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  • Tuesday, December 15, 2015
    NPR Music's Favorite Songs of 2015 Feature Several Nonesuch Artists

    NPR Music follows the announcement last week of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2015 with today's announcement of its Favorite Songs of 2015. Featured among them are songs from a whopping eight Nonesuch Records releases from The Arcs, Rhiannon Giddens, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Kronos Quartet, Lianne La Havas, Punch Brothers, St Germain, and The Staves, as well as the World Circuit release from Mbongwana Star distributed in the US by Nonesuch. These are across a broad range of genre lists, including rock, folk/Americana, country, electronic, world, and classical.

    The first single off The Arcs' debut album, Yours, Dreamily, "Stay in My Corner," which was inspired by the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing match, features "the most romantic extended boxing motif you'll ever hear to express commitment during the hard times, says NPR's Mike Katzif.

    Rhiannon Giddens's solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, which landed on NPR Music's list of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2015, includes Giddens' take on the traditional tune "Black Is the Color." NPR's Katie Presley, in selecting it for the Favorite Songs list, writes: "Confidence, exuberance, sex appeal and unmistakable, unbridled glee underwrite every second of the Carolina Chocolate Drops frontwoman's bold take on a Nina Simone staple."

    The second duo album from Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, The Traveling Kind, brought the longtime friends two Grammy Award nominations: Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song for the title track, which they co-wrote with Cory Chisel. The track has also made the NPR Music list. "Old friends, bookends: this revered harmonizing duo reflects upon enduring friendship and those who have left this dusty road," writes Ann Powers.

    Kronos Quartet celebrated composer Terry Riley's 80th birthday with the release of One Earth, One People, One Love: Kronos Plays Terry Riley, a five-disc box set of albums of his work, including a new disc called Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector. Both include "One Earth, One People, One Love," from Sun Rings. Anastasia Tsioulcas, in naming it to the list, writes: "This rapturous and tender movement, with the cello at its fore, is mystical, magical and haunting."

    Lianne La Havas released her second album, Blood, this year, and on it and the NPR Music list is the song "What You Don't Do." NPR's Rachel Horn calls the song "a boundlessly joyful celebration of a happy, secure relationship."

    Punch Brothers were nominated for three Grammy Awards this year: Best Americana Album for their latest album, The Phosphorescent Blues, and Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance for the album track "Julep." That song is also among NPR Music's Favorite Songs of the year. "Set within a complex but easeful arrangement that recalls both jazz and its African origin points," writes Ann Powers, "this view of a good life from heaven shows just how masterful this virtuoso outfit has become."

    St Germain returned in 2015 with his first album in 15 years. The self-titled record marries percussive grooves, which have always been central to his sound, with a new element: traditional Malian music, as heard on the track "Sittin' Here," an NPR Music favorite. "We've waited 15 years for the follow up to this French producer's worldwide hit album, Tourist," writes Mark Wheat of NPR member station The Current, "and he's blended African influences into his super smooth downbeat production style."

    The English trio of sisters The Staves made its Nonesuch debut with the release of its new, Justin Vernon–produced album, If I Was. Making the NPR list is the album track "No Me, No You, No More." Stephen Thompson says: "Vernon gives this U.K. vocal trio the layers-upon-layers treatment, to glorious effect."

    Congolese seven-piece band Mbongwana Star released its debut full-length album, From Kinshasa, on World Circuit this year. Its first single, "Malukayi," featuring Konono No. 1, is "the ideal soundtrack for a spaceman meandering through the streets of Kinshasa," writes NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas: "next-level alienation and sonic disorientation, pure humanity."

    To pick up a copy of any of the albums above, head to the Nonesuch Store, where all currently released albums are 15% off the everyday low prices listed on the site as part of the ongoing Nonesuch Store anniversary sale.

    To see the complete list of NPR Music's Favorite Songs of 2014 and listen to playlists of the tracks, visit npr.org.

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NPR Music's Favorite Songs of 2015 Feature Several Nonesuch Artists

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on December 15, 2015 - 11:00am
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 16:00
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NPR Music has announced its Favorite Songs of 2015, including tracks from eight Nonesuch Records releases from The Arcs, Rhiannon Giddens, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Kronos Quartet, Lianne La Havas, Punch Brothers, St Germain, and The Staves, as well as Mbonwana Star's World Circuit release. These are across a broad range of genre lists, including rock, folk/Americana, country, electronic, world, and classical. You can hear them here.

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NPR Music follows the announcement last week of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2015 with today's announcement of its Favorite Songs of 2015. Featured among them are songs from a whopping eight Nonesuch Records releases from The Arcs, Rhiannon Giddens, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Kronos Quartet, Lianne La Havas, Punch Brothers, St Germain, and The Staves, as well as the World Circuit release from Mbongwana Star distributed in the US by Nonesuch. These are across a broad range of genre lists, including rock, folk/Americana, country, electronic, world, and classical.

The first single off The Arcs' debut album, Yours, Dreamily, "Stay in My Corner," which was inspired by the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing match, features "the most romantic extended boxing motif you'll ever hear to express commitment during the hard times, says NPR's Mike Katzif.

Rhiannon Giddens's solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, which landed on NPR Music's list of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2015, includes Giddens' take on the traditional tune "Black Is the Color." NPR's Katie Presley, in selecting it for the Favorite Songs list, writes: "Confidence, exuberance, sex appeal and unmistakable, unbridled glee underwrite every second of the Carolina Chocolate Drops frontwoman's bold take on a Nina Simone staple."

The second duo album from Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, The Traveling Kind, brought the longtime friends two Grammy Award nominations: Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song for the title track, which they co-wrote with Cory Chisel. The track has also made the NPR Music list. "Old friends, bookends: this revered harmonizing duo reflects upon enduring friendship and those who have left this dusty road," writes Ann Powers.

Kronos Quartet celebrated composer Terry Riley's 80th birthday with the release of One Earth, One People, One Love: Kronos Plays Terry Riley, a five-disc box set of albums of his work, including a new disc called Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector. Both include "One Earth, One People, One Love," from Sun Rings. Anastasia Tsioulcas, in naming it to the list, writes: "This rapturous and tender movement, with the cello at its fore, is mystical, magical and haunting."

Lianne La Havas released her second album, Blood, this year, and on it and the NPR Music list is the song "What You Don't Do." NPR's Rachel Horn calls the song "a boundlessly joyful celebration of a happy, secure relationship."

Punch Brothers were nominated for three Grammy Awards this year: Best Americana Album for their latest album, The Phosphorescent Blues, and Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance for the album track "Julep." That song is also among NPR Music's Favorite Songs of the year. "Set within a complex but easeful arrangement that recalls both jazz and its African origin points," writes Ann Powers, "this view of a good life from heaven shows just how masterful this virtuoso outfit has become."

St Germain returned in 2015 with his first album in 15 years. The self-titled record marries percussive grooves, which have always been central to his sound, with a new element: traditional Malian music, as heard on the track "Sittin' Here," an NPR Music favorite. "We've waited 15 years for the follow up to this French producer's worldwide hit album, Tourist," writes Mark Wheat of NPR member station The Current, "and he's blended African influences into his super smooth downbeat production style."

The English trio of sisters The Staves made its Nonesuch debut with the release of its new, Justin Vernon–produced album, If I Was. Making the NPR list is the album track "No Me, No You, No More." Stephen Thompson says: "Vernon gives this U.K. vocal trio the layers-upon-layers treatment, to glorious effect."

Congolese seven-piece band Mbongwana Star released its debut full-length album, From Kinshasa, on World Circuit this year. Its first single, "Malukayi," featuring Konono No. 1, is "the ideal soundtrack for a spaceman meandering through the streets of Kinshasa," writes NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas: "next-level alienation and sonic disorientation, pure humanity."

To pick up a copy of any of the albums above, head to the Nonesuch Store, where all currently released albums are 15% off the everyday low prices listed on the site as part of the ongoing Nonesuch Store anniversary sale.

To see the complete list of NPR Music's Favorite Songs of 2014 and listen to playlists of the tracks, visit npr.org.

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NPR Music: Favorite Songs of 2015

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