New Mix: Robert Plant, Jeff Tweedy, Sarah Jaffe, Sinkane, The Bug, More
On this week's All Songs Considered, Bob kicks off the show with The Juan MacLean's "A Place Called Space," an ecstatic dance-rock number from the group's upcoming album In A Dream. Seeking to find a subdued yin to Bob's euphoric yang, Robin premieres London producer The Bug's "Void," the opening track to his upcoming album Angels and Devils.
Following The Bug's stark soundscapes, resident classical music guru Tom Huizenga appears at the studio door, life-size cut out of opera singer Maria Callas under his arm, to play a composition by the Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry called "French Guitars." The piece, which features The National's Bryce and Aaron Desner, has no prescribed tempo or time signature — instead, the musicians count time using stethoscopes strapped to their chests.
The show continues in a more fist-pumping mood with premieres from folk singer-turned-experimental artist Sarah Jaffe and electro-funk maestro Sinkane, along with Robert Plant's "Rainbow" from his upcoming release lullaby and...the Ceaseless Roar. Last, blessedly safe from the blazing noon sun outside, Bob takes us out with "Summer Noon," a sweet and airy song from Tweedy, the new group led by by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and featuring his teenage son Spencer on drums (Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 plays piano and Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius sing on the track). The song will appear on Tweedy's album Sukierae as well as the soundtrack to Richard Linklater's film Boyhood.
The Juan MacLean
This guaranteed party-starter will appear on the Juan MacLean's upcoming album In A Dream, out Sept. 16 on DFA Records. More on this band from its website.
Berlin-via-London producer The Bug will release Angels and Devils on Aug. 26 on Ninja Tune Records, featuring contributions from Death Grips, Gonjasufi and more. "Void" features vocals from Grouper's Liz Harris. More on this artist from Ninja Tune's website.
Richard Reed Parry
"French Guitars" appears on Parry's current release, Music For Heart and Breath. Along with the Dessner brothers, the album features the composer and arranger Nico Muhly, the classical sextet yMusic and the San Francisco-based string Kronos Quartet. For more on the album, listen to this recent story on NPR.
Once primarily an acoustic folk singer, Sarah Jaffe's upcoming Don't Disconnect suggests a much wider range of influences; she is set to tour in the next few months with both The Polyphonic Spree and alt-hip hop artist Astronautalis. Don't Disconnect will be released on Aug. 19 on Kirtland Records. More on Sarah Jaffe's website.
Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters
The name of the former Led Zeppelin frontman's band, the Sensation Space Shifters, perfectly suits the eclectic instrumentation of his upcoming release, lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar, out Sept. 9 on Nonesuch. For a taste of that record, watch one of Plant's new tracks live from this year's Glastonbury.
The Sudanese-born Sinkane, who has worked as a session musician for Yeasayer, Of Montreal, Born Ruffians and more, brings an equal mix of his East African roots and electro-pop sounds to the opening track from Mean Love, out Sept. 2 on DFA Records. More on Sinkane on his website.
Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy describes Sukierae as "kind of like a solo record performed by a duo." In this case, the other half of the duo is his son Spencer, who drums on the double record's 20 tracks. Sukirae will be released Sept. 16 on Wilco's label, dBpm.