NPR Music

Turnstile's music swirled just as much as it pounded, turning some of the stranger, studio-driven moments of its recent album Time & Space into a live-action stage match. As the band explored every inch of the worn hardwood at All Souls Unitarian Church in Northwest Washington, D.C., stirring up heart rates and exalting the moment, one body would jump from the stage and be immediately replaced by another, all in constant motion.

Liz Brasher is on the move big time. The raven-haired Memphis singer is currently on tour with Red Wanting Blue and raves are abounding. Brasher brought her band to WMOT Roots Radio on Feb. 28, where we filmed four songs in advance of her new EP Outcast, which is available April 27.

SET LIST

It would be easy to call Peach Kelli Pop's bright and frenetic music bubblegum or twee, but it would also be wrong. To refer to a song like "Hello Kitty Knife" this way removes the agency and intention that makes it so earnest. The first single off the band's upcoming fourth album Gentle Leader is at once a more maturely written song than previous work and a return to childhood.

Detroit based singer-songwriter and guitarist Anna Burch recently released Quit The Curse, her debut solo album. Burch, a longtime member of the folk-rock band Frontier Ruckus, has a musical change of pace and exudes a confident and breezy appreciation for indie-rock on the debut, written when she first moved to Detroit after finishing graduate school in Chicago.

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.

When Johnny Cash died almost 15 years ago, he left behind a treasure trove of unpublished poems and handwritten letters. The new album Johnny Cash: Forever Words, out now, immortalizes those words in music.

Some say the glass of 2018 is on-quarter empty; others say the glass is three-quarters full. We say, "Wow, we've had some incredible artists perform in 2018 on World Cafe and it's only April!" So cheers to them!

Jonathan Wilson is an incredibly talented and in-demand producer. He's worked with loads of folks, including Father John Misty, Dawes, Conor Oberst and Karen Elson — and that just scratches the surface.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich, Tom Huizenga, Marissa Lorusso, Sidney Madden and Ann Powers about some of the best new albums dropping on Apr. 6, from the scorching punk of Norway's Dark Times to the mesmerizing cello drones of Clarice Jensen, rap phenom Cardi B, dance pop singer Kylie Minogue's country turn and much more.

Featured Albums

  • Dark Times: Tell Me What I Need
  • Christina Vantzou: No. 4
  • Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy

Spinal Tap Bassist Derek Smalls Is Back

Apr 5, 2018

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.

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.

It's hard not to smile watching Brett Dennen do his thing. He bounces around the stage, all six-foot-five of him, red hair flopping about, playing songs as if he's entertaining outdoors in the sunshine of summer camp like he used to do in his very formative past career as a camp counselor.

On this week's episode, we feature your favorite Celtic artists including Nightnoise, Ossian, Liz Carroll and Moving Hearts, as they create musical impressions and notions of springtime.

Four years ago, Eels founder Mark Oliver Everett decided to take a break. After 25 years of making music, he says, "I got to the point where if you do any one thing too much in your life, it catches up to you and makes it clear that you need to do something else."

One of the keepers of modern-day psychedelic music doles out distinct styles to no fewer than five projects: There's the cavernous rawk of Comets on Fire (forever on hiatus), the Summer of Love re-imagined as Heron Oblivion, the punk-scuzz of Feral Ohms and the Beat poet solo guitar-noise of

The fruit borne from Cate Le Bon and White Fence's Tim Presley in the last few years have been strange and delightful hybrids — like little pluots of avant-pop and post-punk. Hermits on Holiday, their 2015 debut album together as Drinks, directly influenced Le Bon's 2016 album Crab Day and takes an adventurous left-turn that has nooks and crannies I'm still discovering.

On Let's Make Love, Brazilian Girls' first record in a decade, "Karaköy" stands out for its timelessness and simplicity. It's a walk-skip along the ancient streets of its namesake neighborhood in Istanbul, with Sabina Sciubba's rich, gymnastic and apparently effortless voice left, right and center stage. When its chorus arrives, soft-washed trumpets in tow, Sciubba's volume rises to overpower them.

Many artists wait for the day they can stop working as servers and make a full-time living as musicians. Today's guest, Nathaniel Rateliff, is a platinum-selling artist whose generosity onstage makes the music business seem like the service industry. Nathaniel pushes his vocal cords to their very brink, rips open his rib cage to share his heart and leads his seven bandmates with absolute passion – all in service of making sure his audience has a good time and feels something.

There is a ceiling-gazing quality to Juliana Daugherty's songs — that's not an attempt at coining a new, fake genre, but a functional image. Light is the singer's first solo album after playing around the Charlottesville, Va. folk scene. Having spent a little time with Light, I just want to curl up in a circle of pillows and stare upwards at eggshell paint that could so easily be cracked by the quiet and contemplative poetry Daugherty sings with gentle, but aching lilt.

Since the early aughts, The Decemberists have been making a unique blend of lyrically dense indie-folk rock. But on the band's latest record, I'll Be Your Girl, the members deliberately switched up their sound, notably in their word economy and use of keyboards — Depeche Mode keyboards!

You know the kinds of teens and 20-somethings who listened to PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney and wore Mary-Jane Doc Martens with socks? The cool ones in those art films you saw in high school?

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.

Moby On World Cafe

Mar 30, 2018

You might know Moby as being one of the few faces of electronic music in America long before it entered the mainstream. And still, others might know Moby for his activism, especially his tireless work on behalf of animals. There is also the outspoken Moby: the guy who will preach Christianity and selflessness while being a self-professed party monster in New York's club scene.

We have some new music from Big Thief in the form of live concert footage. The band is performing at Point Ephémère in France this week and this beautiful video was captured by La Blogothèque and published on ARTE, the public Franco-German TV channel.

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