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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Can You Hear Me” by Ryan Culwell

Ryan Culwell | Photo courtesy of the artist

Singer-songwriter Ryan Culwell recently released his third full length album, The Last American. It’s the followup to his critically acclaimed Flatlands, released in 2015, and continues to capture the Springsteen-esque imagery and driving Americana of his last release. His song “Can You Hear Me” was inspired by the death of Eric Garner. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Me and My Dog” by boygenius

via Matador
Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus | photo by Lera Pentelute | courtesy of the artists

The three musicians behind the new project boygenius — Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus — are well known individually for their solo work, but have evidently been thinking about joining forces for some time now. After some vague teasing of a collaboration, we finally know what the songwriters have been up to. They’ll release a self-titled EP as boygenius in November and have shared three tracks from it. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Loading Zones” by Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile | photo courtesy of the artist

One might expect a song called “Loading Zones” from such a musician like Kurt Vile would reflect on his extensive touring with The War On Drugs, Courtney Barnett, or with the Violators, loading in and out for shows almost constantly since 2005. Instead, the track — XPN’s new Gotta Hear Song of the Week — is a nostalgic and familiar contemplation of the everyday loading zone, Vile singing of avoiding paying parking by using the loading zones in his hometown streets. “Get my shopping done, laundry too, drop some dead weight, clean my hands of what I need to clean my hands of.” The structure of the song follows suit, never faltering in its churning groove. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “People Get Old” by Lori McKenna

Lori McKenna | photo by Becky Fluke | courtesy of the artist

Considering she’s spent her life in Stoughton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, for singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, Nashville has been very very good to her. As a songwriter, McKenna’s songwriting has become country music gold for musicians like Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Reba McIntire, Hunter Hayes, Ashley Monroe, and others. On her own solo work, as a songwriter through the eleven albums she’s released since 2000, McKenna’s common exploration of themes of family, inner personal turmoil, and the emotional ties and relationships we have between each other, have continued to shine with each new release. On her new album, The Tree McKenna remains a powerful and prolific storyteller about the human condition. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song(s) of the Week: Richard Thompson’s “The Storm Won’t Come” and “Bones of Gilead”

Richard Thompson | Photo by Tom Bejgrowicz/Courtesy of the artist

Legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson recently announced his 19th studio album, 13 Rivers.

Thompson, who co-founded the seminal British folk group Fairport Convention in 1967, last worked with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy on 2015’s Still. For 13 Rivers, Thompson self-produced the album in an old studio in Hollywood with his band including drummer Michael Jerome, bassist Taras Prodaniuk, and guitarist Bobby Eichorn. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Keep A Little Soul” by Tom Petty

Tom Petty | photo by Noah Silvestry for WXPN | silvestography.com

The late great Tom Petty was nothing if not prolific, and his 50+ year career will be celebrated this fall with a 60-song box set called An American Treasure. Curated by his family and bandmates, it will be a set for hardcore fans that goes deep into Petty’s archives for unreleased songs, alternate versions familiar favorites, live performances and deep cuts.

One of those unreleased gems surfaced today; it’s called “Keep A Little Soul,” it dates to 1982 and Petty’s sessions for Long After Dark, and it is XPN’s Gotta Hear Song this week. Continue reading →