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Patrick Watson

With a gifted backing band on hand to help flesh out three songs from Adventures in Your Own Backyard, Watson conducts a swirl of interlocking loveliness that still finds room for surprises, from a singing saw to a microphone that makes his voice sound as if it's bouncing off some faraway satellite.

Gilad Hekselman. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

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Gilad Hekselman Quartet: Live In Concert

WBGO

The guitarist called his last album Hearts Wide Open, a mission statement built around his search for the core in modern jazz. Along the way, he wrote a few tunes for a band of top New York players.

Father John Misty's J. Tillman performs on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic." KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Father John Misty

KCRW

On his way into the studio, former Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman grabbed a photo of David Lynch off the walls — a fitting gesture to his surreal musical alter ego. Here, he performs on KCRW.

Sauti Sol performs for a Field Recording on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2012 Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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A Morning Walk With Sauti Sol

The Afro-fusion quartet from Nairobi greets the morning birds and joggers on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge in Austin, Texas, with a version of its recent single "Love or Leave."

Emily Bogle/NPR

Canadian Brass

Chuck Daellenbach and his fresh-faced players, each with red-striped sneakers and matching outfits, strolled into the NPR Music offices, took their places behind Bob Boilen's desk and started blowing as if they'd played this peculiar gig a hundred times.

Doriane Raiman/NPR

Yann Tiersen

The French singer and multi-instrumentalist just released a new album called Skyline, and it captures his aesthetic perfectly: Its rich, buzzy, liltingly eccentric pop music is constructed from lots of sweet, intricate pieces.

Doriane Raiman/NPR

Arborea

While clearly rooted in acoustic traditions, the folk music of Arborea stands out for its calm beauty and rough edges. The duo incorporates harmonium, electric guitars played with an EBow, and a Ban-Jammer — a hybrid instrument that's part banjo, part mountain dulcimer.

Abby Verbosky/NPR

Chuck Brown

In Washington D.C., Brown is revered as the Godfather of Go-Go. So to have Brown play in a corner of the NPR Music offices with an 11-member group was dream come true for a lot of NPR staffers.

Doriane Raiman/NPR

Pedro Soler And Gaspar Claus

The improvisational music of father and son Pedro Soler and Gaspar Claus functions as a beautiful conversation. Soler plays a delicate flamenco guitar, while Claus turns the cello into an exquisitely expressive voice. The two bring that spirit to their intimate performance in the NPR Music offices.