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We kick off this week's All Songs Considered with new music from Wilco. The band surprised fans by dropping a new album out of the blue late last week. It's called ... wait for it ... Star Wars, and Wilco is letting everyone download it for free from the group's website (for a month). But don't let the playful name fool you. Star Wars is one of Wilco's trippiest, most inventive and surprising releases in 20 years of making music.
We get another surprise this week from the new Night Beds album. The band, which released one of most memorable and beautiful folk-country albums of 2013, Country Sleep, is back with a head-turning R&B record, complete with deep bass beats and auto-tuned vocals. Ivywild opens with the cut we're featuring on this week's show, the strangely captivating, epic "Finished."
Also on the show: bursts of joyful, idiosyncratic rock from the Ohio-based band Sports and the Ellen Kempner-fronted group Palehound; gnarled guitars and gorgeous atmospherics of Miya Folick and neo-soul from the English singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas.
Plus, we welcome back co-host Robin Hilton and bid a fond farewell to Katie Presley.