Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is the producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

In addition to his work on All Songs, Hilton curates NPR Music's First Listen series, a weekly showcase of select albums you can read about and hear in their entirety before they're officially released.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, GA.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as an interpreter for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and in films, including the documentary Open Secret. Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.

We've returned from our weeklong grind through the South by Southwest music festival happy, though a little dazed, with ringing ears, and a whole bunch of incredible discoveries. On this All Songs Considered we run through some of the most memorable music and performances, from the shredded noise rock of Rev Rev Rev and thundering soul of Yola Carter to the Afro-Cuban grooves of Cimafunk and the remarkable voice of Tamino. Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and I each saw around 100 different shows in just a few short days, way more than we could ever share in a single episode.

This week's somewhat abbreviated edition of New Music Friday includes an ambitious collaboration between Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O and producer Danger Mouse; the British electronic duo The Cinematic Orchestra returns with its first new album in more than a decade, featuring singer Moses Sumney, rapper Roots Manuva and other guests; and Pavement's Stephen Malkmus injects his woozy rock with a strange jolt of electronica. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the best new albums out on March 15.

Juice WRLD, the reigning prince of emo rap, is back with a follow up to last year's Goodbye & Good Riddance. Deathrace for Love is bleak, brutal and the rare sequel that lives up to the original. The Oxford rock band Foals takes a big swing in one of the group's most ambitious albums to date; and singer Patty Griffin has a beautiful and profoundly moving, new self-titled album on growing old, the frailty of life and perseverance.

Meg Myers put out one of 2018's most intense and cathartic albums. Take Me to the Disco raged and threw sonic punches at anyone who'd ever attempted to use or abuse her, from former record executives to past lovers. Dressed in a sparkling blue leotard, Myers re-creates that fire and ferocity behind the Tiny Desk, replacing her album's roaring electric guitars and electronics with a pulsing string quartet, piano and brushed drums.

Our sprint through this week's best new albums includes Grey Area from the UK rapper Little Simz, Weezer's self-titled "Black Album," the foot-stompers of Hozier, country crooner Dee White and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, Sidney Madden and Jewly Hight as they share their picks for the best albums out on March 1.

Featured Albums:

  • Little Simz: Grey Area
    Featured Song: "Offence"
  • Hand Habits: Placeholder
    Featured Song: "Can't Calm Down"

Our picks for the best albums out this week include an epic treatise on Americanism from Gary Clark Jr., the delicate and beautiful sounds of Julia Jacklin, Atlanta rapper Gunna, a gorgeous study in the healing powers of restraint from Lowland Hum, and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael and Stephen Thompson as they share their top picks for Feb. 22.

Featured Albums

  • Gary Clark Jr., This Land
    Featured Song: "Gotta Get Into Something"

Our list of the best albums out this week includes the first new music from funk and R&B legend Chaka Khan in 12 years, the cinematic, transporting sounds of Yann Tiersen, bubblegum punk from Sir Babygirl and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lauren Onkey and Stephen Thompson as they share their top picks for Feb. 15.

Featured Albums:

  1. Chaka Khan: Hello Happiness
    Featured Songs: "Like Sugar" and "Too Hot"
  2. RY X: Unfurl
    Featured Song: "Untold"

This week's show is made possible by a generous amount of existential anxiety. This includes the ego-destroying rock anthem "I Don't Matter At All," from the Toronto band Pkew Pkew Pkew, and an epic life manifesto from Amanda Palmer called "The Ride" – a ten-minute oration about the crippling effects of unbridled and rampant fear.

Our list of the best albums out this week includes delicate piano pieces from Hauschka, the brilliantly burning rock of Bob Mould, songs inspired by the film Roma, Mercury Rev's remake of Bobbie Gentry's country opera The Delta Sweete, and much more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Felix Contreras, Tom Huizenga and Stephen Thompson as they sprint through their top picks for Feb. 8.

Featured Albums:

  1. Bob Mould: Sunshine Rock
    Featured Song: "Sunshine Rock"

On this week's show, artists battle their inner demons – the kind that come out a night when you're alone in bed, trying to find sleep – speak truth to power, celebrate love, dig into complicated characters with troubled pasts and much more.

This includes a kind of demented nursery rhyme from singer Billie Eilish; the London-based duo Tender and their deep reflection on ruinous self-indulgence; and producer T Bone Burnett's new album with a prayer to overcome fear.

On this sprint through the week's best new albums, host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna and Stephen Thompson for a whole lot of guitar rock, with a little bit of melancholy, acoustic beauty on the side. This includes Spielbergs, a group from Oslo, Norway, that makes its US debut with a fantastic squeal of feedback on This is Not the End; the L.A. quartet Cherry Glazerr, which just dropped its most emotionally potent and fully formed album ever; Girlpool, Le Butcherettes, the beautifully transporting songs of Tiny Ruins and more.

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For nearly 20 years, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been marrying their love of metal with nylon-stringed acoustic guitars, releasing an impressive catalog of albums that s

On this week's program, host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Sidney Maden and Stephen Thompson to talk about the must-hear albums out on Jan. 25. This includes hard-driving riff rock with a healthy sense of humor from FIDLAR and Mike Krol, the Compton rapper Boogie, woozy synth-pop from The Dandy Warhols, the shape-shifting sounds of New Orleans singer DAWN and more.

Featured Albums:

  1. FIDLAR: Almost Free
    Featured Song: "Can't You See"

A lot has changed in Sharon Van Etten's life since she put out her last album, Are We There, in 2014. In the past five years, she's gotten into acting, gone back to school to get a degree in mental-health counseling, worked on film scores and became a mom.

Welcome to a brand-new season of New Music Friday! After a few quiet weeks, the flood gates are opening and we've got a whole bunch of essential albums dropping on Jan. 18 to tell you about. This includes the smart, sparkling pop of singer Maggie Rogers, swooning love songs from James Blake, deep introspection from Pedro The Lion's first new album in 15 years, pure joy from Toro y Moi and much more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson for this quick sprint through the essential releases for Jan. 18, the first busy drop date for the new year.

It's been a minute since we got together to share some all-new music – not since our Nov. 6 show of last year, in fact.

Sleater-Kinney has confirmed it's releasing a new album sometime this year, produced by St. Vincent. Guitarist Carrie Brownstein tells NPR, "We always planned on getting back in the studio — it was just a matter of when. If there is an overarching principle to this album, it's that the tools on which we were relying proved inadequate.

Ever wonder what albums your fellow NPR fans listen to? We asked, you voted and below are the results our year-end listener poll for 2018. The list mirrors the NPR Music Top 50 Albums more than I've noticed in previous years. Like that list, listeners put Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Mitski and Lucy Dacus all in the top positions.

Year-end lists are a way to uncover hidden gems, not simply to validate tastes. I'm sure many lists you've looked at didn't have that one favorite you hold near and dear. This episode of All Songs is about our hidden gems, the ones that, in the give-and-take of making a representative staff list, got left off.

Gobble gobble! Our Thanksgiving weekend edition of New Music Friday includes the warped and wild pop sounds of My Brightest Diamond, stunning instrumental records from Ed Harcourt and Jacco Gardner, punk with heart and humor from Art Brut and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined this week by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson as they do a quick sprint through the essential albums dropping on Nov. 23.

Featured Albums:

  1. My Brightest Diamond: A Million And One
    Featured Song: "It's Me On The Dance Floor"

This week's list of essential new albums includes one of the year's most anticipated releases – Anderson .Paak's Oxnard, plus Mariah Carey's Caution, a lost Glen Campbell record he made for Elvis, a career-spanning retrospective on the late singer Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave), The Good, The Bad And The Queen's first new album in more than a decade and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson as they run through the best releases out on Nov. 16.

This week's best new albums includes emo-rapper Lil Peep's posthumous follow-up to Come Over When You're Sober, 50th-anniversary editions of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland and The Beatles "White Album," a labor of love from the late soul singer Charles Bradley, rock with a wink from Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, the music of Hanson set to strings and more.

Featured Albums:

  1. Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers: Bought to Rot
    Featured Song: "Born in Black"

This week's sprint through the best new albums, out on Nov. 2, includes a collection of outtakes and rarities from Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks period, the Flamenco-pop of Rosalía, profoundly moving reflections from Marianne Faithful, the prepared piano of Kelly Moran, fuzz-pop from Stove and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined for this week's New Music Friday by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson.

Featured Albums:

  1. Rosalía: El Mal Querer
    Featured Song: "Que No Salga La Luna"

This week's essential mix includes songs of letting go, of healing, moving on and finding a deeper appreciation for the wonder of life. Tarriona "Tank" Ball (of the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest-winning band Tank And The Bangas) offers a surprising and beautiful take on the sentimental 1938 classic "I'll Be Seeing You." The psych-pop multi-instrumentalist (and former All Songs Considered intern) J.

On this week's sprint through the best new releases we've got irresistible earworms from Peter Bjorn & John, the deep soul of PHONY PPL, Esperanza Spalding's mind-bending songcraft and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Nate Chinen of WBGO, Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they breakdown the best albums out on Oct. 19.

Featured Albums:

  1. Elle King: Shake the Spirit
    Featured Song: "Shame"

Our list of the best new albums out this week includes the comical and moving synth pop of John Grant, enchanting harmonies from The Watson Twins, an audacious jazz album from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the first new music from Elvis Costello & The Imposers in a decade and more. Host Robin Hilton returns to breakdown this week's essential releases with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson, and Nate Chinen from WBGO.

Featured Albums

  1. Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Look Now
    Featured Song: "Under Lime"

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