All Songs Considered

Saturday Evenings @ 6:00 pm & repeats Sunday Mornings @ 12:00am
  • Hosted by , Bob Boilen & Robin Hilton

Bob Boilen
Credit Photo Credit: © 2010 NPR, by Doby Photography

All Songs Considered is NPR's guide to discovering new music below the radar. Every week, host Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton go through hundreds of new CDs to find music that's worth getting excited about, whether it's the latest Swedish pop band, a hip hop artist going ambient, or a singer-songwriter with a twisted new take on love.

Robin Hilton
Credit Photo Credit: © 2010 NPR, by Doby Photography

Courtesy of the artists

AmericanaFest just ended and we're back from Nashville with 10 thrilling tunes for you. The artists are, for the most part, emerging musicians who tackle this diverse genre from all angles. NPR Music's Ann Powers, Jewly Hight and Bob Boilen spent the past week trying to hear as many of the 500 bands in the 40 or so venues around town as possible. Listen and find out what we discovered and what we'd love to pass along.

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At 76, Paul Simon has been writing music for more than 60 years. And all that's about to come to an end.

His farewell tour closes in just a few weeks in Queens, New York, not very far from his childhood home. And even though he recorded five studio albums with Art Garfunkel, made 14 solo albums, scored a film and wrote a Broadway musical, it's actually been a few years since Paul Simon has written a new song. As he says in this incredible and candid conversation, the future of his artistic life is something he puzzles about.

We open the show with Gabby's World, the latest incarnation for guitarist and singer Gabrielle Smith, who previously recorded as Eskimeaux and Ó. Her new song, "Rear View," from the upcoming album Beast on Beast, is a burst of buoyant, breezy pop.

Also on the show: Anna Calvi takes a powerful look at gender and identity in the song "Don't Beat the Girl Out of My Boy;" And the Australian band Oh Pep! has a question of its own: "What's the Deal With David?"

Adam Kissick / NPR

We recently put out a call asking listeners to share their thoughts about the songs on Courtney Barnett's latest album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, and other tracks from her rich lyrical catalog. On this week's show, we share some of those listener stories and thoughts, and Courtney talks about what inspires her, the creative process and how her music can be interpreted.

Love is often presented as something easy, a matter of simply following your heart. But in actuality, it's rarely that effortless. Several of this week's songs reflect the sour, absurd, and heartrending aspects of intimacy: Wet, one of Robin's picks, mourns the fact that "love is not enough." Singer-songwriter John Grant muses on its absurdity in his darkly comical "Love Is Magic."  Also on the program: the classic guitar rock and pop of Montreal singer Michael Rault, the urgent music of D.C. post-punk band Flasher, and the glitchy, atmospheric electronics of Tim Hecker.

The show begins with The Decemberists' "We All Die Young," a bleakly funny track from the band's latest album I'll Be Your Girl. "We all die young," a chorus of children scream almost cheerfully, in a comical reminder of our impermanence. Also on the show: the gentle, acoustic folk of Bermuda Triangle, a super duper group of sorts with Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard and singers Becca Mancari and Jess Lafser; the beautiful spare arrangements of Tom Gallo; jangly indie-pop with fantastic harmonies from Shy Boys; and Bon Iver members Justin Vernon and S.

Your favorite new artists of 2018 (so far) are largely genre-defying. From the whimsical, idiosyncratic pop collective Superorganism to the Sudanese-inspired violin, electronics and hip-hop beats of Sudan Archives, the bands most mentioned in last week's listener poll largely defy categorization. They borrow indiscriminately, playing with influences and synthesizing disparate sounds, all the while exposing the arbitrariness of music classifications.

NPR Music announced the return of its popular Tiny Desk Contest. Over the last three years, the contest has received more than 18,000 entries and led to breakout artist discoveries like Fantastic NegritoGaelynn Lea and Tank and the Bangas.

Join KRCB, KQED, NPR Music and Lagunitas Brewing Company for a celebration of the Tiny Desk Contest community in Petaluma! This event will feature a live performance by 2017 Tiny Desk Contest winners Tank and the Bangas, as well as some of our favorite local artists who entered the Contest this year:

Royal Jelly Jive 

Diana Gameros

Black Sheep Brass Band

All Songs Considered is NPR's guide to discovering new music below the radar. Every week, host Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton go through hundreds of new CDs to find music that's worth getting excited about, whether it's the latest Swedish pop band, a hip hop artist going ambient, or a singer-songwriter with a twisted new take on love. 

Attention North Bay unsigned bands, musicians, singers, music makers and creators - NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest is now open and accepting entries! 

Just imagine - YOU. In Concert. At NPR's Tiny Desk! It could happen if you submit your video NOW through January 29, 2017! 

Go HERE to get entry information, rules, requirements and to see past Tiny Desk Contest winners! 

The winner will: