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The Icelandic singer usually warbles her folk-flavored tunes in her native Nordic tongue. But her new record, Innundir Skinni, is her first to include songs sung in English. Watch Arnalds perform a lovely Tiny Desk Concert from the NPR Music offices.
Hear new songs by two down-to-earth people with their heads in the clouds: Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Together, they write dreamy musings on everything from dark matter to the pedestrian and mundane. Watch the duo perform songs from Acoustic Sessions in the NPR offices.
The music and voice of singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten are engineered to turn each listener into a weepy, vulnerable heap. In this lovely performance at the NPR Music offices, Van Etten plays a beguiling set of songs from her latest album, Epic.
German pianist Volker Bertelmann, aka Hauschka, makes music with his "prepared piano," wresting disruptive sounds from its 88 keys by outfitting the strings or mallets with objects such as ping-pong balls, aluminum foil and leather.
Los Lobos has proven time and again that a universal shared experience will always trump culture and language. This short set from the NPR Music office features something new, something old and something to dance to.
At the NPR Music offices, Trixie Whitley and Daniel Lanois brought a variety of instrumental backing, including an electronic bed for the single "I Believe in You," only to ditch many of the accoutrements on the fly. The result is a gripping and revealing performance.
Rana Santacruz performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices on September 17, 2010.
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Santacruz's music is as magical as his persona. His songs are filled with fantastic stories of men who make a thousand women fall in love with him, and whose funerals cause a biblical flood of tears. In honor of the Day of the Dead, watch Santacruz perform in traditional mariachi garb.
Bob Boilen reviews the new documentary about Merritt, Strange Powers. He says the film will make longtime fans love the artist even more, while others new to his music may be left scratching their heads.
Paul McCartney was looking for adventure when he made this record. So he recorded it in Nigeria, without a lot of his usual bandmates, in a shoddy studio. Bob Boilen gives a remastered version of the album a spin.
There's nothing particularly funny about most 16th-century choral music, but the young members of the a cappella ensemble Stile Antico cracked themselves up the entire time they sound checked for this Tiny Desk Concert. But when the cameras started rolling, they were all business. Watch the 12-person ensemble perform in the NPR Music offices.
NPR producer Veronica Miller says it's been a great week for girls of color. Two videos -- one with a muppet, the other by a budding child star -- are circulating the web and helping young girls celebrate their beauty and individuality.
The daughter of actors Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, nine-year-old Willow, hopped into the spotlight this week with the debut of her first music video. Willow Smith's song, "Whip My Hair," has caused a stir on the Internet. Some love it, but others wonder if the little performer is too young to be drawing so much attention. Host Michel Martin talks with Danielle Belton, author of the politics and pop culture blog BlackSnob.com, about Willow Smith's moment in the spotlight.