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June Millington, the author of the memoir Land of a Thousand Bridges: Island Girl in a Rock & Roll World, on the porch of the Fanny's House of Music in East Nashville. The shop is named after Millington's band, Fanny. Audrey Spillman for NPR hide caption

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(L-R) Patty Griffin, Rhiannon Giddens, Roy Taylor (a member of Patty's road crew), Shakey Graves, and NPR Music's Ann Powers Joshua Shoemaker for NPR hide caption

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Ryan Adams' latest release is a song-for-song cover of Taylor Swift's 1989 album. Left: Julia Brokaw /Courtesy of the artist. Right: Jason Merritt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Left: Julia Brokaw /Courtesy of the artist. Right: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Rickie Lee Jones' new album, The Other Side of Desire, will be out on June 23. David McClister/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Iris DeMent recorded The Trackless Woods at her home in Iowa. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ann Powers

Iris DeMent To Release New Album, 'The Trackless Woods'

For her new album, out August 7, DeMent set the words of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to new music. Hear a song from the album now.

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Josh Tillman's latest album as Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear, is a sincere and shocking catalog of the main character's adventures in sex and love. Emma Tillman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Austin-based Charlie Belle, led by 16-year-old Jendayi Bonds (center) along with her brother Gyasi Bonds (left) and Zoe Czarnecki, will release a debut EP on Jan. 13. Barclay Ice & Coal/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Tinashe, whose hit "2 On" was produced by DJ Mustard, performs on stage in December. Emmerson/Corbis hide caption

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Beyonce's performance during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in August included clips of a speech about feminism by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV hide caption

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Ann Powers

In 2014, Pop Followed Beyonce's Lead

Beyonce's 2013 self-titled album explicitly connected feminism to sexual confidence; it cast a long shadow over the female-led pop singles that dominated Top 40 this year.

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Hayley Williams (left) of Paramore and Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars, perform together on a version of the song "Hate To See Your Heart Break" from the deluxe version of Paramore's self-titled album. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ann Powers

Paramore Feat. Joy Williams, 'Hate To See Your Heart Break'

Paramore's Hayley Williams collaborates for the first time with old friend Joy Williams (no relation), formerly of The Civil Wars, on this pleading ballad.

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