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We've officially closed the books on 2016 (finally), and we're ready to fall in love with some new music, from the big and hopeful to the crushingly sad.
We begin with the beautiful, brilliantly meditative ambient album Reflection by Brian Eno. It's a song that Bob notes a lot of people could use right about now, and one you can listen to as long as you'd like with Eno's "generative" app of the same name. The smartphone app uses complex, artfully designed algorithms to form, morph and endlessly stream variations of the album, never repeating the same lines or patterns twice.
Bob also has some more down-to-earth tunes from the husband-wife folk duo Lowland Hum and the sometimes psychedelic Brooklyn rock group Landlady.
Run The Jewels was just at NPR for what may be my all-time favorite Tiny Desk concert (we'll be posting that Feb. 6), so with my brain still humming from all the good feels, I play "Down," the opening cut to the duo's latest album, RTJ3. I've also got the brooding, sometimes disquieting music of Timber Timbre. That band is back with Sincerely, Future Pollution, a new album heavily shaped by the political upheaval of the past year. And finally, I take us out with "CLC," a powerful, uplifting song about soul-searching from Tall Tall Trees, a project led by banjo player Mike Savino.
All that, plus an animated GIF for an album cover and the story of how and why Bob decided to lacquer a very special banana.
-- Robin Hilton