Kimberly Junod

Kate Bollinger writes smart, melodic indie pop music. It makes for easy listening, but there's real insight in her lyrics. Dig deeper and you'll discover a thoughtful songwriter coming into her own.

The Lone Bellow makes music that feels like it's welcoming you in — like the band members are opening their arms wide and inviting you to join their family with sing-along choruses, the hand-clapping rhythms and melodies that somehow sound familiar even on a first listen.

About three years ago, Leif Vollebekk was set to release Twin Solitude, an album he thought might end up being his last. He felt like he wasn't having fun or finding an audience. But once the album came out, that all changed. Twin Solitude was critically lauded, and his shows started filling up. The record was shortlisted for his home country's prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Nothing about the music Samantha Fish makes suggests that she's ever been shy. Bold and expressive, it shows off her considerable talent – but it took a bit of a push for Fish to get on stage for the first time.

Sometimes you have to strike when the iron is hot, and sometimes you have to be patient. For today's guest Jeremy Ivey, that meant recording his first solo album at the age of 41.

North Carolina's M.C. Taylor, also known as Hiss Golden Messenger, is a seeker. He's someone who is looking for truth – truth from the world, and truth from himself. You can hear that in the songs on his latest album, Terms of Surrender, an album so full of truth he originally wasn't sure if he should release it at all.

Already one of the biggest bands in the world, The Lumineers did something adventurous on the group's third album, III: The Denver-based group created a record divided into three chapters, telling the story of a family across three generations and how addiction touched those lives.

Who doesn't love a good breakup record? Well, maybe not the person going through it. On Forever Turned Around, Whitney flips the notion of the breakup record on its head. Instead of focusing on the demise, the Chicago duo's record is all about commitment.

You might know that song, called "Cold Little Heart" as the opening credits to the HBO show Big Little Lies, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Over the last half century, Jeff Lynne has left an indelible mark on popular music.

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