Tuesday New Music: Shearwater, Prince

Prince is back with the CD '3121.'

Prince is back with the CD 3121. hide caption

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Being as uncool as I am, I missed the South by Southwest Festival over the weekend in Austin, Texas. Hundreds and hundreds of bands played. But fortunately, I had a source who did attend: Stephen Thompson. He's the editor of NPR's Song of the Day and gave a preview of the festival on Morning Edition the other day. I asked Stephen to point out one band that really stood out. He mentioned several, but the one that struck me was Shearwater — especially the song "Palo Santo" (audio) off their upcoming album.

Stephen says he heard them play in the rain as he was wandering from showcase to showcase. I can't imagine a more perfect environment to hear this music. "Palo Santo" is haunting, brooding and hopeful. It's a kind of sound that removes you from the place you're in and takes you someplace with softer edges.

Also for you new music fans, NPR's Bob Boilen has a great piece coming up later this week on All Songs Considered on new spring releases. Of course he's going to hit, among many other CDs, Prince's new opus 3121. Your day cannot be complete without listening to Prince's "Black Sweat" (audio). I know mine can't.

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