Our sprint through the best new albums out this week includes a posthumous release from rapper Lil Peep, gorgeous reflections from Bonnie "Prince" Billy, singer Mary Lambert and more.
Featured Albums And Songs:
1. Milky Chance - Mind the Moon
Featured Songs: "Oh Mama" and "Eden's House"
2. Brainstory - Buck
Featured Song: "Sorry"
3. Lady Antebellum - Ocean
Featured Song: "The Thing That Wrecks You"
4. Arthur Russell - Iowa Dream
Featured Song: "Everybody Everybody"
5. Lil Peep - Everybody's Everything
Featured Song: "Princess"
6. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I Made A Place
Featured Song: "Dream A While"
7. Odessa - All Things
Featured Song: "All Things"
8. Mary Lambert - Grief Creature
Featured Songs: "Write You A Song" and "Me Museum"
9. Joe Henry - The Gospel According to Water
Featured Song: "Famine Walk"
10. Benoît Pioulard - Sylva
Featured Songs: "Raze II" and "Keep"
Other Notable Releases Out Nov. 15: Celine Dion — Courage; DJ Shadow — Our Pathetic Age; Fran — A Private Picture; Hammock — Silencia; Ice Cream — Fed Up; Jenny Owen Youngs — Night Shift; Juliana Hatfield — Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police; Maria Taylor — Maria Taylor; Molly Burch — The Molly Burch Christmas Album; Sam Amidon — Fatal Flower Garden; Tindersticks — No Treasure But Hope.
"Despacito" was more than a popular song. It was the culmination of a decade-long rise of sociological and musical forces that eventually birthed and cemented a style now called "Latin Urban."
The song went on to practically break the Internet, with a record number of YouTube views from around the globe (currently hovering around six billion streams).
But, as we discuss in this week's All Songs Considered/Alt.Latino collaboration, "Despacito" was more than a very popular it song. It was the culmination of a decade-long rise of sociological and musical forces that eventually birthed and cemented a style now called "Latin Urban." Spanish-language artists from just about every corner of Latin America and Spain took reggaeton and ran with it, adding elements of hip-hop, R&B and soul.
Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras joins Bob Boilen to look back at the decade and play some music samples from a period of profound transition in Latinx music.
In this All Songs Considered guest DJ session, Joan Shelley talks about her latest album, Like the River Loves the Sea and shares songs by some of the other artists who've inspired her over the years.
This week's best new albums include a solo release from Leslie Odom Jr., aka Aaron Burr from Hamilton, the woozy world of FKA Twigs, country singer Luke Combs and more.
1. Leslie Odom Jr. — Mr.
2. Bishop Briggs — Champion
3. FKA Twigs — Magdalene
4. Dessa & The Minnesota Orchestra — Sound the Bells: Recorded Live at Orchestra Hall
5. The Good Ones — Rwanda, You Should be Loved
6. Kate Davis — Trophy
7. Luke Combs — What You See Is What You Get
8. Mount Eerie & Julie Doiron — Lost Wisdom Pt. 2
9. SebastiAn — Thirst
10. Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Scene — Waiting Game
Other Notable Albums Out Nov. 8: Allen Stone — Building Balance; Josienne Clarke — In All Weather; Kele Okereke — 2042; Lucy Dacus — EP; Moor Mother — Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes; Philip B Price — Bone Almanac; Simply Red — Blue Eyed Soul; Sin Fang — Sad Party; Suss — High Line; Xylouris White — The Sisypheans;
Angel Olsen has reimagined her sound. On this edition of All Songs Considered, she and her co-producer, John Congleton reveal how they did it, with the help of a 14-piece string section.
"What making this record was about," says Angel Olsen, "is erasing my own thoughts about where the song should be, letting go and being more open to other ideas."
"I have this weird theory," adds John Congleton, "that the only thing a good producer really can do is know when a mistake is right."
This process began with Angel Olsen first recording all the songs as a solo album. Then, through these collaborations, the music organically morphed and strengthened into this extraordinary record.
You can hear the full interview with the play button at the top of the page and her the full album, All Mirrors below.
Pianist and producer Robert Glasper is on a mission to reconnect jazz with black music. In the past decade he's helped transform the work of artists like Kendrick Lamar, Brittany Howard and more.
Glasper ended the the 2000s with an album called Double Booked, which made a selling point out of his straddling of two worlds — acoustic jazz piano on one side, R&B/hip-hop groove on the other. The second of those involved a group called The Robert Glasper Experiment, and he felt it had a statement to make.
It arrived in the form of an album called Black Radio, which Blue Note released in 2012. Studded with notable guest artists (like rappers Lupe Fiasco and Yasiin Bey, and singers Lalah Hathaway and Erykah Badu), it heralded a renewed spirit of collaboration between jazz and what had previously been known as neo-soul. When Black Radio won a Grammy in 2013 — not in a jazz category but for Best R&B Album — it felt like the opening of a new chapter.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, host Robin Hilton is joined by Nate Chinen, from WBGO and Jazz Night in America, and Rodney Carmichael, from NPR Music, to discuss the influence of Glasper's approach — not only in jazz circles but also on hip-hop touchstones like Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, and beyond-soul masterworks released this year, like Flying Lotus' Flamagra and Brittany Howard's Jaime.
Our picks for the best albums out this week include Gang Starr's first new release in 16 years, humor and heart from country singer Miranda Lambert, the latest in Bob Dylan's Bootleg series and more.
1. Jeff Lynne's ELO — From Out of Nowhere
2. Bob Dylan — Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15
3. Miranda Lambert — Wildcard
4. Gang Starr — One of the Best Yet
5. Michael Kiwanuka — KIWANUKA
6. Vetiver — Up on High
7. A Winged Victory for the Sullen — The Undivided Five
8. R.LUM.R — Surfacing
Other Notable Releases For Nov. 1: Cate Le Bon & Bradford Cox — Myths 004 (EP); Cold War Kids — New Age Norms 1; CUP (Nels Cline & Yuka Honda) — Spinning Creature; Highly Suspect — MCID; Hootie & The Blowfish — Imperfect Circle; Jeff Goldblum — I Shouldn't Be Telling You This; Josh Rouse — The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse; Leif Vollebekk — New Ways; R.E.M. — Monster 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition; Sudan Archives — Athena; Turnover — Altogether; Ty Segall — Pig Man Lives Volume 1.
Our look back at the past decade in music continues as we examine the ways musical borders have fallen and why global sounds are more prevalent and popular than ever.
Over the past decade, the borders between different musical worlds have fallen. Producers, singers, songwriters and other artists from around the globe are collaborating in new ways, while genres have blended together so completely and seamlessly it's almost impossible to label a lot of popular music as any one thing. These cross-cultural, and cross-border alliances – along with streaming and social media – have also been a pipeline for delivering global artists to new audiences on a scale never seen before. Think of the juggernaut K-pop band BTS and how thoroughly the group has dominated pop charts, or the rise of Latinx artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin or Spanish singer Rosalía.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas and Stephen Thompson, and Elise Hu, host of NPR's Future You and founding bureau chief for NPR's office in Seoul. They discuss the ways we're hearing globalization in music, why it's happening and some of the complications and questions around this evolution.
After her Tiny Desk performance, the rapper joined NPR's Sidney Madden for a live conversation on playing with a band for the first time, hanging onto her Texas roots and plans for her debut album.
This week's mix from All Songs Considered somehow took on a dog theme, beginning with a board game from the band PUP, where every move leads to failure and disappointment. But the music's still good!
Artists and Songs on This Episode:
1. Illuminati Hotties: "ppl plz"
2. Frances Quinlan: "Rare Thing"
3. Lucy Dacus: "In the Air Tonight"
4. Julien Baker: "Tokyo"
5. Torres: "Good Scare"
6. Squirrel Flower: "Red Shoulder"
7. Trupa Trupa: "Dream About"
In the past decade, LGBTQ issues hit the mainstream in unprecedented ways, and music played a big part, with songs about queer love on the radio and anthems of allyship coming from all major genres.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, we look back on the way queer issues moved towards the center of the conversation during the 2010s. We talk about how decades of activism led up to this moment and how social media has helped foster safe spaces and access to information for young people across spectrums of gender and sexuality. We also discuss how LGBTQ musicians are helping reimagine pop sounds — from openly expressing queer desire to cyborgian shapeshifting — and question what the future of "mainstreaming" might hold for queer communities.
The fourth-quarter deluge continues this week with new releases from Rex Orange County, King Princess, Gallant and more, including the first new album in seven years from Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
1. Mikal Cronin — Seeker
2. King Princess — Cheap Queen
3. Great Grandpa — Four of Arrows
4. Neil Young & Crazy Horse — Colorado
5. Rex Orange County — Pony
6. Anamanaguchi - [USA]
7. Gallant — Sweet Insomnia
8. Sunn O))) — Pyroclasts
Other Notable Albums For Oct. 25: Alcest — Spiritual Instinct; Anna Meredith — Fibs; Anthony Ramos — The Good & The Bad; The Bad Plus — Activate Infinity; Brooke Candy — Sexorcism; Cigarettes After Sex — Cry; Dry Cleaning — Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks; Grace Potter — Daylight; Juana Molina — For Fun; Lankum — The Livelong Day; Little Scream — Speed Queen; Old Dominion — Old Dominion; Ringo Starr — What's My Name; Sarah Jaffe — SMUT; Van Morrison — Three Chords and the Truth; Verite — New Skin; Walk off the Earth — Here We Go!
Since its founding in 2008, Bandcamp has become a buzzing, artist-friendly hub for music lovers, with pay-what-you-want pricing and lots of rabbit holes leading to music you won't find anywhere else.
In this episode of All Songs Considered, CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond says that when an artist succeeds on Bandcamp, Bandcamp succeeds. That philosophy has driven the company since 2008, with over $425 million paid directly to musicians and record labels. Sadie Dupuis says that Bandcamp was instrumental in booking the first tour for her band Speedy Ortiz and that its name-your-price model has not only allowed her some steady income but also an avenue to raise money for causes she cares about.
In this Guest DJ session with All Songs Considered, Radie Peat and Ian Lynch of the band Lankum talk about their new album, The Livelong Day, the evolving sounds of their native Ireland, and share their favorite Irish, off-the-radar artists.
Artists and songs featured on this episode:
1. Lankum: "Bear Creek" from The Livelong Day
2. Lisa O'Neill: "Pothole in the Sky" from Pothole in the Sky
3. The Deadlians: "I Don't Want to Ride Yer Aul Anymore" (Single)
4. Lankum: "Ode to Lullaby" from The Livelong Day
5. Lankum: "Wild Rover" from The Livelong Day
6. Landless: "Via Extasia" from Bleaching Bones
7. Lankum: "Hunting the Wren" from The Livelong Day
8. Junior Brother: "Hungover at Mass" from F*** Off I Love You
Is classical music dying? No. But its institutions, artists and promoters took some hits in the past decade, from bankruptcies to sexual harassment. Still, along the way, we heard a lot of terrific music.
On this episode of All Songs Considered, we look at the roller coaster ride of high points and derailments in classical music. Symphony Orchestras and opera companies floundered financially, some going belly up and others rebounding as newly created organizations flourished. Women seemed to take a few steps forward and a few backward: While five of the last ten music Pulitzers were awarded to women, their music was conspicuously absent from our symphony halls. And tragically, both women and men, in many facets of classical music, were victims of sexual abuse and harassment.
Anne Midgette, the author and classical music critic for The Washington Post, joins NPR Music's Tom Huizenga for this discussion.
It's a packed release week, with new albums from Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, the rapper Gucci Mane, warped hip-hop from clipping., the electronic artist Floating Points and more.
1. Foals - 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2'
2. Patrick Watson - 'Wave'
3. Caroline Polachek - 'Pang'
4. clipping. - 'There Existed an Addiction to Blood'
5. Vagabon - 'Vagabon'
6. Gucci Mane - 'Woptober II'
7. Floating Points - 'Crush'
8. Common Holly - 'When I Say to You Black Lightning'
9. Hovvdy - 'Heavy Lifter'
10. Walrus - 'Cool to Who'
Other Notable Releases For Oct. 18: Anna Wise — As if it Were Forever; Battles — Juice B Crypts; Corridor — Junior; Jim James — The Order of Nature; Jimmy Eat World — Surviving; Mark Lanegan — Somebody's Knocking; Milk Carton Kids — The Only Ones (ep); The Muffs — No Holiday; Sufjan Stevens — The Decalogue; Tamino — Amir; Third Eye Blind — Screamer; White Reaper — You Deserve Love.
Our series looking back at the past decade in music continues with a conversation about social media and how it's allowed (for better or worse) the rise of super fans, otherwise known as stans.
NPR Music's Sidney Madden talks with reporter Joshua Bote from USA Today, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and Ann Powers about the ways standom has empowered artists in positive ways while also fueling cancel culture.
In the first of a series of conversations about the past decade in music, we examine some of the ways the singer, songwriter, producer and businesswoman helped steer the 2010s in new directions.
The 17-year-old pop star talks NPR Music's Stephen Thompson about getting through her teenaged years, directing her own videos, experiencing art with synesthesia and more in this interview, recorded live on stage at Austin's ACL Music Festival.
Our shortlist of the best new albums out this week incudes Big Thief's Two Hands, rapper Lil' Kim's first new studio project in 14 years, a solo album from Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and more.
1. Elbow - 'Giants of All Sizes'
2. Big Thief - 'Two Hands'
3. Kim Gordon - 'No Home Record'
4. Lil' Kim - '9'
5. Lightning Bolt - 'Sonic Citadel'
6. Babymetal - 'Metal Galaxy'
OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES FOR OCT. 11:
Allah-Las — LAHS; Art Alexakis — Sun Songs; Cursive — Get Fixed; Emily King — Change of Scenery (EP); Ensemble Resonanz & Moses Sumnney — Dessner: Tenebre; Freddie Mercury — Never Boring (Box Set); Joseph Arthur — Come Back World; Mark Kozelek & Petra Hayden — Joey Always Smiled; Matt Pond & Chris Hansen — An Orchestrated Impulse; Son Little — Invisible (EP); Starcrawler — Devour You; Wale — Wow ...That's Crazy.