Marissa Lorusso

To be clear, sad songs make up the majority of this week's All Songs Considered. So, if you have a love for the type of music you might hear from Julien Baker or Japanese Breakfast, we have five new artists to add to your playlist, including a 19-year-old singer from Belgium who goes by the name Asia; The artist known as Dolly Valentine asks, "Do you know where you want to go?" And there are more beautiful but crushing tunes brought to you by "the dream team" (NPR's Lyndsey McKenna and Marissa Lorusso).

The artists who attract me the most are those who are on the rise — artists whose popularity is mostly a small, dedicated circle of fans but growing. That's certainly true of the Shreveport band Seratones. They're putting out their second album later this summer and, from the sound of this potent new title track "Power," it's clear they'll find a bigger fanbase.

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising and you're willing to see yet another superhero movie just for the air conditioning. Maybe to you, this time of year signifies the start of music festival season. Maybe you're looking forward to your annual extended stay down the shore. Maybe you're preparing for a plethora of summer weddings — not always a bridesmaid, but always the life of the bachelorette party. Maybe you're looking forward to living your best life at your city's Pride parade. Or maybe you've finally concocted the perfect punch recipe for backyard barbecues.

Melina Duterte writes jangly and emotionally-complex guitar-pop as Jay Som; her debut album, Everybody Works, was one of our favorites of 2017. Today, she's back with new music.

This year, like every year, an incredibly strong pool of artists entered the Tiny Desk Contest.

Punk rock might be a relatively young genre, but the legend of its history has already become more or less solidified.

Ask what makes punk punk and you'll probably get a story that starts in 1970s London, or maybe New York; you'll get The Sex Pistols, The Ramones or The Clash; counterculture, anti-establishment and leather jackets.

The Tiny Desk Contest judges are one week closer to picking this year's winner! In the meantime, we've been discovering tons of great music on the Tiny Desk Contest website, where you can watch every eligible entry to this year's Contest.

This year's Tiny Desk Contest judges are excited to finally be getting ready to pick the 2019 winner. In the meantime, there's a lot going on in the Tiny Desk Contest community.

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"The stars have a lot to say about babies born in the month of May," Lucy Dacus sighs in "My Mother and I," the latest single from

The 2019 Tiny Desk Contest is officially closed for entries. Last Sunday night, in the final hours of the entry period, we watched videos pour in from across the country, delivering thousands of songs (and desks) to us.

For the musicians who sent us their songs, the hardest part is behind them. But for us, it's just beginning. While our judges deliberate, you can watch all the entries coming in as we moderate them and maybe find some new favorites of your own. Here are a few that we discovered this week.

Joining me on this edition of All Songs Considered is NPR Music's Lyndsey McKenna, Marissa Lorusso and Joshua Bote for some sips of Rosé, bites of cupcakes and sweet music. Today's sounds include the legendary dub master and reggae king Lee "Scratch" Perry. At 83-years of age, he's just made a brilliant new record with another legendary producer, Adrian Sherwood. Both artists are the reason that punk and reggae became so intertwined in the 1980s.

Between 1997 and 2000, a band from San Jose released two albums, an EP and a couple 7"s of slow, spacey rock, then more or less vanished. Not that the disappearing act took much effort. Duster wasn't exactly a band with a public presence, playing few shows, lending few interviews and releasing little information about its members. The members of the trio went on to play in other bands and work on other projects. In 2000, the founder of Up Records, who released Duster's music, died; operations at the label ended shortly after, and Duster's records went out of print.

For the NPR Music team, the Tiny Desk Contest is an annual opportunity to learn about undiscovered artists we might not otherwise hear. We hear from artists in every imaginable genre from all across the country. We're still accepting entries for a few more weeks — until April 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET — but we've already started to see entries we love. Here are a few that caught our attention this week.


Four Play Clarinet, "Soulful"

Panic attacks are no joke. Rick Maguire, lead songwriter for Pile, learned this recently. While preparing to move and getting ready to write Pile's new record, Green and Gray, Maguire tried to go to bed one night and instead found himself "in the pitch black, in a way looking at myself and my position to the rest of the world, physically, psychologically and spiritually, and feeling this overwhelming anxiety," he tells NPR Music. He was, in other words, having a panic attack.

Thank the heavens for the return of Carly Rae Jepsen, explorer of all worlds romantic; soothsayer of feelers and people striving to be feelers. Her singular brand of heart-eyed, teen-dream-pop, defined by her 2015 album E•MO•TION, is something to behold.

On this week's All Songs Considered we premiere new music from Aldous Harding. The artist from New Zealand made my number two album from 2017 (Party) and her latest song, "The Barrel," indicates that she'll be another year-end favorite of mine in 2019.

On this edition of All Songs Considered I'm joined by Marissa Lorusso, our Tiny Desk Contest leader and also a critical contributor to NPR Music's Turning the Tables project.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple Music playlists at the bottom of the page.

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There's a sense of voraciousness in Sasami Ashworth's musical resumé.

You've donned the gay apparel and trolled the ancient Christmas Carol from Accounting, but the snow has turned to gray slush and whenever a mulled beverage is served, your uncle can't help but channel his inner Rob Thomas: "Man, it's a hot wine!" (The pun is solid, but the impression sounds more like Bill Murray's caterwauling howl in Scrooged.) You want to get in the spirit, but you're hardly dashing through the snow. What to do?

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If we had to guess, we'd say Bangaville is more a state of mind than a physical location.

There's always a hint of transcendence in Robyn's music. It's why "Dancing On My Own" was such a perfect choice to soundtrack a moment of totally un-self-conscious, all-consuming, youthful freedom on the first season of HBO's Girls, as two of the titular characters dance around a Brooklyn bedroom, shaking off pain and heartbreak and awkward medical diagnoses. Sure, it's a limited liberation: the kind accessed by straight white girls who can afford health care and Brooklyn apartments.

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