January 9, 2012 - Scott Walker is best known for a song he did early on in his career as the front man for The Walker Brothers, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore,” that couldn’t be more different than what he is doing now. Walker has evolved from a singer in a pop band that vied with The Beatles for popularity in the UK in the mid-sixties into an avant-garde music maker who has built an influential solo catalog owing to his always inventive and elaborate compositions.
January 7, 2013 - London's new soul sensation is twenty-two year old, songstress, Lianne La Havas. She blends soul, jazz and folk in her new album, released in the U.S. on August 7, "Is Your Love Big Enough?" La Havas has been nominated for BBC's Sound of 2012, along with another XPN favorite, Michaeal Kiwanuka and her performance of "Age" on the cult video site Black Cab Sessions created a nice buzz online."
January 4, 2013 - ChesnuTT Cody is back in a big way with his new album, Landing On a Hundred, his first full-length in a decade. Recorded in part at Memphis’s Royal Studios, where Tina Turner and Al Green cut many of their classics, the album focuses on ChesnuTT’s soul side. “What Kind of Cool (Will We Think of Next),” “I’ve Been Life” and “That’s Still Mama” are all intentionally reminiscent of his ‘70s soul sound, as ChestnuTT worked with a 10-piece band to cut every track on two-inch tape, allowing the charisma of his bedroom studio to shine through on record.
January 3, 2013 - People Get Ready takes an unorthodox approach to live performance. One of the band's co-founders, Steven Reker, studied dance in college and joined David Byrne on tour a few years ago as a guitarist and dancer. The relationship between music and movement lies at the core of People Get Ready's live shows, which blur the line between concerts and dance performances.
December 31, 2012 - London folk rockers Mumford and Sons made a splash on the indie music scene with their 2009 debut album Say No More. The album combines the raspy crooning vocals of lead singer Marcus Mumford with lush harmonies and thoughtful lyrics in songs that range from soft and soothing to rocking, toe-tapping tunes.
December 31, 2012 - The Alabama Shakes made many best of 2012 lists! The Shakes' style is marked by Howard's powerful voice and the ensemble's irresistible energy: they enthusiastically blend rock with soul, country, blues and roots, earning critical as well as popular acclaim for their electric performances and foot-tapping self-titled debut.
December 25, 2012 - In this edition of World Cafe, Beat Latino host Catalina Maria Johnson sits down with host David Dye to discuss the Christmas music traditions of Latin America. One thing that sets Central America's music apart from that of North America, she says, is the fact that a lot of it is made for dancing!
December 28, 2012 - Singer-songwriter Ben Schneider is the creative force behind the rhythmically inventive folk-pop band Lord Huron. The band started out as a multimedia solo project, but it now includes Mark Barry on percussion and vocals, Miguel Briseno on bass and percussion, Brett Farkas on guitar and vocals, and Tom Renaud on guitar and vocals.
December 28, 2012 - A band's sound is only as big as its members, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' music is huge. The 10 members are a whirl of roving horns, as well as whistles, claps, shouts, strummed string instruments and percussion involving drums, hands and anything else they can find. The group's communal folk sound blew up in 2009 with the heart-pounding, foot-stomping single "Home"; with its universal sentiment, the song includes a back-and-forth between frontman Alex Ebert and bandmate Jade Castrinos.
December 27, 2012 - Gotye (a.k.a. Wouter "Wally" De Backer) has become an international pop star on the strength of his new album, Making Mirrors. The poppy collection includes "Somebody That I Used To Know," which has topped the charts in six countries and hit the Top 20 in 14 others. There's something hauntingly relatable and undeniably catchy about the insightful, ubiquitous break-up song.