New Mix: Wye Oak, Ratking, John Lurie, More

By NPR Staff  |  NPR

Clockwise from upper left: Holly Herndon, Ratking, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak, and John Lurie.
Clockwise from upper left: Holly Herndon, Ratking, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak, and John Lurie. Courtesy of the artist


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On this week’s show, host Bob Boilen has new magical powers. He’s not sure what’s behind these new powers, but it has something to do with a Romanian brass band and Tuvan throat singing.

Regardless, Bob uses these new powers to introduce a brand new sound from the rock duo Wye Oak. The band, featuring Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack, has built its reputation on massive walls of guitar noise. But on Wye Oak’s new record, Shriek, the band trades its guitars in for synths. The album isn’t out until April, but you can hear this new direction on a song we’re premiering from the record called “The Tower.”

Also on the show: We debut a new monthly feature we’re calling “Recommended Dose,” a showcase for the best new electronic and dance music. NPR Music’s Sami Yenigun and Otis Hart, who curate the new feature, stop by to share an intricate electronic track from Holly Herndon‘s new EP, Chorus, and Detroit house music courtesy of the legendary Moodymann.

Hear all that, plus an intense, a shape-shifting song by the London-based rock band Cheatahs; Dark, propulsive rap from the New York hip-hop trio Ratking; And a beautiful, percussion-heavy jazz cut by the veteran saxophone player and actor John Lurie and his National Orchestra, from a new collection of his past work.

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New Mix: Wye Oak, Ratking, John Lurie, More

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The Tower
Artist: Wye Oak
Album: Shriek
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Wye Oak
Artist: Wye Oak
Title: The Tower
Album: Shriek

The rock duo, originally from Baltimore, built its reputation on guitar noise. But here we debut a new, keyboard-driven sound for the group in the song "The Tower," from Wye Oak's upcoming album Shriek.

For more on this release visit Wye Oak's website.

Artist: Cheatahs
Title: Kenworth
Album: Cheatahs

The London-based rock band shreds on guitar, with spacey soundscapes. The Cheatahs' self-titled debut LP comes out Feb. 11.

Holly Herndon
Artist: Holly Herndon
Title: Chorus
Album: Chorus

Herndon is an avant-garde electronic artist whose music is inspired by our evolving relationship with technology. This song is a mélange of noises that she recorded and remixed from her web browsing experience.

For more on this release, visit Holly Herndon's website.

Artist: Moodymann
Title: Sunday Hotel
Album: ABCD: The Album

Moodymann is otherwise known as Kenny Dixon Jr., a legendary electronic artist who hails from Detroit and is known for his uptempo house music.

For more on this cut, visit the Moodymann website.

Artist: Ratking
Title: Canal
Album: So It Goes

The latest cut from this New-York rap trio is aggressive, dark and propulsive. Ratking's album So It Goes comes out Apr. 8.

For more, visit the Ratking website.

John Lurie National Orchestra
Artist: The John Lurie National Orchestra
Title: Men With Sticks
Album: The Invention of Animals

This jazz song mixes saxophone solos with attention-grabbing percussion. John Lurie is a musician, painter, actor, director and producer whose album The Invention of Animals was released Jan. 21.