Robin Hilton

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

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, Georgia.

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.

Each year, the buzz in Austin, Texas, at the South By Southwest music festival can reach a deafening pitch. Our NPR Music team is here to help you cut through the noise. Every evening, we'll gather to roundup and recap the best discoveries of the day.

The annual South by Southwest music festival is our personal endurance challenge to discover as many great unknown and often unsigned bands as possible in just one week. To train for the event, Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson and I listen to more than a thousand songs by bands playing the festival, from all over the world, and try to map out a calendar to see our favorites.

Much of the best new music we heard in February was deeply personal, with lots of room for reflection. Ariana Grande delivered the most anticipated album of the month, a highly polished pop diary on the need for hope. On the other end of the sonic spectrum was singer Julia Jacklin's uncluttered call for strength and resilience in a post-Me Too universe that's still very much evolving.

A lot of the songs we loved most in February illuminated some of life's darker or at least more complicated corners. Rapper Quelle Chris pondered America's love affair with guns, while hip-hop artist Mahawam released a vivid meditation on living with HIV. The Brooklyn-based rock group Charly Bliss explored millennial burnout, singer Molly Sarlé preached the importance of embracing disappointment, and Aldous Harding dropped a strangely alluring song called "The Barrel," all about a relationship falling apart.

Our picks for the best albums out this week include an epic treatise on Americanism from Gary Clark Jr., the delicate and beautiful sounds of Julia Jacklin, Atlanta rapper Gunna, a gorgeous study in the healing powers of restraint from Lowland Hum, and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael and Stephen Thompson as they share their top picks for Feb. 22.

Featured Albums

  • Gary Clark Jr., This Land
    Featured Song: "Gotta Get Into Something"

Joel and Ethan Coen's film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs takes some dark and violent turns over the course of six, Western-themed vignettes. But its opening story, about the film's affable (if deadly) namesake, offers a more comical take on the genre's most popular tropes, particularly a high-noon gunfight between the white-clad Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson) and black-clad villain The Kid, portrayed by Old Crow Medicine Show singer Willie Watson.

YouTube

For nearly 20 years, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero have been marrying their love of metal with nylon-stringed acoustic guitars, releasing an impressive catalog of albums that s

Every December, the NPR Music team peruses 11 months' worth of albums and songs and crams its collective reflections and critical assessments into a handful of big lists. This year we've decided to dissect the torrent of new releases as they're happening and share a list of the most notable albums and songs from each month.

Welcome to the first in our new series of roundups highlighting the best new songs of each month. January is often a slow time for releases, as labels and artists come off the holidays and start to tease bigger projects on the horizon. But the first month of this year still delivered plenty of memorable and surprising tracks. Singer Lana Del Rey, known for her lush, layered arrangements, released a devastatingly spare track about holding on to hope in times of darkness; Australian singer Stella Donnelly's "Old Man" gives a wink and a smile while eviscerating lecherous men; rapper J.

Weezer surprised its fans this morning after dropping a collection of cover songs overnight. The self-titled "Teal" album features the band's members dressed like the cast of Miami Vice circa 1985, and much of the collection plays like an ode to '80s kitsch, including Weezer's cult-favorite cover of Toto's unstoppable hit "Africa." But the album also includes some surprising covers, including a version of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," TLC's "No Scrubs" and Ben E. King's "Stand By Me."

Sleater-Kinney has confirmed it's releasing a new album sometime this year, produced by St. Vincent. Guitarist Carrie Brownstein tells NPR, "We always planned on getting back in the studio — it was just a matter of when. If there is an overarching principle to this album, it's that the tools on which we were relying proved inadequate.

Ever wonder what albums your fellow NPR fans listen to? We asked, you voted and below are the results our year-end listener poll for 2018. The list mirrors the NPR Music Top 50 Albums more than I've noticed in previous years. Like that list, listeners put Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Mitski and Lucy Dacus all in the top positions.

YouTube

Deerhunter's latest single, from the just-announced album Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?, finds front

This week's batch of essential new albums includes Robyn's melancholy return to the dance floor, rock-and-roll madness from Ty Segall, the otherworldly voice of NAO, singer Julia Holter's mind-blowing masterpiece Aviary, and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson as they run through the best full-length releases out on Oct. 26.

Featured Albums:

  1. Oh Pep! I Wasn't Only Thinking of You
    Featured Song: "25"
  2. Robyn: Honey
    Featured Song: "Human Being"

On this week's sprint through the best new releases we've got irresistible earworms from Peter Bjorn & John, the deep soul of PHONY PPL, Esperanza Spalding's mind-bending songcraft and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Nate Chinen of WBGO, Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they breakdown the best albums out on Oct. 19.

Featured Albums:

  1. Elle King: Shake the Spirit
    Featured Song: "Shame"

Our list of the best new albums out this week includes the comical and moving synth pop of John Grant, enchanting harmonies from The Watson Twins, an audacious jazz album from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the first new music from Elvis Costello & The Imposers in a decade and more. Host Robin Hilton returns to breakdown this week's essential releases with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson, and Nate Chinen from WBGO.

Featured Albums

  1. Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Look Now
    Featured Song: "Under Lime"

Bob Dylan's Bootleg series continues this fall with Vol. 14, More Blood, More Tracks. The 6-CD box set (or two LPs) focuses on material Dylan recorded in 1974, which ultimately led to one of his most acclaimed and best-selling albums, Blood on the Tracks.

This week's run through the essential albums out Sep. 14 includes the first new music from Jump Little Children in 14 years, rapper Noname's incredible follow-up to her 2016 mixtape Telefone, one of the darkest and most distorted albums ever from the band Low, a bit of melancholy and hope from country singer Carrie Underwood and much more.

Featured Albums:

  1. Jump Little Children: SPARROW
    Featured Song: "Hand On My Heartache"
  2. Low: Double Negative
    Featured Song: "Quorum"

YouTube

Last month Mary Halsey of Rhode Island posted a Facebook video of herself doing a karaoke version of Missy Elliott's "Work It." It quickly went viral, accumulating millions of views an

YouTube

Paul McCartney is celebrating the release of his 17th solo album, Egypt Station, w

After spending much of the past month on the Newport Folk Festival, Remembering Aretha Franklin, the

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lauren Onkey about the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday at the age of 76. In this career-spanning conversation, we share the songs and stories behind one of the most influential artists of all time, from her earliest days singing gospel in her father's church, through her 1980s pop hits, later collaborations with artists like Lauryn Hill and much more.

Love is often presented as something easy, a matter of simply following your heart. But in actuality, it's rarely that effortless.

Discovering new songs and albums — and the musicians who make them — is one of our favorite things. And if you're a music lover, chances are that you share this passion. So, tell us: Who are your favorite new artists of the year so far? We'll define a "new" artist as someone who released their debut full-length in 2018. (If they haven't yet released a full album, their first EP or single can count.)

We'll share the top 10 vote-getters — and our own personal favorites — on next week's All Songs Considered podcast.

This is one of the sweetest, funniest and most endearing Tiny Desk performances I've seen. From the moment they began playing, it was clear best friends Lucy Niles and Josée Caron, who perform as the Canadian rock band Partner, were there to leave their mark and have a whole lot of fun doing it.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Marissa Lorusso, Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson for a sprint through six noteworthy albums out May 18. This includes the raging rock of Courtney Barnett, Atlanta rapper Nick Grant, wildly ambitious psych-folk from Ray La Montagne and a whole lot more.

Pages