Lars Gotrich

For more than a decade, the Viking's Choice column has been a safe space (or a festering wound, depending on whom you ask) for metal, punk, drone and all sorts of "weird" and/or "loud" music on NPR. You've heard me on the All Songs Considered podcast, and gotten irregular doses of my sonic realms on this blog.

Our curation game is strong at NPR Music, from All Songs Considered to Alt.Latino, to memorials that pay tribute to beloved musicians, to roséwave's sommelier-level summer bops.

Viking's Choice

Jun 17, 2019

Where heavy metal, heady psych, dreamy ambient, furious punk, chooglin' rock, twinkly emo and cotton-candy pop music all come to freak out. All of these disparate sounds make sense in the brain of NPR Music's Lars Gotrich — and are documented on his Viking's Choice column — because why can't Converge get cozy with Mariah Carey?

"Angels, your mother is about to feed you new music for five months straight,"
Charli XCX tweeted in May. "You deserve it and you're welcome." Depending on your appetite for futuristic pop, that's either a treat or a threat.

Maybe the title of the 2017 album Infinite Worlds was prophetic: by the time Lætitia Tamko took these songs on tour with the likes of Julien Baker and Courtney Barnett, the shapes spun out of their ragged indie-rock clothes and became amorphous, with deeper synthetic textures.

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Efterklang needed a break, but that never stopped the Danish trio from working with each other.

Michelle Zauner's songs are tender, but perverse — there's a break in the sweetness barrier that expels unspoken desire with a forceful glimmer. That's what made Japanese Breakfast's 2017 album Soft Sounds from Another Planet, in particular, so riveting.

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Well, now we just want to hit up the nail salon with Rosalía.

Sleater-Kinney returned just before everything changed. In 2015, nine years after a hiatus, the trio made No Cities to Love in secret.

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