Hosts/nerds Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are your friendly music buddies with the week's best new music discoveries, including conversations with emerging artists, icons and more. Hear songs that can completely change your day, with humor, heart and (sometimes) a whole lot of noise. Directions for use: Morning commute, the gym, or alone time. (If rash persists, discontinue use.)
New Music Friday: The top 6 albums out on Jan. 21
Emo rapper and singer iann dior, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, Americana singer-songwriter Aoife O'Donovan and more land on this week's shortlist for the best new releases out on Jan. 21.
1. iann dior — on to better things
Featured Songs: "V12" and "hopeless romantic"
2. Che Noir — Food For Thought
Featured Song: "Communion"
3. Simone Dinnerstein — Undersong
Featured Songs: Erik Satie's "Gnossienne No. 3" and Philip Glass' "Mad Rush"
4. Aoife O'Donovan — Age of Apathy
Featured Song: "Sister Starling"
5. Jana Horn — Optimism
Featured Song: "Optimism"
6. Tanya Tagaq — Tongues
Featured Songs: "Earth Monster" and "Colonizer"
Other notable releases for Jan. 21:
Aurora - The Gods We Can Touch
Boris — W
Boy Harsher — The Runner (Original Soundtrack)
Jake Xerxes Fussell — Good and Green Again
Janis Ian — The Light at the End of the Line
Pedro the Lion — Havasu
Young T & Bugsey — Truth Be Told
New Mix: Shamir, Midlake, Anaïs Mitchell, Janis Ian, more
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares his favorite new tracks, including one from Hadestown creator Anaïs Mitchell, Frank Turner's dream-inspired ode to his late friend, Scott Hutchison and more.
Featured Tracks And Artists:
1. Frank Turner: "A Wave Across A Bay," from FTHC
2. Anaïs Mitchell: "On Your Way (Felix Song)," from Anaïs Mitchell
3. Janis Ian: "Better Times Will Come," from The Light at the End of the Line
4. Midlake: "Bethel Woods," from For The Sake of Bethel Woods
5. Shamir: "Reproductive," from Heterosexuality
6. Keeley Forsyth: "I Stand Alone," from Limbs
New Music Friday: The Top 6 Albums Out Jan. 14
NPR Music's picks for the best albums out this week include FKA Twigs' CAPRISONGS, SICK! from Earl Sweatshirt, joyful singalongs from The Lumineers and more.
1. FKA Twigs — CAPRISONGS
Featured Songs: "papi bones" and "track girl interlude"
2. Earl Sweatshirt — SICK!
Featured Song: "God Laughs"
3. The Lumineers — Brightside
Featured Song: "Where We Are"
4. Bonobo — Fragments
Featured Song: "Rosewood"
5. Cordae — From A Birds Eye View
Featured Song: "Champagne Glasses"
6. Linying — There Could Be Wreckage Here
Featured Song: "Faith"
Other notable releases for Jan. 14: Blood Red Shoes — GHOSTS ON TAPE; Broken Social Scene — Old Dead Young; Cat Power — Covers; Elvis Costello and The Imposters — The Boy Named If.
New Mix: The Smile, Kae Tempest, Yard Act, More
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares his favorite new tracks of the week, along with NPR Music's curator of the weird and loud, Lars Gotrich.
Featured Artists And Tracks:
1. Kae Tempest: "More Pressure," from The Line Is A Curve
2. Pigeon Pit: "Empties," from Feather River Canyon Blues
3. Souk: "Sooner or Later," from Souk Demo
4. Basia Bulat: "The Garden," from The Garden
5. Barrie: "Quarry," from Barbara
6. The Smile: "You Will Never Work In Television Again" (Single)
7. Yard Act: "Rich," from The Overload
Presenting: Pop Culture Happy Hour, on Spotify's corporate ad game, 'Wrapped'
Our friends at NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast take a look Spotify's annual end-of-year event, and viral sensation, 'Wrapped.' In 2019 the service started pairing its year-end listening data with eye-catching and extremely shareable graphics. But, when the algorithm curates so much of our listening experience... are we just creating a perpetual feedback loop?
How Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan created Merge Records
In this special episode from NPR's How I Built This with Guy Raz, Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan talk about how, as college students in the late '80s, they created one of the most influential indie labels of all time, Merge Records