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All Songs Considered

Saturdays at 7 p.m.

All Songs Considered started in 2000. It was inspired and first featured music heard on NPR's daily news show All Things Considered. Bob Boilen directed that program and chose the music for 19 years.

All Songs Considered started as a multimedia program for the first few years with slides and music. It quickly developed as a weekly show with music from many genres and focusing on a burgeoning independent rock scene. That's still a primary focus of the show.

For the first 10 years, Bob Boilen was the host and many shows with guests. These days producer Robin Hilton co-hosts the show with Bob.

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Roséwave: Lost Summer

Dec 30, 2020

Stream this playlist via Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube.

It wasn't until I took the time to think about it that I realized how much of the music I loved in 2020 was by artists who I already knew, most making calming sounds.

Let's start with the list itself. At the bottom of this post you can find streams of each album.

Quietude. More than half of the music I connected with and loved in 2020 fit that description. In past years, many of my nights were spent at clubs, seeing live music — loud, brash, fun, uplifting, and thrilling. That all stopped in mid-March, right about the time I'd usually be in the midst of thousands of fans seeing hundreds of musicians at SXSW. Being alone, away from friends, colleagues, and clubs, I connected deeply with music that drew me in with subtly, yearning, and atmosphere. Thank you to all those musicians who poured their hearts into their instruments in 2020.

Update: The Listening Party has ended, but you can listen an edited version of the conversation in your All Songs Considered feed.

Our 2020 poll is closed. To see the results, click here.

Updated on Oct. 31 ay 3:18 p.m. ET.

NPR Music's Listening Party has ended.

Imagine being able to lay down your burdens and fly away from Earth — to a place of harmony, where discrimination is left behind. That dream is the basis of the song "Blackstronauts" by Britton & The Sting, a standout entry in this year's Tiny Desk Contest. Britton Smith, who wrote the song, tells Weekend Edition he wrote "Blackstronauts" while thinking about one particular burden: the need for affirmation.

This year, many people have been turning to music for catharsis, but Mama Haze, aka songwriter Meaghan Maples, has been tapping into music's healing powers for a long time. Before pursuing music full-time, the Oakland, Calif.-based artist was a doula and caregiver, often prescribing music as an antidote to patients' pain.

Singer Danielle Ponder knows that empathy is a powerful tool in songwriting. "I think in music, you're telling a story," she tells NPR's Weekend Edition, "and a good songwriter is telling a story in a way where the audience empathizes or can see themselves in that person's shoes."

It's really not that different, the Rochester, N.Y.-based musician says, from being a defense attorney. She should know; outside of her music career, Ponder also spent five years as a public defender.

UPDATE: The listening party has ended.

This Friday at 4 p.m. ET, join us for an online listening party for Bright Eyes' new album, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, hosted by All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen and featuring a live conversation with Bright Eyes members Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott.

We have a winner! For the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest from NPR Music, our all-star team of judges reviewed more than 6,000 entries from across the U.S. and chose Linda Diaz, who submitted the song "Green Tea Ice Cream."

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Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf — an eight-week series highlighting the best entries from the 2020 Contest — came to a close on Thursday, July 30, when Bob Boilen hosted the final episode.

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On Thursday, July 23, Bob Boilen was joined by Rita Houston, Program Director of NPR Member station WFUV in New York, for the penultimate episode of Tiny Desk Contest Top shelf.

Each year, the Tiny Desk Contest receives entries from all 50 states — and that's thanks in part to help from our friends at NPR Member stations. This year, the Contest introduced us to so many new artists and brought us new songs from previous entrants we love. Today, we're sharing some great entries chosen by Member stations across the country.

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On Thursday, July 16, Bob Boilen was joined by Tiny Desk Contest judge and Tiny Desk alumna Gina Chavez for episode six of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf.

Updated on July 20 at 1:47 p.m. ET.

The listening party has ended, but you can stream the album below via Spotify or Apple Music.

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On Thursday, July 9, Bob Boilen and Tiny Desk Contest judge Tarik Moody of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee hosted episode five of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf.

I've just finished Mikel Jollett's memoir, Hollywood Park, and it's extraordinary. Mikel is best known as the front person in the band The Airborne Toxic Event, but his journey to his current life is both stunning and sad. The book opens with him as a child raised in a cult known as Synanon.

Updated on July 20 at 1:50 p.m. ET

The listening party has ended, but you can stream the album below via Bandcamp.

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On Thursday, July 2, Bob Boilen was joined by 2019 Tiny Desk Contest winner, Quinn Christopherson, in episode f

You gotta respect when an artist stays consistent with their artistry, no matter how long they're deemed to be "still bubbling," niche or just generally under the radar. Sometimes it's those who stay underrated for years and then finally "pop" who savor the success in more humble and innovative ways.

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"Get ready for Oakland to meet New Orleans!" Fantastic Negrito, aka Xavier Dphrepaulezz, teased on Twitter.

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On Thursday, June 25, Bob Boilen hosted episode three of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf.

Updated on July 20 at 1:52 p.m. ET.

The listening party has ended, but you can stream the album below via Bandcamp.

In a week of rapid headlines, surprise releases and cautious re-opening of businesses, the world is attempting to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Still, on the other side of the 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak and the reinvigorated Black Lives Matter movement offer proof that nothing will really ever be the same. This week's Heat Check picks attempt to balance the high-wire of restoring the feeling without disregarding reality.

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On Thursday, June 18, Bob Boilen hosted the second episode of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf, a weekly livestream series featuring the Contest judges' favorite entries.

Music is canonizing this moment in history at rapid speed. Across rap, R&B and avant-garde soul, we're hearing the creative juices flowing, giving reason and song to racing thoughts. Some artists remain on the front lines of the Black Lives Matter movement. Others turn inward to journal their time in isolation. And some commit to album roll-outs that show their maturation even in the mayhem.

Whether it's a trap anthem for the protests or a tale of petty deceit, this week's Heat Check considers the bigger picture during a period of time that we're never going to forget.

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On Thursday, June 11, we shared the first episode of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf, a weekly livestream series featuring the best entries from the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest

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Each year, we receive thousands of entries to the Tiny Desk Contest, and the Contest team watches every single one. We get to hear songs from artists all across the country.

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