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All Songs Considered

There's a cinematic theme in the songs on this edition of All Songs Considered, including a new track from Thom Yorke called "Daily Battles" and an instrumental version of it from trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. These two songs were created for the Edward Norton film Motherless Brooklyn.

Playtime is over.

For me, the last four months of the year always signify a mental flip of the switch. I observe a moment of stillness to realign and take stock of the year's goals, then get a surge of motivating, creative energy to lock in and put those points on the board. Now is the time to kick things into high gear.

The 2010s are almost over, so we want to know: Which albums, songs and artists defined the decade? What moments (the death of David Bowie or Prince, for example) or trends (streaming, social media) will we most remember?

To be clear, we're talking January 2010 to the end of December 2019.

Tells us about it in the poll below. (You don't have to fill out every field unless you want to.) We'll feature some of your ideas in an upcoming episode of All Songs Considered.

Capitol Records is sharing an early take of The Beatles song "Oh! Darling," along with a completely remixed version of the track. The two cuts appear on a 50th anniversary edition of the band's penultimate studio album, Abbey Road.

A lot of the albums out this week deal with self-discovery and deep reflection on the nature of being human. The members of MUNA look at aging and personal growth on their latest, Saves the World; Lower Dens weighs the madness of a country driven by competition; and the country super group The Highwomen releases its highly anticipated, self-titled album, one that celebrates the power of women while pushing back on the unwritten rules that have allowed men to dominate country radio for so long.

Listen to this playlist via Spotify.

On this edition of All Songs Considered: songs of gratitude from Pinegrove, a take on intimacy from Norwegian artist Jenny Hval and a song of quietude with a few surprises from Anna Meredith.

I'm also thrilled to have new music from Sudan Archives, an artist who blends violin loops and catchy rhythms like no one else. And what is the sound of four Mellotrons? Hear John Medeski, Pat Sansone, Jonathan Kirkscey and Robby Grant's "Pulsar," part of their Mellotron Variations project.

After trickling out singles for more than a year, singer Lana Del Rey has finally dropped her sixth full-length studio album with the oddly comical title, Norman F****** Rockwell. On this week's New Music Friday, we dig into this expansive mix of slow-burning ballads and sometimes strange but profound, odyssey-length adventures.

Note: This episode originally ran in July, 2018.


It all started with a tweet. (Doesn't it always?)

We all love a good plot twist, right? Otherwise you end up in a feedback loop of verse-bridge-chorus monotony you've been spoon-fed for decades and convinced you "like."

Guitar rock is alive and well in the bruising, stadium-sized anthems of Sheer Mag. We kick off this week's New Music Friday with a spin of the Philadelphia-based band's sophomore full-length, A Distant Call. The classic R&B singer Raphael Saadiq is back with his wildest, most ambitious and unforgettable album so far, Jimmy Lee, named after his brother who died of an overdose in the 1990s. The hip-hop boy band BROCKHAMPTON has its fifth album of the past two years, a weird and wonderful genre-buster called Ginger.

Bob Boilen and I are back together again to share some of the phenomenal new music we've been hearing, starting with Brittany Howard's stirring and inspired "He Loves Me," from her upcoming solo debut Jaime. She named the album after her sister who passed away when they were both teenagers. The music is a celebration of the human spirit.

In the words of our millennial patron saint, Frank Ocean, "Summer's not as long as it used to be."

Sleater-Kinney took a lot of chances on its latest album, The Center Won't Hold, upending its much beloved sound to experiment with strange sonics, dark textures and surprising forms. The result is one of the most adventurous, exciting – and best – albums the band has ever made. We open this week's New Music Friday with a look at how and why The Center Won't Hold works and what the recent departure of drummer Janet Weiss means for the band at this point in its quarter-century long career.

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ALA.NI celebrates the joy of finding yourself by releasing a light and free music video for her latest single "SHA LA LA."

Settling into summer's swelter, this week's additions to Heat Check include re-surfaced favorites, lovesick tropes, a gut-punch of a wake-up call and, of course, a couple swerving, drink-spilling bops for good measure.

(NOTE: This week's episode was recorded before Bon Iver announced the digital release, three weeks ahead of schedule, of its lovely new album i,i.)

Editor's note: How could we not ask Carly Rae Jepsenqueen of memes, feeler of the deepest feels, songwriter of bops — to make us a summer playlist?

Note: With hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton away this week, we've got an encore presentation of The Worst Songs Of All Time, from Feb. 2014.


Guitarist, actor, writer (and former Monitor Mix blogger) Carrie Brownstein joins us, along with NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, to do something we don't normally do: Talk about the songs we really, really don't like.

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