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.)
Norah Jones reflects on 20 years of 'Come Away With Me'
The singer explains why Blue Note Records rejected her first version of the beloved album and shares her original, previously unheard tracks, now released for a 20th anniversary edition of the record.
Plus a deep dive on the album with NPR Music's Ann Powers, WBGO and Jazz Night In America's Nate Chinen and host Robin Hilton.
New Music Friday: The best releases out June 24
NPR Music's picks for the best albums out this week include new ones from the electro-pop band MUNA, R&B singer GIVĒON, country star Jimmie Allen, Soccer Mommy and more.
New Mix: Dry Cleaning, Jesca Hoop, Alex G, Rubblebucket, Jake Blount, Marlon Williams
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares an anthemic call to action from Jesca Hoop, a song for a stressed-out brain from Dry Cleaning, and two tunes inspired by television shows.
Featured Tracks And Artists:
1. Jesca Hoop: "Hatred Has a Mother," from Order of Romance
2. Jake Blount: "Didn't It Rain," from The New Faith
3. Alex G: "Runner," from God Save the Animals
4. Rubblebucket: "Morning in the Sun" (Single)
5. Marlon Williams: "Thinking of Nina," from My Boy
6. Dry Cleaning: "Don't Press Me," from Stumpwork
New Music Friday: The best releases out on June 17
NPR Music's picks for the best albums out this week include new ones from R&B singer Yaya Bey, the shape-shifting rock of Bartees Strange, Perfume Genius, DJ and producer J. Rocc and more.
1. Yaya Bey — Remember Your North Star
Featured Songs: "alright," "rolling stoner," "meet me in brooklyn"
2. Bartees Strange — Farm to Table
Featured Songs: "Mulholland Dr.," "Hold the Line," "Hennessy," "Cosigns"
3. Wild Up — Julius Eastman, Vol. 2: Joy Boy
Featured Songs: "Stay On It," "Touch Him When (Heavy)," "Joy Boy"
4. J. Rocc — A Wonderful Letter
Featured Songs: "Keep On (Yeah)," "Pajama Party," "Dancing With the Best"
5. Perfume Genius — Ugly Season
Featured Songs: "Teeth," "Cenote," "Scherzo"
Erica Banks — Diary of The Flow Queen
Harkin — Honeymoon Suite
Kevin Gates — Khaza
RY X — Blood Moon
Other notable releases for June 17:
Alanis Morissette — The Storm Before the Calm
Carlos Simon & Marco Pave' — Requiem for the Enslaved
Flasher — Love is Yours
Foals — Life is Yours
Hercules & Love Affair — In Amber
Infinity Knives & Brian Ennals — King Cobra
Logic — Vinyl Days
Mt. Joy — Orange Blood
Sound of Ceres — Emerald Sea
New Mix: S.G. Goodman, The A's, The Beths, Tamino, more
All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen shares new tracks from Belgian-Egyptian singer Tamino, Sylvan Esso's Amelia Meath and Daughter of Sword's Alexandra Sauser-Monnig together as The A's and more.
Featured Tracks And Artists:
1. The A's: "He Needs Me," from Fruit
2. S.G. Goodman: "Dead Soldiers," from Teeth Marks
3. The Beths: "Silence Is Golden," from Expert In A Dying Field
4. Madison Cunningham: "Hospital," from Revealer
5. Katie Bejsiuk: "Olive, Ny" from The Woman on the Moon
6. Tamino: "The First Disciple," from Sahar
New Music Friday: The best releases out on June 10
NPR Music's picks for the best albums out this week include Nature's World from the Chicago hip-hop duo Mother Nature, FKJ's VINCENT, a meditative album from Japanese composer Midori Takada and more.
1. FKJ — VINCENT
Featured Songs: "Let's Live," "Greener"
2. ELUCID — I Told Bessie
Featured Songs: "Ghoulie," "Smile Lines"
3. Nick Mulvey — New Mythology
Featured Songs: "Mecca," "Star Nation"
4. Mother Nature & Renzell — Nature's World
Featured Song: "Midnight Garden"
5. Midori Takada — You Who are Leaving to Nirvana and Cutting Branches for a Temporary Shelter
Featured Songs: "Kannon Daiji," "Cutting Branches for a Temporary Shelter (In the Morning)"
BTS — Proof
Flora Purim — If You Will (physical release)
Julius Rodriguez — Let Sound Tell All
Shearwater — The Great Awakening
Other notable releases for June 10:
Bloomsday — Place to Land
Carrie Underwood — Denim & Rhinestones
Free the Robots — Kaduwa
George Ezra — Gold Rush Kid
Joyce Manor — 40 Oz. to Fresno
Judah & The Lion — Revival
Mapache — Roscoe's Dream
Max Richter — The New Four Seasons
Moonchild Sanelly — Phases
Vance Joy — In Our Own Sweet Time
Yann Tiersen — 11 5 18 25 18
Appreciating New Music
Has been my go-to for new music ever since I first discovered the podcast in 2013. Although it’s still great, and I certainly understand and appreciate the progression to New Music Friday, I do miss the Bob & Robin long-form episodes (alternating song picks and sometimes around a central theme), as I think it somewhat unified the new releases and brought in some lengthier guest appearances and more in-depth attention to the music. Those episodes circa 2013 to early 2015 were some of the best I heard and really featured some incredible artists and soundscapes. In comparison, the episodes now just feel a bit more superficial in their relationship to new music. But I still appreciate all the work by the NPR music team and the continued exposure for lesser-known artists.
so boring, contrived and narrow
this feeling topped it once I read Boilen’s “most astonishing song” of this year was Regina Spektor’s “Up the mountain”. Really?
musically, contrived. lyrically, generic. vocally, pretentiously soulless.
This is a sample of the narrow ears and stance of this program. NPR music was once upon a time a diverse intelligent program. It’s now no other than another Facebook/Instagram generic platform of noise.
No Standards Anymore
I used to love tuning in to Bob and the crew as they surfaced bands I hadn’t heard of or new cuts from old faves. However lately, it seems like the standards for what is critically acclaimed music is taking a hit in favor of wide inclusion to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I’m not sure why mediocre pop songs or a plethora of same old same old rap is getting top billing on a show meant to surface exceptional music, lyricism, and production. The reason why most listeners turned to this resource was due to the taste level of the hosts. That is all but gone. I’m all for all kinds of music for all kinds of people, and I won’t say anyone is wrong for liking what they like, but this show is not the place for that. This show served a group of engaged and sharply critical in-the-know folks. I’d like to see it return to that and worry less about catering to the masses through diluted content.