

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All Songs Considered
12:58 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

New Mix: Cat Power With Coldplay, Brian Eno, Broncho, The Wytches, More

Top row, left to right: Brian Eno and Karl Hyde, Cat Power; Middle row: The Wytches, Chris Martin of Coldplay; Bottom row: Broncho.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:44 am

On this week's All Songs Considered: After some speculation on Pink Floyd's just-announced album The Endless River, Robin kicks off the show with Broncho's "Class Historian," which he describes as the most immediately catchy song he's heard all year. Not to be out-catchied, Bob retaliates with Rubblebucket's "Carousel Ride," from the band's upcoming release Survival Sounds.

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All Songs Considered
9:12 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Song Premiere: An Unlikely Collaboration From Cat Power And Coldplay

Wish I Was Here
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:18 am

It seems the unlikeliest of collaborations: Cat Power, a American songwriter and singer who can be quiet and somewhat insular, and Coldplay, now a veteran band from London that is immensely popular, confident and bold. And still, what happens in this recording, the title track for the film Wish I Was Here, feels so right.

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All Songs Considered
9:03 am
Fri July 4, 2014

The Good Listener: On Recommending Songs With Profanity

Cee-Lo.
Matthias Clamer Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside our neighbors' mis-delivered subscription copies of unnerving magazines is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on sharing music that might inadvertently expose someone else's kids to foul language.

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All Songs Considered
5:03 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Drum Fill Friday: Fourth Of July Edition

Bruce Springsteen belts out his hit song "Born in the USA" before a sellout crowd as he kicks off his 1985 US tour in Washington, DC.
Doug Mills Bettmann/CORBIS

This week we celebrate our nation's independence with drum fills (and one intro) from songs that say "America, we love you!" Some may be more blatantly patriotic than others, but all capture, in some way, the spirit of freedom that unites and binds us.

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