NPR Music

The heart of "Capable" from The Wild Reeds is spelled out in these lyrics by Sharon Silva: "You're capable of so much more/Than these people give you credit for/And you just need to show it."

Red Death is a thrash band raised on hardcore — its metallic riffs not only smash a crusty d-beat but also shout a punk ethos.

Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET

Gord Downie, singer of The Tragically Hip, died of complications from brain cancer Tuesday night at the age of 53. His death was announced in a statement from his family.

The tarantella is a lively folk dance and musical style originating in southern Italy's Apulia region, the heel of the Italian geographic boot.

In this session, we welcome Deer Tick into our studio. This is a band that can go from in-your-face to introspective on a dime – and they do, on their new set of two full-length albums, Deer Tick Volume 1 and Volume 2. The former is folkier with just a little bit of a bite, while the band gets heavy and lets their punk influence rip on Volume 2. And although the music sounds different on both sides, the lyrics share the clever craft that's made Deer Tick beloved purveyors of both humor and heart.

MGMT, the psych-pop duo behind one of the decade's best earworms, is back with its first new music in four years. "Little Dark Age" is the title track to their 2018 album, a pulsing, synthesized meditation on the age of anxiety over a world coming apart.

Finding a river to slide down, to escape onto, is a subjective thing. One should float without friction — it's working when you don't have to think all that much. Sometimes, similarly minded people who prefer the same amount of siltgrit, jumping in and gliding before returning to shore, when the real world can't be ignored anymore.

Christmas carols needn't always be cheery and bright, and there's no shortage of seasonal irreverence and sadness.

J Roddy Walston & The Business were last on World Cafe in 2013 with the album Essential Tremors. A lot has changed since then.

After living in Cleveland, Tennessee and Baltimore, J. Roddy has settled in Richmond, Va., where he found a thriving music community, built a recording studio, and became a father. All of which affected the band's new album, Destroyers Of The Soft Life.

It's only sexy to be sick sometimes. Or more precisely, only some types of sickness are sexy. Passionate fevers. Tragic, romantic consumption. Artistic mania. Poetic depression. The spectrum of socially acceptable mental illnesses is about as wide as a pinky finger — paranoia and anxiety aren't even on the same hand.

In the close-knit world of English folk music, Leveret boasts an impressive pedigree. The trio's Andy Cutting is renowned for his mastery of the melodeon, a type of accordion with a push-pull mechanism for intonation that imbues it with a wheezy kick. The band's fiddler is Sam Sweeney, of the flamboyant nu-folk band Bellowhead, and its concertina player is Rob Harbron — both are deft and expressive musicians in their own right.

The audience for Hanson's first Tiny Desk concert could be cleanly sorted into two distinct camps: the curious and the committed.

Way back in February, Lo Moon visited the WFUV studios in New York City and performed an unreleased song called "Thorns." We've been sitting on this stunning five and a half minutes ever since, waiting for the day the band chose to release the single. Eight months later, today is that day.

The War on Drugs' A Deeper Understanding is epic. Ambitious. Huge. Case in point: the first single they released, "Thinking of a Place," clocked in at over 11 minutes. But make no mistake – this isn't the work of a noodley jam band. Every sound is deliberate, every dynamic is thoughtful, and the build is brilliant. That's thanks in large part to the way lead singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel works.

Talk about building a buzz! Slingshot artist Lo Moon wowed us with its first single "Loveless" in September 2016. They let it percolate for a good eight months before unleashing its follow-up single, "This is It" in May. And today, they give us "Thorns" — the third single off a debut album to be released in early 2018. Suffice it to say, this is a new band that's taking time to get it right.

Dhani Harrison waited a long time to strike out on his own. After years of collaborating with others, the son of The Beatles' George Harrison just released a solo debut clearly influenced by his recent work as a composer. This was his first live radio appearance on the U.S. and a powerful session, particularly the single "All About Waiting."

Filmed July 14, just a week before Chester Bennington died in July, Carpool Karaoke has released its Linkin Park episode with the blessing of Bennington's family and the band, dedicated to the singer's memory. Ken Jeong hosts this particular episode, and, given the fervor in which he sings along to "Numb," "In The End" and "Talking To Myself," the actor and comedian looks thoroughly stoked to share his screams with Bennington, Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn.

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.

Review: Bully, 'Losing'

Oct 12, 2017

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.

In this edition of Latin Roots we've got a session with La Vida Bohème. As our pal Rahsaan Lucas at AfroTaino Productions has said - think The Clash playing disco in Venezuela. La Vida Bohème makes anthemic rock and roll that exudes charisma. But at its center, you'll find political activism and hope in the face of extreme danger.

The receipts from Bruce Springsteen's first week on Broadway are in. The Boss, over five sold-out performances, grossed $2.33 million — or about $466,000 per night.

Sufjan Stevens is sharing a rare outtake he recorded while making his 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. The song, "Wallowa Lake Monster," is one of several previously unreleased tracks included in an upcoming collection of remixes, demos and alternate versions of songs from that period.

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

Watch Big Thief Perform In KEXP's Studios

Oct 11, 2017

Deeply emotional songwriting is not new for Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker. The band's debut record, 2016's Masterpiece, consisted of a number of character portraits that felt deeply intimate and informed by residual images from childhood.

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