Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is the producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

In addition to his work on All Songs, Hilton curates NPR Music's First Listen series, a weekly showcase of select albums you can read about and hear in their entirety before they're officially released.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, GA.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as an interpreter for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and in films, including the documentary Open Secret. Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.

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All Songs Considered
10:12 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Son Lux: New Album, New Song

Son Lux (left to right): Ian Chang, Ryan Lott, Rafiq Bhatia
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 12:53 pm

Son Lux, the brain child of beat wizard Ryan Lott, is back as an official trio, with a new album and a new song. The album is called Bones and was co-written and recorded by Lott with drummer Ian Chang and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia.

The first single from the album, "Change Is Everything," is vintage Son Lux, with a startling mix of chopped up rhythms and sonic curiosities set against lyrics that are both grand and minimal.

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All Songs Considered
8:41 am
Wed March 25, 2015

SXSW 2015 Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Discoveries And Memorable Moments

Clockwise from upper left: Girl Band, Girlpool, Kate Tempest, The Prettiots
Courtesy of the artists

After a week of 16-hour days and little-to-no sleep, the All Songs Considered gang is back from Austin with a slew of musical discoveries from the 2015 South by Southwest music festival.

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All Songs Considered
6:22 am
Tue March 17, 2015

SXSW 2015 Music Preview

Top row, left to right: Soak, Little Simz, Andy Shauf; Bottom row, left to right: Bully, Dale Watson, Kero Kero Bonito
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 10:24 am

If you love music as much as we do (we really love music), there's a good chance that this is one of your favorite weeks of the year. This is when the massive South by Southwest music festival and conference bubbles up and spills over into the streets of Austin, Texas. For five days, live music pours out of every alley, doorway, club, restaurant and street corner. Whether it's sensory overload or total nirvana, March 17-21 is all about discovering some new band or sound that sets your ears on end.

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All Songs Considered
11:25 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, For March 13

Eagles drummer and singer Don Henley takes it to the limit during a 1975 concert.
Neal Preston Corbis

I don't have any special tricks or themes to this week's Drum Fill Friday. (Well, I may have slipped one little trick in here. See if you can catch it.) But there should be a little bit in here for everybody, from funk and soul to vintage Top 40 pop and rock. If I star-rated these for difficulty, I'd give this one a two out of five. So see how you do, and good luck, careful listeners!

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All Songs Considered
11:31 am
Thu March 12, 2015

All Songs At 15: Björk Plays DJ

Inez & Vinoodh Matin/ILC

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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All Songs Considered
12:34 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Sufjan Stevens, 'Should Have Known Better'

Sufjan Stevens' latest song is a return to his folk roots.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 1:50 pm

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All Songs Considered
11:57 am
Tue March 10, 2015

New Mix: Villagers, Joanna Gruesome, Young Fathers, More

Clockwise from upper left: Joanna Gruesome, Trish Keenan of Broadcast, Conor O'Brien of Villagers, Eskmo, Young Fathers
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 4:04 pm

On this week's All Songs Considered, we look at one of life's immutable truths: Nothing's ever easy! Or, at least some things are way harder than they need to be. That's part of the message in the new kiss-off song that opens our show, "Hot Scary Summer," from the upcoming Villagers album Darling Arithmetic.

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All Songs Considered
11:55 am
Thu March 5, 2015

All Songs At 15: Bon Iver And Our First Trip To Austin

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, performing live at The Parrish in Austin, TX in March, 2008.
Joel Didriksen

Hardly anyone had heard of Bon Iver when we booked him to play our South By Southwest day party in March 2008. It was a magical time. Jagjaguwar had just released Bon Iver's breathlessly beautiful album For Emma, Forever Ago, the one Justin Vernon had famously recorded in a remote log cabin in the woods, where he'd holed up to exorcise some inner demons. He's adored now, but for many people in the audience, it was the first they'd heard of the record or of Bon Iver.

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All Songs Considered
2:01 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

New Mix: Björk, Torres, Boots, More

Clockwise from upper left: Panda Bear, Björk, Lowland Hum, Torres
Courtesy of the artists

This week on All Songs Considered, we get heavy — heavy lyrics, heavy themes — as hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton explore the meaning of life, even breaking it down to the atomic level, with existential music from English folk singer Bill Fay, Björk and more.

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All Songs TV
10:51 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Young Buffalo, 'No Idea'

A boy and his young robot friend plan a party for the ages in a scene from Young Buffalo's new video, "No Idea."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 11:16 am

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All Songs TV
11:12 am
Mon March 2, 2015

BRONCHO, 'NC-17'

A sullen pre-teen listens to music on his headphones in a scene from the Broncho video for the song "NC-17."
Courtesy of the artist

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Drum Fill Friday
12:43 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Drum Fill Friday With Steve Jordan

Drummer Steve Jordan is this week's guest Quizmaster.
Buck Lewis

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 7:40 pm

In last week's Drum Fill Friday I included one of my favorite drummers, Steve Jordan. (I won't say which song he was on in case you haven't taken the quiz yet.) I was first introduced to Jordan through his work with The Blues Brothers in the late '70s and early '80s, but his list of album credits is much longer.

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All Songs TV
7:03 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Alice Boman, 'Reason To Believe'

Swedish Singer Alice Boman sits at a piano in a scene from her latest video, for the song "Reason To Believe."
Courtesy of the artist

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Drum Fill Friday
12:10 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, For Feb. 20

I don't know what it's like where you live, but here in D.C. (as well as the rest of the eastern seaboard in general) we've had enough of winter. It's been downright arctic with subzero temperatures, record snowfall and no apparent end in sight. All of which is to say that this week's Drum Fill Friday comes to you from the confines of my super secret Robin Cave, where I've holed up with my stuffed animals and an iPod to play sweet drum fill jams and drown out the howling winter winds. Stay warm, and good luck, careful listeners.

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All Songs Considered
12:42 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

All Songs At 15: Have A Good Cry On Us

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a story about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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All Songs TV
11:09 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Matthew E. White, 'Rock & Roll Is Cold'

Courtesy of the artist

Matthew E. White has long played with the rudiments of gospel, R&B and rock. On his 2012 solo debut, Big Inner, the Richmond, Virginia-based songwriter teased together slinky bass grooves, bright harmonies and breezy rhythms for songs that bob and strut with a well-tempered grandeur.

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All Songs Considered
10:14 am
Tue February 17, 2015

New Mix: Sufjan Stevens, Alabama Shakes, JEFF The Brotherhood, More

Clockwise from upper left: Sufjan Stevens, JEFF The Brotherhood, Alabama Shakes, Waxahatchee
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 1:20 pm

This week on All Songs Considered we reflect on age and time, how we make sense of the world as we all grow older, and how it all ties in to the artist who opens this week's show: Sufjan Stevens. Stevens has been busy with numerous projects since releasing his insane masterpiece, The Age Of Adz, in 2010. But he's back with his first official studio album since then, the lovely and intimate Carrie & Lowell. We've got the first single from the album, "No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross."

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All Songs Considered
12:04 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With Cursive's Cully Symington

Cully Symington drums for the band Cursive, but has also performed and recorded with The Afghan Whigs, Okkervil River, Shearwater and Bishop Allen
Danin Drahos

This week's Drum Fill Friday was put together by drummer Cully Symington. He's currently with the band Cursive, though he's also played with The Afghan Whigs, Bishop Allen, Okkervil River and Shearwater. Cursive is currently on tour for their deluxe reissue of The Ugly Organ, originally released in 2003.

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All Songs Considered
10:19 am
Thu February 12, 2015

All Songs At 15: Our First Ever Tiny Desk Concert

Will Marsh

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 12:28 pm

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All Songs Considered
1:08 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Love Songs You Love To Love

Clockwise from upper left: Bright Eyes, Ed Sheeran, Louis Armstrong, Etta James, Peter Gabriel
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 12:23 pm

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All Songs Considered
8:50 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Hear A Brand New Song By Lord Huron

Lord Huron's sophomore full-length, Strange Trails, is due out April 7.
Josh Sanseri

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:07 am

Lord Huron's "Fool For Love" opens with a delicate wash of humming bells, a distant organ drone and a few carefully plucked strings. It's a beautiful, meditative mix that shimmers with the kind of hope and determination that only a new day can hold in its earliest hours, just after waking, before the inevitable letdown.

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All Songs Considered
3:02 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

All Songs At 15: The Near Disaster Of Our First Live Concert Webcast

The Bright Eyes setlist from our first-ever live concert webcast in January, 2005. The backwards handwriting you see bleeding through the other side of the page is Coco Rosie's setlist, another band on the bill that night.
NPR

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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All Songs TV
12:05 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

The Dodos, 'Competition'

Meric Long and Logan Kroeber of The Dodos bust out serious dance moves in their latest video.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 8:33 am

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All Songs Considered
11:57 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, For Jan. 30

Jazz percussionist Lionel Hampton once said that "drumming was the best way to get close to God." For me, it's putting together these Drum Fill Friday puzzlers. This week's batch of fills comes from a handful of (I think) instantly recognizable hits, so I'm expecting a lot of perfect scores. Good luck, careful listeners!

As always, if you have a drummer or a fill you'd like to see featured in these weekly puzzlers, let us know in the comments section or via Twitter @allsongs, #drumfillfriday.

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All Songs Considered
12:27 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

All Songs At 15: On Hearing Sufjan Stevens For The First Time

All Songs Considered
1:29 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

New Mix: Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Laura Marling, More

Top row: Death Cab For Cutie; middle row, left to right: Laura Marling, Asaf Avidan, Ibeyi; bottom row: Modest Mouse
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 4:10 pm

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All Songs Considered
2:27 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Drum Fill Friday, With Bobbye Hall

Percussionist Bobbye Hall has played with everyone from Marvin Gaye and The Funk Brothers to Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Pink Floyd.
Courtesy of the artist

This week's Drum Fill Friday features a selection of fills and beats handpicked by the liner-note legend, Bobbye Hall, who was recently featured on Morning Edition.

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All Songs Considered
12:01 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

All Songs At 15: Were The '80s Really That Bad?

Every Thursday this year, we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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Drum Fill Friday
12:41 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Drum Fill Friday: Unfailing Flailing

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 1:10 pm

I'm not a drummer. And it's a lot harder for me to articulate why one fill works over another than it is for people who've been hitting the toms since they were kids. So when our guest Quizmasters have the week off and I put together one of these puzzlers myself, I just reach for the songs that always get me air drumming. Driving in the car, waiting for the Metro, walking down the street — the fills in this week's Drum Fill Friday are all ones that get my arms flailing. I wonder if it's strange for drummers to know they've created beats and patterns that idiots like me try to pantomime.

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All Songs Considered
2:04 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

All Songs At 15: How To Get The Greatest Job In The World

Robin's redesign demo for All Songs Considered from 2000. (Don't laugh, this looked pretty cool 15 years ago).
Robin Hilton

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:34 pm

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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