George Ezra today is a young English folk-pop singer with a warm, soulful voice and a worldwide hit song called "Budapest." In this episode of World Cafe, he performs solo and talks with Michaela Majoun.
The Kinks put out so much music on Pye Records between 1964 and 1971 that a new anthology of the period takes five discs just to scratch the surface. So it makes sense that World Cafe's conversation with singer Ray Davies would need to be spread out over two days.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist, singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty, mixes a gritty side with aching ballads on her new solo album, Reckless Skyline. The Vermont native has been at music a while, with two other solo albums and contributions to a handful of bands. Hear and download a couple of songs on this page, including one written in the mountains of Idaho in the wake of a forest fire.
Today's episode of World Cafe features an interview and live performance by Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller and Brian Rosenworcel of Guster, whose new album Evermotion was produced by Richard Swift. After 20 years together, Guster explores new directions on the record, and this performance — recorded in front of an audience at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia — marked only the third time the band had played the new songs.
If all you know about Billy Idol is the hair, the sneer and a string of hits in the '80s, then you need to give this conversation your attention. Idol has a new autobiography named after one of his best-known songs, "Dancing With Myself," and he's recently released a new album called Kings And Queens Of The Underground.
As '80s Week continues, World Cafe keeps combing through its archive for artists from the decade of synths and irregular haircuts. Today, that means bringing back a wide-ranging 2004 session with Colin Hay of the Australian band Men At Work. Hay's distinctive voice helped carry songs like "Who Can It Be Now" and "Down Under" to prominence in the early '80s.
Here, the singer performs a few of his newer songs and tells the story of Men At Work's international success.
This week's World Cafe: Next artist, Calgary's Viet Cong, released its full-length debut last week. It's not so much a dark record as a harsh one: This is a guitar-intensive rock band whose songs stretch out with some sturm and drang, while still finding ways to get under your skin. Hear and download two songs from Viet Cong on this page.
The much buzzed-about Toronto-based band Alvvays joins us today. We first heard about Molly Rankin and the band in 2013 when Frank Yang of the blog Chromewaves presented them as a band to watch on our Sense of Place visit to Toronto. Their self-titled debut came out last year and within a month had become the most played album on college radio. They join us in the studio today. Make sure to download the band's performance of "Adult Diversion."
Nude Beach, a punk trio from Brooklyn, is today's guest on World Cafe. The band recently released a double album called 77, and it's full of catchy power-pop tunes.
Formed in 2008 while its members were still in high school, the band includes guitarist and singer Chuck Betz, drummer and singer Ryan Naideau, and bassist Jim Shelton. Nude Beach made three albums together before releasing 77 in October. In this session, we'll learn what the title 77 signifies and hear some of its songs performed live.