NPR Music

When Wilder Woods announced his debut musical project in early April of this year, two songs — "Someday Soon" and the R&B flavored "Sure Ain't" — had already piqued curiosity of fans. Shortly after the two songs emerged, the race was on to try to guess the identity of the artist. All of the press photos and glimpses of the singer in the videos were mostly hidden, making him difficult to see clearly. There were some very good, very close guesses about Wilder Woods' identity.

The four friends who make up the band Charly Bliss have grown a lot since they first met at summer camp as teenagers. The band's latest album, Young Enough, out now, was born out of growing pains.

Lead vocalist Eva Hendricks says the songs on this album were inspired by bad relationships — the kind that consume you and chip away at you until there's none of you left. The songs explore the crippling need to be liked — even if it means losing yourself in the process.

Saturday Night Live's 44th season ended over the weekend with the help of host Paul Rudd and musical guest DJ Khaled, who brought with him an all-star cast that included J Balvin, John Legend and SZA.

The Head and the Heart's latest album, Living Mirage, is warm, open and definitely leans hard on the "heart" part of the band's name. The band went to Joshua Tree in the desert to create the music. The trip was bassist Chris Zasche's idea — he thought the wide-open landscape would give the member's all a chance to start fresh and maybe see themselves differently.

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Bruce Springsteen has clearly spent the last few years with an eye toward the past; after all, he did just

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Bandcamp playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Bandcamp playlist at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Bandcamp playlist at the bottom of the page.

Karen O is a punk rock icon known for snarling, searing live shows as lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

When Warner Bros. heard George Benson's take on "This Masquerade," they didn't realize he was the vocalist. It's one of the many amazing tales Benson shares with us on World Cafe.

On this Guest DJ edition of All Songs Considered Joe Talbot, frontman for the British punk group IDLES, talks about the band's latest album, Joy as an Act of Resistance, how Van Morrison's Astral Weeks changed his life and his tips for how to make the long drive across Kansas while on tour.

IDLES is a band that's both fierce and compassionate. It's also one of the best live rock groups I've ever seen — the kind that creates mosh pits and community with noise and humanity.

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Upon the announcement of The National's I Am Easy to Find — due out this Friday on 4AD — the band promised a sh

For Mother's Day this year, indie rock star Lucy Dacus did better than sending flowers or a card.

Matt Nathanson On Mountain Stage

May 10, 2019

Songwriter Matt Nathanson remembers thinking "The world needs anthems" when he set out to make his latest album. "We need positive songs for un-empowered people," he says. "I'm going to be the U2 of man-folk."

But then, the songs that materialized seem to reflect heartache, loss and sadness, eventually becoming his 2018 release, Sings His Sad Heart. Nathanson quipped, "So the next records gonna be anthems."

How many times has Washington, D.C. endured a Fugazi cover from a touring band? Specifically, how many times has Washington, D.C. endured a cover of "Waiting Room"? Too many times. It's okay, we get it: "Waiting Room" is a jam.

David Bazan has been releasing solo records steadily for the past decade, but Phoenix marks his first album returning as Pedro the Lion in 15 years. The record was inspired by Phoenix, Ariz., where Bazan lived until he was 12 years old.

After nearly 50 years, KISS is saying goodbye to touring. The over-the-top purveyors of heavy metal have embarked on a year-long finale tour titled "One Last KISS: End of the Road World Tour." The 105-stop tour spans North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and will encapsulate KISS' larger-than-life show for the last time.

Our shortlist of the best new albums out this week includes a deeply moving celebration of African American culture and history from the singer Jamila Woods, the sparkling, soul-searching guitar rock of Charly Bliss, composer Holly Herndon's brilliant collaboration with the AI known as "Spawn" and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the best new albums out on May 10.

Featured Albums:

  1. Charly Bliss: Young Enough
    Featured Song: "Hard to Believe"

Snarky Puppy is an incredible ensemble of musicians, a loosely-knit collective of funk, jazz and rock players founded in Denton, Tx. by bandleader Michael League. They've been at it since 2003, with a rotating group of touring musicians. How many? As many as 25 will cycle in and out over the course of the tour.

J.S. Ondara's musical journey from Nairobi, Kenya to Minneapolis, Minn. is fascinating and impressive. With Bob Dylan having a profound influence, his songwriting is accomplished beyond his years. Check out his arresting performance of "Saying Goodbye."

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If you've spent time with Brandi Carlile's terrific 2018 album By the Way, I Forgive You, you already know "T

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple playlists at the bottom of the page.

Don't see the video above? Click here.

When Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart fired up their angular guitar sounds during soundcheck at the Tiny Desk, I was thrilled. The shrieking, rhythmic noise these two classically trained musicians make as Ohmme is what made their debut album, Parts, a musical highlight for me in 2018. But hearing them in the office, trading vocals with such ping-pong precision, sent me into euphoria. This is now one of my all-time favorite Tiny Desk concerts.

As you may guess from the title of her third solo album, Leyla McCalla tackles social and economic issues pretty directly on The Capitalist Blues. The multi-instrumentalist and Carolina Chocolate Drops alumna sings about everything from injustice and poverty to her daughter's experience with elevated levels of lead.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Editor's note: This story includes discussions of depression, addiction and suicide.

It's the May edition of Station Breaks, our monthly list featuring a diverse selection of new music all hand-picked by NPR's public radio music stations.

Foals' latest album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1, came out in March. Part 2 comes out in the fall. The band has been releasing stadium-sized songs for just over a decade, and this time around, it made a couple changes in pursuit of ultimate creative freedom.

Ani DiFranco grew up in a house with no walls. "It was like a brick carriage house there. Inside there was just one room on the first floor and one room on the second floor. So it was an intimate house for a non-intimate family."

DiFranco's deep craving for intimacy led her to writing music. And the things DiFranco wanted to write were exactly what a generation of women coming of age in the '90s wanted to hear. DiFranco relives those early years in her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream.

The Beths is a rising band in the indie-pop scene, and yes, there is an Elizabeth leading the band! There is also a Jonathan, a Benajmin, and for today's session, a Trystan, for those of you wondering where the harmonies are coming from in this mini-concert.

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