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All Songs Considered

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.

Masego is one of music's most promising chameleons. The Virginia-hailing multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of all things traphousejazz (a subgenre he coined in the beginning of his career) is gearing up to release a funky debut album this fall.

For the past seven years, the Yokohama, Japan-based producer Takahide Higuchi (who goes by the name 食品まつり aka Foodman) has dug into the quick-cut textures of footwork, making the Chicago-born style of electronic music his own. But then, Foodman began picking apart his digital feasts.

Kindness should be fundamental to our being. But it's increasingly a battlefield, as respect for who you are and who you want to be is riddled with political landmines, trolls both online and in the streets and people who judge your worth based on gender and race alone. The Chicago-based artist, poet and activist Tasha wants you to be kind to yourself and others, and makes music in kind that feels like a quietly stoic challenger to a beastly world.

On this week's show, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with Ann Powers, Marissa Lorusso and Sidney Madden about some of the greatest songs released by women and non-binary artists in the past 18 years.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lauren Onkey about the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday at the age of 76. In this career-spanning conversation, we share the songs and stories behind one of the most influential artists of all time, from her earliest days singing gospel in her father's church, through her 1980s pop hits, later collaborations with artists like Lauryn Hill and much more.

New Music Friday returns from a two-week break with some of 2018's most anticipated releases, including Death Cab For Cutie's Thank You For Today, Mitski's Be The Cowboy, Ariana Grande's Sweetener and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson to talk about these and other essential albums being released on Aug. 17.

Featured On This Episode:

  1. Death Cab For Cutie: Thank You For Today
    Featured Song: "Gold Rush"

Sarah Davachi's electro-acoustic compositions seek the corners of quiet with a studious and patient curiosity. Gave in Rest, her second album of 2018, takes its inspiration from early church music, in particular "the quietude, the air of reverence, the openness of the physical space, the stillness of the altars," she writes in a press release. From "Matins" (morning prayers) to "Evensong" (evening prayers), the L.A.-based composer fills the day with moments of peace.

Advisory: This is a live stream. Language is unpredictable.

There's a myth about self reflection: that it leads to self-love; that gaining an understanding of ourselves always brings peace. Perhaps that's true in the long term. But sometimes when we go looking for ourselves, we don't always like what we find.

There are a couple of fine lines that inevitably get mapped when you're picking music for kids that won't make you, a parent and adult human alive to the many and various pleasures of the musical world, crazy. First: What's the real difference between "bad" and "annoying," and on which side of that binary do you prefer to spend your time? Second: How much is the brain between that particular little set of ears going to understand those lyrics?

Today, The Band's Robbie Robertson is going to take us back 50 years, to a basement just outside of Woodstock, New York and the formation of a sound and an album that all these years later still shapes the musical landscape.

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