Music

Music

Following the introduction of two bills into the state Legislature that would legally prohibit transgender Texans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identities, 142 artists — including Ewan McGregor, Amy Poehler, Lady Gaga, Janelle Monae, Talib Kweli, Wilco and Whoopi Goldberg — have co-signed a letter beseeching the state senators and representatives to prevent the bills' passage.

Cab drivers have a special window into the twisted affairs of humanity, bearing witness to the full spectrum of joy and pain through the tiny frame of a rearview mirror. This cramped stage is the perfect setting for Kishi Bashi's "Can't Let Go, Juno" video, a song about heartache and the lengths one goes to spare someone else's feelings.

One of the oldest creation stories in history holds that God created mankind in his image. But what of woman? Is she not worthy of being conjured from a vision, a likeness, the stuff of greatness? King Woman, the mighty Bay Area-bred solo-project-turned-full-band helmed by vocalist and guitarist Kristina Esfandiari, grapples with this glaring omission on its forthcoming album, Created In The Image Of Suffering.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Love Songs

Feb 15, 2017

We've heard a lot about romantic love recently. Now, hear of a bond with landscape, language and the natural world, all in the finest Celtic-rooted music.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Think back to your college days and you can probably name at least one band that got together in its members' dorm rooms and played a couple of sweaty late nights at the local campus dive bar, but didn't make it past graduation. If that's the college-bar-band rule, Arkells is the exception. The band formed more than a decade ago in the dorms at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and last week it returned to that same city to headline its first sold-out arena show. It was a full-circle moment for a band that's earned its fans one bead of sweat at a time.

Agnes Obel, a Danish singer and writer of deeply alluring music, brought her work into what you could call its opposite — an office in the daylight. While the setting is a bit contrary to her carefully plotted, vocally dense songs, she mapped out a strategy which included her own reverb and monitor mix in the (successful, I think) hope of giving the Tiny Desk an aesthetic more suitable to these focused and powerful songs.

Sevdaliza, 'Amandine Insensible'

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Becca Stevens, "Queen Mab"

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tall Friend, "Termites"

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Charlie Worsham, "The Beginning Of Things"

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, "dOn't turn me Off"

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Dove & The Wolf, "Seven Days"

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sonder, "Searchin'"

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Half Waif, "Frost Burn"

Feb 14, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Update: You can now stream Future's album in full on Spotify, Apple and other streaming services.

Future woke fans up Tuesday with a surprise announcement via Twitter: "I was preparing the feast. U walked away from the table too soon," he posted.

Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce are radiant beings who make every minute louder, more glamorous and deeply personal as PWR BTTM. The punk duo has announced Pageant, its follow-up to 2015's Ugly Cherries, with the outrageous "Big Beautiful Day."

Pharmakon's industrial noise is a pus boil cauterized into a scar. For over 10 years Margaret Chardiet has left a permanently disfigured mark on the New York City experimental music scene and beyond, hammering her deeply tumulted noise into grueling punk structures. Contact is Pharmakon's third LP made available to a larger audience — at least, those not already combusted by her previous work — following two earlier full-lengths and intermittent releases on limited cassettes and CD-Rs.

It can't be a coincidence that Little Dragon released a sexy, consumption-focused new single, "High," on February 14, of all days. This paean to loose trips and close touches is a reliable soundtrack to a narcotized Valentine's Day in with a main squeeze.

Rubblebucket's new EP, If U C My Enemies, is especially significant for bandleaders Alex Toth and Kalmia Traver. The two have been a couple since meeting in the music program at the University of Vermont and forming the band, which released its first album as Rubblebucket Orchestra in 2008.

Adele broke her Grammy award in half Sunday night. It might have seemed like the careless act of someone with plenty to spare; the 28-year-old powerhouse vocalist has 15 of the music industry's most coveted statues, including the five just presented for her latest album, 25. She did so charmingly, with a characteristic big laugh, and apparently by accident, severing the statue's gramophone horn from its base as she nervously handled it.

Relationships are hard work. Music is hard work. And somehow, these magical musical couples manage to make both work at the same time. It's beautiful, it's enviable and it deserves celebrating. So happy Valentine's Day from World Cafe to these 10 past guests: lovebirds who are also bandmates.

Hear the Valentine's Day special in the player above and stream the complete sessions from the World Cafe archives below.


It was The Magnificent Seven that inspired Ramin Djawadi, the musician behind Game Of Thrones' iconic soundtrack, to become a film composer.

Melbourne, Australia's The Outdoor Type is the project of songwriter Zack Buchanan. His music draws on his love of some '80s bands who just happen to be Australian as well — bands like The Church, The Go-Betweens and Australian icon Paul Kelly. Those influences are translated into something new on Buchanan's forthcoming album, The Outdoor Type, which follows a great EP released in 2016. Hear two tracks in this segment.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The 59th Grammy Awards were last night, and the show raised a few questions for us. Here to talk about the biggest night in music is NPR Music senior editor Jacob Ganz. Welcome.

JACOB GANZ, BYLINE: Thanks, Kelly.

Pages