NPR Music

Since diplomatic relations broke off between the United States and Cuba in 1961, musical exchange between both countries has been largely left, outside of tours, to the underground. Yissy García remembers her father, Bernardo García — a co-founder of Irakere, one of the most iconic bands in the history of Cuban music — sharing cassette tapes full of artists like Herbie Hancock after he would toured the U.S. These treasured souvenirs shaped her musical foundation — and the methods of sharing music haven't changed much since, either.

Colombia's Monsieur Periné is at that sweet spot of a band's maturation process wherein they've solidified what they know, but are unafraid to venture towards what they don't.

Consider that the group's last album, Caja de Musica, flowed with French-inspired swing-jazz feel-goodness, leading to a breakout 2015 Latin Grammy win for best new artist.

On his fifteenth studio album, Moby reconciles his rage about the state of things with a zen-like acceptance of the apocalypse. The lush, haunting songs on this record paints a beautiful picture of a broken world, as indicated in the title: Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt.

SET LIST

  • "Falling Rain And Light"

MorMor's music is a study of opposites. It soothes by fully basking in uncertainty. "Whatever Comes To Mind," the latest track from the Toronto newcomer balances fear and fulfillment on a feathery, percussive wire.

"Thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline Coachella," Beyoncé said toward the end of her headlining set at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival last Saturday while glistening with sweat and her waist-length, gold hair flowing in the fan-created breeze. The chart-topping Queen Bey paused for only a moment before scoffing, "Ain't that 'bout a bitch."

Bey's candid acknowledgment of this elephant in the desert simultaneously silenced any doubters and ignited her Beyhive.

Look, let's just puff-puff right past the 4/20 jokes, OK? There's no reason to toke up all of your time with silliness when you could be nodding your head (slowly) to Sleep's first album since Dopesmoker, considered by many to be the high-water mark of stoner-metal epics. (Its release date is something of a rabbit hole — if you're interested, here.)

The Record Company's "Life To Fix" takes off like a supersonic jet blowing wildly through the universe of rock. The first single from All of This Life breathes new life into a style of music that's been played many times before. The difference here is the song's rootsy and infectious guitar riff, with guitarist Chris Vos and the band slaying into the groove with inspiration.

When you hear John Moreland's sweet voice, it's hard to believe he spent years singing in punk, metal-core and hardcore bands. You can still hear that passion in his music, only now it's punctuated by his acoustic guitar.

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