Music

Music

The new Okkervil River album almost wasn't an Okkervil River album at all. That's how the band's lead singer and songwriter, Will Sheff, explains it. "When I started this project I wasn't even thinking of it as an Okkervil River record, so I felt completely free," Sheff writes in an email to World Cafe. "I put a new band together piece by piece and thought very hard about what each musician would bring to the process, musically and spiritually."

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At White House state dinners, it's customary for a president to nod to the strengths and contributions of guest countries. And when hosting Nordic nations on Friday, President Obama paid tribute to a particular Finnish export.

KSUT is featuring the new Mary Chapin Carpenter release 'The Things That We Are Made Of' this week, playing the full CD at noon on Friday 5/20.

Produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton) and recorded in Nashville, TN, the album features eleven new songs.  Carpenter comments, “Working with Dave felt great from the first day of our sessions. He is always willing to try something new, believes that ‘yes’ is the only answer, and surrounds himself with wonderfully talented and generous musicians; by the end of the project, I felt as if I was a part of a new family.”

This week's essential mix from All Songs Considered includes a surprising, electronic, mostly instrumental cut from The 1975 — a British group known more for its brash Top-40 pop and rock — an intimate home demo recording from My Morning Jacket and a spare, moody cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" by the Irish folk singer known as

RLYR's moniker is an upcapped, vowel-less tribute to Yes' 1974 album Relayer. You know, the one with the incredibly epic gatefold art by Roger Dean? While RLYR isn't quite a fantasy-themed fusion/prog-rock band, the members know a few things about heroic and heavy instrumental rock that storms the gates of delirium.

Mike Cooley On Mountain Stage

May 17, 2016

Mike Cooley appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.Va. Best known as a singer and guitarist in the enduring Georgia band Drive-By Truckers, Cooley gives a lot of solo performances, but they're always special.

The VuHaus Song Of The Day

May 17, 2016

Watch intimate live performance videos daily from America's leading public radio stations. Powered by VuHaus, the new Music Discovery platform.

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

What's most striking about Japanese Breakfast's first full-fledged album, Psychopomp, is how gracefully it treads over difficult territory. What started as singer and guitarist Michelle Zauner's side project — she took on the moniker to release solo work when not performing with Little Big League — eventually became an outlet for songs of grief and mourning in the aftermath of her mother's death. Sonically, Psychopomp is a far cry from the Philadelphia emo band's music, trading crunchy indie rock for haunting pop songs with swirling synthesizers.

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