WUNC Music

WUNC Music is the place for music discovery in North Carolina. New Indie Rock, Alternative and straight ahead Rock and Roll is mixed in with old favorites and emerging local bands.

Listen 24/7  with the web player at the top of this page, on the WUNC App (iOS or Android), via TuneIn or at 91.5 HD2 in the Triangle area. 

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Fresh off its Golden Globe award for best animation, the Disney-Pixar movie Coco is a favorite to win an Oscar next month.

It's a sweet story of a small boy, Miguel, who dreams of becoming a musician despite his parents' objections. On the way, he finds family, tradition and a magnificent white guitar, encrusted with pearl details and a black skull.

Robert Plant's new album "Carry Fire."
Warner Brothers

Robert Plant’s latest solo record Carry Fire is steeped in majesty and travel to far off places. The iconic singer, writer and seeker digs deep into the sounds he created with his band the Sensational Space Shifters. It’s the same group of fellow travelers he spent two years crossing the globe with in support of the highly acclaimed “lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar.”

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

Over the next few weeks we'll feature artists from Yep Roc Records.  The label, headquartered in Hillsborough, NC, continues to celebrate its 20th anniversary.  We're commenerating by highlighting some of their artists.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Courtesy Rachel Kiel

Rachel Kiel grew up buried in stacks of records in her family home, and from an early age her musical influences were abundant and varied. 

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Updated Jan. 19 at 9:45 a.m. ET

Dolores O'Riordan, the lead singer of the Irish band The Cranberries, has died suddenly at age 46.

O'Riordan defined the sound of The Cranberries — with hit songs like "Linger," "Salvation" and "Zombie." She brought a particularly Irish inflection to pop charts around the world, particularly in the 1990s.

Her publicist confirmed that O'Riordan died suddenly Monday in London, where she had been recording.

Camila Cabello got her start as one-fifth of Fifth Harmony, a group formed by music impresario Simon Cowell from girls who had auditioned for the music competition show The X Factor. The experience forced a teenage Cabello out of her shell and propelled her and her bandmates to pop stardom.

The Grunge Gold Rush

Jan 12, 2018

On the most humiliating day of Jawbox's career, guitarist Bill Barbot was wearing a colorfully striped cotton T-shirt, white Calvin Klein jeans and Persol sunglasses and standing in a suburban New Jersey grocery store. Underneath orange and purple balloons and a hand-printed "Juicy Cubed Beef 59 ¢ lb." sign, he held his guitar in the air, poised to smash it into a cart full of junk food. To Barbot's left were his bandmates: drummer Zach Barocas, in a cream-colored jacket, bassist Kim Coletta in an impeccable red dress and singer J.

Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers will make its HBO debut on January 29th at 8 pm. Filmed over two years, the feature-length documentary highlights the making of the band’s ninth studio album True Sadness, and traces the history of the band from its small town roots in Concord, North Carolina to filling up arenas around the country. Check out the trailer below.

The official lineup for this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, taking place April 13-15 and 20-22, has arrived.

FORTYONCEGOLD

2017 was a big year for both rising stars and foundational artists with roots in the North Carolina music scene. Pop-electronic group Sylvan Esso, hip-hop artist Rapsody, and other North Carolina-based artists garnered Grammy nominations, and the state’s music was elevated once again to the national stage.

No music scene is monolithic, but few encompass the extremes of the bluegrass world. Both musically and ideologically, it runs the gamut from conservatism to progressivism, a range of sensibilities that it's rare to see commingling elsewhere in American society at this polarized moment.

Regardless of how much we acknowledge that group-movement to a centralized rhythm is medicine for the soul, some emotional climates simply aren't conducive to reaching a singular moment of exultation and release on the dance floor. Across much of the world, 2017 sure as heck didn't feel like the right year for the ecstatic. So then, the question is: what to do? One answer arrived at in our listening was to get planning.

Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits — along with guitar pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, with an award for early influence — have been named as next year's inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Pat DiNizio, a singer and songwriter who made popular rock songs as the leader of The Smithereens, died on Tuesday at age 62, his fellow band members say. No cause of death was provided.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who has already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

North Carolina band Blame the Youth has been playing together in and around Charlotte for three years.

The 50 Best Albums Of 2017

Dec 12, 2017

Consensus wasn't easy in 2017. Maybe that's because the news this year kept us on edge, our eyes and ears pointed in many directions. Maybe it's due to the growth of streaming as the dominant listening platform, one whose rules have not yet fully been written. Whatever the cause, with the exception of our No. 1 album, it felt like there were few pieces of music this year that captured our attention instantly and simultaneously. Instead, we spent our year tracking down new sounds that gave voice to our struggles and breakthroughs, our search for joy and our need for release.

A picture of James Carter of the Blind Boys of Alabama
Stuart Sevastos / Wikimedia Commons

The Blind Boys of Alabama have been singing gospel music for seven decades – through a world war, the civil rights movement, moon landings and the invention of the Internet. They've gone from their beginnings at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind all the way to the White House where they've sung for three presidents.

Now, the Grammy award winners are back at it with a new recording called Almost Home. Original member James Carter took time out from a series of events in Durham recently to talk about his life's work.

Updated, Dec. 8, 8:20 a.m. ET with a subsequent statement from James Levine and James Lestock.

New allegations of sexual assault have been made against James Levine, the music director emeritus of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and its conductor for over forty years. Levine was suspended from his position over the weekend, and now, with more allegations made public, repercussions for the lauded musician are continuing to pile up.

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this special holiday episode, Eric Hodge chats with Robert Earl Keen about his classic song 'Merry Christmas From The Family.'

Keen says he wrote the song simply to amuse himself, but when he started playing it around for friends he knew he had something.

Listen to the episode here:

A picture of Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor
Elise Tyler / Merge Records

Hallelujah Anyhow is the new record from Hiss Golden Messenger.  Its 10 songs help shine a light on what M.C. Taylor calls the dark clouds he's designed to see. 

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge chats with Durham's Sylvan Esso about their song "Slack Jaw" from their Grammy-nominated album What Now.

Amelia Meath says the song is about being a human and being sad. She wanted to write about these universal and common feelings without coming off as 'whiny,' and Slack Jaw is the result. 

Hailed as music's biggest night, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards will return to New York City, taking place at Madison Square Garden Jan. 28.

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