Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.

Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.
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New York, NY




Soundcheck is WNYC’s daily talk show about music. Covering all musical genres, Soundcheck celebrates the musical passions of performers, composers, and critics as well as the public radio audience. Hosted by John Schaefer, listeners enjoy intimate conversations with and live performances by leading artists from around New York and around the globe.






WNYC Radio 160 Varick St. New York, NY 10013 (212) 433-9692


The Soulful Melancholy of Heather Woods Broderick

Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Heather Woods Broderick’s talents have been put to use by Sharon Van Etten and Laura Gibson; and she’s been a member of Efterklang and Horse Feathers. Her latest record, Invitation, is a grand and mysterious adventure into quiet and dark introspection. Piano riffs anchor this baroque-folk pop, and string arrangements might reflect the swells and whispers of her new digs around the impressive coastal landscape of Oregon. Or, as Western Vinyl puts...


Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi Transport as They Discover Common Roots

Multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter, host of the podcast Aria Code, and MacArthur Fellow Rhiannon Giddens’ latest collaboration is with the Italian pianist and percussionist Francesco Turrisi. Entitled there is no Other, the twelve songs explore the connections between European, Arabic, African-American and Mediterranean sounds and at once offer opposition to "othering" and “a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience” (Nonesuch Records). The duo’s...


The Eels Tear Things Apart To Find the Beauty Inside

Through his band the Eels, singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett has drawn on the tragedy and turmoil in his life and counters it with humor and hope. He is the son of a quantum physicist who developed the Many Worlds Theory, who now has a son himself. Eels’ latest, The Deconstruction, brings the feelings with a bit of wry optimism, and plenty of reflecting. It brings Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, to the studio to play some stripped-down versions of his songs and perhaps tell tales of the...


Singer Alice Merton Writes Songs So We Feel Good

German-Canadian-English singer and songwriter Alice Merton crafts upbeat dance-pop tunes anchored by punchy-funk basslines, complete with swirling synths and chiming guitars. Growing up in Canada, she was classically trained in piano and voice. Later, her family moved to Germany, where she studied at Popakademie (the University of Popular Music and Music Business), before the family moved to England. With her best friend and manager, she created her own international label, and earlier this...


Indie Popsters AJR Go From Buskers to Arena Rockers

Formed in 2005, New York-based indie pop trio AJR mixes close sibling harmonies, electronic music, strings, and jangly riffs into their sunny sound. The Met brothers family band, made up of multi-instrumentalists Adam (vocals/bass), Jack (vocals/guitar) and Ryan (guitar/piano/vocals), got their start busking around the city, playing covers of Vampire Weekend, the Beach Boys, and Fun. They’ve worked with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and are about to release their latest, Neotheater. The band joins...


Combo Chimbita Channels Ancestral Wisdom Via Latinx Psych-Funk

Hear tropical psych-rock from Combo Chimbita, a quartet based in New York City by way of Colombia. Their tropical psych-rock is an alchemical experiment of drawing on ancestral mythologies, metal strangeness, and deep groove. Their latest record, Ahomale, is a blend of futuristic flange-y electric rock and funk, with vintage synths and tropical rhythms, all supporting Carolina Oliveros’s powerful vocals in a quest to connect with the spiritual realm. Combo Chimbita joins us in-studio to play...


Andrew Bird Creates Beauty and Endures

Watch the session here: A new Andrew Bird record is a tempting excuse to wheedle a tour in the songwriter’s mind-palace, to perhaps launch into long discourses on history, archaeology, environmentalism, politics, wrestling, large-scale disasters, or emotions as a result of listening deeply. Bird excites music nerds with structure and progressions in tunes like “Don the Struggle”, delights music fans with charming anthemic choruses on “Fallorun”, and arms the politically-engaged with tunes...


Chamber Jazz by Avi and Omer Avital

Avi Avital is an astonishing mandolin player, whether he’s playing classical music or Eastern European folk songs. Omer Avital, though born in Israel, has been an essential part of the New York jazz scene for over 20 years as both a bass player and a composer. Their collaboration, Avital Meets Avital, draws on Moroccan and North African sounds, folkloric and classical traditions, Israeli harmonies and Mediterranean rhythms and jazz improvisation. In fact, Gramophone calls out their "sense of...


New Chamber Music by Kinan Azmeh and The Knights

The flexible chamber collective, The Knights, together with the groundbreaking Syrian clarinetist, Kinan Azmeh play Azmeh’s Concertino Grosso, commissioned in part by Carnegie Hall's 125 Commissions Project. It’s a work that allows for maximum freedom and flexibility in the approach to the score, as well as chances for solo sections. Also, The Knights perform a short work by Antonio Vivaldi – one of his “most personal and searching musical statements”, according to Colin Jacobsen’s program...


Matmos Finds "Audio Gold" in Plastics, In-Studio

Only the Baltimore-based electronic duo Matmos (M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel) might be able to make an entire record from the sounds of a washing machine, or for their latest - only from plastic. They've sampled the percussive qualities of a police riot shield (purchased on Ebay from the Albuquerque police department), made patterns, saved, repeated, and voila! Electronic music that is fun to be unsettled to. There’s a squeaky “crying pill” made of plastic, a PVC pipe as percussion and...


American Troubadour Steve Earle Covers Texan Great Guy Clark

Watch the session here: Steve Earle has been many things – a Grammy-winning musician, a political activist, a writer, an actor. He’s also, a music fan. Specifically, he’s a fan of two late, great Texas songwriters, Townes Van Zandt, and Guy Clark. Ten years ago, he released an album called Townes, where he covered that singer’s work. Now it’s Guy Clark’s turn. Steve Earle and The Dukes have recorded a whole album of Clark’s songs – the record is called Guy, and it brings Steve Earle...


Dreamy Dance Pop by Savoir Adore

The Brooklyn-based band Savoir Adore, French for “to know love” consists of songwriting team Paul Hammer (Yes! Son of composer/producer/keyboardist Jan Hammer) and Lauren Zettler. Lately, they have crafted mostly electro-pop songs intent on dispensing magic and dreams, showcased in a two-part album, First Bloom, released last year, and most recently, Full Bloom. Savoir Adore and guests join us in the studio to play sunny music from these records. The band plays Thursday night, April 11, at...


Intimate and Patient Atmospheric Pop by Helado Negro

Miami-born, New York-based songwriter and electronic musician Helado Negro, (artist Roberto Carlos Lange) makes spacey folky electro-pop that is introspective, yet wide-reaching, utterly inviting and open; it pulses with the gentle power and warmth of loving and being loved. The record, This Is How You Smile, is a collection of delicate and painstakingly-crafted confessionals and affirmations that are designed to work their way into your heart or your mind or your home, which he calls “the...


Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon

The band Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon is a musical pot-luck with friends put together by Dickinson, the guitarist and co-founder of the North Mississippi Allstars. On their new record, Solstice, the guests at the gathering include singer-songwriter and upright bass player Amy LaVere, the secular gospel duo Birds of Chicago (JT Nero and Allison Russell), fife player Sharde Thomas, singer-songwriter and drummer Amy Helm (daughter of Levon), fiddle-playing...


Cosmic Funk by The Comet Is Coming

London-based trio The Comet Is Coming are often described as a jazz band, although this is cosmic funky jazz where young musicians have incorporated elements of electronic music, hip hop, psych, and rock. This apocalyptic dance party jazz features Shabaka Hutchings on sax, Max Hallett on drums, and Dan Leavers on keys. Fresh from inciting rooms of folks to sweat and mosh in Austin, TX, The Comet Is Coming performs new material from their 2019 album, Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep...


Inuk Folk-Pop Artist Elisapie Finds Her Center In The Far North

Montreal-based Inuk folk-pop singer and songwriter, Elisapie, is from the Far North, and her music draws from and takes pride in her Inuit and First Nations origins – while also journeying through some heavy emotional territory. The JUNO-nominated Elisapie (Élisapie Isaac) is originally from Salluit, Nunavik, but has lived in Montreal for 20 years. On her most recent record, The Ballad of the Runaway Girl, Elisapie reaffirms her connections to her sonic roots in Inuit and Native folk music....


47SOUL Brings the Shamstep Party With a Message

“Shamstep” band, 47SOUL, take their name from the Arabic name for the Levant region – Bilad al-Sham, with members from Jordan, Washington DC, and Israel - spanning the divides of the Palestinian Diaspora. The music is a mix of dubstep, hip-hop and electro-Arabic dabke with lyrics in both Arabic and English, which are intensely political in their call for celebration and freedom in the struggle for equality. The quartet 47SOUL performs their smart dance music in-studio. - Caryn Havlik Watch...


The Timeless, Endless Love of Classic Soul Singer Lee Fields

The classic sound of soul – the bright horns, the snappy hi-hat in the grooves, and expressive, heartfelt vocals – has never really gone out of fashion. There are singers like Lee Fields, who has been at it since 1969, when he released his first single. This April, he’s about to put out a new album called It Rains Love – with tender melodies and deep funk beats, and one which draws from Lee's own rock-steady love in his 40+ year- marriage. The soul legend Lee Fields joins us in-studio to...


Heartbreaking and Dark Songs by Amanda Palmer

Singer, writer, pianist, and activist Amanda Palmer is also a listener, a “love-lover, rule-hater and co-founder of the Brechtian punk cabaret duo, The Dresden Dolls” (Bandcamp). She has a way of connecting with people and directly asking for what she needs, as well as giving back to her fans. Her latest record, There Will Be No Intermission, is a “five hanky” record, full of dark songs on abortion, miscarriages, cancer and grief, all the while in a way that hints at hope and delivers...


Captivating Chamber-Electro-Pop by Emily Wells with Metropolis Ensemble

Composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Emily Wells works in the space between art-pop and neoclassical chamber music using electronic and acoustic instruments: synths, strings, and hip-hop production in elegant layers to support her singular and dramatic vocals. For her latest, This World Is Too _____ For You she has expanded her sonic palate to include a string quintet and French horn for a collection of swirling and dramatic chamber-pop showpieces. Together with the Grammy-nominated...