New Year, New Mix: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, More

By NPR Staff  |  NPR

Clockwise from upper left: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, Maria Linden of I Break Horses
Clockwise from upper left: St. Vincent, Bruce Springsteen, Damien Jurado, Maria Linden of I Break Horses Courtesy of the artists


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Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back from their holiday journey to the heartland, rested and ready to celebrate the new year with a batch of new music from some of their favorite artists, and latest discoveries.

Robin kicks things off with a new cut from St. Vincent, an artist who continues to redefine what it means to rock an electric guitar. Her new, self-titled album isn’t out until late February, but you can get a good taste of it with the fantastically gritty, disjointed song “Digital Witness.” (For more on this record, check out our interview with singer-guitarist Annie Clark.)

Also on the show: Bruce Springsteen reimagines his somber, acoustic classic, “The Ghost Of Tom Joad,” as massive, noisy rock song, courtesy of Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello; Lost In The Trees, a band normally defined by its lush string arrangements, is back with a brand new sound; singer-songwriter Damien Jurado takes us on a journey through an imaginary world where everyone is named “Silver.” Plus, Bob Boilen shares some bold and beautiful new discoveries from the Swedish duo I Break Horses and Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Danny Brewer, who writes and records as Besides Daniel.

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Songs Featured On This Episode

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Digital Witness
Artist: St. Vincent
Album: St. Vincent
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St. Vincent
Artist: St. Vincent
Title: Digital Witness
Album: St. Vincent

This cut, from St. Vincent's forthcoming self-titled album, features brawny horn arrangements, reminiscent of her 2012 collaboration with David Byrne. St. Vincent is due out Feb. 25.

I Break Horses
Artist: I Break Horses
Title: Denial
Album: Chiaroscuro

I Break Horses is a duo from Sweden featuring Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck. Together they make gorgeously textured songs heavily influenced by '80s synth-pop.

Damien Jurado
Artist: Damien Jurado
Title: Silver Timothy
Album: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

The Seattle-based singer and songwriter's latest album takes a deeper dive into the mysterious characters he first introduced on the 2012 album Marqopa. You can hear the full record, Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son, in our First Listen series.

Lost in the Trees
Artist: Lost in the Trees
Title: Past Life
Album: Past Life

On the band's latest record, Lost In The Trees frontman and songwriter Ari Picker drops the lush string arrangements for a more spare, minimalist sound.

Bruce Springsteen
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Title: Ghost of Tom Joad
Album: High Hopes

Bruce Springsteen reimagines one of his somber, acoustic classics, originally released in 1995, as an epic, noisy rock track, with help from Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

Besides Daniel
Artist: Besides Daniel
Title: Untouched and Burning
Album: This Marvelous Grief

Besides Daniel is the work of Atlanta singer-songwriter Danny Brewer. His music is both intimate and epic, with joyful sing-alongs and moments of quiet reflection.