Before forming Cookies, Ben Sterling led Mobius Band, a group he formed in college. As that band faded, Sterling took the opportunity to figure out how his music should sound. On Cookies' debut album, Music For Touching, it sounds like bright, breezy electro-pop with high production values — a challenge, given that he records much of it himself. Here, Sterling performs with drummer Cinque Kemp, bassist Aakaash Israni and singer Ashley Giorgi.
A member of the best-selling trio Pistol Annies — alongside Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert — Angaleena Presley knows what it was like to grow up a coal miner's daughter in Beauty, Ky. Those experiences helped inform the stories she tells on her solo debut, American Middle Class, which came out last year. On this episode of World Cafe, she discusses the album and sings a few of its songs.
Owen Pallett made wonderful, genre-defying music under the name Final Fantasy, then began recording albums like last year's In Conflict under his own name. He sings, composes and arranges songs marked by elaborately looped sounds, particularly violin lines.
Pallett has toured extensively with Arcade Fire, on whose albums he's contributed dating back to Funeral. In 2014, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the score to the film Her. This appearance on World Cafe features songs from In Conflict.
The Lone Bellow joins World Cafe today to perform in front of a live audience. The Brooklyn folk-rock trio has roots in the American South, with stories and images from its ancestral home permeating the songs on both The Lone Bellow's self-titled 2013 debut and this year's Then Came The Morning. The new disc was produced by The National's Aaron Dessner.
Between bits of enlightening conversation, The Lone Bellow gives an energetic performance of three songs from the new album, recorded at Philadelphia's World Cafe Live.
In World Cafe's newest Latin Roots segment, Rachel Faro returns to discuss lullabies, or canciones de cuna. Many of these songs are passed down from grandmothers to babies and end up becoming songs that everyone knows. Faro will play a couple of examples, and then you can explore her Spotify playlist if you truly need to drift off to sleep.
The Portland folk-pop band Horse Feathers' new album, So It Is With Us, showcases a lively, even aggressive sound. It's a much different approach than the one taken during the group's previous visit to World Cafe. Bandleader Justin Ringle presides over a full-band sound that's more cohesive than ever, and you can hear that quality in this upbeat session.
Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 11:16 am
If you saw the concert film Another Day, Another Time — the companion movie to the Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis — you saw today's World Cafe guest. Punch Brothers performed as the house band, accompanying a wide range of folk and roots-music acts.
Its new album, The Phosphorescent Blues, extends well beyond Punch Brothers' bluegrass roots to incorporate a huge variety of pieces, including two by the classical composers Debussy and Scriabin.
Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 11:31 am
"I think America needs people like me," Marilyn Manson tells World Cafe host David Dye. "The world needs bad men to keep out the other bad men. And I think the world needs a villain like me, because I'm the part of the movie where change happens."
Known as a dark, demonic, heavily made-up shock rocker, Manson just released his first new album in three years, called The Pale Emperor. Written and produced with film composer Tyler Bates, it exhibits a stylistic shift, as a few blues chords sneak into Manson's industrial rock.
Young English folksinger David Rhodes, who records and performs using only his last name, is this week's World Cafe: Next artist. Rhodes, who picked up the guitar for the first time at 13, has released three EPs; the latest, Home, is his debut in the U.S.
The Guardian newspaper once described Rhodes as a "one-man Coldplay," but you can hear for yourself by streaming or downloading two songs here.