KTEP - El Paso, Texas

All Songs Considered

We toil with what's ahead, but know what's possible, what's futile and how it can distort — even control — our everyday. It is exhausting and forgets those who just need need to be in the present.

The latest video from Malian singer and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara, for the song "Nterini," opens with a simple but stark reminder: "In a world of seven billion people, one billion are migrants." The Pew Research Center puts the number at a quarter of a billion — a figure that's still shockingly high.

"When I give these books away," serpentwithfeet wonders, "will my ink betray me?" His opening isn't a worry. These songs will be given away — serpentwithfeet's only concern is that his books will be greeted with the same genuine intentions that inspired them to travel in the first place: "Boy, whoever reads about how much I adore you... I hope my words bring them something new."

This is a complex and fascinating conversation with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine about the latest version of the band's legendary 1991 album, Loveless. It's also about the group's future.

We have some questions about Neko Case's first solo album in 5 years, Hell-On. Is the hyphen some kind of slang for our current hell on Earth? Per that wild album artwork, are haberdasheries going to update their stock with hats made out of lit cigarettes? Can human hair really emit such a dark and ominous plume?

Harrison Lipton is a Brooklyn singer and producer with a limited digital paper trail. There was the 2014 collaborative Bandcamp loosie with Dayspired that ambled through the mood music Rhye once perfected on Woman. Then there was Lipton's appearance on songs from electronic music producers Mister Lies and Giraffage.

Getting noticed as a musician can be an uphill challenge. There are numerous factors at play: practice, natural ability, accessibility, market saturation, etc. I've spent my artistic career working to open doors for emerging artists while recognizing established musicians who haven't had the chance to be celebrated.

The Tiny Desk Contest is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be seen and heard, and I'm so excited to be a part of such an amazing platform. As I'm watching your videos, here are three areas that I'll be focusing on:

Hawthonn's mystic drones seem to come from an ancient astral plane. Formed in 2014, the experimental duo from Leeds explores the metaphysical — dreams and ghosts — through music that seems to both wander through and embody the foggy English countryside.

Look, it's gonna be a tough week. Maybe you stayed up late watching the Oscars and you're already underslept; maybe there's a lot going on at work right now; and certainly, if nothing else, whatever transpires in the news will accumulate so quickly, you won't believe that only four days have passed by the time we get to Friday.

Trap over Saturday Night Live as Migos appear as last night's musical guest.

Riddles, the third album by Ed Schrader's Music Beat, is a fascinating piece of work that is both ugly and beautiful, often at the same time. The beauty of this music is in the trance-inducing pulse that drives it; a chaos of pulsing, incessant rhythms.The sound is reminiscent of two bands that captured my musical world around 1978 — the aggressively minimalist electronics-and-poetry duo Suicide and the dark, futuristic sounds of Pere Ubu's Dub Housing.

Brooklyn's Wharf Cat Records doesn't keep to any one sound — from Gothic post-punk to country-rock and noisy electronics to hazy psych-rock — but hangs on dearly to a p

Wimberley, Texas is about 45 minutes out from Austin by car or truck — far enough to allow a music scene independent of Austin's own to thrive in that hill country. Alexander Buck Meek grew up in that scene, among the jazz manouche, blues and outlaw country guitarists of the region. Even though Buck Meek's work with Big Thief has taken him far away from his Texas home, the lead single from his self-titled debut album sounds as if it echoes out from the state's hill country.

As a Sim, Kelela is just as striking as the real deal, rocking her signature bubble-beaded locks, shedding a single tear over her break-up in the beginning of the clip. While the human representation has been taken out of the equation in favor of digital love, betrayal and neglect sting just the same.

Skating Polly's music has skittered back and forth along the genre spectrum between alt-rock and what it calls "ugly pop." The band's lead single for The Make It All Show, "Queen for a Day," skews towards rock as it drips with punk sensibilities: from Kelli Mayo's snarling vocal performance to the simple and stripped down verses leading into the thrashing of guitars on the chorus.

We're one week into the 2018 contest and love what we're seeing. Submissions have already come in from all over the country featuring music and desks ofall varieties. With that, we'd like to take a moment to celebrate the first entry we received: Ian Bamberger's "A Privateer's Eyes."

With a little help, Kacey Musgraves has spent the past five years building a new musical world in Nashville. Now, with two new songs from her upcoming album Golden Hour, she's showing the world that she is fully living in it.

Pages