Music

Tiny Desk Concerts
12:08 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Cate Le Bon: Tiny Desk Concert

Cate Le Bon performs a Tiny Desk Concert in January 2014.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:52 pm

The Beatles may be an odd place to begin a Cate Le Bon conversation, but I remember being struck by the way four guys from Liverpool could sing without their English accents. That's true of most pop singers, whose words often come out sounding more American than anything else. But that's not true with Cate Le Bon. Her phrasing is completely tied to her Welsh dialect — in fact, her first record was in Welsh.

Read more
First Listen
9:02 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

First Listen: St. Vincent, 'St. Vincent'

St. Vincent's new, self-titled album comes out Feb. 25.
Renata Raksha Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:16 pm

The word "eccentric" pops up often in descriptions of Annie Clark and the music she performs as St. Vincent. It's a word attached to trailblazers of many kinds. Often though not always, there's a degree of respect wrapped up in the idea of eccentricity — and intrigue, certainly — but there's also a gentle admonishment, a "we both know you're breaking the rules" eyebrow-raising inherent in that descriptor. A more apt word for St. Vincent, written into every inch of her self-titled fourth album, is fearless.

Read more
First Listen
7:58 am
Mon February 17, 2014

First Listen: The Notwist, 'Close To The Glass'

The Notwist's new album, Close to the Glass, comes out Feb. 25.
Joerg Koopman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:17 pm

On paper, the German electro-pop band The Notwist sounds less accessible than it is: Since getting together 25 years ago, its members have delved into everything from hardcore to underground hip-hop to proggy jazz, with many varyingly arty detours in between. But the latter half of its history, particularly once you hit the sublime early-'00s breakthrough Neon Golden, is wonderfully warm and approachable.

Read more
First Listen
9:09 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

First Listen: Death Vessel, 'Island Intervals'

Death Vessel's new album, Island Intervals, comes out Feb. 25.
Corey Grayhorse Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:18 pm

Joel Thibodeau's music doesn't emanate from a single place: The singer who records under the name Death Vessel was born in Germany and raised in New England, and he recorded his new album Island Intervals in Reykjavik with the aid of producer Alex Somers and Sigur Rós singer Jónsi. That list of places provides context beyond mere biographical background, because Thibodeau's music reflects virtually every direction in which he's been pulled.

Read more
First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

First Listen: Beck, 'Morning Phase'

Beck's new album, Morning Phase, is out Feb. 25.
Autumn De Wilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:15 pm

The thumbnail summary already circulating for Beck's 12th full-length album goes like this: It's a sequel to Sea Change, the brooding 2002 record frequently mentioned as his masterpiece.

Read more
Favorite Sessions
12:40 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

KCRW Presents: Future Islands

Future Islands perform live on KCRW.
Libby Pierson KCRW

The Baltimore trio Future Islands recently returned to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic with an extra member in tow. By adding Mike Lowry on drums, the synth-heavy band brings a new dynamic to its live performances of songs from the forthcoming album Singles. We love the new track "Seasons (Waiting on You)" — which you can watch here — but check out the full session for the premiere of a brand-new song.

Read more
World Cafe
1:36 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Rose Windows On World Cafe

Rose Windows.
Alison Scarpulla Courtesy of the artist

The music of the psychedelic Seattle band Rose Windows mixes folk, blues, Persian and Eastern European influences, as well as '60s psych and prog; the group name-checks The Doors and even Black Sabbath along the way. Its lyrics address songwriter Chris Cheveyo's Christian background, singer Rabi Shaheen Qazi's Muslim influences and much more.

Rose Windows released a debut full-length called Sun Dogs last year, and we'll hear the band perform on stage during this episode of World Cafe.

Read more
All Songs Considered
12:38 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Viking's Choice: Psalm Zero Masters Its Own 'Undoing'

Andrew Hock (left) and Charlie Looker of Psalm Zero.
Amy Mills Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 1:00 pm

Unlikely collaborations can unnerve and unwind heavy and extreme music in ways we'd never before imagined. There's Painkiller, the guts-spilling grind-jazz band featuring saxophonist John Zorn, bassist Bill Laswell and Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris.

Read more
All Songs Considered
10:04 am
Wed February 12, 2014

The Moth & The Flame, 'Winsome'

Watch 'Winsome' by The Moth
Courtesy of the band

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 11:27 am

If you try to watch this video for its plot, good luck. There's a mermaid, a sandstorm, a dude, a chase, sea creatures, close-up lips ... I tried, but gave up and simply gave in to the flow of the song and the images.

Read more

Pages