Robin Hilton

Robin Hilton is the producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.

In addition to his work on All Songs, Hilton curates NPR Music's First Listen series, a weekly showcase of select albums you can read about and hear in their entirety before they're officially released.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Hilton co-founded Small Good Thing Productions, a non-profit production company for independent film, radio and music in Athens, GA.

Hilton lived and worked in Japan as an interpreter for the government, and taught English as a second language to junior high school students.

From 1989 to 1996, Hilton worked for NPR member stations KANU and WUGA as a senior producer and assistant news director and was a long-time contributing reporter to NPR's daily news programs All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Hilton is also a multi-instrumentalist and composer. His original scores have appeared in work from National Geographic, Center Stage and in films, including the documentary Open Secret. Hilton also arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. You can hear more of his music here.

Along the way, Hilton worked as an emergency room orderly, a blackjack dealer and a fruitcake factory assembly lineman.

Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle has always been more comfortable with machines than people. It's a dynamic he's well-documented, and even romanticized, in his work, with tales of misfit characters and their troubled relationships with everything from robots to appliances. Perhaps it's because mechanical friendships don't require much of an emotional investment — they're not built on a lot of open and earnest discussions.

You're in a New York apartment, alone on a warm night, hearing the sounds of the city drift up from the streets. Or you're in Paris and part of the noise, moving through the crowded streets and sidewalks, both feeling the weight of the world and a being a part of that weight. Or maybe you've never even seen a large city, and mistake the glowing lights from afar for a mysterious fire.

We're not quite to the halfway point of 2017 and we've already discovered dozens of new artists who've gone on to become a permanent part of our musical lives, from Diet Cig and Charly Bliss to Overcoats, Vagabon, This Is The Kit and many more. We'll define a "new" artist as someone who released their debut full-length in 2017. (If they haven't released a full album, an EP or single can count).

We get right down to business this week with the fantastic, frenetic pop of Guerilla Toss. The New York band has a new album on the way and recently released "Betty Dreams Of Green Men," a cut inspired by alien abduction, addiction and the obsessions that can consume a person's life.

It's hard to know what's real in the latest video from English musician and actor Johnny Flynn. The short film, for his song "In The Deepest," opens with Flynn casually strolling down the street on a sunny day while shooting a selfie. "The thing about Glasgow is you don't know what you're gonna get," he says, staring into the camera. Just then he notices a brilliant light streaking across the sky behind him. It seems a massive meteor is headed straight for earth.

The music of Perfume Genius can be intense, shuddering with a breathtaking fragility — but also shimmying with self-assured defiance. The songs, much like Hadreas himself, are strong, but not hard. As he worked his way through two new tracks ("Valley," "Slip Away") and one older ("Normal Song"), there were moments that were both beautiful and unnerving, in no small part because the songs are so deeply personal.

Radiohead is sharing a previously unreleased track the band recorded during sessions for its monumental 1997 album OK Computer.

The War On Drugs will release A Deeper Understanding, its fourth full-length, late this summer, coming three years after the band's previous album, Lost In The Dream.

A couple of weeks ago I snuck a Harry Styles cut on the show, to see if I could trick Bob Boilen into loving the One Direction singer's solo effort by not telling him who it was. (It didn't work).

Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, the sweetly synchronized guitarist and bassist for Girlpool, aren't really feeling it in a new video for their song, "Powerplant." The singers, along with newly added drummer Miles Vintner, half-heartedly perform the track on a tiny stage at the worst possible location: a bowling alley.

Since releasing his debut album Learning under the name Perfume Genius in 2010, Mike Hadreas and his music have both steadily grown bolder, more daring, more defiant. Over the course of four full-length albums his songs have evolved from intimate piano pieces to grandly orchestrated, stirring pop anthems that often rage against both his inner demons and the social and political injustices Hadreas sees in the world.

"Mom" is one of the most powerful words in any language, able to provoke profoundly emotional reactions from nearly everyone who hears it, from intense love to, well, the extreme opposite of that.

Bob Boilen and I rarely know what each other is going to play before we record the show. This week, Bob didn't even know what he himself was doing because he was too busy to plan ahead.

Update, Mar. 3, 6:49 p.m.: A rep confirmed to NPR that the band has cancelled its upcoming North American tour (dates at the bottom of this article). "Given the circumstances," a statement reads, "we unfortunately have to cancel our upcoming US tour dates. We hope to reschedule these at some point in the future."

The 2015 Sufjan Stevens tour for his crushingly sad and beautiful album Carrie & Lowell produced some of the best live shows of that year, if not this decade. Now the singer is sharing a full video of one of those performances. The video, which includes the entire Carrie & Lowell album and a seven-song encore, was shot Nov. 9, 2015 at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

When you listen to Sylvan Esso singer and lyricist Amelia Meath talk about the band's new album, What Now, you quickly learn how profoundly she's motivated by love. There's the love of magical sounds and the euphoria she feels when music "lifts you off the earth." There's the love for the audience, of connecting with and freeing them through song. And, especially for Meath, there's the love of dance and of feeling the body (literally) become the music.

The strange creatures that chase after a young girl in Fall Out Boy's new video, for the song "Young And Menace," are like demented versions of the beasts from Where the Wild Things Are. And like that beloved children's story, the whole tale that unfolds is like a surreal dream, though decidedly much, much darker.

As the 50th anniversary of the greatest rock album of all time rapidly nears, Capitol Records is sharing a previously unreleased outtake from the Sgt. Pepper's recording sessions. The clip, premiered at The Guardian, is a stripped-down version of the album's opening title cut and includes some fantastic chatter between John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

You'll need a few viewings to make any sense out of the new Father John Misty video for "Total Entertainment Forever." The song is, at least in part, an indictment against popular culture, the blind adoration of pop stars and the rampant obsession with virtual reality.

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