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New Music From Ray LaMontagne, Lucius, A Bowie Cover From Glen Hansard, More

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New Music From Ray LaMontagne, Lucius, A Bowie Cover From Glen Hansard, More

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New Music From Ray LaMontagne, Lucius, A Bowie Cover From Glen Hansard, More

New Music From Ray LaMontagne, Lucius, A Bowie Cover From Glen Hansard, More

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Clockwise from upper left: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Ray LaMontagne, Lucius, Glen Hansard Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artists

It's our first show with new music in 2016! After nearly two months of best-of's, holiday and Sweet 16 specials, we get back to doing what we do best and love most: playing great new music. On this week's All Songs Considered, we share a new song by Tiny Desk alum AURORA, one of Bob's favorite discoveries from CMJ 2014. In a departure from the soft, whispered folk sounds of her early recordings, we showcase a song from Laura Gibson's upcoming, electrified record Empire Builder.

In fact, many of the songs picked this week by hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton showcase the evolution and musical boundary-pushing of some of our favorite artists. Lucius took the experiences of its last two years on the road and channeled them into a massive pop sound for its record Good Grief. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down also trades in its playful folk for a heat-heavy, bass-driven sound.

The new year, and what the year has brought thus far, also weighed in on our hosts' minds. The week's opening cut, a stripped-down and staggeringly beautiful take on David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" performed by Glen Hansard, set another thread for the conversation: renewal. Hansard breathed new life into Bowie's synth pop ode to oddity. Laura Gibson found tragedy and rebirth in her move from Portland to the Big Apple. And we premiered an inspired new song from Ray LaMontagne's upcoming LP Ouroboros, a reference to a symbol for destruction and renewal.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for All Songs Sweet 16 Live

01Ashes To Ashes (David Bowie Cover)

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Ashes To Ashes (David Bowie Cover)

  • from All Songs Sweet 16 Live
  • by Glen Hansard

The day after David Bowie's death, Glen Hansard shut himself in his hotel room, watching Bowie videos, playing Bowie songs and trying to fuse with the Starman's parting energy. The result was a transcendent cover of "Ashes to Ashes" from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). Glen brought the song to the stage of the 9:30 Club for our Sweet 16 celebration and gave us a gift that we'll never forget.

Cover for Empire Builder

01The Cause

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The Cause

  • from Empire Builder
  • by Laura Gibson

When Bob Boilen introduced Laura Gibson at the recording of the first-ever Tiny Desk Concert, he said, "This might be the start of something, it might not be." New beginnings can usher in new waves of creativity and — as the Tiny Desks have done for us — Laura Gibson's move to New York City in 2014 has been a powerful rejuvenation for her. Since then, her apartment and possessions were destroyed, she was thousands of miles from home, yet she not only stood resilient but channeled those feelings into a big, bold, electric sound on Empire Builder.

Empire Builder is out April 1 on Barsuk.

Cover for Good Grief

09Born Again Teen

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  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    Born Again Teen
    Album
    Good Grief
    Artist
    Lucius
    Label
    Mom + Pop Music
    Released
    2016

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Born Again Teen

  • from Good Grief
  • by Lucius

Life on the road, for any band, can result in a tidal wave of mixed feelings. There is the great fortune and general elation that comes from playing live, but it comes at a personal cost: exhaustion, no down time and separation from family and friends. Lucius has spent the last two years on the road, and its new record, Good Grief, channels the positive and negative of that life, starting with the title. The mix of mechanized beats and bass, symphonic synthesizers and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig's soaring vocals make a massive pop sound and hint at new possibilities for one of our favorite bands.

Good Grief is out March 11 on Mom + Pop Music.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Good Grief
Album
Good Grief
Artist
Lucius
Label
Mom + Pop Music
Released
2016

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Cover for A Man Alive

01Astonished Man

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    Song
    Astonished Man
    Album
    A Man Alive
    Artist
    Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
    Label
    Ribbon Music
    Released
    2016

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Astonished Man

  • from A Man Alive
  • by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down also take a turn to a new, hard-driving electronic sound for its new LP A Man Alive. Thao Nguyen wanted a powerful, beats- and bass-driven sound, so she teamed up with producer Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. The playful melodies that Thao is known for are still there but matched with a gnarled sound that is classic Garbus. The entire album centers around Thao's relationship with her estranged father, and you can hear all the joy and heartbreak of the relationship pour into her words and music.

A Man Alive is out on Mar. 4 on Ribbon Music.

Buy Featured Music

Song
A Man Alive
Album
A Man Alive
Artist
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Label
Ribbon Music
Released
2016

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Cover for All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend

02Conqueror

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Conqueror

  • from All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
  • by Aurora

After seeing AURORA perform live at CMJ 2014, Bob Boilen described the 19 year-old, Norwegian singer as a delicate flower. She may appear frail and delicate in person, but on her new record, All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend, her sound is huge. "Conqueror" puts her commanding power on display.

All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend is due out Mar. 11 on Glassnote.

Cover for Ouroboros

02Hey, No Pressure

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Hey, No Pressure

  • from Ouroboros
  • by Ray LaMontagne

In this premiere of Ray LaMontagne's new song and new sound, the veteran artist brings Black Keys-worthy riffage to his inspired words. Lamontagne wrote in an email that the songs of Ouroboros, his upcoming concept LP, revealed themselves to him like a prophet's vision.

Ouroboros is out Mar. 4 on RCA.

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