All Songs Considered: David Byrne, Sylvan Esso, Nils Frahm, More : All Songs Considered This week's mix of essential new music includes the mind-bending sounds of pianist Nils Frahm, Sylvan Esso's electro-pop romp for the end of the world, the gorgeous harmonies of Darlingside and more.
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New Mix: David Byrne, Sylvan Esso, Nils Frahm, More

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New Mix: David Byrne, Sylvan Esso, Nils Frahm, More

New Mix: David Byrne, Sylvan Esso, Nils Frahm, More

Clockwise from upper left: Darlingside, Sylvan Esso, David Byrne, Nils Frahm Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

David Byrne is back with his first album of all-new solo music in 14 years. American Utopia, due out March 9 on Byrne's Todo Mundo imprint, includes contributions from Brian Eno, the Onyx Collective, Daniel Lopatin, Sampha and more. We kick this week's show off with the first single from the album, the polyrhythmic, party-pop song "Everybody's Coming To My House."

Also on the program: NPR Music's Tom Huizenga stops by to share the mind-bending, genre-defying sounds of pianist Nils Frahm; Sylvan Esso takes an upbeat, carefree look at the end of the world; and the Boston-based band Darlingside reflects on childhood and lost youth with a beautiful and affecting new song called "Old Friend."

All that plus the bent sounds of former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, idiosyncratic pop from Trace Mountains (a side-project from Dave Benton of the band LVL UP) and the pulsing ambient sounds of German composer Niklas Paschburg.

Songs Featured On This Episode

Cover for PARAD(w/m)E

Sylvan Esso

  • Song: PARAD(w/m)E
  • from PARAD(w/m)E

Sylvan Esso embraces the end of the world with the buoyant "PARAD(w/m)E," a standalone cut that follows last year's stellar full-length, What Now. At one point singer Amelia Meath gives a wink and a nod to global warming, with lines like "Sweaty sweaty, wonder why."

YouTube
Cover for World's Strongest Man

World's Strongest Man

Gaz Coombes

  • Song: World's Strongest Man
  • from World's Strongest Man

Former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes follows up 2015's Mercury Prize-nominated album Matador with World's Strongest Man, set for release on May 4 on his Hot Fruit label. Its title track, Coombes tells us via email, is about "the vulnerabilities and funny quirks that make us human beings in the modern world."

Cover for A Partner To Lean On

Turn Twice

Trace Mountains

  • Song: Turn Twice
  • from A Partner To Lean On

"Turn Twice" had been floating around Dave Benton's head since high school, when he imagined the song as a pop-punk track. With the death of his grandfather last year, the LVL UP guitarist dusted off "Turn Twice" and turned it into a quirky, synth-heavy and auto-tuned cut. Trace Mountains' debut album A Partner To Lean On, will be out March 30 on his own Figure 2 RC label.

Cover for All Melody

All Melody

Nils Frahm

  • Song: Momentum
  • from All Melody

Nils Frahm is one of NPR Music's most universally beloved artists. His latest album, All Melody, available in its entirety on NPR's First Listen series, is a prime showcase for his cinematic, genre-transcending compositions. "Momentum" is an ethereal soundscape with synths that give way to a wordless choir.

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Song
All Melody
Album
All Melody
Artist
Nils Frahm
Released
2018

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Cover for Oceanic

Niklas Paschburg

  • Song: Spark
  • from Oceanic

Niklas Paschburg is a German composer woven from a similar cloth as Nils Frahm, Daniel Wohl and other artists who stand at the intersection of classical and electronic music. The gorgeous, wayward "Spark," from his debut album, Oceanic (out Feb. 9 on 7K!), captures the atmosphere of the Baltic Sea coast where he recorded it.

YouTube
Cover for Extralife

Old Friend

Darlingside

  • Song: Old Friend
  • from Extralife

"Old Friend," from Darlingside's soon-to-be-released sophomore album, Extralife, is laden with childhood nostalgia. A spare, guitar riff reminiscent of Nick Drake is the foundation for the band's collective rumination on growing up. Extralife is out Feb. 23 on Thirty Tigers.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Extralife
Album
Extralife
Artist
Darlingside
Label
Thirty Tigers
Released
2018

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?