This week on All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton offer up a musical sampler of many styles from around the world. There's an upbeat, atmospheric cut with amazing harmonies from the magnetic Laura Mvula, a voice you'll hear a lot more of this year; Firehorse's blazing combination of neo-soul, hip-hop and electronic beats; a heavy, hypnotic track from New York duo Small Multiples and some transfixing psych-pop from Jagwar Ma.
Queens of the Stone Age's first album in six years follows an unusually chaotic stretch for the band: Lineup and label changes, frontman Josh Homme's lengthy stint in the hit supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, and what Homme calls "a manic year" all inform the brooding, stormy sound of ...Like Clockwork.
How much do you know about Richard Wagner? Probably two unfavorable facts: He wrote very long, grandiose operas and was Hitler's favorite composer. As true as they are, those simple examples barely hint at the complexity of this endlessly creative and confounding artist.
The National's rise has been slow and steady, to match the growth and evolution of its dour but beautiful rock sound. In this installment of World Cafe, the band tells host David Dye how sleep deprivation led its members to craft more straightforward songs on their new album, Trouble Will Find Me.
Seeing The National live in concert can be an intense and cathartic experience. Seeing the band play new songs in the cozy confines of The Cutting Room Studios takes that experience to a new level. The band is in fine form here, as it performs "Graceless," one of the many stand-outs on the new Trouble Will Find Me.