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All Songs Considered

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.

Recording as Mega Bog for the past decade, multi-instrumentalist Erin Birgy creates prismatic avant-pop that balances warbling melodies with unexpected bursts of frenetic energy. For the forthcoming Dolphine, "Diary Of A Rose" is a lush representation of Birgy's ability to evoke warmth and nostalgia while keeping her gaze to the future. The album was recorded and mixed by James Krivchenia of Big Thief.

If we write our own epitaph for the planet, Dead to a Dying World's dark metallic prophecies are there to provide a gracefully vicious soundtrack. Nearly a decade into its existence, the Dallas band has sewn together exquisite doom metal, soaring post-rock and searing crust-punk in its vision of an Earth ravaged by humanity. For all its despair, singer and lyricist Heidi Moore says "The Seer's Embrace," from the band's forthcoming Elegy, is about acceptance:

You know when a song belongs to J. Robbins. There's a jagged quality, with guitar riffs that seem to have been sharpened on stone, all grounded in oblique hummability. Robbins has been in D.C. rock bands like Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Channels and Office of Future Plans for more than three decades now, each with a different take on his signature style. But Robbins had never really been interested in a solo project until he started playing shows on his own, rearranging older Jawbox tunes and releasing new songs on Bandcamp.

The deadline to send us your video for the 2019 Tiny Desk Contest is quickly approaching: You have until this Sunday, April 14, 11:59 p.m. EDT. If you need some inspiration for your entry, you can now check out every eligible entry we've seen so far on the Tiny Desk Contest website. And while you're working on your last-minute entry, (fine by us!) check out these videos below to see what's caught our attention lately.


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After releasing a slow drip of singles and EPs over the past three years, Brooklyn band Crumb will share its self-released deb

Maybe it's been a few months and you've wondered: "Where's that dude who played the heavy and weird stuff?" First of all, thank you. It's nice to be missed. The answer: I've been at home, watching lots of movies, changing lots of diapers and taking care of my firstborn daughter. Did this stop me from listening to said "heavy and weird stuff?" Well, yes and no.

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Courtney Barnett wants you to feel better – and to understand most of your attempts to chill out and find joy are l

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy is surprising fans with a new album this week. WARMER is due out April 13 and will initially be available on vinyl only as a Record Store Day exclusive limited to 5,000 copies. The album is a sequel to Tweedy's previous full-length, WARM, which came out less than five months ago.

We open this week's New Music Friday with a quick spin of Love Keeps Kicking from the self-described queer, straight edge, vegan, anarchist punk band Martha. One of the week's best guitar rock albums, it's bursting with hooky melodies and memorable meditations on (among other things) the end of times.

We have less than two weeks left in this year's Tiny Desk Contest entry period, and we're seeing more and more entries (and desks) we love each day. So just as we've done for the last two weeks, we've rounded up a few of our favorites from the Contest so far.

We hope these songs inspire you to send us a song of your own if you haven't already — you've got until Sunday, April 14!


Quinn Christopherson, "Erase Me"

On this edition of All Songs Considered you'll hear new music from Chastity Belt singer and guitarist Julia Shapiro. You'll also hear a song based on an old field recording by the singer Jake Xerxes Fussell. Both of these songs were picked by our awesome intern, Adelaide Sandstrom as she enters her final days at All Songs Considered.

Choosing different mics to capture a variety of instruments is an art form. There are countless options at different price points and there are no right answers. EQ adjustments to treble, bass and midrange frequencies can make an inexpensive mic sound good. Mic placement can change the sound dramatically. Whenever I'm not sure how to record an instrument, I move my head around until it sounds nice, then I replace my head with a mic. (Trade secret!) Also, what does the room sound like where you're recording?

Billie Eilish is already a veteran pop artist at the age of 17, with a clear vision for her sound and image, even if that sound is sinister and the image a bit demented. (Have you seen her videos?) Her brilliant debut full-length, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

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Each year, it seems that the first balmy days of spring possess a surreal magic: As new growth emerges in the physical world, our internal processes seem to renew as well, pointing us

This week, we were reminded again of all the wonderful music we discover through the Tiny Desk Contest. &More, the hip-hop and R&B duo of Donn T and Chill Moody, entered the Contest last year with the stellar song "WHOA." Even though the group didn't win the Contest, it still made its way to the Tiny Desk: Just this week, we got to share &More's Tiny Desk concert debut.

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The limits of childhood contemplation are seemingly boundless; before our eyes are opened to much of the world's bitter cynicism, thought is only restricted by the realm of our own ima

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I didn't know what it was about this song that enthralled me.

Joining me on this edition of All Songs Considered is NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna, Marissa Lorusso and Joshua Bote for some sips of Rosé, bites of cupcakes and sweet music. Today's sounds include the legendary dub master and reggae king Lee "Scratch" Perry. At 83-years of age, he's just made a brilliant new record with another legendary producer, Adrian Sherwood.

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