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Music

Our South X Lullaby with Soccer Mommy took us away from the frenetic world of the South by Southwest music festival and into the past. We ventured to my favorite store in all of Austin, Texas: Uncommon Objects, a self-described "one-of-a-kind emporium of transcendent junk" or "your eccentric uncle's attic on steroids."

The first track I heard from the forthcoming Okkervil River record In The Rainbow Rain, out April 27, was "Famous Tracheotomies." It's a name-dropping song exploring the medical histories of various celebrities and it's a song that only Will Sheff could write.

Upon the release of his first album Upon This Rock in 1969, Larry Norman unwittingly created the billion-dollar industry of Christian rock. Author Gregory Alan Thornbury is sure that if Norman were alive today, the musician would have despaired at the state of the genre and evangelicalism.

There are a billion and a half bands from Brooklyn, but the group joining us today are poised to be breakout stars. This band has already been crowned by many as the hardest working band in New York. They're Sunflower Bean.

On their sophomore album Twentytwo in Blue, out today, the band incorporates its love of 70's British glam rock like T. Rex and Slade to the sound.

Although Kansas City quintet Hembree has been working in their hometown for a couple of years, their set at Stubb's was most likely the crowd's first introduction to the group, which swims in '80s textures and treated its 20-minute set like a speed date. With three vocalists and a percussionist across the front of the stage, they started fast and rolled through one energetic and percussive song after another, including their new single, "Had It All."

SET LIST

New Music Friday: March 23

Mar 23, 2018

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich, Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the essential albums landing today, including Jack White's sprawling, completely bonkers Boarding House Reach; Americana from Courtney Marie Andrews; R&B singer Toni Braxton's first new solo album in nearly a decade; far-out Canadians Yamantaka Sonic Titan and more. Hear the discussion and songs with the play button at the top of the page or by subscribing to the All Songs Considered podcast.

Featured Albums:

My first experience attending SXSW was like running around the most generously stocked international grocery store with a bottomless cart and an unlimited budget. But for my musical ears.

The first thing you notice about almost any song by The Shacks is that voice. Singer Shannon Wise wields a mesmerizing wisp, silky and lambent, like curls of smoke swirling into a moonlight sky.

Explaining "Miki Dora," the first song we heard from his fourth album as Amen Dunes, Damon McMahon wrote in January that the iconic surfer of the title served as "a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche" and "a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions." But listening to it, you could be forgiven for thinking the song is starry-eyed.

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