All Songs Considered

All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Viking's Choice: Acoustic Swagger Exists, And Ryley Walker Has It

Ryley Walker.
Michael Vallera Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:46 pm

Sometimes, friends of friends are the best way to discover new music. Or, at the very least, friends of artists you never want to miss live. This was the case with Ryley Walker, a close friend and frequent tour buddy of American Primitive guitarist Daniel Bachman. Walker would accompany Bachman in seriously raucous and psychedelic live sets only a couple years ago, and Bachman would tell me, "Just wait 'til you hear Ryley's stuff." Well, now it's here — and it's not at all what I expected.

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All Songs Considered
1:23 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Linda Thompson, 'It Won't Be Long Now'

Video for Linda Thompson's "It Won't Be Long Now."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:53 am

After five decades of singing, Linda Thompson is still one of the best voices in folk music. Her tone is alluring, sometimes mournful, and always passionate. Her story is unlike anyone else's, beginning in England during the 1960s, and continuing with her marriage to Richard Thompson, when she recorded my favorite British folk albums ever, including 1975's Pour Down Like Silver.

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All Songs Considered
10:54 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Viking's Choice: Channel-Surf In Hell With Roomrunner

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:54 pm

There's something blurrily manic about cable television at 3 in the morning. Ren & Stimpy reruns feel oddly prescient next to personal-hygiene infomercials, while the swimsuit models on Baywatch and horror B-movies start to bleed together. (Not that I spent four months after college graduation in that "OMG I don't know what to do with my life" catatonic state, flipping channels and making runs to Krystal's.) The production team behind Roomrunner's video for the oddly hooky thrasher "Wojtek" has been there, and makes our all channel-surfing nightmares come true.

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All Songs Considered
1:01 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

The Good Listener: How Do You Get Your Parents Into New Music?

You don't need to attend Foreigner concerts in 2013 to bond with your parents over music.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the packages our kids discard in disgust for not including the new Pokemon 3DS games is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips on inter-generational bonding over music.

Jake Ibey writes via Facebook: "How do you introduce new music to a parent (mid-50s) who is stuck in late-'70s rock mode?"

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Song Premiere: Christopher Denny, My Morning Jacket's 'Bermuda Highway'

Timothy S. Griffin Courtesy of the artist

Five years ago, a listener looking for a lonesome song anywhere near Arkansas might have heard a voice she still can't forget. Christopher Denny was 23 when he released Age Old Hunger, introducing the world to a high Southern warble that doesn't defy gravity so much as play with the tension that force creates – an androgynous, time-jumping instrument. Denny was learning to control his singing then, a process he says is more about instinct than craft. "I have to say...

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All Songs Considered
10:16 am
Wed October 9, 2013

So Pusha T, Omar Souleyman And Cults Walk Into A Bar...

Meet our lineup for the next NPR Music Presents webcast: Pusha T, Omar Souleyman and Cults.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:01 pm

NPR Music is throwing a party in New York next Wednesday, Oct. 16, with some phenomenal live music and we want you to come.

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All Songs Considered
7:01 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Volcano Choir Reveals Secret Behind Epic Live Show

Cameron Wittig Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:43 am

  • Hear Volcano Choir Talk About The Band's Live Performances

Volcano Choir got its start in 2005 when Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and members of the band Collections Of Colonies Of Bees decided to make mysterious, multi-layered, adventurous music together. Their first album, 2009's Unmap, was dreamy, frequently abstract, and simply gorgeous.

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All Songs Considered
2:15 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

First Watch: Rubblebucket, 'Save Charlie'

Rubblebucket video for 'Save Charlie'
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:37 am

There's a moment in this rousing tune by the Brooklyn-based band Rubblebucket I think we can all connect with: singer Kalmia Traver screams "15 missed calls / can you blame me? / Charlie tell me, do you love me?" It's that exasperation, that moment in a relationship when one person finds themselves caring a whole lot more than the other, that makes this a fabulous pop song. I also love how much life this lyric video has; the color and style feel fresh and so perfect for the blasting horns and funk of the music.

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All Songs Considered
11:22 am
Tue October 8, 2013

New Mix: Of Montreal, Gem Club, Perera Elsewhere, More

Clockwise from upper left: Gem Club, Perera Elsewhere, Of Montreal, Remi
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:04 pm

It's been a dreary, rainy week in D.C. On this episode of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are a little stir crazy after being stuck inside during the storms. But, with thunder rolling in the background, Robin kicks things off with an ethereal cut from the Berlin-based trip-hop artist Perera Elsewhere that perfectly captures the mood.

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All Songs Considered
12:15 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Question Of The Week: What Was The Last Record You Obsessed Over?

The Blow is a duo from Portland, Ore., featuring Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 3:57 pm

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All Songs Considered
12:02 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

The Good Listener: Must We All 'Love' Music? Must We All Have 'Good Taste'?

This guy obsesses over your tastes in music. Should you?
Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the flyers urging us to replace our nonexistent maid service is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a pair of queries about the importance of loving the right music.

Jennifer Yousfi writes via Facebook: "I have horrible taste in music. How do I fix this?"

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Watch: Julianna Barwick Performs 'Crystal Lake' At Judson Church In New York

Julianna Barwick at Judson Memorial Church in New York City
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 7:29 am

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All Songs Considered
6:08 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Jackson Scott, 'Sandy'

Video for the Jackson Scott song "Sandy."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 2:57 pm

Musicians have a long history of turning tragedy into art. From Neil Young's stirring indictment against the shooting of Kent State students in the 1970 song "Ohio," to the countless tributes and musical memorials to 9-11, artists often feel a need to make sense of the senseless and offer comfort through song.

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All Songs Considered
11:34 am
Wed October 2, 2013

First Watch: Jacco Gardner, 'The End Of August'

Courtesy of the artist

Somehow this young Dutch musician has managed to capture an aesthetic that happened 20 years before he was born. Jacco Gardner makes music in the spirit of early 1960s baroque pop bands, such as The Left Banke (a group that featured a harpsichord) or late '60s Kinks, and certainly The Zombies from their Odessey and Oracle period. Gardner channels these sounds on a new song and trippy video called "The End Of August."

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All Songs Considered
11:56 am
Tue October 1, 2013

New Mix: Fuzz, Danny Brown, Linda Thompson, More

Clockwise from upper left: Danny Brown, Fuzz, The Blow, Tom Brosseau
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 12:47 pm

On this edition of All Songs Considered, host Bob Boilen has a confession: everything in the world is actually a dream in his mind. (Just listen to the podcast, it will make sense.) If that's true, co-host Robin Hilton is grateful that Bob has at least imagined some great new music. You'll hear some of it on this edition of the program, including rapper Danny Brown, Swedish electronic duo Jonsson & Alter, and the beautiful voice of singer Tom Brosseau.

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All Songs Considered
1:34 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

The Good Listener: Does Using Spotify Make You A Bad Person?

Will listening to music streaming services land you here in the afterlife?

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the online pharmacy's monthly supply of the pills that allow us to trudge productively through this waking life is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, an ethical query about online streaming services.

Andrea Sauceda writes via Facebook: "Does using Spotify (and/or other streaming services) make you a bad person?"

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All Songs Considered
9:07 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Viking's Choice: Wooden Wand Is Playing At 'Debbie Harry's House'

Wooden Wand & The World War IV.
Leah Toth Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 11:26 am

"What has Wooden Wand been up to lately?" It was a simple question that turned into an epic email thread with a friend a year ago; the kind where you find yourself a sudden apologist for a sprawling, decade-long discography. There was the noise jam-band phase, the bedroom acoustic recordings mistaken for "freak folk," the major-label "flop" that had more to do with the crumbling remains of the label than the artist...

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All Songs Considered
1:30 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Fall Music Preview

Clockwise from upper left: Anna Calvi, M.I.A., Poliça, members of Los Campesinos!, Deltron 3030 and Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 2:01 pm

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All Songs Considered
8:03 am
Fri September 20, 2013

First Watch: Lucy Schwartz, 'Boomerang'

A dog plays trombone in a new video for the song "Boomerang," by Los Angeles singer Lucy Schwartz.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 10:10 am

I won't lie to you. I love anthropomorphizing dogs. Maybe it's because I like dogs more than people, but need to believe they're somewhat human in order to sustain the kind of long conversations about life and music I have with my own yellow lab, Cornflake (not her real name), without feeling insane.

All of which is to say that when I saw this new video for the song "Boomerang" by Los Angeles singer Lucy Schwartz, I immediately fell in love.

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All Songs Considered
2:55 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

The Good Listener: Where Do Mopey Music Fans Turn When They Need Energy?

Japandroids' music provides a perfect gateway between mopey angst and unbridled joy.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 7:24 am

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the gigantic packets of 401(k) information we chuck directly into the fireplace is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request from a reader who seeks cheerful music for the mopey, beardy indie-rock soul.

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All Songs Considered
9:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Song Premiere: Midlake, 'Provider'

Midlake, the band from Denton, TX is about to release their 4 album.
Sammy Reed Sacks and Co

There's a new album coming from the band Midlake. The album, Antiphon, isn't out until later this fall, but fans of these modern day creators of classic and progressive rock can get a glimpse of the band's new sound right now with a new song called "Provider."

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Thu September 19, 2013

The Dodos: Showing 'Confidence' In A Video's Surprising Sequel

Chloe Aftel Courtesy of the artist

Lots of bands play bright, winsome folk-pop, but only one has the bold, sure drumming of The Dodos' Logan Kroeber; he infuses the duo's prettily propulsive songs with momentum and force. Four albums into The Dodos' career, the group is still making terrific records like the new Carrier — a tremendous sleeper for those who've been seeking a Blind Pilot-style left-field gem in 2013.

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All Songs Considered
10:41 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Thurston Moore And Doug Aitken Talk Art, Music And 'Station To Station'

Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore gazes over the rail on the Station to Station train as it speeds across the country.
Mara McKevitt
  • Hear Thurston Moore And Doug Aitken Discuss 'Station To Station'

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All Songs Considered
1:37 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Viking's Choice: CCR Headcleaner's Sludgy Noiseniks 'Steal The Light'

Courtesy of the artist

The members of CCR Headcleaner must be some kind of gutter mutants, spawned from the spores of an alternate-universe San Francisco psych scene that's less pop and more bong-ripped hedonism. But if the Geneva Jacuzzi-directed video for the sludgy "Steal the Light" is any indication, then maybe the band's destructively diverse debut, Lace the Earth With Arms Wide Open: 2013, was just formed out of bedroom burnouts.

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All Songs Considered
9:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

New Mix: Beck, Best Coast, Joanna Gruesome, More

Clockwise from upper left: Beck, Cate Le Bon, Arp's Alexis Georgopoulos, Best Coast
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:05 pm

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.

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All Songs Considered
11:30 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Question Of The Week: Does Your College Roommate's Music Drive You Nuts?

The Kobal Collection

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All Songs Considered
8:02 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Song Premiere: Best Coast, 'I Don't Know How'

Bobb Bruno and Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast.
David Black Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:41 am

As summer winds down and cool breezes fill the evenings here on much of the east coast, summer never ends in the music of Best Coast. "I Don't Know How" is the new single from the L.A.-based duo, featuring Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno. The song is the last cut from their seven-song EP called Fade Away due out October 22.

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All Songs Considered
11:49 am
Thu September 12, 2013

The Good Listener: Forget The Grammys — Which Music Awards Matter?

There were many ways to discover Alt-J in 2012, including this site, but the band's Mercury Prize win sure made it easier.
Courtesy of the artist

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and along with the quilt my kind sister couldn't possibly have made me herself came a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, a request for ideas on music awards that double as useful buyer's guides.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Wed September 11, 2013

First Watch: Polyphonic Spree, 'Raise Your Head'

A man calmly opens a bag of pretzels while another is mauled by a tiger in this scene from The Polyphonic Spree's "Raise Your Head" video.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 6:56 am

The inventor and engineer Rube Goldberg was known for designing elaborate machines that performed simple tasks, usually in a string of successive events, each one triggering the next. His work has been the inspiration for a lot of fantastic art and music videos (think of OK Go's "This Too Shall Pass," or A-Trak's "Tuna Melt").

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