NPR Music

NOTE: Each day this week we'll be rolling out a series of videos from Sylvan Esso that comprise the duo's upcoming visual EP, Echo Mountain Sessions. Today's installment is a performance of the song "Slack Jaw." You can see other videos in the series here.

From a casual distance, Gregg Allman's "My Only True Friend" might register as just another road song, the latest in a long line of slightly wistful, decidedly restless odes to the nomadic life.

Feist On World Cafe

Jul 25, 2017

Leslie Feist's latest album, Pleasure, is gritty, defiant and intimate in a way that's different from anything else we've heard from her. And when she wrote it, she was having a hard time feeling — well, pleasure. She explains in this session that she chose that word as a way to try and talk herself out of the dark feelings at the other extreme.

Rap's fashionable attack has come a long way since Russell Simmons had to cajole Adidas into cutting a check for Run-D.M.C.

"Despacito," the worldwide hit from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee which just last week was touted as the most-streamed song to date, has now become the subject of a surprise appropriation by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

I'm willing to bet you've never seen a "Best Of" list quite like this one. "Turning The Tables" ranks the 150 greatest albums made by women. It's a partnership between NPR Music and Lincoln Center, led by Lincoln Center's Jill Sternheimer and our Nashville correspondent, Ann Powers.

Ann stopped by World Cafe to share some of the artists that made the list and to talk about the No. 1 album. She'll also reveal surprises, controversial picks and one solid conclusion: "Every single one of these albums, they are all amazing."

At this point, you're either with Converge or against it. Nearly 25 years after its debut album, the band's cyclonic buzzsaw is unmistakable — this is hardcore-fueled extreme music that simultaneously elevates and destroys; pity to those who don't experience an epiphany in the pit.

There's a trace of Charlie Chaplin's The Little Tramp in the way Courtney Marie Andrews struts her way through The Family Grocer in the new video for "Irene." Her character works for a small-minded manager at a local grocery store in rural Washington state. Playful at heart, she is a constant disappointment to her employer, whose managerial responsibility seems to be consumed entirely by containing Andrews' joie de vivre. Few characters could do justice to the irrepressible heart of this sweet, uplifting song — this one does.

Don't bother trying to pigeonhole the music of Aaron Martin and Dag Rosenqvist, who record under the name From the Mouth of the Sun. If their mission in this instrumental miniature is nothing more than beauty itself, they have succeeded on a disproportionate scale.

The music in "Light Blooms In Hollow Space" summons exactly what its title suggests. A simple, two-note piano figure ticks like a clock while wheezy organ chords slowly emerge and a sprinkle of ukuleles falls from above. The space may be hollow, but it's painted with impressionistic detail.

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