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Illinois music and the great alternative, rock, folk, soul, blues, reggae artists you've come to love on 91.9-HD3.  Mid-October launch into the musical universe!

Kowloon Walled City's bummer jams are bona fide: Just hit play and proceed to heave your body in sadness. But on its third album, Grievances, the San Francisco noise-rock band isn't always obvious in how it chooses to be heavy.

The songs on Tobias Jesso Jr.'s debut album were written in his native Vancouver, but they reflect on the turbulent time he spent in L.A. Jesso recently brought a full band to KCRW's studio to play a handful of gut-wrenchingly beautiful and powerful piano ballads, including "Leaving Los Angeles."


  • "Leaving Los Angeles"

Rhode Island singer-songwriter Elisa Coia has a room-silencing voice, but she's not afraid of machined gloss. It's the combination of timeless vocal talent and a millennial's ease with technological flourishes that makes this R&B newcomer's latest single, "These Days," take flight.

Sleep. It's both an oasis where our physical and mental batteries get recharged and a playground for the subconscious. It's also the subject of Max Richter's latest project, SLEEP, which inspired this video by Yulia Mahr.

The electronic music producer known as DJ Richard has spent the last five years in the world's club capitals, Berlin and New York City, but his heart still remains in his native Rhode Island. Along with his cohort Young Male, DJ Richard is one of the more prominent dance-music artists to emerge from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, and in 2012, they founded the "outsider house" record label White Material.

Trouble Sleeping? A Composer Wants To Help

Sep 3, 2015

British composer Max Richter spent about two years writing and recording a piece of music which, if it's successful, few people will hear in full. It's a composition called Sleep and it runs eight hours long — the perfect length for a good night's rest. The full version of the piece will be released as a digital album Friday.

There was a clear path laid out for Gary Clark Jr. If he'd wanted, he could have allowed himself to be crowned the young, African-American savior of 21st-century blues guitar.

It's too soon to tell whether Outskirts Of Love is the end of a trilogy or simply the next chapter in an ongoing saga. All we know for sure is that it's the third album to find Shemekia Copeland extending her definition of modern blues to include a sort of pan-Americana approach. Her first few records hewed closer to contemporary blues, but since 2009's portentously titled Never Going Back, the daughter of the late Texas blues-guitar titan Johnny Clyde Copeland has been moving in a wider world.

Yannick Ilunga, the South African musician who records under the name Petite Noir, was born to a Congolese father and an Angolan mother; as a young child, he was relocated to Cape Town by his parents when the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo deteriorated. But listen to "Freedom," from Ilunga's vigorous debut, La Vie Est Belle, and African music doesn't spring to mind.

In the wake of Ben Folds Five's dissolution in 2000, Ben Folds embarked on an assortment of new projects: He's released solo albums and composed for film and TV; he's collaborated with Nick Hornby and William Shatner; he's even served as a judge on TV's The Sing Off, which led to an a cappella record.

It's one thing for Low to have made a rewarding career of spare, dramatic, glacially paced music — for song after slow-moving song to have been constructed out of little more than crystalline guitar lines, minimal bass, maybe a few effects here and there, brushes of snare and the alternating or intertwined voices of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker.

Soul singer Lizz Wright is starting over. Her new album, Freedom & Surrender, comes after a tough few years, during which she left behind a failed marriage and her own expectations about starting a family. And yet, she found a creative spark in that loss, along with a new kind of voice.

Taylor Swift's video for her new song "Wildest Dreams" launched a storm of Internet criticism, including a searing review on this blog.

The Mekons On World Cafe

Sep 2, 2015

The Mekons' devoted following and long history — the band formed in 1977 — has inspired a new documentary film called The Revenge Of The Mekons.

Maybe the name Ex-Breathers is a punk joke, like how in the '90s every zine and show flyer listed the former members of bands in parenthesis to help y'all keep track of the Page Six punk drama. It's just as well, because three years after their debut album, the Tallahassee punks almost sound like a different band, or at least an evolved one.

As summer begins to draw to a close, tune into some of the great new sounds from the worlds of Celtic music. On this week's episode of The Thistle & Shamrock, hear the latest by Joan Shelley, the Rachel Hair Trio, Calan and more.

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KEXP Presents: Wilco

Sep 2, 2015

Wilco recently performed for a packed room of KEXP donors at Columbia City Theater in Seattle. You've never heard a sold-out crowd so reverently quiet and enraptured, whether the band was performing old favorites or songs from its new album Star Wars.

Songs We Love: Wand, 'Dungeon Dropper'

Sep 2, 2015

WAND has made three albums in the past 18 months. By the standards of a '60s pop group under contract to a major label—churning out records filled with cover versions and mashed-together selections of songs released as singles in other countries—this might not seem so difficult.

A week ago today we launched our new All Songs Considered 24/7 Music Channel as a way to celebrate the show's tenth anniversary. Since then, we've gotten a number of notes from listeners asking about all the different ways they can tune in. Of course, you can hear the stream online and see the songs that are playing, and a list of those that have recently played.

Boxed In On World Cafe

Sep 1, 2015

Boxed In is the work of London's Oli Bayston, whose musical goal has been to play the electronic and house music he loves in a band with more rock interaction. No loops and no click-tracks; just a drummer who keeps perfect time. Here, Bayston and company perform songs from their self-titled debut.

More than 20 years into Lil Wayne's career, the froggy-voiced, diminutive rapper is hardly ever described as an elder statesman.

WPR's Set List Presents: J.E. Sunde

Sep 1, 2015

Fifties girl group crooning and echo chamber drums. Sixties wall of sound. Seventies California canyon sway. Eighties laser-sharp production. Nineties alt-country twang. Aughts vocal callbacks from Neko Case to Jenny Lewis to Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast.

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