The artists in NPR Music‘s inaugural Slingshot class — Jamila Woods, Big Thief and Lo Moon — have had a busy 2017. In addition to recording and releasing new music and traveling the world on tour, they’ve been chosen as the featured musicians in the artist-championing collaboration between NPR and several of its member stations, including XPN. Slingshot was announced in September and will continue throughout the coming year as an effort to support and promote the work of some of the most promising emerging artists out there.
Until recently, Jamila Woods was known primarily as a frequent guest collaborator in hip-hop and R&B, appearing with the likes of Chance the Rapper. Woods has been touring behind her debut solo album HEAVN, and made a stop last week at BLK Wednesday in her hometown of Chicago, adding some unexpected covers to her set. Watch Woods’ take on Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana below, where she mashes up “Killing in the Name” with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Woods also took the opportunity to reimagine one of her own songs, intertwining HEAVN track “In My Name” with Destiny’s Child favorite “Say My Name.” Watch below. Woods will tour the West Coast and Europe in the coming months.
Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday this past weekend to talk about the song “Shark Smile,” from the band’s recent second album Capacity. Big Thief released Capacity in June just a year after their debut LP Masterpiece, and the standout track “Shark Smile” seems like the upbeat and energetic equivalent to the first album’s title track. As Lenker reveals to NPR’s Jon Hart, though, the inspiration for the track comes from a place filled with emotional turmoil. Listen below.
Lenker embarks on a solo tour next spring that includes a stop in Philly for two shows at Johnny Brenda’s on March 7. Find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to “Shark Smile” in full below.
Big Thief, Jamila Woods, NPR slingshot