NPR Music Playlists Spotify playlists curated by the NPR Music staff.

NPR Music Playlists

Marvin Gaye's hit record "What's Going On" encapsulates the political turmoil of 1971 while also inspiring hope for change. Soul Train/Getty Images hide caption

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NPR's 50 Favorite Songs Of 1971

Critics widely consider 1971 one of the best years in music history. For NPR's 50th anniversary, public radio stations turn back the clock and reflect on the year's best tracks.

Comic book artist Daniel Warren Johnson (Murder Falcon, Extremity) illustrates the music of Viking's Choice. Horns up! Daniel Warren Johnson hide caption

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Viking's Choice

Where heavy metal, heady psych, dreamy ambient, furious punk and cotton-candy pop music all come to freak out. Curated by Lars Gotrich.

We danced in kitchens, took long drives, caught up in backyards or on video chat, watched weddings from our living rooms. We found ways to thrive. Lars Gotrich/NPR hide caption

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Roséwave: 96 Songs For A Lost Summer

Consider this the soundtrack for the summer that wasn't, with hopes of summers to come.

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel was announced as the next music director of the Paris Opera on April 16. He is the the music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Stephane De Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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NPR Classical

Need a deep discovery experience? Try 1000 years of music. Our mantra: Bach, Beethoven, before and beyond.

NPR

Louder Than A Riot: The Soundtrack

Louder Than A Riot reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. Follow along with the music featured in every episode.

Lil Baby performs during a Juneteenth voter registration rally on June 19, 2020 at Murphy Park Fairgrounds in Atlanta, Ga. One week earlier, he released "The Bigger Picture," a song protesting police brutality. Paras Griffin/Getty Images hide caption

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We Insist: A Century Of Black Music Against State Violence

These songs take on some of the ugliest stories in our history and reflect the commitment of Black musicians to telling the truth of how Black people have been wronged, and survived, and fought back.

Music speaks truth to anger and frustration, but also provides a sense of hope and beauty. Rashida Chavis for NPR hide caption

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This Is How I Feel: A Playlist By Young Black Listeners

Music has always been a vital part of protest and social justice. We asked our young Black listeners: Is there one song that's helping you address your feelings right now?

Angela Hsieh/NPR

Bob Boilen's Playlist

What the creator of NPR Music's All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concerts is listening to right now.

World Cafe, produced by WXPN in Philadelphia. WXPN hide caption

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The World Cafe Playlist

XPN

Listen to the songs featured on public radio's most popular music show.

A week of celebrating the musical corazón of Mexico. Anamaria Sayre/NPR Illustration hide caption

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Makes Your Heart Sing: What Mexican Regional Means To You

A breakdown of all the reasons and ways members of the Alt.Latino community hold Mexican Regional near and dear to their hearts.

Win Butler (L) of Arcade Fire and DJ Michael Brun participate in the Krewe du Kanaval parade on February 15, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Erika Goldring/Courtesy of the photographer hide caption

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Playlist: Haitian Rhythms And The Music Of New Orleans

XPN

Haiti's influence on one of America's most musical cities is explored in a new audio documentary, Kanaval, hosted by Leyla McCalla and produced by WXPN.

Bootsy Collins, funk bassist, performing live concert performance at the Hammersmith Odeon, in Hammersmith, London, England in June 1978. Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

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The Funkiest, Most Memorable Bass Riffs Ever: A Playlist

XPN

Sometimes bass guitar can be an overlooked instrument. Sometimes it gets relegated to the background. Not today, my friends. Not today.

World Cafe celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month Rich McKie/WXPN / Getty Images hide caption

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Hispanic Heritage Month On The Playlist

XPN

Take a musical journey throughout Latin America, through cities in Central America, South America and Mexico to explore the rising Latinx voices and sounds that often fall under the radar.

Members of This Heat — from left, Gareth Williams, Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward — in Cold Storage. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Understanding The Impossibly Far-Reaching Influence Of This Heat

This Heat lasted for less than seven years, but helped shape the future of music, from noise rock to experimental electronica. Today, its groundbreaking catalog is finally available to stream.

The trumpeter Eddie Gale, who worked with the likes of Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor, passed away on July 10 at the age of 78. Getty Images hide caption

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The Galaxy-Expanding, Peace-Loving Trumpet Of Eddie Gale: Hear The Essentials

The trumpeter, who died last week at the age of 78, was at the vanguard of jazz's midcentury development and is regarded as a legend by his peers.

A song by the K-pop group BTS, shown here performing during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, is included in our starter kit. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for dcp hide caption

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Start Here: Your Guide To Getting Into K-Pop

Korean pop's near-total global ubiquity may be intimidating for the uninitiated, but getting into the music shouldn't be. Our introduction includes tracks by H.O.T., Girls Generation, BTS and more.

Tracy Chapman, shown here at the 39th Grammy Awards, is included in our starter kit for women's music. Timothy Clary/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Love In Abundance: A Guide To Women's Music

Women's music is music written by, for and about women (and, more often than not, women who love women). Our starter kit includes music by Cris Williamson, Ferron, Toshi Reagan, Ani DiFranco and more.

Team Dresch's song "Fagetarian and Dyke" is featured in our playlist of queer punk. Courtesy of Jealous Butcher Records hide caption

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Queer As Punk: A Guide To LGBTQIA+ Punk

"Queer punk" might be redundant if making over-the-top statements at the top of your lungs isn't precisely what makes punk "punk" and queer "queer." Here's a guide to the genre's history and legacy.

Jake Blount is a banjo and fiddle player and queer activist. His new album, Spider Tales, links country and bluegrass traditions in America with roots in African mythology. Michelle Lotker/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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A Not-At-All Exhaustive LGBTQIA+ Country Playlist

These music makers have wildly different relationships with genre and cultural conventions. They don't look or sound alike or share the same aims or aspirations. That's the point.

Lucinda Williams's iconic fifth album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, defined Americana, but it's just one peak in a career that stretches 20 years forward and back in time from that moment. Danny Clinch/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Lucinda Williams: A Guide To Her Best Songs

Williams's new album, Good Souls Better Angels, is another remarkable entry in a catalog that has, across more than a dozen albums, shaped Americana. Here's a map of her career's many high points.