There is no shortage of folk and country songs about whiskey. But what makes this Mandolin Orange tune so enchanting is its effortlessness. The words seem to fall right into one another, like cheery drunks into so many bar stools. Mandolinist Andrew Marlin wrote this song during a road trip with his friend. They thought it might be fun to write a stereotypical country song and didn't expect for it to be so catchy.
This might be as intimate as hearing Katie Crutchfield sing in her basement. That's where she and her sister would play guitar, write and sing songs 10 years ago, when she was 14. Katie and Allison Crutchfield had a band back in Birmingham together, The Ackleys; these days, Katie performs as Waxahatchee, while Allison's band is called Swearin'.
For all the terrific live sessions Cheryl Waters witnesses in the KEXP live room, she's not often knocked speechless after a first song. Clearly, London Grammar has learned from the best: Thanks to the moody atmospherics of guitarist Dan Rothman and keyboardist Dot Major, as well as the soulfully smoky voice of Hannah Reid, the young U.K. trio has already attracted comparisons to Daughter, The xx and Florence Welch.
At 34, John Legend has sold millions of records, won nine Grammys, collaborated with many of the biggest stars in music (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, The Roots, et al), and achieved the kind of statesmanlike musical-ambassador status usually afforded to artists twice his age.
When your first full-length album draws fans like ?uestlove of The Roots and Gilles Peterson from the BBC, you've probably hit on something special. That's just what Melbourne, Australia's Hiatus Kaiyote did with Tawk Tomahawk, a record that blends jazz and soul with warm vocals and fuzzy effects.
It's hard to keep your eyes off singer Nai Palm: She's a true original, as you can see in this live performance of "Nakamarra" as part of Hiatus Kaiyote's Morning Becomes Eclectic debut.
You've probably never seen or heard an instrument like this. The Hindustani slide guitar is the creation of Debashish Bhattacharya, whose creation pairs his first love — a Hawaiian lap steel guitar, a gift from his father when he was only 3 — and the sounds of India. You can see the similarities to a lap steel guitar, as Bhattacharya lays the guitar across his legs, sliding a metal bar to create the fluid, almost vocal melodies.
To launch the partnership between NPR music and KCRW's Metropolis, Cut Copy drew a packed house to downtown New York for a dynamic set of new material from Free Your Mind, along with a few older gems to the delight of an adoring crowd at Le Poisson Rouge. The Aussie dance rockers showed their experience in the live arena, keeping spirits high and working the crowd until late.
KEXP has a long history with No Age, dating back to a 2008 performance in our employee parking lot. Over the years, the band's music has grown even more experimental, as its recent album An Object demonstrates. Still, the two-man onslaught — guitarist Randy Randall and singer/drummer Dean Spunt — remains riveting.