Music

Music

It's been a while since we've heard from Lorde. Now, a new song the singer co-wrote with her fellow New Zealanders in Broods, has just come out. "Heartlines" is a bubbly, revelatory dance track with references to "jumping state lines" and midnight car rides. The artists not only share a country, but also a producer, Joel Little, who helps shape the sound of both Lorde and Broods.

Since it was founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma 16 years ago, the Silk Road Ensemble — an artistic collective comprised of master musicians and other artists from more than 20 countries, spanning the globe — has become an incubator for inspiring cross-cultural collaborations.

Director Morgan Neville made one of the most memorable music documentaries in recent times. His 2013 film 20 Feet from Stardom, for which he won an Oscar and a Grammy, chronicled the paths of five undersung rock heroes: the backup singers who enlivened some of popular music's biggest hits.

For a particular sect of people, notice of a new Dinosaur Jr. record means a misty pang in the chest or throat. Where — or who, or what — were we when we loved them last? This sort of reflex wistfulness seems to be the general response toward new albums by bands mythologized in the early '90s, but Dinosaur Jr.'s spell is uniquely strong.

At this point, it feels borderline-disrespectful to discuss the rocky road that Dawn Richard has journeyed to the present. But the hype around her isn't nearly lofty enough just yet, so it only makes sense to start at the beginning.

There's something nearly unhinged about Weaves' music. Some of that is in the frenetic guitar of Morgan Waters and the way it contrasts with the swaying-in-the-breeze feel of singer Jasmyn Burke. But then it can all turn upside-down in a hurry — the guitar becomes almost lyrical as Burke sings:

A portion of popcorn that's popping and shopping for fresh hands

Distortion is motion that's ridden forbidden

Don't you dare, don't you dare

You're so coo coo I'm so coo coo

You'd figure Paul McCartney, the most well-known songwriter on planet Earth, would, by now, have confidence in his ability to write a song. But as he tells us in this week's All Songs +1 podcast, "You never get it down. I don't know how to do this. You'd think I do, but it's not one of these things you ever really know how to do."

There is a scandal rocking the financial industry — or we should say, a small but important part of that industry: online lending.

Ahead of the 2016 Tony Awards, it seems fair to make a few educated guesses. First: This stands to be the most widely watched Tonys in recent memory, thanks to a little show called Hamilton and its record-breaking 16 nominations. Second: Even fans of that beloved musical are going to be a little on edge — since, in a few of those categories, the show's stars are up against one another.

Maracuyá means "passion fruit" in Spanish. For the DJ collective Maracuyeah, it's all about a passion for music — and connection.

At the D.C.-based group's fifth anniversary party, the dance floor at Judy's Bar & Restaurant is packed with a diverse crowd, from punk artists to recently arrived immigrants and buttoned-down, office types. Nohora Arrieta Fernandez, a Ph.D. student at Georgetown University who identifies as Afro-Colombian, says there's something for everyone here.

Ben Bridwell and the Band Of Horses crew were in high spirits and feeling loose during a special recent acoustic session they played for KCRW. Smiles, hoots and hollers abounded as they rolled out new songs like this one, titled "Throw My Mess."

SET LIST

  • "Throw My Mess"

Watch Band Of Horses' full Morning Becomes Eclectic performance at KCRW.com.

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

The Columbus Theatre has sat in vaudevillian splendor atop Federal Hill in Providence, R.I., since 1926. It's a place invested with peculiar meaning. Off the intersection of America Street and Broadway by the Atlantic ocean blue, the Columbus supposedly has 1,492 seats. Once a movie theater, then a smut house, the theater has recently found new life through another national pastime, indie folk.

First Listen: Mogwai, 'Atomic'

Jun 9, 2016

There's always been a cinematic quality to the music of Mogwai. Since forming in 1995, the Scottish post-rock band has evolved from a raw, guitar-centric force of nature to something more subtle and shaded, though no less dynamic. Being predominantly instrumental, the band's output over the past 20 years has lent itself to video collaboration, most notably on the soundtracks to the films Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, The Fountain and Les Revenants.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This month's survey of the dance music underground is energetic to say the least. Looking for mellow backyard BBQ jams? Hold off on those for another month. All six of our selections for May 2016 keep the tempos in the 120s or above, ranging from the ecstatic screams of the anonymous Mainline to the tribal polyrhythms of Lisbon's DJ Marfox.

Animal Collective On World Cafe

Jun 8, 2016

Animal Collective returns to World Cafe after a four-year absence since its last studio album, Centipede Hz. In an effort to approach its newest record, Painting With, a bit differently, the three-piece version of Animal Collective (Panda Bear, Avey Tare and Geologist) flipped its typical script and recorded the album before ever performing the songs in concert. In this session, hear the band discuss its process and perform live.

With the first warm, long days of summer, we're excited to premiere the first new video in the Road Sessions series, recorded live at some of Oregon's beautiful and unique State Parks. Cottonwood Canyon is a new state park in central Oregon; it just opened in 2014. It includes 8,000 acres of grassland, sagebrush and high cliffs along the John Day River, as it cuts a winding course through the high desert toward the Columbia River.

Get your hanky out. The latest song and video from Rochester-based Maybird is a real tear-jerker. Made entirely of old home movie clips, the video for "Looking Back" shows band members and brothers Adam and Josh Netsky from their earliest childhood moments, as they grow up with their older brother, Aaron, aging from scene to scene. At first they're toddlers, playing in freshly mown grass, making a snowman with their father and dancing freely together. By the end they're long-haired, skateboarding teenagers on the brink of adulthood.

Eric Bachmann On World Cafe

Jun 7, 2016

Eric Bachmann was the founder of the beloved North Carolina band Archers of Loaf in the 1990s, and he later led Crooked Fingers. He hasn't released a solo record in 10 years, but he says his new, self-titled album is his most personal one yet. A romantic prone to cynicism and a Southerner who often finds himself at odds with prevailing North Carolina politics, Bachmann channels his experience into the songs in this session.

On this week's All Songs Considered, we play songs about facing fears, being true to yourself and not worrying about what everyone else thinks, plus a new song from Angel Olsen and a conversation with her about her surprising new sound.

Robin Hilton opens with an introspective pop gem from the Portland, Ore. band Ages And Ages inspired by the ephemeral nature of nearly everything. Bob Boilen follows with a sonic adventure from the Asheville, N.C. folk group River Whyless.

Paul Simon, Stranger to Stranger, feature CD, 6/10

Jun 7, 2016

KSUT will feature the new Paul Simon release, Stranger to Stranger on Friday (6/10) at noon. Full of thrilling, imaginative textures, Stranger to Stranger conjures a vivid and vital new context to Simon’s well-established virtuosity as a singer and songwriter.  The record—his first since 2011’s acclaimed So Beautiful or So What—ushers the listener into a brave new musical world where expectations are defied and exceeded, as they were thirty years ago with another masterwork, Graceland.

World Cafe Next: Oliver John-Rodgers

Jun 6, 2016

Raised in Virginia but now living and working in Music City, Oliver John-Rodgers is a great example of the new Nashville — an artist that doesn't fit any one mold. The music on his stylistically diverse new album, Nashville Demos, ranges from grunge to alt-country. What resonates most, though, is that John-Rodgers doesn't take himself too seriously and exhibits a wicked wit. Hear two songs from Nashville Demos in this segment.

Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop visited NPR's offices on what may well be 2016's most beautiful day so far: perfectly warm and sunny, uncharacteristically dry, and perfect for lounging happily on the roof deck just around the corner from the Tiny Desk. Hoop and Beam did just that, hanging out amiably for hours after their show ended, as part of one of the most comfortable and relaxing days in the history of NPR Music.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Gregory Alan Isakov's three studio albums have been spare and intimate: His voice, his guitar, sometimes a banjo, a piano, a fiddle, some drums. With his latest LP, Isakov wanted to build his songs bigger — so he gave them to a symphony. The Colorado Symphony, to be exact.

C.W. Stoneking Is Blues From Down Under

Jun 4, 2016

C.W. Stoneking is from the Northern Territory of Australia, but his sound is old school southern American blues. We catch him on his first U.S. tour and talk about his new album, Gon' Boogaloo.

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Olga Bell is a classically trained pianist who has ventured deeply into the world of electronica — and now, on her new album, Tempo, into dance music.

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