NPR Music

Darrell Scott On World Cafe

Jul 5, 2016

One of Nashville's most in-demand session musicians and songwriters, Darrell Scott has played a wide variety of instruments on countless sessions and recently toured with Robert Plant and Band of Joy. He's also written hit songs for the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill and others — all while maintaining his own solo career.

On this week's All Songs Considered, we share new music from legendary producer and ambient pioneer, Daniel Lanois, and from the friends-for-life trio Nonkeen, whose new album comes in the aftermath of a "freak carousel accident." Also on the show is a shout-along emo track from Montclair, N.J.'s Pinegrove and a psych-pop track about never wanting to go outside from Morgan Delt, who recently signed with Sub Pop.

When Xenia Rubinos' father was suffering from Parkinson's disease, she flew to Florida every month to visit, pick up groceries, take him to appointments, and check in with his caregivers. It was an emotional time that inspired the song "Black Stars" from her album Black Terry Cat, in which she sings, "He's a million black stars / And he's gonna live a million years."

The Head And The Heart recently stopped by KCRW to preview songs from its forthcoming album, Signs Of Light. The folk-rock collective has never sounded better. Its members worked on the song "All I Ever Knew" for years, and finally finished it in Nashville with the help of producer Jay Joyce. It's a great indication of what's to come from the new album, due out in September.

Set List

  • "All We Ever Knew"

Watch Caroline Smith Perform Live In The Studio

Jul 1, 2016

Marissa Nadler inhabits a macabre world full of slow-burning melancholy and laments painted in black and white. Hers is singer-songwriter folk music for a special kind of death-obsessed, romantic Goth.

Hinds On World Cafe

Jun 30, 2016

The Spanish band Hinds has cut a giddy swath across the U.S., proving once and for all that rock music is supposed to be fun. The four women from Madrid play a deceptively loose brand of garage rock that's captured on their international debut, Leave Me Alone, released this past January. In this session, find out about how they keep it lighthearted on the road and hear a high-energy set. Check out "Garden" in the video below.

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

Hayes Carll On World Cafe

Jun 29, 2016

Hayes Carll's new album Lovers And Leavers defies the expectations of those who might have seen him as a next-generation Jerry Jeff Walker, writing songs of drunken missteps and failed romance. In comparison with some of Carll's earlier work, Lovers And Leavers, produced by Joe Henry, is downright mature. Recent experiences in Carll's life — like divorce and raising his son — inform his new songs, which work as well live as they do with Henry's studio band.

The huggable power pop of Dogbreth's Second Home is the work of punks who write youthful, larger-than-life songs that still wrinkle at the edges. It's the third outing from a band — its members split between Phoenix and Seattle — that plays with doo-wop rhythms, jangly Britpop guitars and ramshackle Thin Lizzy twin-leads.

Coming in at just under two minutes, the snippy "Hoarder House" acts as a self-contained short story in just five lines.

I'm sorry babe

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Dev Hynes, the songwriter and producer behind Blood Orange, has released a brand new album called Freetown Sound alongside a video for the song "Augustine," which appears on the album. Both the album and video were dropped as a surprise last night, days before the artist originally planned to release his album.

Punk is not immune to dudes lecturing women about womanhood. Truth is, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and well, actuallys.

Do we even need July through December? For a year just reaching its midpoint, 2016 has already been the most. Heartbreaking, surprising, idiotic, ecstatic, life-giving, exhausting. With apologies to whatever happened in the first week of January, the wild mood swings of the last six months started for music lovers the weekend when David Bowie released his final masterpiece, Blackstar, and then disappeared into eternity two days later, leaving us all gasping.

The writing rooms of Nashville aren't always magical places. Though many top-notch creative minds meet in those Music Row offices to pen country hits, the marketplace demands that they produce highly average material for stars seeking to dominate the radios inside American SUVs. Every so often, though, a truly original voice emerges from within Nashville's workaday milieu. Brent Cobb is one.

World Cafe Next: Whitney

Jun 27, 2016

Fans of the Chicago band Smith Westerns might hear something they recognize in the music of Whitney, a new band led by Smith Westerns guitarist Max Kakacek and drummer Julien Ehrlich. The two say "Whitney" is actually the name of the persona they envisioned performing the music they wrote for their debut album, Light Upon The Lake.

Keyboardist and composer Bernie Worrell, who helped shape the sound of the band Parliament-Funkadelic and influenced countless artists across a wide range of genres, died Friday at 72.

Worrell announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer.

Neil Young On World Cafe

Jun 24, 2016

Every time Neil Young joins World Cafe, he seems to have a different project he's excited about — and it's not always a new album. He's been telling us about his PONO digital music player and download service for a while, and he returns to that topic in today's conversation.

Musician and composer Frank Zappa was a lot of things: biting satirist, ferocious critic of societal norms, outspoken defender of free speech. He saw himself as not only an entertainer, but also a serious composer. And he saw no contradiction in being all of these things at once, to the consternation and confusion of the many journalists who interviewed him.

In the book of Matthew, chapter 8, the demons in two possessed men fear the judgment of God when they meet Jesus on a road in Gadara. "So the devils besought him, saying, 'If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.'" It's here that we curiously derive the adjective "Gadarene," which basically means to get involved in something in a hurry, with the potential for disaster.

Truth be told, when I saw the opening of this video, with Phaedra & Elsa Greene donning sunglasses and coordinated stars and stripes outfits, it felt trite: then the words kicked and the tone of the video along with my attitude, changed.

"America bleeds
The tears of a clown
Seeing stars
Behind bars."

C.W. Stoneking On World Cafe

Jun 23, 2016

Blues singer-songwriter C.W. Stoneking is touring the U.S. for the first time this summer, but he's been well known in Australia for over 20 years. His last record, Gon' Boogaloo, even earned him a ARIA Award (the Australian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Blues and Roots Album.

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

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