Music

Music

Even the clearest recollections from childhood tend to be coauthored by time and imagination. Looking back on early memories, fun or frightening, we know the mind can play tricks on itself. Did everything happen exactly as our adult brains remember?

As cosmic as their jams can be and as free-floating as their new album's title appears, Built to Spill have never seemed more grounded. On Untethered Moon, their eighth studio album and their first in six years, the veteran rockers haven't drifted away from their roots.

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Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The first line of Palehound's "Cushioned Caging" begins in the middle of a thought. "And when the organ starts a-playin," sings frontwoman Ellen Kempner, whose voice arrives in a crashing wave of sound after a twangy, beachy one-chord intro. It sends a message that resonates through the rest of the too-brief song: This ain't the half of it.

The dog days are decidedly over in "Queen of Peace/Long & Lost," the new double-feature video from London indie pop-rock megastars Florence and the Machine. The nearly 10 minute mini-movie is a gorgeous ode to the Scots countryside (director Vincent Haycock filmed it on the isle of Easdale), but its emotional frequency is less ode and more lament.

If the Newport Folk crowd was scandalized by Bob Dylan going electric in 1965, they would've hated Courtney Barnett's grungy, hard-rocking performance 50 years later.

I'd never imagined a great song poet writing "Getting Ready to Get Down," but there we have it. It's a hard and humorous look at religion, sex and a "risky" teenager becoming herself despite Bible school intervention. I talked with Josh Ritter about this song, and you can hear that interview and the song here or subscribe to the All Songs Considered podcast.

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