Cyrena Touros

Rodrigo Amarante is full of bird facts.

When we meet him at his home, sitting out on his wooden deck that overlooks northeast LA, his doors and windows are all open, sunshine cascading through them. Amarante sits cross-legged underneath a patio umbrella that he's fashioned wheels on so that it can move easily with the sun. Despite making shade, he wears round, turtle-shell sunglasses as he fiddles with a bottle-top, pondering what inspired the genesis of his second solo album.

Songwriter Lucy Dacus grew up spending summers at Vacation Bible School and during the school year, sometimes skipping class to go to the movies with her friends in her hometown of Richmond, Va. Her third and latest album, Home Video, is an autobiographical, coming-of-age tale that borrows from those real life events she's tracked in journals since she was young.

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As the weather cools off, Mariah Carey's powers are only rising.


2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march, in recognition of the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Since then, Pride has evolved: from that small commemoration to community gatherings in progressive enclaves like New York and San Francisco to corporate-sponsored parades and ticketed events across all 50 states; from a space where people on the margins created fragile alliances to a mainstream festivity.

Phoebe Bridgers is the first to admit that she's not reinventing herself on her new album. "There's nothing avant-garde about it," she says of Punisher, her second solo record and fourth major musical project in the last three years. Even so, there's a quiet, assertive power to Punisher.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Cyrena Touros
Where: Washington, D.C.
Recommendation: Re-reading a beloved book

Tomorrow Perfume Genius, the band led by singer, songwriter and movement artist Mike Hadreas, releases its fifth studio album, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. With an eclectic palette of Baroque pop, burbling rock and grunge, combined with a dance-focused visual treatment, the album is being greeted as a benchmark in Hadreas' career. NPR Music writers Marissa Lorusso and Cyrena Touros consider its impact, and the importance of Hadreas' career in setting a new standard for exploration of gender, sexuality and identity in rock, in the following exchange.

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Rihanna quietly made her first non-sampled vocal appearance since 2017

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