Soundcheck WNYC, New York Public Radio, brings you Soundcheck, the arts and culture program hosted by John Schaefer, who engages guests and listeners in lively, inquisitive conversations with established and rising figures in New York City's creative arts scene. Guests come from all disciplines, including pop, indie rock, jazz, urban, world and classical music, technology, cultural affairs, TV and film. Recent episodes have included features on Michael Jackson,Crosby Stills & Nash, the Assad Brothers, Rackett, The Replacements, and James Brown.
Soundcheck

Soundcheck

From WNYC Radio

WNYC, New York Public Radio, brings you Soundcheck, the arts and culture program hosted by John Schaefer, who engages guests and listeners in lively, inquisitive conversations with established and rising figures in New York City's creative arts scene. Guests come from all disciplines, including pop, indie rock, jazz, urban, world and classical music, technology, cultural affairs, TV and film. Recent episodes have included features on Michael Jackson,Crosby Stills & Nash, the Assad Brothers, Rackett, The Replacements, and James Brown.

Most Recent Episodes

Indie Fuzz-Rock Duo Deerlady's Shoegaze With Bite

Deerlady is the name of the band led by singer and bassist Mali Obomsawin and guitarist and singer Magdalena Abrego. Mali was part of the folk rock trio called Lula Wiles; then she released her album of Indigenous jazz called Sweet Tooth in 2022, drawing heavily on her Abenaki heritage. Magdalena, a Chicago-born guitarist whose parents migrated from Mexico and Puerto Rico, has played with the minimalism-meets-jazz collective known as Numinous, as well as the improvising sax player Allison Burik. In January, the two of them released their first album together, with the cheeky title Greatest Hits, "a collection of songs about intimacy under colonialism by Mali Obomsawin" (Bandcamp), and it sees the two of them turning the amps to 11 and pairing softly sung vocals with roaring guitars. Deerlady plays their shoegazey headbangers, in stripped-down arrangements, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik 1. Masterpieces 2. Believer 3. There There Greatest Hits by Deerlady, Mali Obomsawin, Magdalena Abrego,

London-Based Naturalist Cosmo Sheldrake's Marvelous Sound World

London vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Cosmo Sheldrake creates songs and sound worlds out of people, places, creatures, plants, fungi, and collected sounds. With his combination of traditional instrumentation and electronic production, field recordings, and both human and more-than-human voices (birdsong and insect choruses), Sheldrake pursues adventures in song, capturing the childlike wonder of a curious tea party, and staying connected to the natural world throughout. Cosmo Sheldrake juxtaposes these orchestrated natural sounds with his racks of gear to share his marvelous sound world in some songs from his latest, Eye to the Ear, in-studio. Set list: 1. Stop the Music 2. I Did and I Don't and I Do 3. Does the Swallow Dream of Flying? Eye To The Ear by Cosmo Sheldrake

Empress Of Explores Yin/Yang of Romance and Plays Intimate Songs, In-Studio

Honduran-American artist Lorely Rodriguez, known professionally as Empress Of, is a singer, songwriter, musician and record producer based in Los Angeles, California. Her albums are full of bright, indie pop that mixes dance music, electronica, trap, and on her most recent album, Latin music. Empress Of's new album, her fourth, is called For Your Consideration, and it's a mischievous exploration of heartbreak, affairs, regaining your sexiness, and pursuing lust and control. Empress Of plays some stripped down versions of some of the new songs, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Set list: 1.Lorelei 2. Kiss Me 3. What's Love

Empress Of Explores Yin/Yang of Romance and Plays Intimate Songs, In-Studio

Welsh Musician and Songwriter Gruff Rhys Coexists and Persists

Welsh musician and songwriter Gruff Rhys (of Super Furry Animals, the pop outfit known for their catchy songs and weird videos) poetically harnesses both the gritty and the trippy in his own music. But he's also a composer, producer, filmmaker and author. His latest release, the 25th album of his career (individually, collaboratively and as a member of various bands), is a solo album called Sadness Sets Me Free, sung in English, and left open to chance. Rhys and his bandmates play some of these new songs, in-studio. Set list: 1. Bad Friend 2. Sadness Sets Me Free 3. Celestial Candyfloss Sadness Sets Me Free by Gruff Rhys

Genre-Less British Rock Band Bombay Bicycle Club, In-Studio

Formed in North London, Bombay Bicycle Club is the sound of four best friends finding joy and savoring the connection in making music together and experimenting. They think of themselves as a genre-less band (The Independent), "not bound down by genre in a way that a lot of our contemporaries were". With the 2023 release of My Big Day, and an EP called Fantasies, both of which feature a host of guest vocalists, it's clear that they're still freely mixing sounds and cover a lot of ground, sonically. Bombay Bicycle Club plays an unplugged set in-studio. Set list: 1. Turn The World On 2. Diving 3. Luna

Singer and Producer Hatis Noit Connects Worlds With Her Voice

The Japanese singer/composer/producer Hatis Noit, is originally from the northernmost island of Hokkaido. Her name, hatis noit ハチスノイト, means the stem of the lotus flower and is intended to serve as a connection between the living world (represented by the lotus flower) and the spirit world (the lotus root). Further, Hatis Noit feels that singing is not unlike Tai chi, and is a way to connect the physical world to the spiritual world and nature. Now based in London and using vocal techniques she's adapted from around the world, Hatis Noit makes music by using electronics to layer and occasionally process her voice. She sings in a pure, Renaissance vocal style, in the keening tradition of the Balkans, in the style of Japanese gagaku or court music, and in a classical operatic mode... sometimes all in the same song. The Japanese singer and electronic musician Hatis Noit creates these choirs of sound all by herself, using a looping station, live, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Set list: 1. Aura 2. Himbrimi 3. Inori

Spanish Singer María José Llergo's Flamenco Has Roots And Wings

Spanish singer and songwriter Maria José Llergo grew up in the region of Andalucia, the home of flamenco music, where she learned violin, and listened to her grandfather sing. From these roots, she grows her own flamenco - and it has "wings" - the sounds of contemporary pop, R&B, and electronica to augment and transform the style. Where there could be flamenco guitar and the "torn throat" crying vocals of flamenco singing, her music is soaring and buoyant global pop, showcasing her instrument - her voice. Maria José Llergo and her band perform in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Set list: 1. Juramento 2. SuperPoder 3. Aprendiendo A Volar Watch "Aprendiendo A Volar":

The Slow Pastoral Beauty of Roger Eno's Shifting Chords

The "distinctive style" of British composer and musician Roger Eno's slowly unfolding sonic landscapes has "attracted a cult following" (Eno's bio). As well as first collaborating with his brother Brian and Daniel Lanois in 1983 on Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, he has made over a dozen solo albums and other collaborative pieces. He's composed for theatre, TV, and film; formed the ambient music supergroup Channel Light Vessel in the 90s; collaborated with The Orb, Lou Reed, Laraaji, Jarvis Cocker and Beck; and was the Musical Director for Tim Robbins and his band, The Rogues Gallery, (RogerEno.com). In 2020 the album Mixing Colours by Roger and Brian Eno brough him to the prestigious classical music label Deutsche Grammophon. Roger's latest solo release for that label is called the skies, they shift like chords, and includes solo piano tracks, layers of instrumental and electronic colours, along with an appearance by vocalist Cecily Eno, his daughter. Roger Eno and Cecily Eno perform in-studio. Set list: 1. There Was a Ship 2. Shadow Clock 3. Tapestry

The Songs and Prayers of Tibetan Singer Yungchen Lhamo

The Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo was given the name Lhamo at birth by a Buddhist monk. The name means Goddess Of Melody, and Yungchen has spent her adult life living up to that title. After fleeing Tibet by walking over the Himalayas, in 1989, she established herself as a leading voice for Tibetan culture in the west, releasing a series of albums on Peter Gabriel's Real World Record label and has become one of the signature voices on the global music scene, even singing for the Dalai Lama. In her work, she combines songs, prayers, and mantras dedicated to spiritual awakening, unconditional love, and compassion for all beings. Now based in upstate New York, she's put the principles of Tibetan Buddhism to work not only in her music, but also in her activities leading the One Drop Of Kindness Foundation. Her latest album is also called One Drop of Kindness, and it brings Yungchen Lhamo back to our studio. Set list: 1. Sound Healing 2. Sun and Moon (acapella) 3. Four Wishes

Daymé Arocena Infuses Spirituality and Pan-Caribbean Pop Into Afro-Cuban Jazz

Daymé Arocena, an Afro-Cuban singer from Havana now based in Puerto Rico, has been performing semi-professionally since she was 8 years old. She was trained as a composer, arranger, choir director, and band leader (Wikipedia) at conservatory, in addition to being "a practitioner of the Santeria religion, and a master of its profound musical tradition," (Afropop Worldwide). Arocena was also part of the band Maqueque, an all-female band of young Cuban artists blending folkloric Cuban music and jazz (NPR Music). Since emerging as a solo artist, her songwriting has been a winning mix of jazz, soul, Caribbean, rumba, and folkloric music, imbued with Yoruban spirituality. But her latest release, Alkemi, celebrates the sounds of North American and Latin pop, intentionally so, as she picked Eduardo Cabra of Calle 13 to help produce on the album, which also features guests and sounds from around the Caribbean. Daymé Arocena and her band play some of the songs from Alkemi, in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Set list: 1. America Boy 2. Como Vivir Por El 3. Por Ti

Daymé Arocena Infuses Spirituality and Pan-Caribbean Pop Into Afro-Cuban Jazz