Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:21 am
For the past 15 years, Fink has been a solo project for Berlin-based songwriter Fin Greenall. But with his album, Hard Believer, he enlisted the help of longtime friends Guy Whittaker and Tim Thornton to help him develop his new material. In part because each participant has a different musical background, the new songs sound especially varied and dynamic. As Greenall says, "They even taught me how to play live" — as you can see for yourself in this performance of "Looking Too Closely."
English electro-pop musician Dan Croll released his debut album earlier this year; it's titled Sweet Disarray, an apt name for such a stylistically rich record.
Croll went to school for music at the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, which was founded by Paul McCartney. Croll was even chosen by his classmates to meet Sir Paul; we'll hear that story and a live set in the studio today.
The year is half over and that means NPR Music and our public radio partners have been obsessing over our favorite songs of the year so far. The full list of 50 songs makes a potent stew ranging from power pop and brash hip-hop to electro-fueled dance music and intimate portraits from jazz vocalists, classical guitarists and folk troubadours.
To celebrate Fourth of July this Friday, KSUT has two Feature CDs for you to hear at noon. First, we'll hear the latest by newgrass favorites the Infamous Stringdusters. "Let It Go" is a light-hearted album by design. Then it's the latest by Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, "Our Year." The Bruce & Kelly show comes to the Durango Mountain Resort as part of Music in the Mountains on July 25th. Because it's the Fourth, we won't have a Zia Trivia contest ... but you can enjoy listening to both of these CDs in their entirety while getting ready for your Independence Day cookout!
For 23-year-old singer-guitarist Lydia Loveless, gritty, countrified blues-rock is a palette broad enough to include literary drama — complete with fatalistic references to the doomed French poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud — and a plainspoken plea for oral sex.
On this week's All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton play new songs from upcoming releases by Bon Iver, Luluc and White Fence and talk with members of the NPR Music team about some of their favorite music from the first half of the year.
John Fullbright is from Okemah, Okla., the hometown of Woody Guthrie. World Cafe first showcased Fullbright in 2012, when he released his diverse, Grammy-nominated album From the Ground Up.
His latest album is simply called Songs. As the title suggests, it's a collection of straightforward compositions, but they take on complicated topics. "Happy," for example, poses the question, "Do you have to have to be depressed to write a great song?"
Hear "Happy" and three other Fullbright songs in today's session.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist is the Brooklyn band Heaven's Jail. Frontman Francesco Ferorelli grew up listening to metal and hip-hop, later discovered country, and now plays indie-rock music. Producer Matthew Houck (of Phosphorescent fame) says of Ferorelli, "[He] is my favorite kind of songwriter — sensitive but not sappy, smart but not precious."
Ace Called Zero, the debut album by Heaven's Jail, is due out August 26. Download two songs as part of the World Cafe: Next podcast.