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With a gifted backing band on hand to help flesh out three songs from Adventures in Your Own Backyard, Watson conducts a swirl of interlocking loveliness that still finds room for surprises, from a singing saw to a microphone that makes his voice sound as if it's bouncing off some faraway satellite.
John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.comhide caption
toggle captionJohn Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com
Chuck Daellenbach and his fresh-faced players, each with red-striped sneakers and matching outfits, strolled into the NPR Music offices, took their places behind Bob Boilen's desk and started blowing as if they'd played this peculiar gig a hundred times.
The French singer and multi-instrumentalist just released a new album called Skyline, and it captures his aesthetic perfectly: Its rich, buzzy, liltingly eccentric pop music is constructed from lots of sweet, intricate pieces.
While clearly rooted in acoustic traditions, the folk music of Arborea stands out for its calm beauty and rough edges. The duo incorporates harmonium, electric guitars played with an EBow, and a Ban-Jammer — a hybrid instrument that's part banjo, part mountain dulcimer.
The improvisational music of father and son Pedro Soler and Gaspar Claus functions as a beautiful conversation. Soler plays a delicate flamenco guitar, while Claus turns the cello into an exquisitely expressive voice. The two bring that spirit to their intimate performance in the NPR Music offices.