KNBA - KBC

Kimberly Junod

Like a perennial blooming in the spring, we're witnessing a beautiful, new beginning for Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast. Her new album, Jubilee, is a sonic departure from the darker songwriting themes of earlier records.

The release of the latest Fleet Foxes album was all about timing. The digital version of the band's album Shore dropped on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at exactly 9:31 a.m. eastern time – the precise moment of the autumnal equinox. But the physical version is coming out now – right around the spring equinox. So... why the delay?

The presents are under the tree, the cookies are out of the oven, the eggnog has been dusted with a fine layer of nutmeg, and joining me by the roaring World Cafe fire is Andrew Bird. He's here to play songs from his new Christmas album, Hark!

It's a busy time for music critics as they prepare for the annual tradition of identifying the year's best albums and songs in listicle form. World Cafe Nashville correspondent Ann Powers took a break from her NPR deliberatons to share one more roundup of new songs coming out of the Music City.

Many bands have struggled making sense of life amid COVID-19, but for Algiers, social distancing between bandmates is something they've been dealing with for years. Algiers was founded originally in Atlanta in the late aughts, but since then its members have lived in different cities, states, and even continents.

Margo Price is new Nashville royalty, a crown princess that has carved out a lofty perch by being true to herself.

There's something intriguing about how much drama can go into great albums. Sometimes it ends partnerships, sometimes it fuels them. For Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, the friction is essential to what makes their creative collaboration tick.

Nigel Chapman is always ... thinking. When you speak to him, it's almost like you can see the wheels spinning in his brain, like he's always on the brink of a new discovery ... about himself, about creativity, about the universe... and about music. And that makes sense, because Chapman, the frontman of the Canadian band Nap Eyes, spent a big chunk of his life working in biochemistry, in science.

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray of Indigo Girls are not only accomplished songwriters and performers in the midst of a 35-year career.

A few months into the pandemic, in mid-June, Phoebe Bridgers released her second full-length solo album, Punisher.

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