New Mix: Missy Elliott, Sampha, Mount Eerie, Young Fathers, More : All Songs Considered This episode of All Songs Considered covers the very ends of spectrum, from carefree celebration to soul-baring sadness. Hear new tracks by Missy Elliott, Mount Eerie, Young Fathers, and more.
NPR logo New Mix: Missy Elliott, Sampha, Mount Eerie, Young Fathers, More

New Mix: Missy Elliott, Sampha, Mount Eerie, Young Fathers, More

Clockwise from upper left: Missy Elliott, Mount Eerie, Sampha, Young Fathers Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

As a fat blanket of snow fell silently over the D.C. area, I drove through the mostly empty, early morning streets just as the song "Metro Part Three" came on, by the neoclassical ambient group A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The icy, solitary sound provided the perfect soundtrack for a winter sunrise. It was still drifting through my mind when Bob Boilen and I sat down to record this week's show, so of course I had to share it.

After last week's podcast of mostly uplifting, life-affirming songs, I also switched gears this week with what is one of the most crushingly sad songs I've ever heard: "Real Death," by the band Mount Eerie. The group's sole permanent member, Phil Elverum, wrote the song for a new album called A Crow Looked At Me. On it he takes a deeply affecting look at the loss of his wife, who died last summer of pancreatic cancer.

While I've also got the latest slyly seductive earworm from Missy Elliott, I leave it to Bob to lift your spirits this week. He starts off with a band he randomly discovered at South By Southwest last year called Valley Queen. The Los Angeles-based band makes propulsive guitar rock — or at least that's what Bob calls it. (We take a moment to disagree on and debate the meaning of "guitar rock").

Bob's also got a genre-bending cut by Young Fathers from the upcoming Trainspotting sequel and a gorgeous piano piece from the singer known as Sampha.

We also welcome NPR Music's new editor, Andrew Flanagan, who stops by to share one of his favorite upcoming records, from singer and songwriter Nick Hakim, a sometimes-bicycle messenger in Brooklyn with a sound Andrew describes as like "an old photo."

— Robin Hilton

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for Destroyer

02Stars Align

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Valley Queen

  • Song: Stars Align
  • from Destroyer

One of Bob's favorite discoveries from South By Southwest last year, the Los Angeles-based Valley Queen makes propulsive guitar rock. This week we premiere "Stars Align" from the band's forthcoming Destroyer EP. Frontwoman Natalie Carol sings about seizing a celestial moment.

Cover for A Crow Looked at Me

Real Death

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Mount Eerie

  • Song: Real Death
  • from A Crow Looked at Me

"Death is real" is a crushingly sad song from Mount Eerie's upcoming album A Crow Looked At Me, his deeply heartbreaking elegy to frontman Phil Eleverum's wife, who died last summer of pancreatic cancer. With his quiet, unadorned poetry, Elverum shouts to the world of his undying love for her.

Cover for Green Twins

02Bet She Looks Like You

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Nick Hakim

  • Song: Bet She Looks Like You
  • from Green Twins

Nick Hakim worked as a bike messenger in Brooklyn as he conceived his impending full-length debut, Green Twins. Here we premiere the first song from that album, written during a train ride from DC to Brooklyn. The soul-touched single recalls the production of Madlib and RZA, like an old photograph of neo-soul.

Cover for I'm Better

Missy Elliott

  • Song: I'm Better (ft. Lamb)
  • from I'm Better

Veteran badass Missy Elliott and Lamb pass the mic back and forth on Elliott's newest single, only her second new single since releasing her last full-length album in 2005. "I'm Better" is slyly seductive with minimalist production and Elliott's signature wordplay.

YouTube

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Song
I'm Better
Album
I'm Better
Artist
Missy Elliott
Label
Atlantic
Released
2017

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Cover for T2 Trainspotting

Only God Knows (ft. Leith Congregational Choir)

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/512613910/512644206" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Young Fathers

  • Song: Only God Knows (ft. Leith Congregational Choir)
  • from T2 Trainspotting

"Only God Knows" is one of six Young Fathers tracks to from the soundtrack to the upcoming Trainspotting sequel. The Edinburgh-based group skirts the boundaries of rock, hip-hop, and electronic music, producing tunes both baleful and exuberant. This one features the Leith Congregational Choir.

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Song
T2 Trainspotting
Album
T2 Trainspotting
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Interscope
Released
2017

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Cover for Iris

Metro, Pt. 3

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A Winged Victory For The Sullen

  • Song: Metro, Pt. 3
  • from Iris

The partnership of Dustin O'Halloran and Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie has given us two full-length records of sweeping, cinematic music. Now they're back with a film score, which includes the moody, solitary sounding "Metro, Pt. 3." O'Halloran and Wiltzie say working on a film score was like "making our first record all over again, except being filtered through another language littered with dead metaphors."

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Song
Iris
Album
Iris
Artist
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Label
Erased Tapes
Released
2016

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Cover for Process

Sampha

  • Song: (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano
  • from Process

Sampha, known for his work with Drake, Kanye, and Solange here shares the story of what his childhood piano means to him. "(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano" is from his upcoming full-length Process.

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Song
Process
Album
Process
Artist
Sampha
Label
Young Turks
Released
2017

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