WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

Talia Schlanger

World Cafe has a pair of brothers and a pair of cousins — plus one — in the studio today. Together, they're Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. In this session, we chat about the band's Cinderella story: It went from late-night bedroom jams to signing a record deal with its dream label, Sub Pop.

Joshua James' new album is called My Spirit Sister. Released a little over a decade into his career, it features staggering honesty — the kind of stuff that's difficult to say out loud, let alone sing. For example, James wrote the song "Millie" when his wife was pregnant with their second child and he was having severe doubts. "I really just had no idea how to cope with it," James says. "Should I just leave this gal with her mom and just depart and try to start again? What am I to do?"

Goldfrapp's new album, Silver Eye, is visceral dance music — an album you feel in your body before you process in your brain. The band is Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, who've been musical partners for the better part of two decades. Their debut, Felt Mountain, came out in 2000. It's lush and well-loved, and it was a real breakout for the U.K. duo. In the years since, Goldfrapp has put out a handful of records, and each one sounds a little different.

Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, joins World Cafe to chat and to perform songs from his new album, Pure Comedy. In this session we talk about Tillman's childhood: He spent his formative years at a Pentecostal school, where he was regularly told there were demons inside of him that needed to be exorcised — a process Tillman says is strangely relaxing.

You hear a lot of different types of music on World Cafe, but you may not have ever heard anything like Tanya Tagaq, who has collaborated with Björk and won Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

As the old adage goes, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Fifty years ago — May 12, 1967 — the Jimi Hendrix Experience made about as tremendous a first impression as it gets. The band's first full-length record, Are You Experienced?, is widely considered one of the greatest debuts in rock and roll. It introduced audiences to pyrotechnic psychedelia, amps that were at once incendiary and melodic and an artist that would define the dreams of nearly anyone who picked up a guitar for years to come.

You might have seen Maggie Rogers wowing Pharrell Williams in a viral video that captures the time she played him her song "Alaska" during a master class at NYU. In the video, as "Alaska" plays, you can see Pharrell is feeling it — and when the song ends, he gives Rogers his feedback: "Wow. I have zero, zero, zero notes for that. And I'll tell you why.

We're going dancing in this Latin Roots session with M.A.K.U SoundSystem. It's an eight-piece band based in New York City, but most of its members are originally from Colombia. Going on its seventh year as a band, M.A.K.U SoundSystem has independently released two full-length albums and one EP and toured across the U.S.

Jesse Hale Moore is based in Philadelphia, where he got a leg up on his debut solo record from two members of local favorite sons The War on Drugs — bass player Dave Hartley did some producing early on, and drummer Charlie Hall plays in this session.

At this moment in the music industry, the regular model for releasing a record has been pretty much blown apart. Artists can release singles or EPs online at any time, in whatever format. That can have some pretty interesting results, as it did for Hanni El Khatib.

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