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If you stumble into the right basement in Nashville, Tenn., you will hear some of the most inventive and lovely psychedelic rock being made just about anywhere. Sun Seeker is one of Music City's freshest new rock bands. It's inspired by 1960s legends like The Band and '90s rockers like Pavement, creating a unique blend of Southern whimsy and fuzzy, melodic rock.

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

Back in 1992, singer k.d. lang released a record unlike any other. Ingénue slithered against the popular music grain with songs that drew slow, deep breaths and sighed seductively. It had an alluringly divergent sound that landed somewhere in a blurry nexus of pop, country and global folk, with accordions, clarinets and Eastern European flourishes.

From the sounds of things on the phone, Lizz Wright is going about the business of her daily life while she gives thoughtful responses to her interviewer's questions. There's the ding of a bell as a shop door closes behind her, a whispered "Hi" and, later, the electronic chiming that reminds you to fasten a car's seatbelt.

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

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


When musicians take inward turns and begin penning lyrics that scrutinize the lives they're living, they'll often underscore the maturation and sophistication of their perspectives by striking a pensive tone. That way we'll hear how serious they are about doing away with facades. But that's not the only method of making artistic use of personal catharsis.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And now with a bit of music news. The king has been dethroned.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")

PSY: (Singing in Korean).

SHAPIRO: For just about five years, this music video was the top viewed video on YouTube.

When you've encountered someone condescending, patronizing or downright toxic, in the moment it can often be difficult to know how to conduct yourself. Insults are always trickier to deal with when wrapped up in niceties, after all. Only hours later, in the shower perhaps, after working out just why and how that comment got to you, do you realize: you should've just told them to shove off.

This new Empress Of song is perfect for that kind of moment.

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