Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott returns to the KSUT listening area for this weekend's Four Corners Folk Festival, on the heels of his new CD Couchville Sessions. KSUT will feature the new release Friday, 9/2 at noon.

In tragedy, some of us turn to God, some of us spurn God, and a few of us find solace in nothingness. But it's possible to take all three paths simultaneously when caught in a maelstrom of desperation. Nick Cave has always existed in this realm, it's what makes his work so powerful, that in-between existence that seeps into our own.

Ziggy Marley is true music royalty. On KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, the seven-time Grammy-winning reggae musician recently played a career-spanning set of music from his incredible catalog — including the hopeful "Start It Up" from his new self-titled album.


  • "Start It Up"

Photo by Dustin Downing/KCRW.

From breakups to moves to midlife crises, major change has done wonders for the creative process.

Gaby Moreno's Ilusión represents a high-water mark in a musical career that's never been predictable. It's one of the strongest statements I've heard from a musician who ignores boundaries and genre classifications to create a sound greater than the sum of its parts.

Soul music is, among many things, a form of psychological inquiry. Consider these releases from the glory days of the 1970s: James Brown's Revolution Of The Mind; Al Green Explores Your Mind; Stevie Wonder's Innervisions and Music Of My Mind.

There's a long history of male singers with high lonesome voices, from boy choirs to Jimmie Rodgers, from Frankie Valli to Curtis Mayfield to Michael Jackson to The Weeknd.

First Listen: Teenage Fanclub, 'Here'

Sep 1, 2016

It's been a long road for Teenage Fanclub since its masterpiece, Bandwagonesque, famously beat out Nirvana's Nevermind to be named 1991's best album by Spin. After Bandwagonesque solidified the Scottish band's jangly, harmony-soaked pop sound, Teenage Fanclub gracefully began releasing a string of follow-ups; many were hits in the U.K., but few made much of an impact in the States.

You're rushing to send a text, but the words don't quite fit the message. So you flip over to the emoji menu, and within seconds you find a tiny character that encapsulates your thought. Hitting "send" brings a momentary sense of accomplishment, and perhaps along with it, a twinge of vague disquiet: That shorthand cartoon face was somehow more precise, more communicative, than your words.

A day after performing "Hotter Than Hell" on The Tonight Show, rising pop star Dua Lipa performed another one of her songs, "Thinking Bout You," for a much smaller audience: our Noteworthy video crew. Enjoy this extra from our Noteworthy documentary on Dua Lipa and be sure to watch the entire documentary here.

Dua Lipa Wants To 'Break America'

Aug 31, 2016

The London-based singer Dua Lipa has released just five singles, all within the last 12 months. She won't put out her debut album until February 2017. But the 21-year-old artist has already begun to take shape as a creative force with a sound she calls "dark pop," melding sparse hip-hop beats with an ear for melody and interpretation. She might be a natural-born pop star: When she'd released just two songs, the BBC picked her for its Sound of 2016 list.

Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me follows the country singer's goodbye tour and his decline from Alzheimer's disease. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to director James Keach and Campbell's wife, Kim Campbell. This story originally aired on Oct. 27, 2014 on All Things Considered.

Caveman On World Cafe

Aug 31, 2016

Like so many indie-rock bands nowadays seem to be, Caveman is from Brooklyn. What's a bit more surprising is that its five members are actually from Brooklyn — born and raised. The band formed in 2010, with Matt Iwanusa at the helm, and has just released its third album, Otero War. The record, which took Caveman six years to write, is an open-ended concept album whose songs nevertheless stand well on their own. Hear some of those songs performed live for World Cafe in this session.

In the sun-dappled world of Los Angeles duo Deap Vally, everyone is free to be anyone or anything they want — even if that's a neon-pink yeti strutting on the beach with a surfboard. "I'm gonna do it 'cause I wanna," the band sings over and over in a new video for "Gonnawanna"; meanwhile, the defiant creature trolls the beach, ignoring a gaggle of sunbathers who snicker and gawk.

It was just two years ago that Mauritanian vocalist Noura Mint Seymali hit the international scene — but now, it's hard to imagine the scope of African music without her. The singer and her band blow listeners away with giddily woozy and dreamlike vocals; blistering guitar played by her husband, Jeiche Ould Chighaly; and the grounding elements of Ousmane Touré's bass and Matthew Tinari's drums.

River Whyless is a quartet from North Carolina. They make folk music, and also pull in threads from other genres and cultures. The two lead singers and songwriters, Halli Andersen and Ryan O'Keefe, have both had their own musical projects in the past, and say they're still exploring what it means to write for a band — especially when a song comes from a particularly emotional place.

If the band's debut EP (Treasure Pains) is any indication, Chicago's Slow Mass exists somewhere between Hoover's post-hardcore heft and Braid's weird hooks. Featuring members of Into It. Over It's live band (drummer Josh Sparks and guitarist Josh Parks), plus guitarist/vocalist Dave Collis (My Dad) and bassist/vocalist Mercedes Webb, Slow Mass isn't so much the sum of its parts, but rather part high-speed collision, part mutation.

The V&E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection in Durham, N.C., is the result of an obsession that grew one oom pah-pah at a time.

Vincent Simonetti started playing tuba in high school in the 1950s – and it was love at first puff.

"And I would draw it in study hall. I'd draw pictures of it. I don't know why. I just became obsessed with it," he says.

The new video and song from the Brooklyn noise duo Sleigh Bells throb with rage and fiery defiance. Words flash on screen over Derek Miller's jagged guitars as the video opens: "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to build a fire."

Kentucky singer-songwriter Joan Shelley, working with the gifted guitarist Nathan Salsburg, made my favorite album of 2015: Over And Even, a collection of dreamy, gorgeous folk songs that exude comfort and calm.

Note: With hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton away this week, we've got an encore presentation of The Worst Songs Of All Time, from May. 2011.

This week: the moment it all went wrong, relived in vivid detail. Members of the All Songs Considered crew share stories of hope and heartache as they remember some of the bands they've broken up with over the years and why. NPR Music's Daoud Tyler-Ameen joins hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton for the discussion.

To older country fans, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn are the ultimate examples of superstars who stayed true to their humble roots. Tara Thompson, 28, happens to come from Parton's mountains and Lynn's bloodline. The younger singer, typical of her oversharing generation, translates their down-home pride into tell-all songs.

World Cafe Next: Julia Jacklin

Aug 29, 2016

Julia Jacklin's debut album, Don't Let The Kids Win, showcases the lyrical density of her songs. The Australian singer-songwriter treats her music as an outlet for emotions that weren't discussed much in her family as she was growing up — she finds it easier to deal with those personal stories by putting them into songs. Jacklin, who's 25, has said Don't Let The Kids Win captures her nostalgia for the ambition she had when she was younger. Hear two songs at the audio link above.

The power of Big Thief lies in the stunning voice of Adrianne Lenker — as well as the band's intense rhythms, the guitar playing of Buck Meek and, right, the lyrics. Come to think of it, everything this band does serves the muscular warmth of these brilliant songs, which are not only memorable, but meaningful.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Dusk is Ultimate Painting's third album in three years, but the London duo still sounds like it takes time to get moving. The guitars of Jack Cooper (Mazes) and James Hoare (Veronica Falls) loop in and out of each other like rubber bands, taut one moment and wobbly the next. Where past records crossed Velvet Underground's third album with a paradoxically easygoing motorik beat, Dusk expands the duo's pop sensibilities, finding tension in quiet melodies.

Wilco's latest song is the Beatles-inspired "Someone To Lose," both a woozy acoustic strummer and a fiery rock song with a playful melody. Partly a reflection on past mistakes in romance and relationships, "Someone To Lose" perfectly captures the almost comical cluelessness we sometimes experience as we fumble our way through life and love. "Wouldn't you know it," sings frontman Jeff Tweedy. "I keep rollin' considerin' no one... ...I'm so confused, I can't lose."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


When you think about punk music, you might picture some very thin, pale young guys with mohawks. But Brooklyn's Afropunk Festival is out to prove that punk is much more than that.

The young Canadian rocker Sate was one of the up-and-coming acts at Afropunk, which took place Aug. 27 and 28 this year. I met her right before she hit the stage. She was wearing a cut-off Fishbone shirt, and she says the black punk band inspired her.

William James Stokes is the son of a church man, and on his first album he comes right out with it. The Preacher's Kid is the singer and rapper's debut as Sir the Baptist, a name he felt suited his origins in the Bronzeville district of South Side Chicago. "I grew up in a Chicago area where they called it 'Chi-raq' — and I felt like if I was gonna be the voice crying out in the wilderness, I would want to be John the Baptist," he says.