Music

The xx is back with new music, and it feels like this wonderfully languid band may have just received a shot of adrenaline.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.


For nearly 20 years, guitarist, singer and label head John Dwyer has followed an incredibly circuitous creative path: Charting the course of just one of his bands involves breaking down a discography that includes records by Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, Orange County Sound, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees and, now, Thee Oh Sees. (This says nothing of his work with other groups around San Francisco, most notably Coachwhips.)

Lætitia Tamko's music exists in the spaces between memory and reality; in the spots where stories are misremembered and tangled up in our feelings. The Cameroon-born, New York-raised musician records as Vagabon, and her songs capture that ambiguity with somber clarity as Tamko's assured voice glows deeply and brightly like a new bulb.

earthsongs.net

Bonnie Couchie is an Ojibway artist from Pic River First Nation, Ontario. Though Bonnie didn’t start pursuing music until she was 30 years old, her songwriting is vulnerable and exploratory. She describes her heritage as being a strong influence on her musical expression, saying “my music is Ojibway because I am Ojibway”. In a story-telling style like that of Bob Dylan or Alanis Morissette, Bonnie showcases her latest work with the album Things That Make Me Go Hmmmm.

Jim James On World Cafe

Nov 7, 2016

Jim James, the leader of the Louisville, Ky., band My Morning Jacket, has a new solo album, Eternally Even. It's a political album — not because it is directly about climate change or immigration or this election's other hot-button issues, but because it addresses the mindset that has led to such a divided nation. It's about love and fear.

At first, the concluding song on SubRosa's For This We Fought The Battle of Ages feels like the haunting denouement to an arc largely inspired by Yevgeny Zamyatin's 1921 dystopian novel We. When the album was released this past August, "Troubled Cells" was revealed not only as a departure from the primary source material but as a bold, extremely personal statement by singer/songwriter/guitarist Rebecca Vernon and the Salt Lake City doom-metal band.

The music Jaime Fennelly makes under the name Mind Over Mirrors creates a sense of everlasting wonder, driven by synthesizers and the Indian pedal harmonium. He finds the center of tones and timbres, then stretches them beyond their origins.

This week a gigantic Pink Floyd box set is released. What's remarkable about Pink Floyd Early Years 1965-1972 is that its 27 discs cover only the band's first seven years! All this week we'll think pink with some of the people who were there. On Friday — the day this collection is released — we'll talk with drummer Nick Mason about those early years. On Tuesday we talk to Roger Waters about his upcoming projects and politics.

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