Back in 2001, not long after All Songs Considered started, Bob Boilen and I made what was one of the show's first-ever musical discoveries, a then-new band called The Be Good Tanyas. The trio of young women from Vancouver made incredibly infectious folk with the sweetest harmonies and a swoon-inducing surplus of innocent charm.
We follow Father's Day weekend with a mix of powerful new pop and rock from a lot of incredible women, including "Exhumed," a raging, cathartic song from Zola Jesus, and roaring doom metal from Chelsea Wolfe.
Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle has always been more comfortable with machines than people. It's a dynamic he's well-documented, and even romanticized, in his work, with tales of misfit characters and their troubled relationships with everything from robots to appliances. Perhaps it's because mechanical friendships don't require much of an emotional investment — they're not built on a lot of open and earnest discussions.
You're in a New York apartment, alone on a warm night, hearing the sounds of the city drift up from the streets. Or you're in Paris and part of the noise, moving through the crowded streets and sidewalks, both feeling the weight of the world and a being a part of that weight. Or maybe you've never even seen a large city, and mistake the glowing lights from afar for a mysterious fire.
It's hard to know what's real in the latest video from English musician and actor Johnny Flynn. The short film, for his song "In The Deepest," opens with Flynn casually strolling down the street on a sunny day while shooting a selfie. "The thing about Glasgow is you don't know what you're gonna get," he says, staring into the camera. Just then he notices a brilliant light streaking across the sky behind him. It seems a massive meteor is headed straight for earth.
We get right down to business this week with the fantastic, frenetic pop of Guerilla Toss. The New York band has a new album on the way and recently released "Betty Dreams Of Green Men," a cut inspired by alien abduction, addiction and the obsessions that can consume a person's life.
Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, the sweetly synchronized guitarist and bassist for Girlpool, aren't really feeling it in a new video for their song, "Powerplant." The singers, along with newly added drummer Miles Vintner, half-heartedly perform the track on a tiny stage at the worst possible location: a bowling alley.
Since releasing his debut album Learning under the name Perfume Genius in 2010, Mike Hadreas and his music have both steadily grown bolder, more daring, more defiant. Over the course of four full-length albums his songs have evolved from intimate piano pieces to grandly orchestrated, stirring pop anthems that often rage against both his inner demons and the social and political injustices Hadreas sees in the world.
Update, Mar. 3, 6:49 p.m.: A rep confirmed to NPR that the band has cancelled its upcoming North American tour (dates at the bottom of this article). "Given the circumstances," a statement reads, "we unfortunately have to cancel our upcoming US tour dates. We hope to reschedule these at some point in the future."
The 2015 Sufjan Stevens tour for his crushingly sad and beautiful album Carrie & Lowell produced some of the best live shows of that year, if not this decade. Now the singer is sharing a full video of one of those performances. The video, which includes the entire Carrie & Lowell album and a seven-song encore, was shot Nov. 9, 2015 at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
The strange creatures that chase after a young girl in Fall Out Boy's new video, for the song "Young And Menace," are like demented versions of the beasts from Where the Wild Things Are. And like that beloved children's story, the whole tale that unfolds is like a surreal dream, though decidedly much, much darker.
You'll need a few viewings to make any sense out of the new Father John Misty video for "Total Entertainment Forever." The song is, at least in part, an indictment against popular culture, the blind adoration of pop stars and the rampant obsession with virtual reality.
A broken heart can be enough to drive anyone completely mad. Just ask Highly Suspect frontman Johnny Stevens, who snaps his cap and trashes a thrift store after losing the love of his life in a new video for the song "Little One."
For this week's show, Bob Boilen and I throw open the studio door to welcome a parade of guests from the NPR Music team, each sharing their favorite April releases. This includes Jake Witz, one of our fabulous Spring interns, who has some relatively restrained music from U.K. grime artist Mr. Mitch.
The War On Drugs is sharing its first new music since 2014's well-regarded Lost In The Dream. Clocking in at more than 11-minutes, "Thinking Of A Place" is both epic and wistful, with moody reflections and memories of a time gone by. And what do you know — it also includes some extended guitar shredding.
"Thinking Of A Place" will be a 45 RPM 12" release for Record Store Day this Saturday, April 22.