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All Songs Considered

Today we have some incredible, never-before-seen footage of John Lennon recording his seemingly cutthroat song, "How Do You Sleep?" It's a song he released in 1971 and directed at his former Beatle bandmate Paul McCartney. Here's just a sample of the lyrics:

It's another busy release week, with intimate home recordings from Prince, ragged rock from Metric, the angelic harmonies of Mountain Man and Richard Swift's final recordings among our shortlist for the must-hear albums out on Sep. 21. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Rodney Carmichael and Stephe Thompson, along with Nate Chinen from WBGO about the music you need to hear now.

Featured Albums:

  1. Metric: Art of Doubt
    Featured Song: "Die Happy"

What were you doing when you were 7 years old?

This week's run through the essential albums out Sep. 14 includes the first new music from Jump Little Children in 14 years, rapper Noname's incredible follow-up to her 2016 mixtape Telefone, one of the darkest and most distorted albums ever from the band Low, a bit of melancholy and hope from country singer Carrie Underwood and much more.

Featured Albums:

  1. Jump Little Children: SPARROW
    Featured Song: "Hand On My Heartache"
  2. Low: Double Negative
    Featured Song: "Quorum"

Last month Mary Halsey of Rhode Island posted a Facebook video of herself doing a karaoke version of Missy Elliott's "Work It." It quickly went viral, accumulating millions of views and drawing attention from Elliott herself who praised the performance on Twitter and called Halsey her "funky white sister."

The Reverend Al Green has long showed music lovers what it means to be blessed by the presence of a great voice. That is, Green's sporadic relationship with the music world beyond the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis, where he's preached most Sundays since 1976, shows us in no uncertain terms that the person doing the blessing is the owner of the golden pipes fans cherish.

Black Tambourine, Velocity Girl, Lilys, Lorelei, Stereolab — these are just a few of the artists who released 7-inch singles on Slumberland Records in the late '80s and early '90s. That's a helluva run for any label, but also remarkably prescient, considering the simultaneously softer and stranger indie pop that would follow.

This week's essential new releases includes Paul McCartney's best album in 20 years, the funk and disco of St. Paul & The Broken Bones, dark and twisted sounds from the rap duo $UICIDEBOY$ and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Marissa Lorusso, Stephen Thompson and Rodney Carmichael.

Featured Albums:

  1. St. Paul & The Broken Bones: Young Sick Camellia
    Featured Song: "Got It Bad"

Prince is everything. Yes, I'm using a meme-ably meaningless phrase to describe the most fascinating artist to reign during my lifetime, but it's nearly factual for the Purple One: the intense reconsideration so many listeners have given his work since his death in April 2016 continues to reveal new facets of his genius and his work's cultural importance.

At 76, Paul Simon has been writing music for more than 60 years. And all that's about to come to an end.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the essential new albums out on Aug. 31, including music from Big Red Machine (a new side project of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner of The National), the pop paradise of singer Troye Sivan, a tribute to Roger Miller and more.

Featured Albums

  1. Big Red Machine: Big Red Machine
    Featured Song: "Air Stryp"
  2. Troye Sivan: Bloom
    Featured Song: "Seventeen"

They're vulnerable and fearless, filled with love but in pain, thoughtful but prone to cathartic outbursts. IDLES is the best 21st century punk-ish band I've heard. Where most outlandish bands spit out lyrics as one-line headlines, IDLES are tellers of truthful tales.

We close out the second season of Roséwave, the ultimate summer playlist series, with our friend Sam Sanders, host of It's Been a Minute. —Lars Gotrich

Tokyo, Japan is Kikagaku Moyo's home, but the wandering band looks to the world to make its psychedelic music. Rumbling hard-edged rock and acid folk are dipped into motorik rhythms and sitar drone, developed through the band's five-year discography and extensive tours in America and Europe.

Its fourth album, Masana Temples, took the band to Lisbon to work with jazz musician and producer Bruno Pernadas, where Kikagaku Moyo truly encompasses a state of psychedelia rather than any one trip. You can hear that in the genre-skipping joy that is "Dripping Sun."

I love everything about Ohmme's debut album, Parts. Here we have two classically trained pianists, picking up electric guitars and diving into uncharted musical waters.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with Ann Powers, Jewly Hight, Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson about the essential albums out on Aug. 24. This includes the drone rock of Nothing and delicate piano work of Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds, French-American rapper Bas, the return of DeVotchka and more.

Featured Albums:

  1. White Denim: Performance
    Featured Song: "Good News"
  2. Nothing: Dance on the Blacktop
    Featured Song: "Zero Day"

You have not one, but several shades of black lipstick to match the varying shades of your dark void existence. You always rock Siouxsie Sioux eyeliner, even if it's just imprinted on your soul while you're staring listlessly in class or slogging away at a 9-to-5. You've had a comic-book crush on Dream from Sandman or "Hopey" from Love and Rockets for, like, ever.

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