All Songs Considered

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton spin new music from emerging bands and musical icons.

Our Top Discoveries From globalFEST 2018 (1/2018)

Not matter how much of a music geek you may be, globalFEST is a music festival of discovery for everyone. Now in its 15th year, it's a celebration of music from around the world.This year's festival featured extraordinary Congolese music from Jupiter & Okwess, Brazilian avant-pop from Ava Rocha, a twist on traditional Irish music from Jarlath Henderson, modern Iranian songs and poetry from Mohsen Namjoo, and so much more.The gathering happens in just one evening. This year, a dozen bands performed on three stages in midtown Manhattan at B.B. King Blues Club, its smaller sister-venue in the same building called Lucille's and at the Liberty Theater directly across 42nd Street.All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen was there at globalFEST this past Sunday, along with around 1,500 people, including NPR Music's Anastasia Tsioulcas, Afropop Worldwide's Banning Eyre and WFMU's Rob Weisburg, home of his show "Transpacific Sound Paradise." On this edition of All Songs Considered, they share our favorite discoveries from globalFEST 2018.

8 New Artists To Watch In 2018 (1/2018)

All this year, NPR Music and its member stations will be following a group of outstanding new and emerging artists from local music scenes across the globe for a series we're calling Slingshot. On this week's All Songs Considered, we talk to some of the music directors from our partner stations about the artists they chose for this year's list. Some are hometown favorites, and others are rising stars from abroad.

+1: Ice Music: Building Instruments Out Of Water (1/2018)

Many of us in the U.S. are freezing this weekend and looking for warmth, but halfway around the world is an artist whose career in music is dependent on frigid weather.Terje Isungset is a Norwegian musician who makes his own instruments — out of ice. Among his creations are "icehorns," a xylophone-shaped instrument called an "iceofon," guitars, harps and even even saxophones sculpted from huge chunks of ice using chainsaws.

New Year, New Mix: Typhoon, Lucy Dacus, Anna Burch, More (1/2018)

And we're back! Our first new mix of the new year includes gritty guitar rock from the band Bethlehem Steel, a sweetly seductive, pop earworm from singer Anna Burch, and an epic breakup song from Lucy Dacus.We've also got a stunning new cut from the sprawling rock group Typhoon (you can read about and listen to their new album here). "Empiricist," from the band's upcoming album Offerings, is one in a series of meditations on how memories shape who we are — and what happens when you start to lose those memories.Plus, singer Jonathan Meiburg of the band Shearwater and the duo known as Cross Record join together for a new project they're calling Loma. The group's upcoming, self-titled debut is full of mystery and wonder.

Viking's Choice: The Year In Cathartic Screams And Meditative Drones (12/2017)

When so much of 2017 felt broken, it felt good to scream along to punk and metal records. But more often than not, my restoration came from quiet music and a good cup of tea. These are the realms I inhabit in my Viking's Choice column, where it's not uncommon to hear revved-up psych one day, mutant industrial-metal another and ambient Americana the next. It all works in my brain, and Bob Boilen picks that brain for our annual year-end show that's not so much a definitive list, but a broad overview of 2017. --Lars Gotrich

The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special (12/2017)

For nearly 10 years, NPR Music has recorded concerts from behind Bob Boilen's desk. During the holidays, the desk gets a little more festive, thanks to a snow machine, paper snowflakes and Stephen Thompson's hand-drawn Christmas tree. (It's labeled "tree.") Whether they perform original songs or new takes on holiday staples, these artists bring big sounds to the Tiny Desk.Each holiday Tiny Desk Concert has brought something a little different. In 2010, The Polyphonic Spree became the largest group of performers we'd ever hosted behind the desk. Sibling duo The Oh Hellos brought family tradition and a love of bells, and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings filled our office with joy and light.This year, Hanson stuck around after its non-holiday Tiny Desk Concert to don ugly sweaters and sing some original songs. Wyclef Jean got us tapping our feet to his version of "Feliz Navidad." And Steve Martin brought a bluegrass band with him to share the tale of "The Strangest Christmas Yet."In this holiday special, join NPR Music's Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson as they look back on these and other performances from years past.

Poll Results: Listeners Pick The Best Albums Of 2017 (12/2017)

Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton count down through the Top Ten Albums of 2017 selected by listeners in our online poll.

The Year In Music 2017 (12/2017)

Music and politics have a long history and in 2017, a new chapter in their fraught and complicated relationship burst open. It began on a weekend in January with the Presidential inauguration and the Women's March on Washington, D.C. (and around the globe) that followed. That's when the new resistance movement got its first anthem, courtesy Los Angeles-based singer MILCK and her defiant song, "Quiet." She and other women sang the empowering ballad against sexual assault and abuse a cappella during the march, and it turned out to be a prescient chorus for what would unfold throughout the year.It was a strong year for guitar rock, the best of it coming from relatively younger bands dominated by women: Jay Som, Charly Bliss, Vagabon, Waxahatchee, Diet Cig, Palehound, Chastity Belt, Girlpool, Daddy Issues, Partner. The list goes on and on.2017 was also a year when much beloved artists abandoned the sounds their fans first fell in love with to try something new. Weezer and Beck dove deep into pop and all its tropes; St. Vincent and Torres largely traded electric guitar for synths and pulsing soundscapes. Bands that once dominated many top 10 lists — Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, The xx — all released records that fell way below expectations.There was so much more that happened in 2017 — more than we could ever get to in a single episode of All Songs Considered — but we do our best on this edition to hit the highlights (and a few low points), with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson.

The Five Year Wait Is Over: A Conversation With Rhye (12/2017)

It's been nearly 5 years since the quietly seductive album by Rhye was released. Today a conversation with Mike Milosh the soulful androgynous singer and creator of Rhye on making Blood.

2016 Remembered: NPR Music Turns 10 (12/2017)

NPR Music has turned 10. We have a series of 10 podcasts looking back at some of the musical memories and highlights of the past decade. On this 2016 episode, NPR Music's Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson join co-host Robin Hilton to look back at the loss of David Bowie, Prince (and so many more towering figures in music), the year of Beyoncé, the return of Gucci Mane and the short-lived farewell to American Idol.