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All Songs Considered

Our shortlist of the best albums out this week includes a stirring call for social justice from soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples, rapper YG's powerful remembrance of Nipsey Hussle and the first new release in six years from lo-fi rock veterans Sebadoh. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the most essential albums dropping on May 24.

Featured Albums:

  1. Mavis Staples: We Get By
    Featured Song: "Sometime"

This year, like every year, an incredibly strong pool of artists entered the Tiny Desk Contest.

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Legendary guitarist Richard Thompson has composed a stunning score for a film honoring World War II fighter pilots and, to my surprise, there's not a lot of guita

On this edition of All Songs Considered, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood joins us to talk about two of his classical compositions we've just premiered on our Tiny Desk series.

Our sprint through this week's best new albums includes one of the most ambitious and visionary works The National has produced in its nearly 20-year career, pop wisdom and a call for kindness from Carly Rae Jepsen, the raw and defiant sounds of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the best new albums out on May 17.

Featured Albums:

After months of watching entry videos — over 6,000 of them — the judges of the fifth annual Tiny Desk Contest have chosen a winner!

This year, I was blown away by the Tiny Desk Contest entries I saw. We received over 6,000 entries from all across the country. We saw tiny desks up on rooftops and down on a subway platform; tucked into treetops, pickup trucks and laundromats. We heard songs about the situations that make life difficult and the people that make life worth living.

On this Guest DJ edition of All Songs Considered Joe Talbot, frontman for the British punk group IDLES, talks about the band's latest album, Joy as an Act of Resistance, how Van Morrison's Astral Weeks changed his life and his tips for how to make the long drive across Kansas while on tour.

IDLES is a band that's both fierce and compassionate. It's also one of the best live rock groups I've ever seen — the kind that creates mosh pits and community with noise and humanity.

Our shortlist of the best new albums out this week includes a deeply moving celebration of African American culture and history from the singer Jamila Woods, the sparkling, soul-searching guitar rock of Charly Bliss, composer Holly Herndon's brilliant collaboration with the AI known as "Spawn" and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the best new albums out on May 10.

Featured Albums:

  1. Charly Bliss: Young Enough
    Featured Song: "Hard to Believe"

Each year, the Tiny Desk Contest receives entries from all 50 states, thanks in part to encouragement from NPR Member stations across the country. This year's entries showcased impressive talent in local scenes and introduced us to a myriad of great new-to-us musicians. While the Tiny Desk Contest judges wrap up evaluating Contest entries, we want to share some of the entries our Member stations love.


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Songwriter Bernie Dalton, who, with his musical partners, created one of our most powerful and memorable Tiny Desk concerts, has died at 49 from complications of bulbar-onset ALS, an a

This week's episode of All Songs Considered is a show of contrasts — cotton-candy pop one moment (from mxmtoon), raging punk sung in Farsi the next (from Khiis) — and then calming, instrumental, prog rock courtesy The Quiet Temple. For All Songs Considered's nearly 20 years, we've tried to live up to our namesake and on this show, we consider more drastic ends of the song spectrum than we have in recent memory.

Update: The votes are in for this year's final Tiny Desk Contest fan favorite vote, and you chose The Brothers Reed (and good dog Cosmo) for its entry "Mexico!"

Our shortlist of the best albums out on May 3 includes Vampire Weekend's first new album in six years, life-affirming "pep talks" from Judah & The Lion, the interdimensional sounds of Big Thief's latest album U.F.O.F., the profound lyricism of Nashville singer-songwriter Caroline Spence, former Civil Wars singer Joy Williams and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the week's best new albums.

Featured Albums:

The Tiny Desk Contest judges are one week closer to picking this year's winner! In the meantime, we've been discovering tons of great music on the Tiny Desk Contest website, where you can watch every eligible entry to this year's Contest.

Have you ever had Persian cotton candy? It looks like Muppet hair and tastes like pistachio — well, at least the one we ate in the studio.

Update: The Tiny Desk Contest community has spoken. Our fan favorite for 2019's Best Desk goes to 76th Street!

In their entry video, Haley Gold and Spencer Bryant performed their song "Warrior," an ode to unconditional love and the power of friendship, at their sixth-grade teacher's desk. Congratulations to 76th Street and our other nominees, whose videos you can watch below.

Our shortlist of must-hear albums this week includes the incredible sonic adventures of Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker), acoustic, instrumental rock from Rodrigo y Gabriela, a byzantine concept album from The Mountain Goats and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Felix Contreras and Stephen Thompson as they run through their picks for the best new releases out on April 26.

Featured Albums:

  1. Nick Murphy: Run Fast, Sleep Naked
    Featured Songs: "Sanity," "Sunlight," "Novocaine and Coca Cola"

This year's Tiny Desk Contest judges are excited to finally be getting ready to pick the 2019 winner. In the meantime, there's a lot going on in the Tiny Desk Contest community.

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"The stars have a lot to say about babies born in the month of May," Lucy Dacus sighs in "My Mother and I," the latest single from

Kevin Morby's new album is unlike anything he's done before. Gone is the guitar (for the most part) from his earlier recordings. In its place are more droning instruments — sounds more suited for church than the concert hall, including a recurring, small choir. The subject for the album is God and our culture's relationship with God, from deep introspection to the trivial, everyday use of that ever-present expression "oh my God."

Update: The results are in, and your pick for our first weekly fan-favorite vote is: HATE DRUGS!

This band's youthful energy and playground backdrop made it your choice for the 2019 best Desk In The Wild! Congratulations to HATE DRUGS and to our other nominees. You can still see all their videos below.

To celebrate our fan favorite and nominees, plus all the other amazing outdoor entries we received this year, we put together a supercut of some of our favorite desks in the great outdoors.

We've been anxiously waiting for Lizzo to drop her debut full-length album ever since she dominated our South by Southwest showcase in 2017. Cuz I Love You is finally here and it's full of the kind of fearless swagger, unapologetic pride and boundless joy that's won over so many fans. We open this week's New Music Friday with just one of the standout cuts, "Juice."

The 2019 Tiny Desk Contest is officially closed for entries. Last Sunday night, in the final hours of the entry period, we watched videos pour in from across the country, delivering thousands of songs (and desks) to us.

For the musicians who sent us their songs, the hardest part is behind them. But for us, it's just beginning. While our judges deliberate, you can watch all the entries coming in as we moderate them and maybe find some new favorites of your own. Here are a few that we discovered this week.

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On April 26, singer-songwriter Kevin Morby releases an ambitious double-length concept album called Oh My God.

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With nationalist ideologies, identity politics and conversations about borders taking front row in recent global discourse, "home" feels like an illusory and contentious concept.

Don't worry! Everything's going to be alright. But if you need more reassurance than that, look no further than "Set of Stairs," from the Amsterdam-based band Pip Blom. It's a burst of frenetic joy to lift you up whenever life deals you a bad hand. Its singular message: You got this!

It sort of stood to reason that after winning multiple Grammys this decade — including one for Album of the Year — Beck would retire to the cushy corners of modern alt-rock. As a testament to that, he even collaborated with Cage the Elephant earlier this year. But Beck, ever the disruptor of standards, took a pivot into left-field. He's announced a new album, Hyperspace, as well as a new single, "Saw Lightning" today. It's due out, according to a press release, "at an as yet undetermined point in the space time continuum."

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A multilingual K-pop juggernaut, BTS mashes up pop, hip-hop, rock and dance music with huge, infectious energy and kinetic choreography.

When singer Norah Jones dropped her much-beloved debut album Come Away With Me in 2002, she won over legions of fans with her soul-soothing croon and blend of jazzy pop and bluesy folk. In more recent years she's explored a much deeper and sometimes darker sonic landscape. You can hear this remarkable range on her latest album, Begin Again, an inspired and often moody collection of songs she wrote and recorded with a number of collaborators, including Jeff Tweedy and Thomas Bartlett.

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