Weekend LISTening: Five Songs You Gotta Hear Right Now : World Cafe From intimate duo harmonies by Penny & Sparrow to The War On Drugs rocking a '70s cover, here's five great new songs to add to your playlist.
NPR logo Weekend LISTening: Five Songs You Gotta Hear Right Now

Weekend LISTening: Five Songs You Gotta Hear Right Now

The War On Drugs Shawn Brackbill/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Shawn Brackbill/Courtesy of the artist

The War On Drugs

Shawn Brackbill/Courtesy of the artist

Here at World Cafe, there isn't a day that goes by without our physical and digital inboxes overflowing. We believe that "too much" music is never a bad thing — the challenge is only that there's barely enough time to listen to it all.

Like all music fans, we're constantly discovering and getting turned on to new music. Albums, singles, EPs, remixes — it can get a little overwhelming. But out of all that, here are five tunes that have caught our interest lately.


Double Heart by Penny & Sparrow

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Penny & Sparrow is the Austin, Texas-based duo of Kyle Jahnke and Andy Baxter. With intimate harmonies and sparse, delicate arrangements, the duo suck you into an alternate folk-rock universe, where unpredictability and musical magic are the rule of the moment.


"Accidentally Like A Martyr" – The War On Drugs

Recorded for Spotify Singles, Philly rockers The War On Drugs turn to a cover taken from Warren Zevon's 1978 breakthrough album, Excitable Boy. Full of some of Zevon's best songs like "Tenderness On The Block," "Lawyers, Guns and Money," its title song and "Werewolves Of London," lead singer/guitarist Adam Granduciel and team play this close to the original, yet manage to capture that same intimacy and aching delivery.


"Something Good (Is Gonna Happen To You)" – Carla Thomas

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Originally on her 1969 album, The Queen Alone, this song, along with 11 others by Carla Thomas (including her hits "B-A-B-Y," and her duet with Otis Redding on "Tramp") have been repackaged as a Stax Classics compilation, part of the legendary label's 50th anniversary. Written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, "Something Good" has a funky playfulness that wonderfully captures Thomas's heart and soul. You'll want to lower the windows and turn up the volume for this one.


"Cumberland Gap" by David Rawlings

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Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, Gillian Welch collaborator and Americana music stalwart David Rawlings has returned with a new solo album, Poor David's Almanack. On this standout song, featuring Dawes brothers Taylor Goldsmith on organ, Griffin Goldsmith on drums and Gillian Welch on vocals, bass and drums, Rawlings meticulously conjures up Laurel Canyon psych-folk vibes that Harvest-era Neil Young would be proud of.


"Winter Is Cold" by Caroline Says

Another Austin-based artist makes our list — the singer, songwriter and guitarist Caroline Sallee, who recorded her debut album, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong, in her parents' basement. If you were one of the lucky ones to pick up this album when it was originally released in 2014 on cassette, then you were in on a very special musical secret. Now that secret is being shared widely through a reissue by Western Vinyl. The album is a journey into twenty-something self-discovery that transcends age as a result of its timelessness. This record could have been made in 1964 or 1973, yet still sounds so now. Nostalgic and laden with melancholy, "Winter Is Cold" sets the tone for a beautiful collection of songs.