Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from top: Belle And Sebastian, Grouper, Bo Ningen, The Velvet Underground
Courtesy of the artists
On this week's All Songs Considered, Robin Hilton shares the first single from Belle & Sebastian's upcoming album, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance, out Jan. 20. If they're looking for it, "The Party Line" would give those girls what they want — it's a surprisingly bouncy song from the veteran Scottish band.
Bob Boilen's week was devoted to the CMJ Music Marathon, where he saw more than 60 bands perform. You can hear songs by ten of his favorite discoveries from the New York-based festival here. Four of those songs are on the show this week, including an upbeat but dark song from the British trio Happyness, a grinding track from post-punk band Protomartyr, Japanese prog and punk rock from Bo Ningen and gorgeous vocals and instrumental harmonies from teenage Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora.
Robin also shares a gorgeous, spare song from Grouper (Liz Harris), whose forthcoming album, Ruins, is available to stream in its entirety in our First Listen series. And finally, it's difficult to believe that it's been more than a year since Lou Reed's death. A new reissue of The Velvet Underground's self-titled third album is packaged in a six-disc box set that includes previously unheard live recordings and a newly remastered version of the album. Robin plays a live version of "I'm Waiting For The Man" from the set, The Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition.
"Montreal Rock Band Somewhere"
From 'Anything I Do Is All Right'
For a song about scalping Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, "Montreal Rock Band Somewhere" begins on a surprisingly upbeat note. The ambient drone that closes the track seems more fitting of Happyness' wry, dark lyrics. For more on this artist, visit the artist's website.
"Come & See"
From 'Under Color Of Official Right'
Bob Boilen was blown away by Protomartyr's performance at this year's CMJ Music Marathon. Grinding guitars and heavy drums drive "Come & See," a powerful cut from the band's most recent album, Under Color Of Official Right. For more on this album, visit the band's website.
The Velvet Underground
"I'm Waiting For The Man (Live)"
From 'The Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition'
It's difficult to believe that Monday, Oct. 27 marked the one year anniversary of Lou Reed's death. On Nov. 24, a reissue of The Velvet Underground's self-titled third album will be released in celebration of the record's 45th anniversary. The six disc "super deluxe" box set will contain live performances and newly remastered material.
From 'Awakening (Single)'
Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora Aksnes' music reminds Bob Boilen of Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. Aurora's gorgeous vocals and unexpected instrumental harmonies shine in her first single, "Awakening." The singer is set to release a full length album in 2015. For more, visit her website.
Grouper's Liz Harris mastered the power of simplicity in her haunting 2013 release, The Man Who Died In His Boat. Her forthcoming album, Ruins (out Nov. 11), demonstrates similar restraint; recorded on the southwestern tip of Portugal in 2011, the album features little more than Harris' voice and an upright piano. "Lighthouse" is a spare, gorgeous testament to Harris' command of vocal melody. Click here to stream the album in its entirety.
Bo Ningen gave one of Bob Boilen's favorite performances of the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon. The Japanese band blends elements of punk with progressive rock to create idiosyncratic, almost frightening songs. Driving polyrhythms and manic vocals blend forcefully in "DaDaDa." For more on this song, visit the artist's website.
Belle & Sebastian
"The Party Line"
From 'Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance'
"The Party Line" is the catchy, danceable first single from Belle and Sebastian's upcoming album, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance. The album, out Jan. 20, will be the band's first full-length release since 2010. For more on the album, visit the artist's website.