NPR Music

Beginning at 12 noon ET on Sunday, July 29, you can watch Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band, Blind Boys Of Alabama, Phoebe Bridgers and more perform during the final day of WXPN's 2018 XPoNential Music Festival.

Birds Of Chicago On Mountain Stage

Jul 27, 2018

Chicago's J.T. Nero and Toronto's Allison Russell were both successful songwriters prior to discovering their undeniable chemistry. They combined their efforts to form Birds of Chicago in 2012, with their debut self-titled release garnering immediate praise.

This weekend, NPR Music will be on the ground at one of our favorite summer events: the Newport Folk Festival. We're looking forward to hearing the brilliant sounds of Courtney Barnett, gospel powerhouse The War and Treaty and the instrumental vibrations of Khruangbin.

Beginning at 12 noon ET on Saturday, July 28, you can watch Margo Price, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, Sunflower Bean and more perform during the second day of WXPN's 2018 XPoNential Music Festival.

On this week's New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks to NPR Music guests Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the essential new releases for July 27, including the jangly guitar pop of Tony Molina, a celebration of queerness and the company we keep from Thin Lips and whimsical sing-a-longs from Raffi.

Featured on this Episode

  1. Israel Nash: Lifted
    Featured Song: "Rolling On"

Beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, July 27, you can watch The Lone Bellow, Bermuda Triangle, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real and more perform during the first day of WXPN's 2018 XPoNential Music Festival.

The XPoNential Music Festival, presented by Subaru, offers an unparalleled experience for music discovery. With a lineup of established and up-and-coming artists, the XPoNential Music Festival has been pleasing audiences of all ages for more than a decade at the Camden Waterfront in Camden, N.J.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Somewhere between dusk and nightfall, there's a point when the sky's deep reds and luminous notes of peach bleed into deep blues and silhouetted skylines. It's a somber, meditative medley of color, when the reflection of day turns dim; that's where the new record by Patrick McDermott, who records instrumental guitar music as North Americans, rests.

Join Fiona Ritchie to uncover the deep roots that run through a family tree of songs from Scotland and Ireland to the Southern Appalachians. The music features Al Petteway, Dolores Keane, and T with the Maggies.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Dirty Projectors, fronted by David Longstreth, has been a hugely influential band since its formation in 2002. The band's distinct sound is beautifully off-kilter and its latest effort, Lamp Lit Prose, is positively bright and bouncy. "I Found It In U" was a highlight of our live set, recorded as the group toured through town last month.

SET LIST:

Nathan Bowles' clawhammer banjo music has always lived in three planes of existence: Rooted in the past, with a foothold in the present and an eye on the future. But as much as we think about folk music speaking across time — its seeking melodies and lyrics ever-resonant — Bowles wants to pluck sound from space itself.

Looking back on the past year of some incredible sessions this week, World Cafe is digging into the archives for some of its best performances and interviews since last July. You'll hear sessions with artists including singer-songwriter Natalie Prass, "the Croz" himself, David Crosby, Australian rocker Courtney Barnett and more.

Music and politics have always been intertwined, from "Yankee Doodle" to "A Change is Gonna Come." And that's true in Zimbabwe, too — a country that is now facing a historic political transition.

Aussie psych project Tame Impala and electronic star Zhu have given their collaboration "My Life" the video treatment and enlisted Willow Smith as its bittersweet protagonist.

Low Cut Connie is a lot of fun. Sure, it's developed a healthy reputation as a party band, but there's a lot more to discover underneath the sweaty sheen of its intense live shows. Speaking of which, I wish you could see the way lead singer Adam Weiner attacks the piano. At some points, he plays it the same way Superman flies, his body parallel to the ground. It's a sight to see!

Malcolm Holcombe On Mountain Stage

Jul 20, 2018

"If you want anything more authentically Appalachian, you're going to have to dig it out of the ground" are the words host Larry Groce himself used to describe Malcolm Holcombe before this appearance on Mountain Stage. This was Holcombe's third visit with us here in West Virginia and, as always, he reminded us why he's known as a legend in the folk music underground.

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Holcombe creates a beautifully rugged sound that you just can't fake.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Summer Sounds

Jul 19, 2018

New music is always in season on Thistle! This week it's all about the albums that have been gathering in our North Carolina and Scottish mailboxes just waiting for an hour of your time. Included in this week's show are Dylan Foley, 14-year-old Iona Ritchie, The Bevvy Sisters, and Dougie MacLean.

2018 Slingshot band Mt. Joy has had a fruitful year. From festival appearances to nationally televised studio sessions, the band has seen a burgeoning growth in support and notoriety. In the midst of all this success, the band members still recall their humble yesteryears and marvel at their steady rise to indie-rock stardom.

Jeff Rosenstock has always made music for the slow days after the end-times, and "All This Useless Energy" is a kick-the-can punk ballad for crawling out of aimlessness toward a purpose.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Bandcamp playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Earlier this week, Guns N' Roses' video for "November Rain" hit a curious milestone: Released in 1992, it's the oldest video ever to be streamed a billion times on YouTube.

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