Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from upper left: EL VY, Connor Oberst, The Blow, Kristin Hersh
Courtesy of the artists
For as much as the election has dominated the news this year, the political cycle hasn't invaded the world of All Songs Considered. But this week we've got a remarkable cut by the band EL VY that's all about Donald Trump. "Are These My Jets?" is from 30 Days, 30 Songs, an online compilation album that features a new song by a new artist every day for the final thirty days leading up to the election. (For the record, NPR is not endorsing any candidate. We just like the song!)
A couple of other things about this week's show: NPR Music's Lars Gotrich joins us to talk about the stellar return of the band American Football, a beloved '90s group that's putting out its first new album in 17 years; and another popular artist from the '90s, Kristin Hersh (who you may know from the band Throwing Muses), is back with an incredible double album full of sonic wonders.
All that plus a new single from Bob's favorite band of 2013, The Blow, and the ruminations of singer Conor Oberst.
- Song: Are These My Jets
- from 30 Days, 30 Songs
El Vy is Matt Berninger from The National and Brent Knopf of Menomena, and their funny new song has a political message behind it. It's from a collection of songs called the "30 Days, 30 Songs" project, which includes many artists we love, like Aimee Mann and Death Cab For Cutie, coming together for, as they call it, "a Trump-free America." The song, "Are These My Jets," is El Vy's contribution and comes with an interactive game.
- Song: A Little Uncanny
- from Ruminations
In case you didn't catch our live stream of Conor Oberst's performance at Housing Works, this song is from his new album, Ruminations. After a break from touring due to health issues, and with no intention to create a record, Oberst surprised himself by recording the album in 48 hours. Ruminations features Oberst alone with his guitar, piano and harmonica.
- Song: Hemingway's Tell
- from Wyatt At The Coyote Palace
The former Throwing Muses guitarist and vocalist says she's "always loved [Ernest] Hemingway's feminine side," which inspired her to write this song. "Hemingway's Tell" comes off her upcoming solo album, which will accompany a book, both titled Wyatt at the Coyote Palace and due out Nov. 15.
- Song: Give Me The Gun
- from American Football (LP2)
The cult emo band has returned after 17 years, with its second self-titled album. Though the band members aren't exactly the same people they were back then, the band's sound hasn't changed too much. "Give Me The Gun" calls upon the band's signature sound, with twinkly guitar and charmingly sad, poetic lyrics.
- Song: Love's Mirror
- from Warm Shadows / Love's Mirror
Featuring the talents of brothers Richard and Jonathan Howard, Cigarette creates dreamy, lush music with a wash of guitars. "Love's Mirror" is a single, with a full-length in the works and due out some time in 2017. The song is reminiscent of R&B, languid and beautiful.
- Song: Start Anew
- from Around The House
This song is the closing track off Australian group Chook Race's second full-length, Around The House. "Start Anew" is about how quickly life passes, and the dizzying realization of being an adult. Drummer and vocalist Carolyn Hawkins wrote this song as a response to what she calls her quarter-life crisis, but leaves the track with a sense of optimism.
- Song: Think About Me
- from Think About Me
"Think About Me" is new song from the band that put out Bob's No. 1 album of 2013. The Blow is Melissa Dyne and Khaela Maricich, who use an array of different instruments they've developed to make the unique sounds in their music. "Think About Me" features modular synthesizers, including a bass sample played on one of the first sampling synthesizers that uses floppy disks and a ribbon controller referred to as Melissa's "wizard stick."