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All Songs Considered

Updated May 3, 2021 at 6:27 AM ET

The Listening Party is over, but you stream the album below.

Join us in an online listening party for Dawn Richard's Second Line. With WNXP's Jewly Hight in the host chair, we'll feature a live conversation with Richard herself — along with Dawn's mom, Debbie! The event will take place on release day, April 30, at 2 p.m. ET.

There's a new album by Rhiannon Giddens, an album that could only have been made by this artist and only in the last year. The singer, fiddler and banjo picker loves to explore the roots of American music and in particular the impact and continued relevance of early Black American music. She and her partner Francesco Turrisi birthed a new album in quarantine at home. Well, not quite home: The North Carolina native and her Italian musical partner have been in Ireland and in lockdown.

Updated April 19, 2021 at 9:46 AM ET

The Listening Party is over, but you can stream the album via Bandcamp below.

This year, the South by Southwest music festival that takes over Austin, Texas every spring happened online. Couch By Couchwest, as I like to call it, was an on-screen festival, with 289 acts performing roughly 15-minute pre-recorded sets across five days in March. If not whole sets, I watched at least partial performances by nearly half that number, and I've collected a few of my favorites here. You can also hear me talk about some of these performances with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish at the audio link on this page.

Updated March 29, 2021 at 3:53 PM ET

The Listening Party has ended. You can stream Promises below.


Join us in an online listening party for Julien Baker's new album, Little Oblivions, hosted b


Updated Jan. 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET

Roséwave: Lost Summer

Dec 30, 2020

Stream this playlist via Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube.

It wasn't until I took the time to think about it that I realized how much of the music I loved in 2020 was by artists who I already knew, most making calming sounds.

Let's start with the list itself. At the bottom of this post you can find streams of each album.

Quietude. More than half of the music I connected with and loved in 2020 fit that description. In past years, many of my nights were spent at clubs, seeing live music — loud, brash, fun, uplifting, and thrilling. That all stopped in mid-March, right about the time I'd usually be in the midst of thousands of fans seeing hundreds of musicians at SXSW. Being alone, away from friends, colleagues, and clubs, I connected deeply with music that drew me in with subtly, yearning, and atmosphere. Thank you to all those musicians who poured their hearts into their instruments in 2020.

Update: The Listening Party has ended, but you can listen an edited version of the conversation in your All Songs Considered feed.

Our 2020 poll is closed. To see the results, click here.

Updated on Oct. 31 ay 3:18 p.m. ET.

NPR Music's Listening Party has ended.

Imagine being able to lay down your burdens and fly away from Earth — to a place of harmony, where discrimination is left behind. That dream is the basis of the song "Blackstronauts" by Britton & The Sting, a standout entry in this year's Tiny Desk Contest. Britton Smith, who wrote the song, tells Weekend Edition he wrote "Blackstronauts" while thinking about one particular burden: the need for affirmation.

This year, many people have been turning to music for catharsis, but Mama Haze, aka songwriter Meaghan Maples, has been tapping into music's healing powers for a long time. Before pursuing music full-time, the Oakland, Calif.-based artist was a doula and caregiver, often prescribing music as an antidote to patients' pain.

Singer Danielle Ponder knows that empathy is a powerful tool in songwriting. "I think in music, you're telling a story," she tells NPR's Weekend Edition, "and a good songwriter is telling a story in a way where the audience empathizes or can see themselves in that person's shoes."

It's really not that different, the Rochester, N.Y.-based musician says, from being a defense attorney. She should know; outside of her music career, Ponder also spent five years as a public defender.

UPDATE: The listening party has ended.

This Friday at 4 p.m. ET, join us for an online listening party for Bright Eyes' new album, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, hosted by All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen and featuring a live conversation with Bright Eyes members Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott.

We have a winner! For the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest from NPR Music, our all-star team of judges reviewed more than 6,000 entries from across the U.S. and chose Linda Diaz, who submitted the song "Green Tea Ice Cream."


This year's Tiny Desk Contest was unlike any other.


Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf — an eight-week series highlighting the best entries from the 2020 Contest — came to a close on Thursday, July 30, when Bob Boilen hosted the final episode.


On Thursday, July 23, Bob Boilen was joined by Rita Houston, Program Director of NPR Member station WFUV in New York, for the penultimate episode of Tiny Desk Contest Top shelf.

Each year, the Tiny Desk Contest receives entries from all 50 states — and that's thanks in part to help from our friends at NPR Member stations. This year, the Contest introduced us to so many new artists and brought us new songs from previous entrants we love. Today, we're sharing some great entries chosen by Member stations across the country.


On Thursday, July 16, Bob Boilen was joined by Tiny Desk Contest judge and Tiny Desk alumna Gina Chavez for episode six of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf.

Updated on July 20 at 1:47 p.m. ET.

The listening party has ended, but you can stream the album below via Spotify or Apple Music.