Quiet Reflection in Acoustic Songs by Daughter of Swords
North Carolina singer and guitarist Alexandra Sauser-Monnig records under the name Daughter of Swords, in which she "combines the eerie sound of old Appalachian folk music with elegant guitar playing and touches of lo-fi pop." (John Schaefer) She’s also part of the alternative folk trio Mountain Man, a group of women whose precise harmonies offer songs of warmth, belonging, and community. Sauser-Monnig’s record, Dawnbreaker , a homespun country-pop offering of vulnerability, brings liberation to the "breakup record" and hope for the next phase of life. Daughter of Swords joins us to perform in-studio. - Caryn Havlik
Watch the session here:
The Calm Spark of South African Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim Persists
The South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim (aka "Dollar Brand") has had a notable career, helped early on by Duke Ellington,and acknowledged later by Nelson Mandela, who called Ibrahim “our Mozart.” In 2019, Abdullah Ibrahim became a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, and he’s recently released a new album, The Balance, ( which is his 70th or 71st LP, and that's not including his work as a sideman, which might push the total album credits to over 100!) It's full of "l ush horn lines, lilting melodies, and uplifting chord progressions, characteristic of Abdullah's own particular brand of Township Jazz." ( ) Abdullah Ibrahim performs some solo piano works in-studio.
Cosmo Sheldrake's Eccentric, Strangely Alluring Pop
London composer Cosmo Sheldrake is also a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. He’s got a knack for refreshingly playful and whimsical pop music that often incorporates natural sounds. On his latest record, The Much Much How How and I , the music gyres and gimbles like circus music meets forest-dwelling faeries in the wabe. There’s also a clever interplay of frolicking rhythms which perhaps reflects Sheldrake's work with young people. Cosmo Sheldrake performs some of his latest music in-studio. -Caryn Havlik
The Slamming Wordplay of Poet and Rapper Kate Tempest
London-based Kate Tempest is a spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright. Her visceral writing demands foreground-listening with its physicality of emotions, spoken-sung, delivered as incantation, slammed poetry, swaggering rap verse, a bit tent preacher and protest march. Her work was nominated for the Mercury Prize, her epic narrative poem “Brand New Ancients” was awarded the Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry and she won a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in recent years. She's collaborated with performs some of the pieces from her latest album, The Book Of Traps And Lessons , in-studio . - Caryn Havlik
Watch the session here:
DOOMSQUAD's Personal and Political Outsider Dancefloor Jams
Toronto electro-psych dance-rock sibling trio DOOMSQUAD brings a mix of protest music, catharsis, and groove, plus banging flute solos to their outsider electronica. They’ve written songs about the anarchist and activist Emma Goldman along with New York drag queen Dorian Corey as well as modern societal struggles and eco-crises. Trevor, Jaclyn and Allie Blumas cite as inspirations their tour-mates Tanya Tagaq and Peaches, along with Underworld, Peter Gabriel, Diamanda Galás, and Genesis P-Orridge. DOOMSQUAD joins us to make some of this art-dance music in-studio.