Essential Tremors A show in which musicians and other creators talk about the songs that shaped who they are.
Essential Tremors

Essential Tremors

From WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore

A show in which musicians and other creators talk about the songs that shaped who they are.

Most Recent Episodes

the RZA

Producer, MC, actor, director—the RZA has expanded his leadership of hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan into a decade-spanning, multi-hyphenate creative career. On this episode, the RZA discusses how Isaac Hayes, the theme from Love Story, and a famous hip-hop break shaped his work. Essential Tremors is produced by Matt Byars and Lee Gardner and distributed by Your Public Studios. See for privacy information.

Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy)

Singer/songwriter Will Oldham has created a vast and beguiling body of work under his own name, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, and Palace and its variations, as well as through numerous collaborations. In this episode, he discusses how songs by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, Al Jarreau, and the Mekons influenced his music. See for privacy information.

Geordie Greep

Geordie Greep's guitar and idiosyncratic vocals have helped make uncategorizable London band Black Midi into an international sensation. In this episode, he discusses how songs by Warren Zevon, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and Frank Zappa influenced his music. See for privacy information.

Jon Hopkins

Electronic musician Jon Hopkins is well-known in certain circles as the creator of numerous thoughtful, yet in many cases danceable, records. He's also had his hand in some enormously commercially successful records, however, as a producer and guest musician, such as Coldplay's "Viva la Vida," as well as in several co-productions with Brian Eno. In this episode, he discusses the effect songs by Eno and Harold Budd, Ozric Tentacles, and Orbital had on him. See for privacy information.

Jaimie Branch

Brooklyn-based jazz trumpeter Jaimie Branch has established a significant following and accumulated many critical accolades, both here in America and abroad. In this episode, she talks about how songs by Nirvana, Sun Ra, and Eric Dolphy made her the artist she is today. See for privacy information.

Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods

As frontman for Sleaford Mods, Jason Williamson has brought working-class anger and surly wit to the duo's bumping minimalist tracks. On this episode, he talks about how second-wave UK punk, Raekwon, and Two Lone Swordsmen shaped his music. See for privacy information.

Steve Gunn

Guitarist Steve Gunn has carved out a career as both a singer/songwriter and a six-string explorer. In this episode, he discusses the impact music by Richard Thompson, Mary Margaret O'Hara, and Solange has had on his work. See for privacy information.

Vijay Iyer

Jazz pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the most respected musicians of his generation, as borne out by the accolades he's received to date, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2013, a Doris Duke Performing Artists Award, and a lifetime appointment as a Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. His work is far from coldly academic, however: soulful, delicate, nuanced, and mesmerizing, it reflects a complex but highly focused mind dedicated with singular purpose to his craft. See for privacy information.

Alan Sparhawk

Alan Sparhawk, along with his spouse (and previous Essential Tremors guest) Mimi Parker), have, as Low, managed to not only maintain a collaborative and marital union for the better part of thirty years, but to constantly forge ahead artistically over the course of their 13 studio albums. Somehow managing to sound familiar but also intriguingly new with each release, the band has consistently retained the intimacy of their earliest work while also taking bold risks that continually endear them to new listeners and earn them ever greater critical accolades. Their newest record, HEY WHAT, was released by Sub Pop on September 10, 2021. See for privacy information.

Ellen Fullman

Composer Ellen Fullman has spent the past 40 years developing and exploring the Long String Instrument, a sui generis room-sized installation capable of creating a galaxy of tones and overtones. In this episode, she discusses the influence of traditional Ainu music, Central African polyphony, and com poser Pauline Oliveros. See for privacy information.