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New Mix: Run The Jewels, Flaming Lips, John Prine, More35:00

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Clockwise from upper left: Laura Burhenn, Run The Jewels, The Flaming Lips, Sadie Dupuis of Sad13, John Prine (Courtesy of the artists)closemore
Clockwise from upper left: Laura Burhenn, Run The Jewels, The Flaming Lips, Sadie Dupuis of Sad13, John Prine (Courtesy of the artists)

In this week's All Songs Considered, we feature three solo projects by some of our favorite bandleaders, a solo artist's duets record, and new music from some familiar faces, or more accurately put, some familiar Lips. The Flaming Lips are back with a new album, Oczy Młody, inspired by a Polish book that Wayne Coyne owns and finds phonetically fascinating (even if he doesn't understand any of the words). We've also got Run the Jewels, a duo that's all about the words and whose new single speaks to urgent issues of race relations.

Laura Burhenn (Mynabirds) and Kyle Morton (Typhoon) each have quiet solo records that tackle life's preciousness, how the small things sometimes matter most and the tangles we amass. Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz went the loud route; I found one of the lyrics a little offensive, but that didn't stop Robin Hilton from playing it.

We also hear from John Prine. He turns 70 this month and has recorded his highest charting record yet. For Better, Or Worse features a high spirited, often funny collection of cover tunes sung by a brilliant songwriter whose battle with cancer only seems to make him stronger. Every time I hear his Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn cover I laugh, and that's where our show starts.

-- Bob Boilen

Copyright NPR 2016.

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